Rollover Truck Accidents in Rancho Mirage

A rollover accident occurs when a truck overturns onto its side or top. These accidents happen most frequently when a truck rounds a sharp corner and the centrifugal force pulls the heavy load away from the curve, causing it to overturn. Given the massive weight difference between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, rollovers are among the most dangerous accidents for drivers.

Sadly, rollover truck accidents in Rancho Mirage often result in extremely serious injuries or death. When you are injured or lose a loved one in a semi-truck collision, you could be entitled to a significant settlement.

Causes of Rollover Truck Wrecks

Rollover truck accidents occur in and around Rancho Mirage for many reasons. Some of the most common are:

  • Steering errors
  • Improperly loaded trailers
  • Excessive speed at curves
  • Driver inattention and fatigue
  • Improper vehicle maintenance

Drivers and trucking companies are under significant pressure to move cargo in tight timelines, and this can lead to errors and poor decisions, which in many cases constitute negligence entitling an injured party to damages.

Negligence Per Se in Trucking Accidents

Usually, to prove negligence in a personal injury or wrongful death case, the injured person must put forth evidence establishing they were owed a duty of care, and the defendant breached that duty of care, resulting in injury. But in Rancho Mirage, as in all of California, cases involving trucking accidents might invoke the legal doctrine negligence per se. This creates a presumption of negligence when the violation of a public safety law caused the injury per California Evidence Code § 669. If negligence per se is established and not rebutted, the only remaining question is the appropriate measure of damages—a significant boon to a plaintiff.

If a truck driver causes an accident while in violation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations aimed at public safety, there could be an argument for negligence per se. For example, FMCSA regulations (49 C.F.R. § 395.3 (2022)) impose maximum hours of consecutive driving time on truck drivers. If a fatigued truck driver causes a rollover accident, and it is discovered that they were in violation of these regulations, negligence per se could be established. FMCSA regulations also prohibit truck drivers from:

If any of these conditions exist at the time of a rollover, a finding of negligence per se is possible. Remember, however, that even if negligence per se is not established, or if the presumption is rebutted, negligence can still be argued through the standard duty-and-breach analysis.

Recoverable Damages In Rollover Truck Crashes

A person injured by a truck rollover in Rancho Mirage may be able to recover compensatory damages, that is, damages intended to compensate the injured party for their loss. These damages take two forms: special damages and general damages.

Special damages are economic damages with specific dollar values, such as medical bills, out-of-pocket costs, and lost earnings. General damages compensate the injured person for the non-economic aspects of the injury, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life. Particularly egregious conduct—especially if intentional—might warrant punitive damages, but these are uncommon.

Because truck rollovers can cause such severe injury and death, damage awards following such accidents can be very high. Fortunately, California generally holds trucking companies liable for the negligence of their drivers, and the company will almost always have much higher policy limits than the individual driver, making collection of large judgments possible.

Speak With a Rancho Mirage Rollover Truck Accident Attorney

Rollover truck accidents in Rancho Mirage can be devastating. When you are injured in a rollover, you might be feeling overwhelmed in the aftermath. But by contacting an attorney, you could lighten your burden and put your focus where it belongs—on your recovery. Call Walter Clark Legal Group today to discuss your legal rights to compensation.

Walter Clark Legal Group

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