This blog has frequently commented on the difficulty of attributing fault in multi-vehicle accidents. A recent truck accident in Long Beach involving three big rigs underscores this difficulty.
According to police reports from the scene, the accident occurred shortly after midnight. One semi-trailer truck was stopped because of slowing traffic ahead. A second big rig slammed into the stopped truck, and then the two trucks were hit by a third big rig. Two of the drivers were trapped in their cabs until rescued by emergency responders. The two men were transported to a nearby trauma center where one was reported to be in critical condition. The third driver was unhurt. The freeway was closed until about 7 a.m.
Police officers at the scene said that speeding on the part of one or both of the two trucks that collided with the stopped struck was a likely contributing cause of the collision. The two trailing trucks were apparently traveling at speeds that prevented them from stopping to avoid hitting the first truck. Police did not offer any explanation for the excessive speed of the trucks. Other possible causes, such as faulty brakes, driver inattention or road conditions, were being investigated.
A significant issue in any accident involving commercial vehicles is the ownership of the trucks. Many shippers lease truck from rental agencies, and thus, responsibility for inadequate maintenance or poor driver training can be difficult to pin down. Anyone who has been injured in an accident involving one or more commercial vehicles may wish to consult a lawyer who specializes in vehicle accident cases. A knowledgeable attorney can provide a helpful assessment of the facts of the case and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.
Source: ABC News, “710 South Back Open in Long Beach After Multiple-Big Rig Crash,” John Gregory, Aug. 24, 2016