More than just a driver may be at fault in a commercial truck accident

When a commercial vehicle of any kind is involved in a traffic accident, a different and more complicated set of circumstances kicks in for anyone who may be a victim.

This is the case whether a commercial trucker is at fault, or a taxi, limo, bus, delivery van or a shuttle is part of the accident.

Although commercial drivers as a whole have been shown less likely to be involved in an accident, when they are, due to the difference in size between a commercial vehicle and an average car, the results are usually more serious and even deadly.

If you’re injured in a truck accident, is it incumbent on you and your attorney to not only show that negligence was involved on the part of the commercial driver but also to determine if that negligence can extend beyond just the driver. Identifying as many defendants as possible is important because it gives you the greatest possibility of recovering damages for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Other defendants may include a driver’s employer, so it’s important for an attorney to establish that an employer exercised some control over the driver, including what kind of driving schedule they kept, what big rig they assigned the driver, their overall maintenance and safety record, and other issues that will help strengthen the case that liability should be shared.

As a plaintiff in a case, it’s best to bring a commercial traffic attorney on board as soon as possible to start the process of preserving evidence, and looking at company maintenance records, safety violations recorded with the state, and so forth. In most cases, defendants will have an experienced commercial vehicle attorney already on board, and it’s just a wise move to level the playing field as soon as possible to give you the best chance at a full financial recovery.

The Law Office of David Leicht serves the California communities of Barstow, Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Adelanto, Baker, Needles, Lucerne Valley, Big Bear, San Bernardino, Mojave, Phelan, and Wrightwood. For a free consultation, call (760) 256-3104.

How DUI charges can become felonies

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime, no matter what the situation. However, what normally may be a misdemeanor can become a much more serious crime requiring the skills of a DUI criminal defense lawyer when the charge is elevated to a felony.

When this happens, it is usually due to aggravating factors that can include:

An accident resulting in bodily harm. If you get behind the wheel after drinking and you cause an accident resulting in injuries or death to another person, there’s a strong likelihood you will be charged with a felony. Prosecutors must show that the drunk driver is the one who actually caused the bodily harm. If the other driver is the one who is at fault for the accident, then the drunk driving charge will remain a misdemeanor.

You have multiple DUI convictions. In California, DUI offenses are known as “priorable” offenses, meaning that penalties become harsher every time you are convicted on the same charges. As it relates to drunk driving offenses, if you have been convicted three or more times of DUI in the past 10 years, you will probably be charged with a felony if you are arrested again. This also applies to drunk driving offenses that take place out of state, but that would be considered an equivalent crime if committed in California.

Driving under the influence with children in your car. Putting the lives of minors at stake is met with a harsh punishment resulting in felony charges.

Previous felony DUI convictions. If you have any kind of felony DUI conviction, then even if you commit what would normally be considered a misdemeanor DUI, you will be charged with a felony, resulting in heavy fines and penalties.

In all cases, a DUI charge is a serious situation, and it requires an aggressive defense best mounted with the help of an experienced DUI attorney.

The Law Office of David Leicht serves the California communities of Barstow, Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Adelanto, Baker, Needles, Lucerne Valley, Big Bear, San Bernardino, Mojave, Phelan, and Wrightwood. For a free consultation, call (760) 256-3104.