Aside from an obligation to train their drivers to follow all traffic laws and be alert at all times, commercial trucking companies have a duty to keep their vehicles in road-safe condition. Improper truck maintenance puts the public in harm’s way and can be considered negligence when an accident occurs.

On June 2 in San Diego, an elderly couple were driving south on I-5 in their Chevrolet van when they slammed into the back of a stalled box truck. The driver, an 80-year-old man, tried to steer out of the way, but it was too late. The passenger, who police believe was the man’s wife, died from her injuries. The driver was rushed to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.

The man driving the box truck was not in it at the time of the accident. He’d left the stalled truck in the middle of the highway. While he did put warning reflectors out around the vehicle, did he do all that was required of him before leaving his truck?

So, in a case like this one, how do you determine who’s at fault? Is this just a freak accident or could it have been avoided? A California attorney’s job would be to uncover every detail of the crash. Did the trucking company know about the vehicle’s mechanical problems? Did the driver follow the protocol for stalled vehicles on the freeway? Were all safety indicators functional and turned on when the accident occurred?

The families of victims of tractor-trailer crashes shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of medical expenses alone. An attorney can listen to their story and examine their case with the keen eye of a professional. If negligence was the cause of the accident, the victims may be entitled to compensation.