UPDATE (March 20, 2019): Reports identified the victim as 54-year-old Nelson Cedeno Dominguez. The injured passenger has not yet been identified.
Pauma Valley, CA — March 14, 2019, one person was killed and another person was injured due to an accident in which an 18-wheeler overturned.
Authorities reported that the accident happened in the area of Route 76 and Rincon Ranch Road at around 8:00 a.m.
Investigators reported that the 18-wheeler was traveling along the highway, and police say it lost control while speeding. This caused the 18-wheeler to run off-road and flip over, landing upside down.
The driver of the truck died as a result of the crash. The passenger had to be airlifted to a hospital for treatment.
At this time, additional details surrounding the crash are unavailable.
Map of the Area
It’s tragic to read about any accident like this, and most people understand that when a truck driver is hurt or killed on the job, recourse tends to fall under workers’ compensation. But for the passenger involved in an accident like this, things are a bit more complex. A lot of what comes next for passengers injured in a truck wreck depends on their relation to the driver.
If the passenger is a family member, friend, or otherwise not an employee of the trucking company, they likely have a claim against the trucking company. If what police say here is true, that speeding caused the accident, trucking companies are liable for the actions of their employees. That means a non-employee hurt in their vehicle is their responsibility.
But if the passenger is a co-worker, their potential recourse depends on whether or not they were “on the job” at the time of the wreck. If the passenger was in the course of their work duties, they’ll likely receive benefits through workers’ comp. However, there are times when the passenger isn’t technically working at the time of the crash. The best example of this is when they’re in the sleeper berth on long hauls. Since they’re off the clock not working, the legal theory is that they are essentially treated the same as a non-employee in the eyes of the law. As such, they may have a claim against the trucking company outside the confines of workers’ comp.
On top of all that, any potential claims also depend on what really caused the crash. Maybe police are correct, and speeding caused the crash, or maybe there are extenuating circumstances which have not yet been considered. This and other factors need to be more thoroughly investigated to know for sure.
–Grossman Law Offices