Alameda Truck Accident Lawyer
Commercial vehicles, including big rigs, play an integral role in the economy and keep it moving. According to the American Trucking Association, tractor-trailers transported approximately 10.93 billion tons of primary shipment or freight in 2021. This accounted for approximately 72.2 percent of total domestic tonnage shipments. Without semi-trucks on the road, the economy would stand at a standstill for consumers. There is a cost and risk to having large trucks on the road. Crashes involving big rigs tend to be more severe than those involving passenger vehicles due to the truck's size, weight, and momentum.
Life will never be the same for injured parties and surviving family members after a big rig crash. Taking legal action is essential for justice and complete recovery. Call our truck accident lawyers serving Alameda County, California, for free, friendly case advice at (510) 631-0200 or (800) 404-5400.
At AutoAccident.com, our legal team is ready to represent you and seek full compensation from the trucking company that caused you and your family harm. We are committed to providing compassionate support and achieving successful results for our representatives. Reach out to our law office to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled California truck accident lawyers serving Alameda County today. We are available to review your case in detail, answer any questions you may have, and discuss your potential options for recovery moving forward.What are the Common Reasons for Big Rig Crashes?
In any motor vehicle collision involving a big rig, there may be more than one cause of a truck collision. Several factors may contribute to tractor-trailer wrecks. Below are some of the common causes of semi-truck accidents you should be aware of when driving near big rigs on the road:
- Defective Big Rig Equipment: Faulty parts and equipment in a semi-truck may potentially cause a roadway crash. In that case, the tractor-trailer manufacturer may be liable for the damages resulting from the incident. Clear and compelling evidence must demonstrate a defect in the design, equipment, and other elements. This is necessary for building a solid auto products liability claim against the truck manufacturer for damages.
- Insufficient Truck Driver Training: According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), it was found that approximately 38 percent of truck drivers reported that they did not receive enough training at the start of their employment. Trucking companies must ensure thorough background checks on truck drivers and provide them with proper training. However, not all trucking companies do so, and crashes often occur from improper training.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI): Alcohol and drug use may take a toll on a truck driver's ability to operate a big rig safely. A trucker may take dangerous risks while driving, have delayed reaction times, and have a shortened attention span. All these may cause a catastrophic crash. DUI in a truck accident case may be proven through the results of a field sobriety test, findings of a preliminary breath test, testimony from individuals who witnessed the semi-truck crash, and results of a tox screening.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Lack of maintenance in tractor-trailers may lead to collisions caused by worn-down tires, rusted-out axles, cracked windshields, hub separation, wheel bearing failure, worn-out brakes, and other big rig damage. While trucking companies are generally liable for maintaining, repairing, and inspecting fleet vehicles, the semi-truck driver is also expected to thoroughly inspect the vehicle before hitting the road.
- Truck Driver Fatigue: The trucking community can promote roadway safety by ensuring that schedules are not conflicting so that truck drivers are pressured to violate hours of service (HOS) regulations to meet strict delivery deadlines. Failure to follow HOS may lead to fatigue. This may ultimately impair driving, reflexes, response time, and judgment. Appearing disoriented or tired, stumbling speech, and bleariness may all indicate truck driver fatigue.
- Roadway Conditions: Poor road conditions may contribute to a traffic collision or cause one outright. Improper traffic signs, missing roadway signage, or a faulty traffic signal may play a role in a big rig crash. The entities responsible for designing and maintaining public roadways generally include local, city, or state entities. Claimants must file a notice of claim against these entities no later than six months from the accident date, per California Government Code Section 911.2.
A thorough investigation into a truck accident is necessary to unravel as much information from the incident itself in addition to the trucking company's maintenance protocols, training procedures, and safety policies. Letters of preservation of evidence must be sent immediately to the appropriate parties before evidence is altered, lost, or destroyed. An in-depth investigation may also reveal any history of negligence by the involved individuals or entities. Evidence may include repair reports, inspection documents, event data recorders, big rig black box, police reports, and HOS logs.
As such, preserving evidence is the most crucial aspect of your claim if you were injured or lost a loved one in a big rig crash. Seeking the assistance of a skilled Alameda truck accident lawyer is necessary to hold a trucker or trucking company accountable for your losses and injuries in a civil case. It is essential to retain legal counsel immediately in these cases. Data, evidence, and information may be lost over time, and trucking companies and their insurers will not waste time collecting evidence to build their case and hinder your claim.What Types of Losses Are Recoverable in a Semi-Truck Collision Case?
Once liability is established adequately through clear and compelling evidence, eligible claimants may seek recovery for economic and non-economic damages. For personal injury cases, eligible claimants may seek reimbursement for pain and suffering, wage loss, medical bills, and other losses. Surviving family members may recover compensation for the loss of financial support, final resting expenses, medical bills for final injuries (via survival action), and other related damages.Why You Need an Attorney for a Semi-Truck Collision
An attorney serves as legal counsel for clients beyond filing paperwork and drafting briefs. The best Alameda truck accident lawyer will provide sound advice, compassionate guidance, and support throughout the case to help clients recover from devastating crashes. The right attorney will be a source of comfort and stability in the most challenging of circumstances. Aside from this, a good lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation, identify all negligent parties, gather evidence, and build a strong case for insurance settlement negotiations.
While having insurance gives us peace of mind, it does not necessarily mean that the insurer will be on our side regarding a motor vehicle collision. This is especially true for those that involve commercial trucks. Insurers often devalue, delay, or deny claims. Doing so allows insurance carriers to maximize profit margins. That is why it is recommended to retain legal counsel in big rig crash cases. A skilled Alameda truck accident attorney will know when a claimant is being mistreated and will negotiate a favorable settlement on behalf of their client.
Not all commercial truck accident cases settle in favor of an injured party or surviving family member. Under these circumstances, taking the personal injury or wrongful death case to civil court may become necessary. An experienced California trucking accident attorney serving Alameda County will have the skills and resources to litigate these cases. A lawyer will present the case in civil court most compellingly to increase the chances of a successful financial award for their client. Learn how our legal team can help you with your case in this video.Alameda County, California Truck Accident FAQ
What is the statute of limitations for a big rig crash in California?
California's two-year statute of limitations for accident cases applies to personal injury or wrongful death. This means that a claimant has up to two years to file a case in the appropriate civil court, according to CCP 335.1. If a case is not filed within the statute of limitations, the claimant may lose their legal options to seek financial recovery for their damages.
Should you accept a settlement offer from the insurance company?
Insurance carriers often contact injured parties or surviving family members to offer quick settlements following commercial truck accidents. While it may appear quick and easy to accept an initial settlement offer from the insurer, these offers tend to be far less than claimants deserve. You should not accept a settlement offer without consulting an Alameda truck accident attorney.Commercial Truck Accident Attorney in Alameda, California
At AutoAccident.com, our Alameda truck accident lawyers have the experience, skills, and resources to stand up to trucking companies and insurers to secure full compensation through a case verdict or settlement. If you've been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, do not hesitate to contact our legal team and receive free, friendly case advice at (510) 631-0200 or (800) 404-5400.
Editor's Note: updated [cha 8.10.23] Photo Credit: Pexels User "QuintinGellar" ds [cs 1516] bw