American Canyon Truck Accident Lawyer
Crashes involving big rigs can easily cause severe or even fatal injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has conducted research that shows how serious these injuries can be. According to their data, an average of nearly 300 people dies in California trucking accidents every year.Trucking Accidents and Litigation
Commercial trucks are usually owned by companies that own and operate a large number of vehicles. These companies are well aware of the risks posed by such massive vehicles and are almost always ready to begin protecting themselves from liability when an accident occurs. Companies will typically send out quick response teams to accident sites to conduct their own investigations. These teams interview witnesses and try to build a case to protect the company from paying for damages.
Because of this, it is important to have a lawyer who has plenty of experience dealing with trucking accident cases. Having an extensive understanding of all aspects of trucking litigation is critical when trying to claim payments for hospital bills, lost income, and other losses related to a crash.Regulatory Agencies
One of the reasons that trucking accident cases are unique is because of state and federal regulations. There are certain regulations that the trucking industry and drivers need to follow. The primary agency that deals with trucks crossing over state lines is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The agency that oversees trucks within the state is the California Department of Transportation. These agencies enforce regulations for truckers such as minimum rest periods and vehicle maintenance to keep our highways safe.
Knowing what specific regulations exist for truckers and their companies on both state and federal levels is a key part of negotiating successfully in a trucking accident case. If the case goes to trial, having a deep understanding of these statutes is vital.Common Negligent Behavior of Commercial Carriers and Truck Drivers
I would say that the vast majority of truck drivers are careful and attentive on the road. However, truck drivers that don’t follow the necessary regulations are the ones who cause the catastrophic accidents we hear about on the news. Truckers may disregard regulations when they are trying to reach unrealistic shipping schedules. Companies sometimes pressure truckers to this to cut corners and keep their expenses down. There are also a few more issues of negligence that commonly cause accidents, these include:
- Speeding to make sure that loads are quickly delivered
- Failing to check blind spots
- Failure to properly screen truckers’ driving records
- Use of drugs and/or alcohol
- Failure to properly maintain the vehicle
- Insufficient supervision and/or training of truckers
Through my decades of representing people injured in trucking accidents, I’ve learned how to best take steps to gather and preserve evidence for litigation. I’m also familiar with the tactics that companies and drivers use to obscure evidence such as manipulating or even altering logbooks.
Truckers are meant to log their time spent driving, or hours of service, in a logbook to ensure that they do not drive while fatigued. However, it isn’t abnormal to discover that GPS data, fuel receipts, or other information are not matched up to the data in the logbook. Knowing how and where to look for this vital evidence is important when trying to recover damages.The Cost of Major Injuries
Because of the sheer size difference between semi-trucks and other cars on the road, the occupants of passenger vehicles are the ones who are most often injured in trucking accidents. These injuries are typically severe and can leave people with injuries that drastically affect their lives. Devastating trucking collision injuries can leave people unable to work and continue providing income for their families. Others are no longer able to participate in activities they are passionate about such as sports or playing an instrument. In the most severe cases, these injuries can be fatal, changing the lives of their families forever.
Some of the most serious injuries that people I have worked with have suffered during a trucking crash include:
- Amputation injuries
- Severe burns
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal trauma
- Bone fractures
Many of these injuries require expensive medical procedures for survivors to fully recover. Those who’ve suffered injuries may need to undergo multiple surgeries as well as a period of physical therapy to regain their health. Others may need to take medications to continue living their lives. All of these can be incredibly costly, and people may not know how they are going to afford their own recovery, especially if their injury leaves them unable to work.Recovering Damages
Those who have been injured in trucking collisions can often recover payments for their damages through filing injury claims. These payments can cover a wide range of damages including both financial and emotional losses. To learn a bit more about the types of payments available to accident survivors and their families, you can watch the following video:American Canyon Truck Accident Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, an American Canyon truck accident lawyer and the founder of this website, AutoAccident.com. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a truck, call me for free, friendly advice at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 8.12.20]
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