Berkeley Truck Accident Lawyer
The roads and highways in and around Berkeley are heavily trafficked by an array of motorists, including large commercial trucks. This is likely due to the presence of the Eastshore Freeway (i.e. I-80 and I-580) that runs along the shoreline of the bay. It also due to the fact that there is an inflow of thousands of motorists in and out of Berkeley each day by the University of California faculty and students, along with local residents and tourists. In addition to a large number of motorists, Berkeley is home to a large percentage of individuals who commute using bicycles and by simply walking to their place of employment. This is why accidents involving large commercial trucks in Berkeley can be so devastating. They often involve much smaller vehicles or even pedestrians or bicyclists.
There are regulations that guide the operation of trucks in Berkeley and the rest of the country. However, trucking companies flout these regulations in order to meet up with strict deadlines and to increase their profit. In the end, they cause accidents that are harmful to other road users.
Due to the nature of the different parties involved in a truck accident, they can become quite complex. As a result, you need the services of an experienced and skilled Berkeley truck accident lawyer to ensure you get maximum compensation for your injuries.Recoverable Damages in a Berkeley Truck Accident
If your Berkeley truck accident lawyer can establish the fault of the defendant, or defendants, you may be able to obtain financial compensation for the following harms and losses:
- Cost of medical treatment: This covers the costs for your past, present and future medical treatment.
- Reimbursement for lost income: If the injuries you sustained from the accident result in you being unable to work and generate income, you can get reimbursed for your lost wages, including reasonable future wages if you wind up partially or fully disabled.
- Pain and Suffering: This covers the emotional and physical pain involved with your injury. This is usually subjective and differs on a case by case basis.
The following are some commonly-cited causes of trucking accidents:
- Employer Negligence: Trucking companies are expected to hire qualified truck drivers, supervise them, and properly maintain their vehicles. However, in a lot of instances, trucking companies do not hire certified truck drivers in order to save costs. They also do not regularly maintain their trucks. Leading to mechanical issues like brake failures and so on. In other instances, they overwork their drivers in order to meet deadlines.
- Faulty Manufacturing: Another cause of truck accidents is the poor manufacturing and design of commercial semi-trucks. A flaw in the design of a truck could have made it more susceptible to rollover accidents. The manufacturer might not have used the best material to manufacture the truck, leading to disastrous consequences for road users.
- Improper Loading: The improper loading of a truck can make the center of trucks gravity too high, making it more likely to tip over. Also, adding a lot of weight to either the front or back end could make it harder to handle, leading to crashes.
- Driver Fatigue: One of the main causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. There are federal regulations governing the number of hours a driver can safely operate a semi-truck. Despite these regulations, some trucking companies still overwork their drivers in order to meet deadlines. Some employers even engage in a wink and a nod by incentivizing the drivers to continue working with promises of bonuses. As a result, these drivers work while fatigued and may not be able to concentrate on the road, leading to many avoidable truck accidents.
- Substance Abuse: Drug and alcohol abuse also leads to a substantial number of truck accidents, especially drivers using amphetamines and other substances to try and stay awake for longer periods of time. This is why trucking companies conduct drug tests before hiring their drivers. In addition to this, trucking companies have a duty to monitor their employees in order to make sure they do not engage in further substance abuse while driving.
- Driving Above the Posted Speed Limit: Driving any vehicle above the posted speed limit is a safety risk. Driving a massive big rig above the speed limit is a major hazard to other drivers. Why? Because these big rigs are harder to control and when they collide with another vehicle at a high rate of speed, the devastation can be severe.
The video below explains more about the types of injuries in serious truck accidents.Potential Liable Parties in a Truck Accident
It is possible for your truck accident injury claim to involve multiple defendants since there may be varying levels of negligence that enable a claim to be filed against numerous individuals and entities, including:
- The Truck Driver: This is the most obvious. The person who was operating the big rig at the time of the crash was likely negligent in some form or fashion, which makes them potentially liable, and therefore a defendant.
- Trucking Company: When the big rig in question is owned by a trucking company, that entity would likely be liable for the negligent acts of the truck operator since employers are generally held responsible for the reckless actions of their employees when committed within the scope of the truck driver's work duties.
- Truck Manufacturer: The truck’s manufacturer could be liable if the accident is a result of a defect in the build or manufacture of the big rig.
It is important to speak with an attorney as soon as you can after the accident. Why? Because many truck companies take immediate action and send out investigators and defense lawyers to begin analyzing what happened and how to best defend against a personal injury lawsuit. You deserve to have an experienced legal professional in your corner.Berkeley Truck Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Berkeley Truck Accident Lawyer. Have you or someone you care about been injured or even killed in an accident involving a large truck? Please reach out to me right away at (510) 631-0200 or (800) 404-5400 for compassionate, free and friendly advice without obligation. I can also be reached online through my website, AutoAccident.com.
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 10.7.19]