Fair Oaks Truck Accident Lawyer


A big rig colliding with a sedan is akin to a hammer slamming a nail. Large commercial trucks often weigh 20-30 times more than your average commuter car and are also taller with greater ground clearance. Another issue involves the difficulty for a large truck to break in time when approaching congestion on a busy road or highway. It takes an average 18-wheeler between 20 and 40 percent farther to come to a complete stop compared to smaller commuter vehicles.

National Truck Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 8,870 traffic accident deaths in the first half of 2020. It is a 3% decrease from the first half of 2019 due to the coronavirus lockdowns. The stay-at-home orders have reduced traffic volume by nearly 16%.

Difference Between Commercial Trucks and Passenger Cars

The big difference is that big rigs are used for commercial purposes, which means they are mainly used to transport commercial goods across state lines. Another difference, as mentioned, is the incredible disparity in size compared to most other vehicles on Fair Oaks roads and highways. There might also be multiple insurance policies covering a single big rig, including coverage for the freight, equipment, driver, etc.

Why Accidents with Big Rigs Are More Dangerous

Accidents involving a tractor-trailer are generally more severe in scale and result in significant damage to the occupants of the smaller vehicle hit by the large truck. Injuries that are often reported in these types of collisions include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury: An injury to your head and/or brain can have life-altering effects. Head injuries can range from a concussion to a severe traumatic brain injury that may leave you incapacitated, requiring full-time nursing care.
  • Broken Bones: Collisions with commercial trucks can result in shattered bones that take months to fully heal.
  • Spinal Cord Injury: The impact of a collision can result in partial or complete paralysis of your body.
  • Neck and Back Trauma: This is the most common type of injury reported in vehicle collisions. A severe neck or back injury can result in debilitating pain that may require surgery to correct.
Causes of Accidents Involving Big Rigs and Smaller Vehicles

In many instances, the operator of the large tractor-trailer was negligent, and that negligence proximately caused the collision. Examples of big rig operator negligence include:

To learn more about why accidents with large trucks are so dangerous, watch the video below:

Fair Oaks Truck Accident FAQ

Do big rig operators have to adhere to certain hours of service? 

Driver fatigue is a big issue regarding the risk of a collision between an 18-wheeler and a smaller vehicle. That is why federal regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration state that all commercial truck operators can only drive for a maximum of 11 hours straight. The operator is violating federal law if they stay on the road beyond that point. In addition, if an operator is on the road for 11 hours, that must be followed by 10 uninterrupted hours of rest.

Do truckers need a special license to operate a big rig? 

To legally operate a tractor-trailer hauling freight across state lines, the driver must obtain and maintain a commercial driver’s license (often called a CDL). This requires an operator to pass multiple tests showing the driver’s skills and understanding of operating a large semi-truck effectively. If it turns out that the truck operator who hit you did not have a CDL or their CDL was expired, then that can serve as a basis for claiming the driver was negligent in causing the collision.

What types of damages can I recover through a truck accident claim?

Monetary damages you can recover through a personal injury claim can include reimbursement for your medical expenses, including future medical fees, lost wages, pain, suffering, and emotional distress.

Call Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Fair Oaks, CA

If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident involving a commercial truck, we can help. Please call our experienced Fair Oaks truck accident lawyers today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for compassionate, friendly, and free advice with no obligation. We are also available online here.

We have served the Fair Oaks and Northern California community since 1982 as personal injury lawyers.

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

See our past cases on our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 7.11.22]

Image by Peter H from Pixabay 

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