Martinez Truck Accident Lawyer
The Martinez area often experiences traffic congestion that is largely represented by commutes in and out of the San Francisco Bay Area. It is not uncommon to see large commercial trucks on Interstate 680 and State Route 4 as there is a high demand for goods in the city and throughout California. Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to follow state and federal laws because of the potential dangers that big rigs present to others on the roadway. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), semi-truck collisions are preventable if truckers, employers, and other parties work together to follow regulations on the trucking industry and promote safety. When a truck driver or trucking company fails to uphold such obligations, they may be held liable for damages incurred.
You deserve fair compensation if you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a big rig crash caused by someone else's negligence. Our team of experienced Martinez truck accident lawyers is here to provide free, friendly advice on your case. Call today at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400.
The state and federal laws involved in commercial truck accident cases are often challenging to navigate. For this reason, it is essential to retain legal counsel immediately to protect your rights and interests throughout the legal process. At AutoAccident.com, we have handled cases like yours since 1982. Our skilled and compassionate injury lawyers will review the specifics of your case at no cost to you. The best part about working with our personal injury law firm is that we handle accident cases under a contingent fee basis meaning there are no upfront costs for legal representation, and attorneys’ fees will only be due if we recover fair compensation on your behalf. Our legal team is only a phone call away, so do not hesitate to reach out and get started on your case with a free consultation.Common Reasons for Big Rig Crashes
Truck drivers and trucking companies have a responsibility to inspect big rigs, keep up with routine maintenance, and carry out repairs when necessary. If either party fails in their duty to accomplish this, and that failure was proven to be a contributing factor in the semi-truck collision through extensive evidence, these parties, in addition to others, may be held liable for damages incurred. Some of the common reasons for truck accidents resulting from negligence may include but are not limited to:
- Distracted Driving: Truckers must be aware of their surroundings when driving on the road as semi-trucks have large blind spots. However, a truck driver may divert their attention from the road to adjust the radio or navigation system, text or talk on a cell phone, and use electronic logging devices (ELD). When a distracted trucker causes harm to others on the roadway, they may be held liable for resulting losses.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI): Under §382.303, alcohol and drug tests may be required based on the type of collision involved. To establish that a truck driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident, evidence such as eyewitness statements, breathalyzer, and field sobriety tests may all help prove that the trucker was illegally impaired.
- Faulty Truck Parts and Equipment: A large commercial truck is equipped with many parts and safety systems. A defect in any of these may have dangerous consequences as faulty brakes, tires, and other components may lead to semi-truck wrecks. When this proves to be the case, a Martinez truck accident attorney may build a strong products liability claim for fair compensation against a manufacturer of defective big rig parts and equipment.
- Fatigue: Truck drivers are often pressured into working long hours by employers, often without sufficient rest and in violation of hours of service (HOS) regulations. Some trucking companies may go to great lengths by convincing truckers into falsifying records that document rest periods. Inadequate rest may have the potential to cause a truck driver to doze off or even fall asleep at the wheel. Truck driver fatigue may result in a tractor-trailer collision causing harm to others on the road. When truck drivers and trucking companies fail to uphold HOS regulations, they may be held accountable for such negligent practices.
- Loads: Truck accidents in Martinez, California, may occur when a big rig has an uneven load or one that is not properly secured. While truck drivers are trained on how to properly load and secure the freight, not all follow safety protocol. This may be deemed negligence if it is proven through clear and compelling evidence that an improper loading or securement of freight has contributed to an 18-wheeler crash.
- Speeding: Truck drivers are often pressured into meeting strict delivery deadlines, and they often resort to speeding to accomplish that demand. Driving above the posted speed limit or too fast for weather or traffic conditions may increase the risk of a commercial truck accident as the weight of the vehicle requires a greater stopping distance. To prove that a trucker was speeding at the time of the crash, black box data, damage to involved vehicles, and testimony from an accident reconstruction expert may be necessary to establish the sequence of events leading up to the incident.
When an individual has suffered injuries or a family has lost a loved one because of the negligence of another party or entity, they may be able to take legal action against at-fault parties in the form of a personal injury case or wrongful death claim. Compensation is divided into two types, economic damages and non-economic damages. Following is a list of some of the losses that may be recovered after a semi-truck wreck:
- Past and future expenses for medical treatment that is deemed reasonable and necessary
- Lost wages and loss of future earning potential for the impact an injury from a big rig crash has had on a claimant’s income-earning abilities
- Out-of-pocket costs for assistive medical appliances such as wheelchairs and renovations to the home and vehicle for wheelchair accessibility
- Pain and suffering in reference to the emotional distress and physical discomfort from accident-related injuries
Expert witness testimony is often necessary in a commercial truck accident case to establish that a specific loss was incurred because of the injury or death caused by the other side. This is one of the many reasons why it is crucial to retain legal counsel following a crash with a big rig. You can depend on your Martinez truck accident lawyer to utilize all their resources at their disposal, including working with experts in the field, to seek the financial compensation you need for resulting losses.Are Punitive Damages Recoverable in a Big Rig Crash Case?
Punitive damages are not always awarded by the court in commercial truck accident cases. They are recoverable when there is substantial evidence proving that the incident resulted from egregious conduct, such as DUI and excessive speeding. Punitive damages serve the sole purpose of punishing the other side for their egregious actions and to deter similar behavior from them and others in the future. Working with an experienced truck accident attorney in Martinez may help in maximizing your financial recovery and determining whether punitive damages are warranted in your civil case.Can You Trust the Insurance Company to Make a Fair Settlement Offer?
Traumatic injuries and fatalities often result from a big rig crash in comparison to other types of motor vehicle collisions because of the overwhelming size and weight of the commercial truck. In turn, this may result in high and extensive economic and non-economic damages to injured parties and families of decedents. When there is a significant amount of losses involved, trucking companies and insurers will often act quickly to use any form of evidence against the claimant as a way of reducing the value of their claim or outright denying it. This is the unfortunate reality that may occur after a semi-truck collision as insurance carriers, and trucking companies are focused on protecting their bottom line, and that often comes at the cost of injured parties and families of lost loved ones.
You cannot depend on the insurance carrier and defense counsel to fairly compensate you for the undue harm you have experienced. Retaining legal counsel is often necessary to hold negligent parties accountable for the losses you have suffered. An experienced truck accident lawyer in Martinez, CA, will look out for your best interest, protect your rights, and work diligently to ensure that all negligent parties are held liable for the damages they have caused.How Much Time Do You Have to Bring a Commercial Truck Accident Case?
California has a filing deadline known as the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim or wrongful death case arising from an accident caused by the negligence of others. A claimant generally has two years from the date of a tractor-trailer accident to file a lawsuit in civil court if a settlement is not accepted from the insurance company within that period. This is by the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1. Other factors may have a significant influence on the length of the statute of limitations, such as the involvement of government entities. Under these circumstances, a notice of claim must be filed with the government entity within 180 days, as stated in the California Government Code Section 911.2.
Substantial time and effort are involved with building a strong civil case against a truck driver and trucking company. It is essential to take quick action as evidence may be lost or destroyed over time. A letter of preservation of evidence must be sent to the other side immediately to serve as a warning that evidence related to the semi-truck collision must be preserved in its original form. Failure to fulfill this obligation may give the claimant grounds to seek relief in civil court if the evidence is concealed, altered, or destroyed. It is always best to retain legal counsel that may help draft this type of letter on your behalf. A skilled truck accident attorney in Martinez will know what specific records and information may be crucial to proving your civil case.Importance of Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer
There is a wide array of challenging decisions that must be made after a commercial truck accident, making it difficult to know the best way to move forward from the situation. The steps taken after the incident may have a considerable impact on the outcome of a personal injury claim or wrongful death action. Consulting with an accident attorney immediately after a crash with a large commercial truck is essential to helping you make the most informed choices about your civil case. Seeking financial recovery for resulting damages may be stressful and overwhelming, to say the least. However, you do not have to go through it alone, as an experienced Martinez truck accident lawyer can help guide you through the legal process. Suggestions on how to select the best injury attorney to handle your big rig crash are available through this video.Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in Martinez, CA Today
Martinez residents dealing with a commercial truck accident resulting in serious injury or the death of a loved one may benefit from working with a law firm that has experience in California personal injury law and knowledge of regulations over the trucking industry. You will receive just that when you turn to our legal team at AutoAccident.com for assistance. Get started today and receive free, friendly advice on your commercial truck accident case by calling (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400.
Our law firm handles cases under a contingent fee agreement meaning you do not have to worry about attorneys’ fees as they will only be due if there is a successful resolution obtained in your claim. We operate this way to ensure that our clients focus on recovering from life-changing injuries or the loss of a close relative without worrying about their finances, all while we work toward a favorable case outcome. Our legal team is only a phone call away, so do not hesitate to reach out for assistance when it is needed: we are here for you and your family.
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