Nevada City Truck Accident Lawyer
As Nevada City residents know, the area is surrounded by scenic beauty. It is a gateway to Lake Tahoe and the Plumas and Tahoe national forests and only about an hour to Sacramento. This encourages local residents to pack up and go explore these wonderful areas. However, they also have to share the road, especially along curvy Golden Chain Highway and State Route 20, with big rigs at times.Why You Need a Lawyer’s Help Following a Crash With a Big Rig
Big rig collisions can result in severe injuries that require hospitalization, time taken off work, and cause pain and suffering. If the truck driver or trucking company that employs that driver was the cause, the injured party could claim compensation. We’ve helped many Nevada City residents over the years to get fair compensation and can help you too. We offer a free consultation in which we can review your claim, respond to your questions and tell you what options are available.Why Truck Accident Liability Is Complex
In a truck accident, you need the help of an injury lawyer to recover damages. Our law firm has years of experience in investigating and successfully resolving truck accident claims. Truck accidents are complex due to multiple sources of liability, such as the following:
- The truck driver as an independent operator or trucking company employee can be responsible for an accident.
- The trucking company, which employs the trucker and owns the big rig can be at fault,
- When a defective part is responsible for the collision, the manufacturer may be liable.
- The truck owner, which may have rented the big rig to someone else, could be at fault.
- The government entity with poor roadway maintenance or other problems that lead to an accident may be held liable for injuries.
- Maintenance companies and repairmen who service the vehicle might be liable if shoddy work caused a collision.
Big rigs are not only a lot larger and higher than motor vehicles. They can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. This means that an accident with one can cause devastating injuries and fatalities. Some collisions that can occur caused by a big rig include:
- Overloading the trailer: If a semi-trailer is overloaded or improperly packed, the cargo can shift and cause a rollover. A rollover can easily involve other nearby vehicles, resulting in catastrophic injuries.
- Blindspots: Although many vehicles have a blind spot, big rigs have them all the way around, particularly on the sides of the trailer being hauled. In a big rig, these are called “no-zones.” Many accidents occur when a trucker attempts to change lanes without realizing a passenger vehicle is in their blind spot.
- Wide turns: Big rigs often require additional space to make a turn, which causes the trailer to intrude into another lane. If a motor vehicle is in that spot, it can result in a serious collision.
- Underride and override accidents: An underride accident occurs when another vehicle slides underneath a big rig. An override happens when the big rig runs over a smaller vehicle. Both of these types of accidents are deadly and often result in fatalities. Despite safety equipment, the sides of a big rig remain unprotected from these collisions.
- Rollovers: Speeding causes around 45 percent of all rollovers involving big rigs. Pressure from trucking companies can encourage a driver to speed to reach their destination faster. Other causes include tire or brake failure, unsecured cargo, inexperienced drivers, and distracted driving. When a big rig rolls over, and other vehicles are in its path, severe injuries and fatalities occur.
- Jackknife accidents: A jackknife happens when the trailer moves faster than the tractor pulling it and slides around. Reasons for a jackknife collision include using the wrong brake, speeding, not reducing speed before going down a hill, and bad weather conditions.
Drivers of big rigs and other large commercial vehicles are required to obtain a CDL license. This holds the driver to a higher standard. Truckers must follow regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which mandates the hours of service they are allowed to be driving, including rest periods. The use of cell phones and regular drug and alcohol testing is heavily regulated areas. One example of how different rules for a truck driver are from those driving a passenger vehicle is that truckers are not allowed to have a BAC level of more than 0.04. In contrast, other drivers aren’t legally intoxicated until the BAC level is recorded as 0.08.
The video below explains why accidents involving a large truck are so serious.How We Investigate a Truck Accident Collision
As your Nevada City truck accident attorney, my legal team and I investigate your accident to find the evidence that will support your claim against the at-fault party. After putting together a list of those who could be liable, we narrow it down and conduct our investigation. Evidence is collected in several ways, including the following:
- The report filed by the police is checked for mistakes. Any errors in the police report might affect our client’s ability to make a claim for compensation.
- The investigators perform accident reconstruction. This includes taking photos of the accident scene and vehicles. Accident reconstruction shows the positioning of the vehicles before the crash occurred, during and afterward, which can point toward fault.
- Company records and the electronic logging device on the truck are checked to see if any violations of state and federal regulations occurred.
- Traffic, business, and road surveillance cameras are examined to see if the accident was captured on tape.
- Maintenance records are examined to see if the vehicle itself was neglected, leading to the truck accident.
- The background of the trucker is checked to see if there are any previous violations.
I am Ed Smith, a Nevada City truck accident lawyer. When a negligent trucker or entity caused your accident injuries, we are here to offer you free and friendly advice if you call us at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400.
Cases our law office handled and reviews by clients can be found at the following links:
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