Rancho Murieta Truck Accident Lawyer
A traffic collision that involves a commercial big rig can be devastating. Given the weight and size of the truck, the occupants of the smaller vehicle often sustain catastrophic injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 18-wheelers often weigh in at approximately 80,000 pounds or forty times heavier than a passenger vehicle. With the potential for damages so great, if you are involved in a wreck with a large commercial truck, it is wise to speak with an experienced and top-rated truck accident lawyer in Rancho Murieta.What are the Top Causes of Trucking Crashes?
Most automobile accidents of all kinds are caused by driver negligence. The same is true for crashes involving big rigs. Just because truck drivers receive extra training and are required to pass a commercial driver’s license test does not mean they are immune to dangerous driving habits. Given the size of their vehicles, truck drivers must be extra cautious and remain alert at all times when operating their rigs on public highways and roads. Common scenarios that cause big rig accidents include:
- Driver Fatigue: Despite federal regulations limiting how long truck drivers can travel before a mandated rest, driver fatigue remains a common cause for trucking accidents.
- Impaired Driving: The use of drugs and alcohol is another frequent factor in truck accidents. Sometimes drivers use substances to combat their fatigue or drink alcohol as a reaction to boredom or stress. After any trucking accident, the driver should be tested for substances.
- Unsafe Speed: An 18-wheel truck traveling at 70 mph presents two times the force of a truck going 50 mph. Statistics reveal that approximately a fourth of all fatal big rig crashes involve a truck driver who has a prior speeding infraction.
Watch the YouTube video: The best way to avoid being injured in a Rancho Murieta truck accident is to avoid getting into a wreck in the first place. Below is a comedic short video with safety tips for sharing the road with big rigs.What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
Depending on your level of injuries, there are certain things you should do after a trucking accident in Rancho Murieta if you are able. These include:
- Preserve Evidence: While you are at the scene of the incident, it is important to document critical information. It is easy for details to lose clarity even after a short time, especially given the heightened anxiety, fear, and pain after the impact. If you are able, take pictures of the scene, including all involved vehicles and any visible injuries that you sustained.
- Seek Medical Attention: A violent impact with a heavy big rig is very likely to cause injuries. Even if you do not feel pain, or see visible injuries, it is best to get evaluated and treated. Very often, the shock and surging adrenalin following an accident can mask symptoms. Additionally, many trauma-related injures are not immediately apparent and only make themselves known later in the day or even the next morning. Concussion, internal injuries, and soft tissue trauma are all examples of “invisible” injuries that are commonly caused by vehicle accidents.
- Obtain Contact Information from the Truck Driver and Any Witnesses: It is important to get the full name and phone number of the trucking company for which the driver is employed. It is also crucial to get the driver’s name and the names and phone numbers of any independent witnesses to the incident. Unbiased witness testimony will be very important if there are disagreements about who caused the truck collision.
If the big rig crash in which you sustained injuries was caused (in full or in part) by negligent actions by the truck driver, it makes good sense to pursue a personal injury claim against both the driver and their employer. If they are determined to be negligent, you could receive financial compensation for your damages, which may include:
- Medical Expenses: This category includes those bills already incurred as well as future medical treatment your physician says you will need for injuries related to the truck accident.
- Income Loss: If you have to miss work because of your injuries, you should be able to recover that money lost. Some injuries take you away from your job for a period of time. More serious injuries may make you unable to return to your regular line of work. Very severe injuries may take you out of the workforce altogether. Each of these scenarios will result in different monetary figures presented for your wage loss and loss of earning capacity claims.
- Pain and Suffering: Your physical pain and emotional/mental suffering may not be something you imagine you will ever have to put a price on. In civil cases involving negligence, financial recovery is the only way justice can be served.
Our Rancho Murieta trucking accident attorneys do not advise that you attempt to take on the truck company by yourself. The business will likely have a large insurance policy, and the insurance company will have its adjusters calling you, trying to get you to settle your claim for pennies. Insurance adjusters use tactics solely designed to pay little to no money on injury claims. A skilled truck accident lawyer in Rancho Murieta will know how to handle the insurance company. Hiring counsel will also take those phone calls and worries off of your mind so that you can focus on your recovery. A good lawyer will protect your rights and maximize your monetary recovery, ensuring that you are fairly compensated for all the losses you have suffered as a result of the truck accident.Rancho Murieta Truck Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a truck accident attorney in Rancho Murieta, California. Time is of the essence following a serious automobile accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a negligent truck driver, please contact us promptly at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. One of our injury lawyers can set up a no-obligation consultation or simply offer free and friendly advice. If it is your preference, we also provide an online contact form through which you can communicate with us.
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