Rear-End Truck Accidents

Rear-End Truck Accidents

Rear-end truck accidents are more common than what most people think. According to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), more than 33,000 rear-end collisions involving large trucks were reported in 2005.

The FMCSA said rear-end collisions between a truck and another vehicle is one of the critical events assigned to commercial trucks while making crash risk assessments. The large size of a truck increases the chances of serious injuries when a truck rear-ends a car, motorcycle, or a smaller vehicle.

What Causes Rear-End Collisions in California?

Truck driver’s distraction is one of the major causes of rear-end truck accidents in California. The FMCSA has prohibited commercial truck drivers from holding a cell phone to make a phone call if it involves pressing more than one button. Truck drivers are only permitted to use a hands-free cell phone, provided it is placed in their close proximity.

However, truck drivers in California are not distracted only by the use of mobile phones. Distractions could occur as quickly when the truck driver attempts to navigate a GPS, use a map, talk to another occupant, or even simply stare at the road at something that invites attention (such as another accident).

Also, rear-end truck accidents may occur because of the following reasons:

  • Speeding
  • Aggressive driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Tailgating
  • Mechanical defects
  • Brake failure
  • Driver fatigue or drowsiness
  • Failure to exercise caution in bad weather
  • Debris on the road
  • Poorly trained truck driver
  • Driving while intoxicated
Who is Responsible for a California Rear-End Truck Accident? 

In nearly every case of rear-end truck collision, the truck driver who hit the rear of another vehicle may be held responsible for the crash. Truck drivers are trained to stop safely when the car in front of them comes to a stop or slows down.

Even though the insurance company knows that the truck driver is at fault in a rear-end collision, the company may try to claim that the victim was at least partially responsible.

In cases where the insurers realize that the accident was the trucker’s fault, they may pressure the victim to resolve the case quickly and accept a lump sum settlement.

Possibly Outmatched

Representatives of insurance companies are skilled negotiators, and an ordinary person is usually no match for them. They have been around the block before. After all, they do this for a living.

Most people don’t stand a chance against an insurance agent when they are healthy. However, this situation is even more complicated when someone is injured (and has medical issues to cope with) or if the accident was a fatal one.

It is in your best interests to avoid entering into a direct negotiation of any sort with the insurers and attain competent legal representation for your truck accident injury case as soon as possible. Don’t try to take this situation on all by yourself.

With an experienced Sacramento truck accident attorney by your side, it is possible to protect your rights and obtain the maximum rightful compensation.

Preserving Evidence Following a Rear-End Truck Collision

With the help of a skilled truck accident lawyer in Sacramento, you will be able to build a strong case for compensation by preserving vital evidence.

The attorney will objectively inspect the crash site and the damaged vehicles to look for critical pieces of evidence. They will also carefully go through the police report and the trucker’s logs.

Driver’s logs, cell phone records, and vehicle maintenance records could constitute relevant evidence when it is necessary to establish fault in a semi-truck rear-end accident. Unless these records are obtained fast, there is a risk of some crucial data getting misplaced or destroyed.

Your or your loved ones should move quickly in these types of cases where a rear-end collision with a large truck is involved.

The trucking company and its insurance company would act swiftly to protect their financial interests. You'll need an accomplished Sacramento truck accident attorney who understands the other side’s tactics. The attorney has the experience to counter them effectively and protect your legal rights.

Multiple Parties May be Liable

While rear-end collisions with passenger vehicles are usually straightforward cases when it comes to determining liability, the claim can become more complicated when a commercial truck is involved.

An experienced lawyer focus on holding the truck driver accountable for their negligence. The attorney will also assess whether poor truck maintenance or bad hiring policies were partly to blame for the incident.

The trucking company or a third party maintenance agency may be held liable for its failure to maintain the truck in a safe condition. The truck’s manufacturer could also have liability if it is found that a faulty component of the truck contributed to poor braking and a resulting rear-end collision.

California is a comparative negligence state, which means that the court may determine the percentage of damages according to the exact apportionment blame of each party that contributed to the crash.

The following video explains why the trucking company may be responsible for the accident.

Determining the Value of Your Claim

Any accident involving a truck, including rear-end collisions, can result in severe injuries to the victim.  Your lawyer should see to it that any potential settlement with the insurance company not only covers the immediate medical costs but also compensates for long-term rehabilitation and any future medical procedures related to the injuries.

It is equally important to accurately estimate not just the current loss of income but also any future loss of wages, if you are unable to work for a long time, or can only work with a reduced capacity in the future.

You also need to be compensated fairly for your non-economic damages, which may include pain and suffering, and loss of consortium, among other things.

Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer 

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer. If you have been involved in a rear-end truck accident, which resulted in personal injury, you should get the best legal representation as soon as you can. Call me today for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

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I'm a member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the Million Dollar Advocates.

See our past cases at our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Photo by DepositPhotos.com

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