Rocklin Truck Accident Lawyer
Getting involved in an accident with a large commercial truck accident can be a harrowing experience that leaves you severely damaged physically, emotionally, and financially. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that many 18-wheelers weigh in the range of 80,000 pounds. This means the weight of a big rig can be up to forty times that of a commuter car or SUV.
This is why commercial truck accidents are so different from your typical car accident. Wrecks involving big rigs more often than not cause serious injuries and are more complex. If you are involved in a truck accident, you need the services of an attorney who is well versed in truck accident cases.Causes of Truck Accidents
Due to the increased destructive force of trucks, it is essential to truck drivers to be vigilant and alert when operating these vehicles on public roads and highways. Unfortunately, some truck drivers throw caution to the wind and operate their rigs with a complete disregard for the safety of others. Common examples of how collisions occur between big rigs and smaller vehicles include:
- Fatigue: A study concluded that a common cause of truck accidents is driver fatigue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration creates regulations that limit the number of hours truck drivers can work. Truck drivers also have a personal responsibility not to drive when they feel fatigued.
- Substance Abuse: Drug and alcohol abuse is becoming a more frequent cause of accidents. Trucking companies are expected to carry out tests before deciding to hire a driver. They also have to monitor the driver afterward for signs of substance abuse.
- Speeding: An 18-wheeler moving at 70 miles per hour has double the force of a truck moving at 50 miles per hour. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one-quarter of fatal accidents involved a truck driver with a prior speeding conviction.
If you are still conscious after a truck accident, thinking clearly may be a bit overwhelming. However, if possible, you should try to take some crucial steps in the aftermath of the accident to help strengthen your potential personal injury claim.
- Preserve Evidence from the Accident Site: Immediately after a truck accident, it is important that you try to preserve some critical information about what happened. If you are physically able, take some pictures of the accident scene with your phone camera.
- Get Medical Attention: After a truck accident, you and your passengers might have suffered some serious injuries. At this stage, even if you don’t see any visible signs of an injury, you should still get medical attention. Some injuries like brain damage may go undetected with future disastrous consequences. Also, if you don’t immediately seek medical care, it might be a bit difficult for your attorney to connect later manifestations of your injury to the accident.
- Get the Contact Information of the Truck Driver and Any Witnesses: Collecting the full name, phone number, and name of the employer of the truck operator is extremely important because this information will be needed to get claim documents filed with the driver's insurance company. Also, get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the collision. They could wind up testifying in court or being deposed.
If your truck accident was fully or partially caused by the negligence of the truck operator, you should pursue a truck accident injury claim against the driver and their employer. You could be compensated for your harms and losses, including:
- Medical bills for past, future and present medical treatment that result from the truck accident.
- Compensation for the wages you lost as a result of the accident. This involves the time you were away from work receiving treatment. Or the times you had to go see a therapist, go for tests, and so on.
- You also get damages for impairments to your earning capacity as a result of your injuries.
- You get compensation for the pain and suffering you have to endure due to the crash.
- Compensation for the changes in lifestyle due to the accident. An example of this is where your injuries prevent you from engaging in a favorite sporting activity like running, swimming, etc.
- Punitive damages if the accident was caused by truly shocking or egregious conduct by the truck operator (e.g., the truck operator was high on illegal narcotics and speeding on Interstate 80).
In a truck accident, there may be multiple parties that could be held liable for your harms and losses. They include:
- The truck driver
- Manufacturers and retailers of the truck
- The trucking company that employed the driver
- Repair facilities maintaining the truck
You should also make sure you bring your claim as soon as possible. In California, the limitation period for personal injury claims is only two years. So, if you bring a claim after this period, the court likely will not hear your case. Get in touch with your Rocklin truck accident attorney as soon as possible.Seek the Guidance of an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
Do not take on the truck company alone. Many large commercial truck companies have large teams of investigators, claim adjusters and attorneys who spend their days trying to reduce or deny the truck company's liability in injury cases.Rocklin Truck Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a truck accident attorney in Rocklin. Have you or someone you love been injured in an accident involving a large truck? Please contact me right away at 916.921.6400 or 800.404.5400 for free and friendly advice with no obligation. I can also be reached online through my website, AutoAccident.com.
I have been serving the Rocklin and Northern California community since 1982, helping people hurt in accidents and their families recover. Find some of my valued client reviews posted on Yelp, Avvo, and Google.
My work as an injury lawyer has earned me the recognition of the Million Dollar Forum. This advocates’ group is reserved for injury lawyers with case verdicts and settlements in excess of one million dollars.
See some of my past Verdicts and Settlements here.
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Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy. [cha 11.7.18]