South Lake Tahoe Truck Accident Lawyer
When you suffer an injury in a South Lake Tahoe truck accident, you may benefit from consulting with a truck accident lawyer. South Lake Tahoe is a popular resort area connected by U.S. Route 50 (Lake Tahoe Boulevard) and California State Route 89, known as the Emerald Bay Road. The area sees many big rig traffic as truckers make deliveries and head on to Sacramento and other points. The drive along Emerald Bay can be especially intimidating because of its steep drop-offs, lack of guardrails, and hairpin turns. As a result, an accident involving a tractor-trailer can be hazardous, resulting in severe injuries and fatalities.Accident Injuries With Commercial Trucks
An accident with a commercial truck can cause worse injuries in a crash with a passenger vehicle because of its large size, height, and weight. Our South Lake Tahoe truck accident lawyers have successfully obtained maximum compensation for our clients since 1982. While we understand many injury attorneys to choose from, we want you to understand that we have the legal talent and experience to bring your claim to a successful resolution.The Difference Between a Truck Accident and Motor Vehicle Collision
When a passenger vehicle collides with a big rig weighing up to 40 tons when fully loaded, serious injuries or fatalities are bound to happen. Commercial truck drivers are regulated by both the state and federal government as to driving hours and rest breaks. In addition, a background check is performed as well as drug and alcohol testing.Maintenance and Inspections
The big rig must be inspected every time it goes out on the road, must be well-maintained, and is weighed at weigh stations. When a driver or company violates any regulations, the at-fault trucker and the company they work for may be liable for accident injuries or fatalities. Lawyers with experience in handling truck accident claims can check the ELD (electronic logging device), the backgrounds of the driver and company for prior violations as part of their investigation into the collision.How Truck Accidents Can Be Different
Most truck collisions happen the same way other accidents do for reasons such as committing a traffic infraction. However, some accident types are particular to large trucks and can include:
- Blindspot collisions: Big rigs have blind spots all the way around the vehicle. This means a trucker cannot see a vehicle directly in front or in back. These no-zones are much larger along the sides of a tractor-trailer and can extend across several lanes on the right-hand side. If the trucker forgets vehicles are riding alongside and changes lanes, it can cause a serious collision involving other cars.
- Overloading or careless loading: Carelessness when placing cargo in a trailer or overloading it can create all sorts of problems. Overloading can lead to the truck blowing a tire, a rollover, or increased difficulty in stopping. Carelessly loading a trailer, so the weight isn’t distributed evenly can also cause a rollover and other problems impacting nearby vehicles.
- Jackknifing: A problem with the big rig’s brakes, speeding, an inexperienced driver, and other factors can lead to a big rig jackknife accident. A jackknife occurs when the trailer being pulled speeds up faster than the tractor and slides around to one side. This action can cause it to strike other vehicles that are in its path.
- Underride and override accidents: Many big rigs are equipped with underride protection in the rear. However, many have no protection on the front of the big rig or the sides. This means that if the truck strikes a smaller vehicle in front, it can ride over it. Underride accidents happen when a driver to the rear ends up going underneath the semi, resulting in a fatality. Trauma to those who are injured includes spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.
Watch the YouTube video below to learn about why truck accidents are so much more serious.Negligence That Can Lead to a Truck Accident
Truck drivers and their companies are sometimes negligent, which can lead to a traffic collision. Some types of negligence that can cause you to ask for the assistance of the best South Lake Tahoe truck accident lawyer are listed below:
- Poor driver training: Handling a big rig is more difficult than driving a passenger vehicle and takes skill, experience and dedication. Unfortunately, the trucking industry has been facing a shortage of drivers for a long time, which can cause companies to hire a driver without enough experience to drive safely.
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers have to spend long hours on the road to stay within their schedule and make their deliveries on time. The tedium of spending hours in a big rig on the road can lead to distracted driving such as texting and other activities. Although these are intended by the driver to stay more alert, they can cause a truck crash.
- Fatigued driving: Because of their long hours on the road, truck drivers can become overly tired. Some companies push their drivers hard to make their deliveries in as short a time as possible, which increases fatigue.
- Speeding: Speeding is a problem with many motorists, including truck drivers. However, it’s more difficult to stop or stay in control of a speeding big rig, leading to a serious accident.
- Maintenance: A blown tire, brake failure, and many other problems can lead to a truck collision. Because truck drivers and trucking companies are mandated to check the rig every time it goes out on the road, lack of maintenance can leave them liable for an injury accident.
Because big rig collisions are more complex than those involving only passenger vehicles, the investigation to collect evidence is important to determine liability. Therefore, our truck accident lawyers will work on:
- Checking the ELD for tampering or driving longer hours than allowed
- Looking at surveillance footage to see if the collision was caught on tape
- Reviewing the police report
- Checking inspection and repair records of the vehicle
- Looking into the background of both the driver and company for previous signs of negligence or traffic accidents
- Performing accident reconstruction
My name is Ed Smith, and I am a South Lake Tahoe truck accident lawyer. When you’ve suffered injuries in a collision caused by a big rig, you may benefit from our free and friendly advice when you call us at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400.
Cases we’ve handled and reviews by clients are found at the following links:
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