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Turlock Truck Accident Lawyer

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Big rigs are a common sight along California freeways, which includes Turlock because State Route 99 runs through it. Since tractor-trailers transport most of the goods throughout the state and it is heavily traveled by other large commercial vehicles, it isn’t surprising that the number of accidents has increased over the years. When you’ve suffered injuries caused by a big rig, bus, or another commercial vehicle, a Turlock truck accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Why Big Truck Accidents Happen

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration carried out a study on the causes of accidents involving commercial trucks. The following are the results:

  • Bad brakes: Faulty or poorly maintained brakes caused 27 percent of the truck crashes.
  • Unknown truck route: Truckers generally travel on known routes, especially since their big rigs have specific overpass clearances. However, pressure from the company and unexpected detours can lead to a disastrous act of negligence. Nineteen percent of all truck accidents happened because the driver changed routes to save time or avoid a traffic slowdown.
  • Pressure from the company: Around 10 percent of truck accidents are caused by pressure from the company, which resulted in negligent driving, including speeding by the trucker.
  • Fatigue: Driving long hours tires a driver, and truck drivers are commonly on the road for long periods of time. Fatigue caused 7 percent of the traffic collisions.
  • Bad tires: Worn tread and blowouts caused 3 percent of truck accidents.
  • Aggressive driving: About 5 percent of all truck accidents are caused by aggressive driving, such as cutting in and out of traffic, tailgating, and other dangerous actions.
  • Illness: One percent of truck accidents happened because the driver was sick. Since truck drivers are paid by the mile, and there is an urgency to get goods to their destinations, a driver may be behind the wheel when he or she is too ill to do so.
  • Drugged or drunk driving: Because of the heavy penalties for drugged or drunk driving, accidents caused by these influences were 0.04 percent or less.
Types of Big Trucks

Big trucks are not limited to tractor-trailers or tankers. They can also include the following and more:

Types of Accidents Caused by Big Trucks

Many of the accidents caused by a collision with a big truck are the same as those with passenger vehicles. They may involve rear-end collisions, T-bone accidents, or head-on crashes. However, a big rig is unique in that some of the accidents they are involved in are different due to the height of the truck and because they normally pull trailers or tankers. Some accidents that they can cause include:

  • Override/underride accidents occur when another, smaller vehicle is ridden over by the big rig or slides underneath it. These can happen due to a sudden slowdown in traffic, and the trucker cannot stop, which can cause an override accident. Underrides happen if the truck does not have adequate or working lights or reflectors, and the driver of a passenger vehicle does not see it until it is too late.
  • Jackknifing: Jackknifing can occur due to poor driving skills, weather conditions, speeding, or by using the wrong set of brakes when a trucker needs to slow down or stop. Jackknifing causes the tractor part of the rig to move slower than the trailer it is pulling. The trailer swings around in the shape of a jackknife, which can involve colliding with other vehicles in the next lane.
  • Blind spots: Because big rigs have large blind spots on all sides, especially along the trailer, they can be negligent in changing lanes, causing a collision with another vehicle.

The video below provides some safety tips for sharing the road with truck drivers.

Investigating an Accident Involving a Big Truck

Big truck accidents are more complex than those involving several passenger cars. Big trucks are subject to federal and state regulations that mandate record-keeping, driving and rest hours and inspections every time the vehicle goes out on the road. In addition, some truckers are independent operators while others work for a company. In cases where company negligence is involved, such as hiring an inexperienced driver or one who has previous infractions, it leaves itself liable for accident injuries. 

A Turlock truck accident attorney experienced in investigating big rigs knows how to find the evidence needed in support of an injured person. In this way, they can recover the compensation required to pay their medical costs and wages that were lost as well as receive payment for their pain and suffering caused by the accident. 

What the Investigators Do to Prove Truck Accident Liability

We send our investigators to the accident site right away to collect the evidence needed to support a client’s injury claim. Some of the areas in which an investigation is conducted include:

  • The investigators begin by checking over the police report to look for inaccuracies.
  • The witnesses to the accident are interviewed to obtain their accounts of how the crash occurred.
  • Looking for surveillance cameras in the area, such as from businesses or traffic lights, can provide strong evidence for an accident claim if it was captured on tape.
  • Accident reconstruction can illustrate exactly how a collision occurred and the positioning of the vehicles as well as show negligence by the driver.
  • The investigators look at the logbooks or ELD to determine if any of the federal or state regulations were broken by cheating on the rest breaks or driving hours.
  • They examine the background of the company to determine if they were cited for previous infractions, such as lack of maintenance or citations.
  • The investigators check the truck operator’s driving record to see if there is a previous record of infractions.
  • Government negligence is also looked for to determine if poor maintenance contributed to the crash. This may include faulty traffic signals, potholes, weakened or aged guardrails, and others.

Once the evidence has been gathered by our investigators, our seasoned lawyers take over to construct a strong case in favor of our client. In some cases, it is used when negotiating for the client with an insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to pay out what our client requires, it can then be built into a case to present in civil court.

Turlock Truck Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Turlock truck accident lawyer. Having the help of an experienced lawyer after you’ve been injured by a negligent trucker is important to get the compensation you deserve. Call me at (209) 227-1931, or I can be reached toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for my free and friendly advice.

I’m a California member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the Million Dollar Forum.

Learn more about my law practice by visiting:

Image by fkevin from Pixabay

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