CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Turlock Truck Accident Lawyer

truck

Big rigs are a common sight along California freeways, including Turlock, because State Route 99 runs through it. Since tractor-trailers transport most of the goods throughout the state and are heavily traveled by other large commercial vehicles, it isn’t surprising that the number of accidents has increased. 

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. Call our injury attorneys at (209) 227-1931 for a free consultation.

Why Truck Accidents Happen

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration carried out a study on the causes of accidents involving commercial trucks. According to the data, some common reasons for truck accidents include: 

  • 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.
  • Bad brakes: Faulty or poorly maintained brakes caused 27 percent of the truck crashes.
  • Bad tires: Worn tread and blowouts caused 3 percent of truck accidents.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 they are too ill to do so.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Types of Large Trucks

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

Types of Accidents Caused by Commercial Trucks

Many of the accidents caused by a collision with a big truck are the same as passenger vehicles. They may involve rear-ending 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 truck's height and because they normally pull trailers or tankers. Some common trucking accidents include:

  • Override/underride: This occurs when a 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 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 with 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

Large 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 having 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 to support an injured person. In this way, they can recover the compensation required to pay their medical costs and wages that were lost and 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 and show negligence by the driver.
  • The investigators look at the logbooks or ELD to determine if any federal or state regulations were broken by cheating on the rest breaks or driving hours.
  • They examine the company's background 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 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.

Call a Truck Accident Lawyers in Turlock, CA Today

Having the help of an experienced Turlock truck accident lawyer after you’ve been injured by a negligent trucker is essential to get the compensation you deserve. Call our legal team at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.

We're a California member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the Million Dollar Forum.

Learn more about our law practice on:

Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy. [cha 8.13.21]

Image by fkevin from Pixabay

:cd cha [cs 1156]

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
★★★★★
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
★★★★★
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
★★★★★
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
★★★★★
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
★★★★★
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.