The sheer mass of a big rig or tractor-trailer combination means that the injuries suffered in a truck accident are likely to be catastrophic or even fatal, especially at California highway speeds. Our practice emphasizes the development and proof of claims in cases involving severe and disabling injuries to the spinal column or brain. Our ability to support your damages demand with specific documentation with respect to all aspects of your present and future losses can give you a significant advantage in the resolution of your claim. Proof of liability in truck accident cases will usually involve testimony and reports by accident reconstruction specialists, highway safety engineers, materials experts and trucking industry professionals to show just how and why your accident occurred. We concentrate on prompt investigation of all the factors that can bear on the liability of any number of potential defendants, from the driver of the truck to the owner’s maintenance service. In many truck accident cases, multiple defendants can be identified and held accountable. Team up with our attorneys at Shea & Shea – A Professional Law Corporation and call (408) 292-2434 now.
How Common are Truck Accidents?
Almost 5000 people are killed in truck accidents every year, with many more suffering from grave personal injury. While large trucks (including tractor trailers and eighteen wheelers) account for only four percent of the 268 million motor vehicles on the road, they are involved in as much as one in ten highway deaths. Truck driver errors accounted for at least one third of all accidents. Most of those who died in truck accidents were drivers and passengers of cars and smaller vehicles.
Road safety has always been a challenge, but many trucking laws have been passed to avoid more trucking accidents. But compared to at least 80 000 pounds of big rigs, a lowly 3 000-pound car is unlikely to stand a chance. Because of their size and weight, large trucks are unable to stop as quickly, oftentimes causing fatal accident injury. Cars often slide under large trucks and can be devastating even at slower speeds. Those who do survive may suffer from permanent brain injury.
What are the usual causes of truck accidents?
As mentioned, truck driver error accounts for a majority of these accidents. These include inattention, careless/reckless/ distracted driving, speeding, and impairment due to illness, alcohol intoxication, or driver fatigue.
Fatigue is a serious and potentially life-threatening problem in the trucking industry. Aside from the many health problems it can cause, driver fatigue can lead to serious injuries to others on the road. Truckers usually pour in hours of work on the road, getting only an average of 4 hours of sleep per day – a far cry from the 8 hours they need to restore their energy for optimum functioning. It’s no wonder that most truck drivers experience at least one, six-minute episode of drowsiness daily on the road.
To combat this practice, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Law limits truckers to driving 11 hours within a 14-hour period; they are also required to take a 30-minute rest after driving for 8 hours. Federal regulations also prohibit drivers from going on duty for more than 60 hours in a 7-day period. Failure to comply may result in legal action and lost wages.
Distracted driving is a common cause of truck accidents. Anything that causes the driver to look away from the road is an accident waiting to happen. Interacting with the dispatcher, sending a text message, writing something down, and eating are all potential hazards. Every truck driver should be warned about this. Distractions outside the truck, including billboards, have caused almost 10,000 truck accidents.
What are the steps to take after a truck accident?
- Stop. Check on yourself for any injuries, your companions, and your surroundings. It is crucial that you remain at the accident scene. Turn on the hazard lights and put emergency cones around your vehicle to warn oncoming traffic.
- No matter how fine you think you are, seek medical treatment. Personal injury may not always be apparent right away, sometimes manifesting even hours later. If you fail to seek treatment or follow through with medical recommendation, this may hinder your accident claims.
- Identify witnesses. Get the witness statement yourself or ask for their contact information. They might be vital for your case evaluation, and your injury lawyer might need to talk to them. But, it’s actually the job of the police to conduct a thorough investigation and interview any witnesses.
- Document the accident and take photos. If you are involved in a truck accident, there’s nothing wrong with being thorough.
- Contact a truck accident attorney.
If you believe that you are entitled to the compensation you deserve after suffering from personal injury, pain and suffering, get in touch with a truck accident lawyer.
Truck accident lawyers advise you on what to say, and more importantly, get in touch with the insurance companies involved. If you want to file an injury case, your injury lawyer is your one-way ticket to win your case.
We Will Put Our Resources To Work For You
We rely on treating physicians, forensic medical experts, vocational rehabilitation specialists, economists, pain management professionals and experts from many other fields to analyze and document the full range of your damages. If you are suffering from a closed head injury that is disputed by the defense, we will use a neuropsychologist to relate a particular loss of cognitive function to a specific blow to the head. If you suffered extensive burn injuries, we will work with a life care nurse and case management professional to outline the full range of expenses you can expect to incur in the course of a long convalescence. Our attorneys will also thoroughly investigate the precise cause of your truck accident as we build your legal strategy.
No matter what your vehicle collision-related injuries might be, we will work with you and your doctors from the beginning of the case to make sure you receive the medical care and diagnostic tests you need, even when your primary insurer denies payment. Because the proof of both liability and damages in the cases we handle so often involves highly technical evidence presented through expert professionals, it is often necessary to commit significant resources to developing and presenting the facts essential to proving your claim. We advance all the expenses involved with the investigation and presentation of your case and recover them only if we succeed on your behalf.
Call Shea & Shea – A Professional Law Corporation Today For More Information
An accident involving a truck can lead to significant damages and can involve multiple at fault parties. Our San Jose attorneys can help you obtain the compensation you need to move forward with your life. For a free initial consultation with one of our motor vehicle accident lawyers, call us now at (408) 292-2434. You can also arrange for an appointment by sending us an email through our contact form.