Accidents involving big rigs, commercial trucks, or any type of truck is often more serious than other types of vehicles. The sheer size and weight of trucks make the impact of a collision into a smaller passenger vehicle even more forceful, resulting in more serious property damage and tragic injuries.
At the Srai Law Office, our Stockton truck accident lawyers handle all types of accidents involving trucks in the Stockton area. Our successful track record of helping our injured truck accident victims get the maximum damages that they deserve sets us apart from other truck accident law firms. Hiring the best truck accident attorney also allows you to concentrate on your injuries without having to worry about the legal aspects of your truck accident claim.
Federal & State Regulations of the Trucking Industry
The trucking industry, especially the commercial sector, plays a big role in the economy, making it possible for businesses all across the country to transport materials and goods. However, large trucks must also share the roads with other motorists, thus subjecting them to a complex series of regulations imposed by the federal and state governments in the interest of public safety.
In addition to strict federal laws, some common laws set by California include regulation of:
- Truck driver qualifications – to legally operate a commercial vehicle in the state, drivers must meet certain qualifications, such as being at least 18 years old.
- Truck driver logs – truck drivers are required to keep logs of their activities per FMCSA rules.
- Inspection requirements – both federal and California laws require truck drivers to inspect their vehicles regularly for damaged or worn parts to avoid serious safety issues.
- Size and weight limits for truck – California also places restrictions on the size and weight limit of truck
- Hours of service laws for California truck drivers – California truckers are required to take breaks at specific intervals to ensure they are well rested to be able to drive safely. These regulations are commonly referred to as “hours of service” rules.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), California ranks as one of the top 10 states for the highest average of fatal large truck and bus crashes in the nation. The most current statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that on average there are 408 deaths in California tractor-trailer crashes every year, with the numbers rising each year.
Although federal and state laws attempt to regulate the trucking industry to prevent accidents, it nevertheless happens.
Some common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver error –truck driver speeding and fatigue are the major leading causes of truck accidents. Other common types of drier error include:
- Distracted driving
- Poor training
- Failure to obey traffic signals
- Large blind spots
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances
- Vehicle issues – trucks often present a number of safety issues. For instance, a fully loaded truck needs 525 feet of room to come to a full stop. This, along with having to deal with major blind spots, makes trucks inherently dangerous to other passenger vehicles on the road. Some other common truck maintenance issues include:
- Overweight trailers
- Improperly secured loads
- Brake issues
- Tire problems
- Failing to follow the truck’s recommended maintenance schedule
- Weather – inclement weather, such as rain, snow or high winds, can play a major role in a truck accident.
Regardless of what caused the truck accident you were injured in, our truck accident firm at the Srai Law Office will fight to help you get the full compensation you deserve from all liable parties.
Important Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
The steps you take or fail to take after a truck accident can significantly impact your case. If you are injured in an accident involving a truck, below is a checklist of action items you should do to protect your legal rights and ensure your safety:
- Try to move to a safe location, if you are able to do so
- Call 911 immediately
- Request an ambulance, if you or anyone else at the scene has been seriously injured
- Take photos of the scene of accident, including damage to all vehicles involved
- Get the contact information for any witness to the accident
- Do not talk to anyone representing the trucking company or their insurance carrier
- Do not apologize to anyone for any reason – this will be used against you as proof of fault for the accident (even if it was not your fault!)
You should also contact the best truck accident attorney near you to help you recover compensation for your injuries and other expenses resulting from the accident. The truck accident attorney California at the Srai Law Firm will advocate for your rights and help you navigate the process fairly so you get the maximum money damages you desrve.
Compensation for Truck Accident Victims
Injuries resulting from truck accidents are generally more serious due to the massive size and weight of trucks striking smaller passenger vehicles. Serious injuries often include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Wrongful death
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones/fractures
- Whiplash injuries
- Cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine injuries
- Back pain, including strain and sprain
- Nerve injuries and damage, numbness, and radiculopathy
- Cuts and lacerations
- Crush injuries
- Scarring and burns
Depending on the specific facts of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Any out of pocket expenses related to the accident
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some common asked questions:
- Why do I need a truck accident lawyer?
Getting the full money damages that you are entitled to for the injuries you suffered from trucking accident may be more complicated than most accident victims realize. The reason is that trucking companies typically have vast resources and legal representation from top-tier law firms. You need to hire the best truck accident lawyer near you to ensure your legal rights are protected.
- Can I still file a claim if I was partially at fault?
The short answer is yes. In some cases, you may still be able to file a lawsuit for a truck accident even if you were partially at fault. However, this will depend on the specific facts of your case.
What are the most common truck accidents?
The most common truck accidents include:
- Truck rollovers
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Jackknife accidents
- T-Bone accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
- Wide turn accidents
Call a Stockton Truck Accident Attorney Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, the legal team at the Srai Law Office is ready to help. Our California truck accident lawyers will do whatever it takes to hold the responsible parties accountable and get you the compensation you deserve.
Please call us at 209-0395-0761 to discuss your case with an expert truck accident attorney or you can fill out our free consultation form.