Accidents involving trucks are treated differently than car collisions. A California truck accident lawyer is the ideal person to handle such a complex legal situation as a truck accident in California. Did you know that a truck driver is not criminally or administratively liable, even if his mistake caused a road accident or a dangerous situation for other road users? Sometimes the problem lies with the trucking company or the truck parts company. Fortunately, most accidents are minor, such as rear-end collisions and side impacts, such minor accidents do not result in serious injury or death to drivers. But a car accident with a truck can change everything. Accidents with trucks lead to serious injuries or death to other road users, including pedestrians, so you need to be as careful as possible and analyze the situation that has developed at the current moment on the road. A truck weighs about 20 times more than most cars. Collisions with trucks can have fatal consequences for passenger cars.
Statistics of traffic accidents that occur in California
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports disappointing statistics of accidents that occur on this road. Road accidents involving vehicles such as trucks are particularly dangerous, as this type of transport poses a particular danger when colliding with passenger cars. Fortunately, many truck accidents can be prevented by following the rules of the road and driving sober. Knowing how truck accidents happen helps to avoid many road accidents.
Types of truck accidents in California
There are no rules for accidents. A truck accident can happen at any time and in any situation, but all people and drivers are different. However, some truck accidents are common and require special attention from car drivers.
Truck wheel puncture
A flat truck tire can cause the vehicle to spin, overturn, or hit a vehicle moving to the side of the truck. The cause of this breakdown is often tire wear, manufacturing defects, trucking of an oversized load, or lack of regular maintenance. This is quite a dangerous phenomenon, a dangerous situation for cars moving parallel to the truck on the highway. Because your car may collide with a truck, which, due to a flat tire, may cross into another lane. The basic way to avoid such an accident is to leave as much space as possible between your car and the truck on the road. When passing a truck, leave enough space in front of the vehicle and drive fast so you don’t get too close to the truck to avoid a collision.
Side accident with a truck
When a truck turns into another lane, sometimes the truck driver may not notice a passenger car in the side mirror, which leads to a dangerous situation that can turn into an accident. Such a situation is very dangerous for cars moving near the truck. Possible reasons:
- The carelessness of drivers;
- Brake failure;
- Non-observance of the speed limit established on this section of the road;
- Difficult weather conditions.
Road accidents in which the truck overturns
Such accidents occur due to non-observance of the established speed regime, the sudden maneuver of another vehicle, improper loading of cargo, dangerous or slippery roads, and a mistake made by the truck driver.
Often, road accidents with trucks occur due to violations of the rules for the transportation of goods or the lack of appropriate training of drivers to manage cargo transport. For example, exceeding the maximum permissible weight of the load or improper placement of the load can cause the phenomenon of reducing the stability of the truck and making it less controllable. Ignorance of drivers in matters related to freight transportation, for example, the correct placement of the load, tightening it, and checking the fixation, can lead to the fact load falls out of the car during movement, which can be dangerous for other roads users. Other causes of road accidents with trucks may include failure to maintain the distance between cars, bad weather conditions, and malfunction of the cargo vehicle. Truck accidents can have serious consequences for the life and health of pedestrians on the road, so it is important to immediately seek help from a pedestrian injury accident lawyer, a qualified specialist with many years of legal experience in these cases, who will help you will receive financial compensation and will provide all necessary legal assistance from its side.
The trucking industry is governed by various federal regulations regarding the loading of cargo. Fastening systems must be suitable for the weight and type of cargo being transported. Improperly secured loads can cause various common accidents. Large loads prevent truck drivers from braking quickly, the braking distance increases significantly. A rollover accident can occur if the load moves while the truck is turning and is not properly secured. This can change the balance or center of gravity of the truck, causing it to overturn.
The risk of a truck accident depends on the type of cargo being transported. Some substances are flammable and are classified as hazardous because they pose a risk of explosion or fire. In other cases, the truck can transport dangerous substances, in the event of an accident and leakage, they are dangerous for the truck driver and other people because if such a substance enters the air, it is dangerous to inhale it, and it can harm your health. Even without a collision, injuries can occur if hazardous materials fly through the air or start a fire. In reality, dangerous goods truck accidents can injure other people. For example, if poisonous gas is released into the atmosphere during an accident, residents may be affected.
Who is at fault in a truck accident in California?
This is probably the most difficult question. In a car accident, it is often not immediately clear who is to blame for the accident, but it is clear who took part in the accident. In most cases, only two drivers are involved. There are various variables to consider when you are involved in a car accident. Even if the truck driver caused the accident, he may not bear any responsibility. There are three categories of truck drivers.
Owner/Driver: These drivers do not own the truck and lease it from a trucking company or operate as independent contractors.
Company Drivers: These drivers are employees of a specific transport company and drive trucks owned by the company, they are not the actual owners of these vehicles, they only have the right to fulfill transport orders for the company they work for.
Independent contractors: drivers who use their trucks to transport goods.
Truck accidents are often the result of improper vehicle maintenance or improper loading of cargo. In the event of a traffic accident, the carrier, not the driver, is responsible. It is also possible that the cause of the accident was a malfunction of the truck itself or one of its components. Your vehicle may contain parts from many different manufacturers, but only one manufacturer is responsible for their safety and proper operation after release. On the other hand, trucks can consist of parts produced by several manufacturers. For example, brakes and other mechanical components may be made by different manufacturers than the support brackets. You can file a product liability claim in the event of a truck accident. This is a claim against the manufacturer for defective parts.
The process of determining liability in a truck accident can be complex and often requires examining various details between all parties involved in the accident, including truck drivers and their employers, trucking companies, and truck parts manufacturers. Sometimes there are situations when there is no clear answer as to who is to blame for a truck accident. It is a complex and long process of identifying the culprit of the accident. Depending on the circumstances, the culprit of the road accident may be the truck driver (disobeying traffic rules), the person who loaded the cargo and improperly secured it in the truck, the person responsible for regular inspections of the technical condition of the truck, or the transport company, if its driver worked for a long time number of hours without corresponding rest breaks. If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is very important to contact qualified lawyers immediately after calling 911. These professionals have a thorough knowledge of federal trucking regulations and will assess whether the truck involved in the accident violated any which of the current rules. The lawyer will also conduct a process that involves gathering evidence and documents from all parties involved in the accident to help determine who is at fault.
After a truck accident, the painstaking process of dealing with insurance companies can be complex and multi-stage, as several parties involved in the road accident may be involved and held responsible. Typically, a large trucking company will have significant resources, including working with insurance companies, and a team of lawyers to handle truck accident claims, which are unfortunately common. Your claim may be just one of many. The key goal of the insurance company is to resolve this situation quickly and with minimal costs. Insurance companies are solely responsible for investigating claims, determining liability, and may not have the same resources as larger companies. Additionally, the truck driver may try to sue you, claiming that you are responsible for the accident that was caused by your reckless actions. In order to properly protect your interests, it is important to understand the intricacies of the claims process and to work with a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney who can professionally defend your rights on your behalf.
What to do after a truck accident in California?
If someone is seriously injured, seek immediate medical attention after the accident. Legal obligations after an accident are important and should be carefully followed. California law requires you to stop at the scene of a collision. You must provide the following information to the police:
- Your name (or the name of the owner of the vehicle, if you are not the owner of the vehicle);
- The number plate of the vehicle;
- Driver’s license number (if applicable).
If someone is injured in a truck accident, you must notify the California Highway Patrol or your local police after the accident. You must also file a report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles for any injury, death, or vehicle property damage that exceeds $1,000.
Gathering information on the spot
If you are involved in an accidental car accident, you only need to provide the other driver’s details, number plate, insurance company, and license number. However, in the event of a truck accident, you must ensure that all parties are at the scene of the accident and identified, and that other identifying information is available to the carrier.
Preservation of evidence
The best way to collect evidence about a traffic accident is to write a police report and ask them for help. However, you can also create your reports. A photograph of the scene is a valuable way of providing evidence in court. If you can do so, take pictures of the damage to the car, weather, road conditions, or other key factors that may have caused the road accident involving you. Witnesses are also extremely important and play a key role in finding the guilty party in an accident. When other drivers stop at the scene of an accident to offer help, or if traffic is blocked, ask for their name and contact information if possible. Explaining what happened can be an important factor in the interpretation of traffic events. See your doctor right away, even if you think you’re fine. Some injuries are not immediately apparent, but they are present, the pain may persist for days or weeks, and it may be difficult to prove that an accident occurred and that these injuries were caused by a car accident. Medical documentation of the physical and mental condition after a traffic accident is an important part of the legal proceedings. When you think you don’t need to go to the emergency room, you’re wrong, because it’s important to document your physical and mental condition after an accident.
Find an experienced California car accident attorney
As mentioned earlier, truck accidents are complex. You should make sure that your expenses are covered, especially if you are seriously injured. Insurance alone may not cover all costs. A California car accident attorney can dig deeper into the evidence, find out who is at fault, and help you get the financial compensation you need to cover all of the costs that you incurred as a result of your car accident.