Large trucks are a crucial part of California’s economy, but their presence on our roadways significantly increases the severity of any accident involving large trucks. An accident involving large trucks can cause devastating and life-changing injuries, even death. In fact, each year, approximately $4,000 fatal accidents happen involving large trucks.
Because of the enormous size and weight of the trucks, trucks can create such great force that even an otherwise minor crash can result in catastrophic and life-threatening injuries, such as broken bones, brain damage, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, back and neck injuries, whiplash injury, etc. As you can imagine, these injuries would require immediate medical attention and possibly multiple surgeries, and even lifelong treatments, which can be extremely costly.
Fortunately, under California law, trucking companies and truck drivers are required to carry large insurance premiums. However, insurance companies work with a team of experienced attorneys who will do everything within the law to deny liability or at least to minimize the compensation. If you have been involved in a big rig accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. Otherwise, you will be alone fighting with the bulls.
At ANTN Law, APC, our accident lawyers understand the impact a truck accident can have on your life, and will help you navigate through the challenging process to get you the best possible result.
ANTN handles all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, that means we charge absolutely no fees unless we win for you. We also advance all costs associated with handling your case.
HOW AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY CAN HELP YOU AFTER A TRUCK ACCIDENT:
Determining the cause of your truck accident is the first and most essential part of your claim. Even if you believe you are partially liable for the accident, you can still recover. This is because California is a “pure comparative negligence” state. It means that even if you are more than 99% at fault, you can still recover compensation. However, the higher your percentage of you fault, the smaller your recovery amount will be.
For example, if the court finds you 40% at fault, you would still receive $60,000 of a $100,000 verdict ($100,000 – 40% ($40,000)). If you are 80% at fault, you would receive $20,000 (20% of the $100,000).
Since understanding who is at fault, and to what degree can be complicated, attorneys at ANTN Law APC will help navigate through the process to maximize your recovery award.
What Are The Rules And Regulations For Truckers In California?
A fully loaded big rig can legally weigh up to $80,000 pounds, about twenty times the weight of the average passenger car of about 4,000 pounds. As a result, they are extremely powerful, and, in a collision, they can strike another vehicle with the force of about 20 cars.
Because trucks are so enormous, powerful, and dangerous, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted strict regulations for truck companies and truck drivers.
Drivers of any vehicles which require a commercial driver’s license (class A, class B, or a class C with a hazardous materials endorsement) are required to follow these strict rules and regulations imposed by the FMCSA.
The primary mission of the FMCSA is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. For example, the FMCSA limits the loads not to exceed 80,000 pounds, it regulates the amount of hours and consecutive hours a large truck driver can drive during a day or a week. The FMCSA also mandates that truck owners perform regular maintenance checks on their cars and make all the necessary repairs before driving.
The California Department of Transpiration similarly has Safety Requirements for drivers operating vehicles which require a commercial driver’s license (class A, class B, or a class C with a hazardous materials endorsement). See https://dot.ca.gov/programs/traffic-operations/legal-truck-access/safety.
Violating any of those federal rules and regulations imposed by the FMCSA or the Department of Transportation, for example, can cause serious accidents.
It is important to investigate all the possible causes and contributing factors that may prove the other party’s negligence. You should not do it alone. Contact a personal injury attorney from ANTN Law APC to help you with the investigation process.
Causes Of Large Truck Accidents (Not An Exhaustive List):
- Tire blowouts
- Driver sleepiness or exhaustion
- Lack of or improper vehicle maintenance
- Blind spots and unsafe lane changes
- Defective vehicle parts
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- Reckless driving
- Poor road or weather conditions
- Overloading trailers
- Driving more hours than federally mandated
- Not taking rest breaks, or driving when fatigued
- And violations of other state and federal laws
Investigation In Truck Accident Cases:
Investigating a big rig accident is not an easy task. It is important to start the investigation process as soon as possible to preserve and discover any piece of evidence that might help establish the other party’s fault or negligence. These investigations include inspecting the scene of the accident, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing/examining any information that might be helpful to your claim.
Our attorneys will help you in trying to establish that the truck driver was negligent, meaning they owed a duty of care and they breached that duty of care. In addition, our attorneys will scrutinize the driver and the motor carrier for purposes of identifying any the potential violations, such as any Vehicle Code violations, violations of corporate safety programs, or violations of the federal motor carrier safety regulations.
Our attorneys at ANTN Law APC gather all the evidence needed to determine liability and fault, analyze eyewitness statements, accident reports, and weather conditions. We build a strong case from the beginning of your case and will walk you through the end until you are justly compensated.