Accidents Involving Commercial Trucks
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento trucking accident lawyer. Trucks are an important part of our nation’s economy — but when barreling down our roads and highways, they can often become deadly. We can thank manufacturers that put profit before safety and lax federal regulations for much of the danger. Personal trucks such as pickups aren’t held to the same standards of safety as passenger cars, even though they are often used for similar purposes. Large commercial trucks like eighteen-wheelers, tractor-trailers and big rigs weigh nearly 20 times as much as the standard passenger vehicle. It’s no wonder that they’ll crush smaller vehicles when involved in an auto accident. Worse, some trucking companies and truckers, in an effort to meet demanding delivery deadlines and to maximize their profits, ignore safety regulations.
Truck Driver Training
Commercial truck drivers are required to have special training that covers safety regulations governing how and when they may drive. Trucking companies and truckers oftentimes ignore those laws in an effort to meet unreasonable delivery deadlines. Sometimes, that equates to truckers driving 10-ton vehicles on very little rest or while taking drugs in an effort to stay alert.
Maintenance of Large Commercial Trucks
Also interfering with safety on our roadways, we find trucking companies failing to maintain tires, brakes, lights and other equipment on their vehicles. This type of negligence puts their own truck drivers and everyone around them on the road at risk of a serious trucking accident. What’s worse, some egregious trucking companies knowingly hire cheap but unqualified truck drivers who never earned a commercial driver’s license to begin with. Federal statistics reveal that large trucks – eighteen-wheelers and big rigs – are 3 percent of the vehicles on our nation’s roadways but are involved in 12 percent of the traffic fatalities.
Smaller Trucks, Rollover Crashes and Products Liability
Smaller and personal trucks experience some of these same roadway dangers. They may not weigh as much as their 80,000 pound counterparts, but they’re still higher and taller than most passenger cars on the road, giving them the same potential to crush smaller and lighter vehicles when they become involved in an vehicular accident. Statistics show that other personal trucks and pickups are twice as likely as passenger vehicles to incur a fatal rollover crash. Lately, cars and recent-model pickups have had numerous recalls due to product defects. This can put their drivers and passengers at grave risk. Some of those defects have included defective car door latches, defective tires, seat belt failures, and defective airbags just to name a few.
How Our Trucking Accident Lawyers Approach Each Case
We approach each case with thoroughness and compassion. We understand the complex issues surrounding accidents involving large commercial trucks and the Department of Transportation regulations.
Thorough Case Preparation
We thoroughly prepare your case as if it will be going to trial, even if it doesn’t. We have financial resources and qualified experts available to assist our trucking accident lawyers. This helps us make an accurate and fast assessment of the issues you face and determine the best possible method to recover the compensation you and your family deserve.
Personal Injuries and Fatalities
Because of their great size, accidents involving commercial trucks are more likely to result in serious personal injuries and death than are passenger vehicle accidents. Approximately 10% of all those injured in a large commercial trucking accidents will pass away. Victims of trucking accidents often suffer traumatic injuries such as spinal cord injuries, broken bones, head and brain damage, burn injuries, limb loss and other catastrophic injuries and sometimes even death.
Federal Regulations Governing the Trucking Industry
Many trucking companies pressure their truck drivers to violate rules designed to keep our roadways safe. They do this by shortening delivery times and also by delivering more product per trip. Here is an example of how this occurs:
- Overloading the trailers
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving too many hours without taking a rest period or break
- Not taking enough time off in between shifts
- Driving in unsafe road conditions or weather
- Driving while under the influence of amphetamines or other types of drugs
Trucking regulations are complex and cover things like hours of work, transportation of hazardous materials, drivers licensing, inspection and maintenance of the trucks, standards for commercial licenses as well as the amount of insurance that must be obtained.
Accidents Involving Commercial Trucks – Damages Recoverable
Our trucking accident lawyers can help you recover compensation for the following type of damages:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills that are related to the trucking accident
- Loss of a limb
- Pain and suffering
- Costs associated with traumatic injury rehabilitation
- Permanent disability or injuries
- Property loss and/or damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental suffering and emotional distress
- Punitive damages
Unsafe truck driving can lead to collisions that seriously injure victims, destroy property and/or cause loss of life. Under the law, victims of accidents involving commercial trucks can seek compensation for destroyed or damaged property, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages. Insurance companies will not waste any time or resources to minimize the amount of compensation they have to provide to victims of these horrible crashes. Our trucking accident lawyers know how to advocate on behalf of injured victims. We have the unique ability, years of experience and the financial resources to litigate against insurance companies and trucking corporations in order to provide the outcome you deserve.
Sacramento Trucking Accident Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento trucking accident lawyer. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or has passed away in an accident, please call me at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. If you are calling from outside Sacramento, call me toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
I am a Million Dollar Advocate Forum member. The forum is comprised of US Trial Lawyers with multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts.
Check out the results obtained by our injury lawyers on our Past Verdicts and Settlements page.
Founder of the leading personal injury and accident website: www.autoaccident.com.
Image courtesy of: Harui Lee (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons