Truck Accidents in Davis, California
I’m Ed Smith, a Davis Truck Accident Lawyer. Being involved in a truck accident can cause serious injuries to those in a motor vehicle, and the grief of losing a loved one in an accident with a truck can be devastating to the family left behind. Whether your accident was caused by any type of large commercial vehicle, we have the experience you are looking for in a truck accident lawyer.
Deaths Resulting From Crashes With Big Trucks
The latest statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2015 shows that 3,852 individuals died as a result of a crash involving a big truck and a motor vehicle. The collection of data on fatal crashes started in 1975. The lowest year for fatalities was 2009. In 2015, the number of fatal crashes was 22 percent higher than this lowest year.
Recoverable Expenses in Truck Accidents
If you have been hurt in a trucking accident you can typically recover the following damages from the trucking company:
- Medical expenses: Expenses may include physician visits, hospital stays, rehabilitation therapy, ambulance fees and anything else associated with medical care that directly relates to the accident.
- Lost wages: Wages while you missed work and future wages until you are able to return to work are recoverable.
- Lost future earnings: These damages are those collected by people who cannot work again due to their injuries.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical and emotional pain includes emotional pain such as nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, depression and other symptoms.
- Loss of consortium: This refers to loss of relations or affection inside the marriage.
Why Do Big Trucks Cause Serious Injuries and Fatalities?
There is a large disparity between the size of a motor vehicle and a big truck. For example, semitrucks can weigh 80,000 pounds versus an average of 5,000 pounds for a motor vehicle. Tractor trailers average from 70 to 80 feet long. Because of their large size and weight, a tractor-trailer needs a much longer distance to stop compared to a motor vehicle. In fact, it needs about 40 percent more time and the length of a football field. Add to the fact that if a tractor trailer stops too quickly it can jackknife.
Proving Liability in a Truck Crash
In order to collect damages following an accident with a big truck such as a tractor trailer, the injured person has to show that the driver or company that employed the driver was negligent. An experienced truck injury lawyer can help by:
- Investigating the scene of the crash
- Obtaining the police report
- Gathering and preserving evidence
- Obtaining documentation of your medical expenses and lost time from work
- Obtaining records from the trucking company, log books, etc.
- Using expert witnesses
- Negotiating with the insurance company
- Ensuring the case is filed in court, if necessary, before the time limit expires
Large Verdicts In Trucking Accident Cases Becoming more Common
According to the National Law Review, families of those killed in big truck accidents who have filed a wrongful death lawsuit are receiving much larger verdicts. In the year 2011, six wrongful death claims awarded were $20 million or higher. A Texas jury awarded $282 million in a case where the vehicle’s driveshaft pierced the windshield of the truck after detaching. The award was lowered to $105 million and settled for an unknown amount. The accident was blamed on failure to maintain the truck.
In light of the higher judgments, the rates for insurance have been raised. Under federal law, trucking companies must have $750,000 in coverage for a truck driver for each accident. Trucking companies often self-insure for $1 million, buying commercial insurance policies to add more protection.
Related Articles by Ed Smith ~
- Accidents Involving Truck Driver Fatigue
- Truck Accidents Related to Braking or Jacknifing
- Training Requirements Changed in Truck Safety Law
Davis Truck Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Davis truck accident lawyer. If you, or a family member has suffered an accident injury due to a big rig, please call me at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400 to talk to me. My advice is friendly and free of cost. In addition, I handle car accidents, bicycle accidents and other types of traumatic injuries, including wrongful death.
Some of the highest ranking trial attorneys in the country are members of Million Dollar Advocates. Membership in this group shows that they have all attained million or multimillion dollar verdicts/settlements for their clients. I belong as a California member.
Photo Attribution: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Davisca.jpg courtesy of Kelvin Kay
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