Commercial Vehicle Accidents and Deaths in Elk Grove

Commercial Vehicle Accidents and Deaths in Elk Grove

Commercial Vehicle Accidents and Deaths in Elk Grove

I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove personal injury lawyer. In nine out of 10 accidents between passenger and commercial vehicles, occupants are killed in smaller cars and SUVs. The same statistical framework holds true for pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists where the incidence of injuries are even higher. Since commercial vehicles are found on both city streets and highways in Northern California, no one is immune from this danger. Let’s take a look at where commercial vehicle crashes occur, why they happen, the types of vehicles that are involved and who is liable for the damages.

Incidence of Deaths and Injuries in Commercial Vehicle Crashes

Each year, approximately 415,000 commercial vehicle accidents occur. The number of deaths reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is set at slightly more than 3,800 individuals. In the past decade, the number of crashes has increased, resulting in a higher number of injuries and deaths nationwide. In Elk Grove alone, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety, the total number of people killed and injured was 857. The most common issue involved in the accidents was speeding.

Types of Commercial Vehicles

There are different types of commercial vehicles that are present every day. Some of the most common types include:

Where Do Commercial Accidents Happen

More than 50 percent of all commercial accidents happen in rural areas. However, this figure is largely limited to big rig crashes. Since urban areas rely on bus transportation, intercity deliveries, and garbage pickup, it is common to see accidents with these vehicles happening. In addition, since highways connect most parts of California and act as gateways for taking cargo to ports and other states, freeways see their fair share of commercial accidents.

Reasons Why Commercial Accidents Happen

Some of the leading reasons commercial vehicle accidents happen are as follows:

  • Speeding
  • Lack of familiarity with the area
  • Driver distraction
  • Shifting cargo
  • Tire failure
  • Fatigue
  • Roadway factors
  • Intoxicated driver
  • Tailgating
  • Scheduling problems
  • Drugs, including those that are prescription, illegal and OTC
  • Brake failure
  • Turning illegally

How to Prove Fault in a Commercial Vehicle Accident

Some of the ways fault is proven in commercial accidents are similar to those used in other crashes. This includes the use of photos taken at the scene to show the damage that occurred, the position of the vehicles after the crash and roadway marks that can be used to determine liability. In addition, commercial vehicle drivers maintain logs that cite maintenance, vehicle inspections, cargo placement and driver hours. This is helpful in showing if driver fatigue or the lack of maintenance as well as cargo securement were factors in the crash.

Federal and State Laws

Commercial vehicles are obligated to adhere to both federal and state regulations. One example is the weight a truck can haul. Another is the amount of time a driver must rest. If there is a deviation from these and other rules, an experienced personal injury lawyer can argue that the trucker or bus driver failed to meet these requirements, causing an accident.

Liability Owners Share

When an accident occurs with a commercial entity, the owner of the truck or other type of vehicle is also liable. This is called the doctrine of vicarious liability. If for example, a delivery truck driver has an accident while he was performing his or her duties, the owner of the company shares in the liability. Independent contractors, however, are the owner and driver of a vehicle and are usually wholly responsible.

Elk Grove Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove personal injury lawyerIf you or a member of your family was injured or killed in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you need the help of an experienced lawyer. Call me at 916-694-0002 in Elk Grove or (800) 404-5400 outside of the area for friendly and free advice.

I’ve helped numerous residents of Elk Grove and the wider Northern California area obtain compensation in all types of car accidents as well as wrongful death.

When you are looking to retain a lawyer, it is a good idea to learn more about their practice. You can learn about mine by reading client and peer reviews as well as the way I resolved previous cases on the following pages:

I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates. We are a forum of lawyers who have won trial verdicts and negotiated settlements for a client in excess of $1 million.

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Client Reviews

  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
  • Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation.
  • Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything.
  • Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime.
  • I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone.
  • Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury.