An Overview of California Truck Accident Law
Truck accidents are not like ordinary motor vehicle crashes. The injuries are usually much more severe, and many people can unfortunately die. Commercial trucks, also known as tractor-trailers, semis, and big rigs, are involved in thousands of crashes each year.
To better understand how you can receive compensation, here is an overview of California truck accident law.
Causes of Truck Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the most common causes of commercial truck accidents are the following:
- Problems with brakes;
- Travelling too fast for conditions;
- Driver’s lack of familiarity with the roadway;
- Over-the-counter drug use;
- Inadequate surveillance;
- Driver fatigue;
- Driver pressure from carrier;
- The Driver made an illegal maneuver; and
- Driver inattention.
Many of these causes can be grouped under “driver error.” When a driver is at fault for an accident, they owe the victims compensation for the losses suffered.
Why Commercial Truck Accidents are So Dangerous
Commercial trucks cause serious injuries because they are so heavy. The average commercial car might only weigh around 5,000 pounds, but semis, by contrast, can often weigh 40,000 pounds. This heavy weight can cause serious damage to a vehicle and the occupants inside it during a collision.
Furthermore, tractor-trailers might also be carrying cargo. This cargo makes the truck heavier and can also explode or spill out of the trailer, injuring motorists and bystanders.
Many of our clients receive settlements which will allow them to avoid going to trial. Advantages of settlements include:
- Obtaining compensation much faster;
- Avoiding the stress of a trial; and
- Guaranteed money (you could always lose at trial).
To receive a settlement, you will need to show that the driver or trucking company is responsible for the accident. California truck accident law requires that truckers operate their rigs with sufficient care. If they fall below this standard, then injured victims can sue them. This is what is meant by calling the driver “negligent.”
As part of a settlement, you might receive compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses;
- Future medical expenses, if your injuries warrant ongoing care;
- Lost wages, if you could not work while you recovered;
- Damage to your car and other property; and
- Pain and suffering.
One negative of a settlement is that you must agree not to sue the defendant in the future based on the same accident. In fact, you will need to sign a release to this effect before you can receive compensation. This means you need to get all the compensation that you can during a settlement.
Speak to a California Truck Accident Lawyer Today
After a collision with a big rig, you need an attorney experienced with California truck accident law. At the Allen Law Firm, our attorneys have sought settlements for many clients, and we are prepared to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
To find out more about how we can help you, please schedule a Free Consultation. You can call or submit an online message.
Scott Allen is the founder of Allen Law Firm. Scott earned his Juris Doctor degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law (now known as Berkeley Law) at the University of Berkeley in California and has over 20 years of experience practicing personal injury law. He is a member of the State Bar of California and has earned a Superb rating by Avvo. To learn more about Scott, read his full bio here.