Turlock Truck Accident Lawyers
Commercial trucks are common on most roads throughout Turlock. Unfortunately, this truck activity can result in severe commercial trucking accidents, often leaving innocent victims with serious, life-changing injuries.
If you have suffered injuries in a truck crash, it’s in your best interest to contact a truck accident lawyer in Turlock as soon as you can. Any crash involving a commercial truck is significantly more complicated than other accidents, and victims can often recover compensation from many sources. As a result, you need immediate, qualified legal representation. Without it, you risk losing the compensation you deserve under the law.
Silva Injury Law is ready to assess your rights and handle your truck accident claim. Reach out for a free case evaluation today.
Aggressive Truck Accident RepresentationThe first thing you should know about Silva Injury Law is that we never take on any case that we will not be ready to present to a jury when necessary. As soon as you hire our firm, we commit to seeing your case through to its conclusion, even if that means needing to take a case to trial.
Trials are rare in these cases because many trucking companies are heavily insured, and insurance companies often want to avoid litigation. In fact, some insurance companies may contact you soon after your accident to offer you a lump-sum settlement offer. Victims should almost always reject these initial offers. They are usually far below the actual value of victims’ claims and are an attempt to limit their liability. If an insurance company contacts you with an offer, tell them you are in the process of retaining an attorney.
Silva Injury Law will immediately represent you in settlement negotiations when you hire us. This can result in a more suitable amount awarded to you that will cover your current and future needs. If an insurance company is unwilling to provide a fair settlement offer, we will not hesitate to file the legal paperwork necessary to move the case to trial.
How Truck Accidents Happen In Turlock
Multiple factors can cause truck accidents. Some crashes happen due to inadequate driver training and experience, poor vehicle design and manufacture, bad highway conditions, or weather conditions.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says fatigue, drinking alcohol, and speeding are major factors in many motor vehicle crashes.
Studies showed three major critical events leading to large truck crashes:
- 32 percent. Running out of travel lanes (either into other lanes or off the road)
- 29 percent. A loss of vehicle control from traveling too fast for conditions, cargo shifts, vehicle systems failure, poor road conditions, or other reasons
- 22 percent. Colliding with the rear ends of different vehicles in a truck’s travel lane.
Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Failure to adjust driving to road and weather conditions
- Reckless driving
- Aggressive driving
- Negligent hiring by a trucking company
- Failure to properly train drivers
- Failure to maintain trucks
- Poor cargo loading
- Unrealistic time constraints
- Poor driver training
- Road hazards
- Hours of service violations
- Brake failure
- Tire blowouts
- Blind spots
The Risks Of Large Commercial Trucks
Truck accidents can take many different shapes and forms. No two accidents are ever the same, and every commercial trucking case will have a unique outcome.
Some of the most common truck accidents include rollover accidents involving a commercial truck flipping onto its side or rolling over completely. Rollover accidents are often deadly because commercial trucks can crush other vehicles and fatally injure their occupants.
Rear-end collisions are another common truck accident because many large trucks require more room to stop. If commercial drivers follow too closely, they may strike the rear ends of other vehicles. While most rear-end accidents do not often result in serious injuries, those that involve commercial trucks are much different because the size of a large truck means that injuries in rear-end accidents are far more severe.
Head-on collisions involve the front ends of both vehicles colliding, often at full speed. Such accidents are more common when trucks go the wrong way, such as crossing the wrong lane.
Jackknife accidents occur when a cab and a commercial truck trailer fold onto one another like a jackknife. These elements can strike other vehicles and cause severe damage when they swing out.
T-bone accidents occur when one vehicle strikes the other while moving perpendicularly. These collisions are more common in intersections.
Sideswipe accidents occur when commercial trucks’ sides hit other vehicles’ sides, usually while traveling side by side. These collisions may force other vehicles into other lanes of traffic and cause additional accidents.
Wide turn accidents are also specific to commercial trucks because many large trucks have to perform wide turns when turning right. These are also known as “squeeze crashes.”
Underride accidents are commercial truck accidents in which other vehicles slide under trailers. Override accidents involve commercial trucks running over other vehicles.
Blind spot accidents are collisions in which a truck driver fails to see another vehicle because it is traveling in a blind spot.
DUI accidents involve commercial drivers operating in violation of DUI laws. It is important to remember that commercial truck drivers cannot have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 0.04 – only half the legal limit for all other drivers.
Truck Accident Victims Can Suffer Significant Losses
People who are involved in accidents with commercial trucks will often experience a significant number of financial consequences. If the accident resulted from someone else’s negligence, victims should recover damages for all of their accident-related losses.
It is crucial for truck accident victims to immediately work with an experienced truck accident lawyer because not many have a solid idea of what their case is worth. When you hire an attorney, they can gauge a reasonable settlement figure and then begin working to help you recover that amount.
Many people can be entitled to economic damages, the tangible costs people can calculate and prove in court that they have paid. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages are much more subjective and do not have financial value, but they are often awards for people’s pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.
Additional damages in a truck accident case can include wrongful death damages if a family member or other authorized party is pursuing compensation on behalf of a deceased party. Some truck accident cases can also result in punitive damages awards. However, these rare awards require a person to prove that another party acted with wanton disregard for human life or extreme cruelty. However, we will always assess whether your case qualifies.
Who Is Liable for Your Accident and Injuries?
Truck accident cases often involve more potentially liable parties than other crashes. As a victim, you will want to identify every responsible party to have the best chance of recovering as much financial compensation as possible. As a result, you should retain an experienced truck accident attorney in Turlock as soon as possible.
Many people initially assume that truck drivers themselves are liable for truck accidents, and many drivers can indeed be liable when the drivers themselves are solely at fault for inevitable crashes. However, truck drivers are not always the best party to seek compensation from because they may not have high insurance limits or personal wealth to pay large judgments. Thankfully, under federal law, you can typically file a claim against a negligent truck driver’s employer, even if they are independent contractors and not employees.
A trucking company can be liable in these cases, especially when the same company was also responsible for hiring the driver. Trucking companies can often be liable for failure to care for their vehicles properly, as many truck accidents stem from some mechanical issue resulting from a failure to perform regular maintenance. Additionally, they may be liable for hiring inadequately trained truckers.
A truck owner is another party that can be liable and may be independent of the trucking company overseeing a truck driver’s route. The truck owner can again be responsible for ensuring their vehicle is safe for the roads.
You can hold cargo loading parties liable when a lost load causes a truck accident. In addition, some accidents result from poorly balanced cargo, causing vehicle instability.
Manufacturers of truck parts can also be liable when a defective truck part is to blame for causing a truck accident. Some examples of parts that can cause accidents when defective include headlights, conspicuity lights, windshield wipers, tires, horns, and coupling devices. Product liability claims can be very complex and require experienced legal counsel.
Finally, there is the prospect that other drivers involved in an accident can bear the lion’s share of liability. It is again essential for a person to have an experienced attorney thoroughly review their accident to determine the different parties that may be liable.
Never Wait To Hire A Turlock Truck Accident Lawyer
California only gives you two years to file an injury claim following a truck accident. While two years may sound like a long time to many people, you need to give a lawyer adequate time to perform their investigation and take care of all the other legal legwork necessary to achieve desirable outcomes in these cases. In addition, the longer you wait, the more likely you will lose access to some evidence you need to win your case.
Notably, there are exceptions to the two-year time limit. For example, if your accident involved a government-employed or government-contracted truck, you only have six months to act.
You will need an attorney to send an evidence preservation notice or spoliation letter to a trucking company as soon as possible. This letter preserves information in a truck’s black box that it will otherwise overwrite in 30 days.
As it relates to federal law, trucking companies must retain driver logs and supporting documents for six months under 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 395.8(k)(1). They must keep driver vehicle inspection reports for 90 days under 49 CFR § 396.11(c)(2) and vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance records for one year. They must keep maintenance records for six months after a motor vehicle leaves a motor carrier’s control under 49 CFR § 396.3(c).
Discuss Your Rights With A Turlock Truck Accident Attorney
Did you suffer serious injuries, or was your loved one killed in a truck accident in or around Turlock? Please do not wait another moment to get in touch with Silva Injury Law. Our firm can immediately step in and ensure that your rights are protected and that you obtain the compensation you deserve under California law.
Our firm works tirelessly to ensure that people can recover every last dollar available after a commercial truck accident. We handle every case on a contingency fee basis, so you will never have to worry about paying us anything unless we get you a settlement or a jury award first. Call (209) 308-8924 or contact our Turlock truck accident lawyers online for your free consultation.