Watsonville Truck Accident Lawyers
Not all vehicle accidents are created equal. An 18-wheeler accident is never good, and a collision with a vehicle that big is often devastating. If you or your loved one has been in a trucking accident, our Watsonville truck accident attorneys are here to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Trucking Accidents In Watsonville
Watsonville is known for the production of agricultural crops and goods along the Northern Pacific Coast and is home to some of the largest agribusinesses and manufacturers in the state. Transportation is a huge part of these industries and everyday life. You will nearly always see semi-truck traffic in the area. This is a sign of a strong economy, but it also causes potentially dangerous traffic conditions for others on the road.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a total of 4,119 people died in trucking accidents in 2019. Of these deaths, 16% were truck occupants, 67% were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, and 15 % were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.
What Causes A Trucking Accident?
There are countless reasons that trucking accidents occur, which is also the case for passenger vehicles. The difference for truck drivers stems from the nature of their job, which includes long hours, inclement weather, unfamiliar roads, crucial vehicle maintenance, blind spots, and more.
If you are in an accident with a semi-truck, you will be best served with the help of experienced Watsonville trucking accident lawyers who understand this area of law. One of the first things our attorneys will investigate is why the accident occurred. Here are some common causes.
If you have ever taken a long road trip and had to drive for an extended time, you understand how hard it can be to keep your attention on the road. Driving long distances on rural highways like those surrounding Watsonville can get boring. Distracted driving occurs anytime the driver’s attention is diverted from the road. Changing the radio station, sending a text, or staring at something on the side of the road, can all serve as the catalyst for a collision.
Driving While Tired
There are strict laws and regulations that govern how many hours a truck driver can drive in a single shift before stopping for a break. Depending on how many hours the driver has been on the road, the law may require them to take extended periods of time to sleep. When companies fail to enforce these rules, or drivers refuse to follow them, driver fatigue can be a big problem.
Driving Under the Influence
Drug and alcohol abuse is a problem in the trucking industry. Drivers spend a lot of time alone, which can make it difficult to identify when someone has a problem. Drivers choosing amphetamines to keep them awake on long drives is a known issue in the industry. Many substances can impair driving ability.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
Ensuring trailer balance is not always as easy as it sounds. And in some cases, the person loading a trailer does not pay careful attention. An unbalanced trailer can cause cargo to shift or the trailer to pull, which is extremely dangerous.
A semi-truck takes longer to stop than a passenger vehicle. Drivers exceeding the speed limit in any vehicle reduce their time to react to a situation. In a semi-truck, having to stop quickly could be catastrophic and increase the probability of a semi-truck crash.
Who Is Liable In A Truck Accident?
Trucking companies are generally responsible for the actions of their drivers. Depending on the nature of the trucking accident, multiple parties may be liable for your injuries. These could include:
- The truck driver for their negligent actions,
- The trucking company for the actions of the driver or lack of training,
- Truck parts manufacturer if a defective part was responsible,
- The cargo loader for an unbalanced trailer,
- Truck mechanic for sub-standard maintenance or repairs, or
- A government municipality for improperly maintained or marked roadways.
California uses a pure comparative fault law, which means that you can recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the trucking accident. It also means that the defendant will try to place as much responsibility on you as possible. Experienced Watsonville truck accident lawyers can help make sure that you are not found unfairly liable.
Also, know that there is no such thing as an average settlement for truck accidents. The amount you might receive for your 18-wheeler accident depends on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of your injuries. Every case is different, but a truck accident attorney can give you a good idea of what your case may be worth after reviewing the facts of your accident.