No one ever expects to be involved in a California truck accident. However, these accidents do happen, and they can have devastating consequences. If you or a loved one has been involved in a California truck accident, it is important to know more about how truck accidents happen and what to do if they happen to you. An experienced auto accident injury attorney can help with recovering for injury victims of California truck accidents.
Why Truck Accidents Happen
Knowing why an accident happens is important for proving an injury case. The injury victim seeking compensation has the burden of proving negligence on the truck for the accident. Negligence is a legal concept that means the truck driver acted in a way that was likely to cause harm to someone else. A reasonable person would have avoided the behavior that caused the harm. There are many reasons why truck accidents happen in California. Some of the most common reasons include:
Vehicle Maintenance Issues
All vehicles require regular maintenance to function properly. This is especially true of large trucks, which can have hundreds of thousands of miles on them. When trucking companies fail to properly maintain their vehicles, accidents can happen.
Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their trucks. Unfortunately, some companies cut corners to save money, and this can lead to poorly maintained trucks. Poorly maintained trucks can have bald tires, broken brakes, and other defects that can cause accidents.
Negligence is usually present when a truck accident happens due to vehicle maintenance issues. The concept of Res Ipsa Loquitur or “the thing speaks for itself” can often be used to prove poor maintenance on a truck in disrepair.
Dangerous highway conditions
California highways can be dangerous. Poorly maintained roads, lack of signage, and other factors can contribute to accidents.
Truck drivers are human and, like all humans, they make mistakes. Unfortunately, when truck drivers make mistakes, the consequences can be severe. Some common errors that truck drivers make include driving while fatigued, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and speeding.
Truck drivers typically have to meet tight deadlines. To make these deadlines, some drivers forego sleep or take stimulants to stay awake. This can lead to driver fatigue, which can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
When a truck driver is fatigued, they may have trouble staying in their lane, staying awake, or paying attention to the road. This can lead to serious accidents.
Driver fatigue is often caused by trucking companies that put unrealistic deadlines on their drivers. If a driver is forced to drive without proper rest, the trucking company may be liable for any accidents that occur.
Truck drivers are often incentivized to drive fast to make their deadlines. Unfortunately, this can lead to speeding and accidents.
When a truck driver is speeding, they may have trouble stopping in time or maneuvering the truck properly. This can lead to serious accidents.
Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI Truck Driver)
Truck drivers are not supposed to drink alcohol before driving. When a truck driver is under the influence of alcohol, they may have trouble driving straight, staying in their lane, or paying attention to the road. This can lead to serious accidents.
Critical Events in a Truck Accident
Some reasons may involve driver inexperience, vehicle defects, highway conditions, or weather conditions. Crash reconstruction experts generally find that accidents stem from a combination of reasons. For example, driver impairment, fatigue, and speeding are significant factors in many crashes; however, their existence alone is rarely the sole cause of an accident. Rather, a combination of these and other factors often contribute to California trucking accidents. The main types of critical events in California trucking accidents include:
- Veering out of the travel lane – This occurs when a truck driver veers out of their travel lane and into oncoming traffic or off the road entirely.
- Skidding or driving erratically as a result of losing control
- Rear-end collisions – This happens when a big truck doesn't stop in time, usually in traffic on the freeway or highway, onramps, offramps, and intersections.
- Over-the-road rollovers- This occurs when a truck driver loses control of their vehicle, causing it to rollover.
- Jackknifing – This occurs when a truck's trailer swings out from behind the truck and the trailer and truck collide. This can often be caused by braking too hard or driving too fast around a corner.
- Underride accidents – This occurs when a smaller passenger vehicle collides with the side or rear of a large truck and is forced underneath the truck. This can often be caused by the truck driver braking suddenly or turning sharply.
California car accidents are complex events, and crashes involving large trucks only enhance the complexity and severity of accidents. Various elements can occur contemporaneously or hours, days, and months before an accident can result in an accident. What to Do if You Are Involved in a Truck Accident in California.
If you are involved in a truck accident in California, there are certain steps you should take to protect your rights. These steps include:
Seek medical attention As Soon As Possible
Your health should be your first priority after an accident. Even if you think your injuries are minor, it is important to seek medical attention. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, may not be immediately apparent.
Contact a California Truck Accident lawyer
Truck accident cases can be complex. An experienced California truck accident lawyer will understand the unique issues involved in these cases and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Do Not Speak to Truck Company Adjuster
Do not speak to the trucking company or their insurance adjuster: The trucking company and their insurance adjuster will likely try to contact you after an accident. It is important that you do not speak to them. Anything you say to them can be used against you. Let your California truck accident lawyer handle all communications with the trucking company.
California Truck Accident Lawyers
What Truck Accident Lawyers Do To Help
As previously mentioned, injury victims have the burden to prove that the truck driver was negligent and caused the crash. Then the injury victim must prove that their injuries, need for medical treatment, lost earning, lost earning capacity, out-of-pocket costs, property damage, and pain and suffering are all due to the truck driver's issue.
It's tough to establish causation in a situation like this. The claimant must provide corroborating evidence in order to do so. Video recordings, photographs, and vehicle damage can all be used to support a claim. Medical evidence, such as MRI, physical therapy notes, and other medical notes, may show the extent of a claimant's injuries. Finally, expert opinions may be required to back up a claim, and eyewitness testimonies may be helpful in establishing it.
Napolin Accident Injury Lawyer Helps with Truck Accidents
Car accidents are complex events, and crashes involving large trucks only enhance the complexity of recovering for injury victims of California truck accidents. The California truck accident lawyers at Napolin Accident Injury Lawyer have extensive experience handling these cases. We understand the unique issues involved in California truck accident cases and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 866-NAPOLIN for a free consultation. We will review your case and advise you of your legal options.