International and interstate commerce are vital to California’s economy and cargo is routinely transported throughout the state via trucks and tractor-trailers. Although there are various truck safety laws in place that are designed to keep the public safe, truck accidents are far too common, often resulting in catastrophic injuries to the occupants of smaller motor vehicles.
Deldar Legal is a premier personal injury law firm with extensive experience pursuing truck accident claims. We have a well-earned reputation for obtaining compensation for our clients and holding negligent trucking companies and truckers accountable. Our capable attorneys are well versed in truck safety laws and the complex insurance issues involved in truck accident cases.
California Truck Safety Laws
There are a number of truck safety laws governing both trucking companies and truck drivers. More often than not, however, accidents occur when these rules are violated.
First, trucking companies are required to properly maintain vehicles that they own or lease. This means that the braking systems, lights, steering, engine and other mechanical parts must be operating properly. In order to ensure vehicles are functioning safely, trucking companies must conduct routine maintenance and safety inspections. Additionally, records of inspections and repairs that have been performed must be maintained and available for review. In short, trucking companies that fail to abide by these rules can be held liable for accidents that lead to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.
Further, truck drivers are also responsible for operating their vehicles in a safe manner and adhering to certain rules. In particular, they must obtain special licenses, comply with driving limits and take regular rest breaks. In reality, truckers contend with strict delivery deadlines while covering long distances and often skirt rules regarding limits and breaks. Not only are truckers prone to becoming fatigued, some take stimulants like methamphetamines to stay alert. Whether driver fatigue, driving under the influence, or driver error caused an accident, the consequences can be dire, and negligent truckers can also be held liable.
Common Types of Truck Accidents in San Jose & Los Angeles
Although no two accidents are the same, some of the leading causes of truck and big-rig accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Improper loading
- Improper maintenance
- Inexperienced drivers
- Reckless driving
- Poor weather and road conditions
Additionally, some of the most common types of truck accidents are:
- Rollovers – While speeding can cause a truck to rollover, these accidents can also occur on steep inclines and declines, when trucks hit curbs, swerve around objects or other vehicles, take curves too fast, or when cargo is improperly loaded.
- Jackknifes – These accidents start when a big-rig’s drive axle brakes lock, causing the trailer to skid and the stop after coming to a 90-degree angle with the trailer. As the vehicle is jackknifing, the trucker has no control, and then the truck flips over on to other vehicles.
- Brake Failures – Both improperly installed and poorly maintained brakes can fail while aging brakes and sudden stops cause overheating. All these scenarios increase the risk of accidents, particularly in heavier trucks and tractor-trailers.
- Runaway Trucks – Truckers should be trained to apply the brakes in a way that gradually reduces speed with each application in order to prevent the brakes from failing. A trucker that uses improper techniques, such as suddenly slamming on the brakes, can cause a runaway truck accident.
- Blind Spots -Most commercial trucks have larger blind spots along the sides and rear of the truck. However, motor vehicle drivers who fail to avoid these so-called ” No-Zone” areas can become involved in an accident.
- Rear-End – Because of the weight of the truck and its cargo load, a truck that runs into the back of another, smaller vehicle can cause serious injuries to its occupants.
- Under-Ride – If the driver of a big-rig suddenly slams on the brakes, vehicles traveling behind can become crushed under the rear trailer, often resulting in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
- Wide Turn – Also known as a swinging turn crash or squeeze-play accident, these accidents occur when truckers underestimate the amount of space needed to complete a turn or fail to notice smaller vehicles in the path of a trailer.
California Truck Accident Attorneys
Deldar Legal is dedicated to fighting for the rights of those who have been injured in accidents involving trucks and big-rigs. Over our many years of practice, we have seen how trucking companies and the insurers quickly deploy teams of crash scene investigators immediately after an accident. Because they are more concerned with profits, their objective is to minimize their liability and settle claims for as little money as possible. Our team has the skills and resources that are necessary for leveling the playing field and pursuing successful claims.
By relying on a respected network of investigators and accident reconstruction specialists, we will work diligently to build a strong case. We believe that no one should suffer needlessly because of the negligence of truckers and trucking companies. We have a proven track record of obtaining meaningful compensation for our clients for their medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and other financial and nonmonetary losses. If a loved one was killed in a truck accident, it may be possible to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Deldar Legal serves clients throughout California including Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and West Covina. We handle truck and big-rig accident cases on a contingency basis which means you do not pay any attorney fees unless we obtain compensation for you. Call our office today for a free consultation or fill out the contact form on our website.