Truck Accident Lawyers in San Diego
Serving the Injured With Compassion & Persistence Both In & Out of the Courtroom
Being involved in a truck accident may be one of the most traumatic and dangerous events you will ever experience. These often massive vehicles can cause crippling and devastating damage when colliding with a passenger car, motorcycle, bicyclist, or pedestrian. Whether a commercial transit vehicle for passengers or a cargo-carrying 18-wheeler, they have the size and weight that can crush other road occupants on impact. In such accidents, it is the occupants of the smaller vehicle who will suffer the most in terms of injury or death while the trucker protected by his heavy steel machine will likely walk away unscathed.
Fighting for the legal rights and best interests of accident victims, the truck accident attorneys and staff at YD Injury Law understand the horrible consequences of these types of traffic crashes. Our firm has spent years making negligent and reckless individuals and their insurers accountable. We are totally focused on personal injury law which has given us a strong advantage when representing clients. Because handling accident claims and lawsuits is what we do routinely, we know how to build the strongest cases, how to stand up to the tactics of insurers opposing us, and how to conduct courtroom litigation in search of positive outcomes. Our firm has demonstrated its legal ability, determination, and commitment to justice repeatedly as evidenced by the more than $45 million we have recovered for our clients since our inception.
Truck Accident Information
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), close to 5,000 individuals lost their lives in car crashes involving large trucks in 2018. This was an increase from the year before. 71 percent of these fatalities were occupants of other vehicles than the trucks. The NHTSA reports that 91 percent of accidents causing fatalities involve large trucks in multiple-vehicle collisions.
The majority of fatalities belonging to passenger car occupants in these accidents is due to the fact that large commercial trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times more than smaller vehicles. That weight differential can cause horrific damage in a collision. Trucks also have greater ground clearance that can lead to passenger cars under riding them in collisions. Additionally, tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks take much farther to stop, a condition that can be worsened when roads are wet and slippery or when the truck’s brakes have been poorly maintained. The discrepancy between a truck’s ability to stop and a passenger car’s can be 20 to 40 percent.
Because of the dangers of creating traffic accidents, both state and federal governments have enacted regulations for the trucking industry designed to foster greater safety. However, these regulations are often violated by truckers and trucking companies leading to road endangerment for others.
Examples of such regulations include keeping logbooks detailing a driver’s road time, an 11-hour limit to driving during a 14-hour period, and the 14-hour rule that prohibits driving more than 14 hours since coming on duty. After that, the driver is not allowed to resume driving without taking 10 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers are also required to take rest breaks and may not drive after 60/70 hours during seven or eight days of consecutive time on the road.
Truck Accidents Differ from Other Traffic Accidents
While any traffic accident can be a complicated matter, truck accidents are even more complex. This is due to a variety of reasons, including the following:
- Commercial trucking companies and their insurers are geared up to do everything possible to reduce their liability, with their own legal teams and accident responders who will immediately visit an accident site to gather and document evidence.
- Trucking industry laws whose compliance by the trucker and/or the trucking company must be investigated.
- Truck ownership which must be determined in regard to liability. The driver may be an owner-operator or an employee of a commercial company. Difficulties may arise in determining fault.
- Black box data that can reveal the actions taken immediately prior to the accident must be recovered and analyzed.
- Accident site analysis often requiring engineering experts as well as accident reconstruction professionals.
What Are the Hours of Service Regulations?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration imposes many regulations on the trucking industry since trucks can cause catastrophic damage in the event of an accident. The hours of services regulations are one of these regulations which aims to prevent fatigued driving, major cause of accidents on the road. According to these rules:
- Truck drivers can work 14 hours in one day but can only actually be on the road for 11 hours. The remaining three hours must be spent on mean or rest breaks
- Truckers must rest for at least 10 consecutive hours at the end of each workday
- Truck drivers must take days off work at regular intervals
Who is Liable After a Truck Accident?
After a truck accident the party most often held legally responsible is the trucking company. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is that these companies are often caught encouraging their drivers to break truck regulations in order to save their company time or money. Sometimes the truck driver is held liable, particularly if the accident was caused directly by their negligence, such as driving while drunk. Although it happens less often, there are other parties that can be found liable such as a truck manufacturer or cargo loading team. YD Injury Law, P.A. is experienced in investigating truck accident claims and is ready to help you today.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can occur for any number of reasons such as:
- Lack of experience or poor driver training
- Distracted driving during which time the driver’s attention is temporarily taken off the task of driving and onto something else, such as texting, talking on a cell phone, adjusting inside devices such as GPS systems, CD players, and more
- Driver fatigue due to driving beyond the regulated limit or lack of sleep
- Driving while under impaired from alcohol and/or drugs, including drugs designed to enhance wakefulness
- Violation of traffic rules, such as following too closely, making improper lane changes, running stop signs or lights
- Poor judgment
- Defective or malfunctioning equipment, such as air brake malfunction
- Poorly maintained trucks
- Improperly loaded cargo
Other factors can influence accidents, such as poor weather resulting in hazardous road conditions, poor vehicle design or manufacture, tire blowouts, and more. In many crashes, the causes can be attributed to more than one factor. However, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have identified fatigue, alcohol impairment, and speeding as the primary factors in all traffic accidents.
The above common accident causes can result in different types of truck accidents, from truck rollovers to jackknifes and rear-end collisions with other vehicles. Truck accidents can involve tractor-trailers, semis, tankers, dump trucks, garbage trucks, delivery vehicles, and more.
Compensation in a Truck Accident
Truck accident victims may be eligible for various types of compensation depending on the circumstances. These can include one’s medical bills, medical expenses that may be predicted in the future, lost wages, loss of income expected in the future if your physical recovery is predicted to take a while, loss of earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from ever working again, and pain and suffering.
Why You Need the Services of YD Injury Law
As you can see, all of the details involved in a truck accident add up to a complicated legal matter. You will need the services of an attorney experienced in handling these details from gathering and preserving evidence to determining liability. You will often be fighting the legal staff of a trucking company and/or insurer who are trained to devalue your claim. Such a matter requires the knowledge and insight of an attorney who can match the other side’s aggressive tactics.
At YD Injury Law, we can immediately begin working to gather the facts of your accident so as to present the strongest case possible in seeking damages. As tough negotiators, we know how to stand up to insurance companies. Let us take on this challenging matter while you concentrate on restoring your health as much as possible.
Call our offices at (858) 800-4235 as soon as possible in the aftermath of a San Diego truck accident.
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$3,000,000 Commercial Trucking Accident
$2,200,000 Construction Accident
$1,300,000 High-Speed Collision
$1,000,000 Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian runner hit by car.
$950,000 Rideshare (Uber/Lyft) Accident
Underinsured motorist arbitration arising from a vehicle collision.
$950,000 High-Speed Rear-End Collision
Injuries resulting from a high-speed vehicle collision that occurred on the freeway.
$800,000 Construction Accident
Injuries resulting from third party negligence at construction site.
$350,000 Motorcycle Accident
Unsafe lane change resulting in injuries to motorcyclist.
$350,000 Slip & Fall
Injuries resulting from a dangerous condition at a shopping center.
$350,000 Rideshare (Uber/Lyft) Accident