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Trucking Related Accident Attorneys


Regarding Truck Accident and Injury

Negligent parties are not required by law to pay for your injuries willingly, but the victim, also known as the plaintiff, carries the burden of proving that they deserve compensation. Filing a lawsuit to resolve the harm done by a truck accident serves two important purposes: 1) permitting the injured party to recover from financial and emotional damage caused by the wreck and 2) punishing those whose negligence caused the accident. If you or someone you know is injured in a truck crash, consult with a Sacramento truck accident attorney quickly, if possible, while accident evidence remains fresh and available. Our Sacramento truck accident attorney will collect evidence about the truck crash, your injuries and other damages.

A Sacramento truck accident attorney at the Crow Law Offices will determine who the proper defendant's are. Some prospective truck accident defendants are obvious, while others are less so. Potential defendants who may be liable to you for your truck accident injuries and property loss include: The truck driver and drivers of other vehicles who may have contributed to the trucking accident, employers of the driver involved in the truck accident. They may not be at the wheel when the truck crash occurs, but that owner may be liable for the truck drivers. A trucking company may be held indirectly or vicariously liable for your injuries through the legal doctrine of respondent superior, which says that employers are almost always responsible for the on-the-job actions of their employees, regardless of whether the employer played a role in causing the employees conduct. Owner of a semi-truck or of a trucking company, a repair facility that made faulty repairs to the truck that collided with your vehicle may have contributed to your truck crash, defective products manufacturers and retailers of the truck, those responsible for maintaining, servicing, or inspecting the vehicle, anyone guiding or supervising the drivers behavior anyone soliciting, contributing to, facilitating, or hiding the drivers misbehavior. A truck crash may also result from problems with the design or maintenance of the road. Your Sacramento truck accident attorney may consider adding those entities, usually government entities, who design or maintain roads as trucking accident defendants.

United States government has special laws that apply to trucks. These laws limit the number of hours a driver can drive without resting, the weight of the load being carried, the lanes a truck may lawfully travel on certain roadways and virtually every aspect of trucking. Frequently, the violation of these laws is the reason that the accident occurred. Only once you understand who caused your accident will you know who to name as the defendant or defendants in your lawsuit. If you don’t name the proper defendants, you won’t be able to collect what you deserve or hold the parties responsible for your injuries accountable for their actions.

A Sacramento truck accident attorney will hire the proper experts that are needed to prove your case. Among the experts that may be hired to testify in a truck accident case include:

  • A computer expert to testify about the black box recovered after a truck crash.
  • A truck accident reconstruction expert or engineer to discuss what caused the truck crash.
  • A bio-mechanical engineer to discuss the forces on the people involved in the crash and whether they could have sustained injury.
  • Various experts to discuss the physical, psychological, and financial damage caused by the truck crash.
  • Doctors to talk about your injuries, treatment and future prognosis.
  • Economist to talk about your financial losses resulting from the truck accident.

Families affected by truck accidents frequently face serious emotional and health consequences. In many instances, the thought of reliving the accident through a lawsuit, or putting a dollar amount on suffering may seem unappealing. Furthermore, it goes almost without saying that no amount of money can ever compensate you and your family for your emotional and physical losses. However, recovering the financial and emotional losses a victim suffered as a result of their accident, can go a long way to help get a family affected by tragedy back on its feet again. The medical and repair bills resulting from a truck accident are often substantial, especially for victims who are unable to return to work as a result of their injuries. Suing the responsible party can often help an accident victim to deal with these financial losses. Also when you sue the individual or company that caused your accident, you’ll be ensuring that the defendant in your case will think twice before making the same mistake and putting others in danger in the future.

It takes considerable knowledge and resources to adequately investigate and prepare a truck accident case to ensure that the victim’s rights are protected and the maximum settlement is obtained for the innocent victim. Our Sacramento truck accident lawyers take great pride in holding insurance and trucking companies for the careless and reckless actions that truck drivers regularly demonstrate on our Sacramento roadways.

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Proving a Truck Accident Case

Most trucking accident cases require proving that the semi-truck was operated negligently. The law does not compel the defendant or defendants to pay you anything after you've been injured in a truck accident unless you, the plaintiff, can prove they must do so. In order to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries, you will need to prove your case with evidence. You will need to establish each of the four necessary components of a trucking accident case. If you provide insufficient evidence on even one of these elements, you’ll lose your case and recover nothing for your injuries.

First, you need to prove that the defendant owed you a duty to provide for your safety by behaving reasonably. The law establishes the legal duty of care owed for any specific circumstances and for each party depending upon their relationships. Truck accidents cause such serious injuries that actions of semi-truck drivers and owners are held to a high standard of care. There are many regulations truckers must adhere to, including federal regulations, safety requirements, and hazardous materials considerations (if the load is deemed a hazardous material). In truck accident cases, meeting this element usually comes fairly easily, since all drivers must operate their motor vehicles in such a way as to reasonably provide for the safety of other drivers, pedestrians and passengers on the road. Second, you must show that the defendant breached the duty of care that they owed you. This usually happens when the defendant put others at risk either with an action that a reasonable person wouldn't do or inaction when a reasonable person should be expected to do something. Evidence must be presented that proves the defendant ignored their legal duty of care by action or inaction in order to prove this breach of duty. You will need a Sacramento truck accident lawyer who knows how to use that evidence to convince a jury that the defendant or defendants acted unreasonably. Third, you need to prove that your injuries were a direct result of this breach of duty. Finally, you must then prove the damages that the defendant owes for the injuries you've suffered. The term damages refers to the money that the defendant will owe you once you’ve proven his responsibility. Damages compensate accident victims for losses including pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, medical bills, future medical bills, property damage, and other losses resulting from an accident.

Truck accident cases require proving that the negligence of the truck driver, truck owner, or other parties maintaining a commercial truck caused the truck crash. If you are involved in a truck accident, the accident investigation should start immediately. At the truck crash scene, call the police and ensure that the accident scene is fully surveyed and documented. Take pictures of the accident scene including skid marks or debris in the roadway, shattered glass or car parts, dented barriers, or overrun foliage that can help a truck accident expert reconstruct the accident, vehicle damage and any visible injuries. Obtain the names of witnesses and first responders to the truck accident, if possible.

Collecting evidence is essential. Many trucking companies and their insurance companies send out early response groups to the scene of a crash on the very day it occurs. Furthermore, truck drivers who injured you with his or her negligence have a great incentive to lie. If the truck driver is found to have injured others while driving negligently, then they will likely be fired, if he or she hasn't been already. Moreover, a proven negligent trucker will not easily find another job. You should contact the police to come to the scene and fill out a traffic collision report.

Two pieces of physical evidence are especially important to locate after a truck crash. One is a computerized black box that records data about speed and other factors surrounding a truck crash. Specific evidence about how a truck accident happened often comes from a trucks on-board black box, which documents the trucks actions leading up to a truck crash. The other is the drivers log book, which details the drivers activities during the period before the truck accident. This information indicates whether a driver was complying with trucking industry regulations designed to reduce truck accidents, such as requiring sufficient daily rest time. If this is not secured quickly, it may be impossible to recover later. Critical evidence, such as driver logs, computer records and on-board black box data - which can be decisive in proving why a truck accident occurred - must be secured before it is destroyed or disappears. Federal regulations permit trucking companies to destroy driver logs and other essential data after only six months. Our Sacramento truck accident attorneys gather documentation, including gas station receipts, meal receipts, cell phone records, texting records, and other information to determine the times a driver was at specific locations.

Be wary of the tricks that adjusters will use to justify denying your claim. They are well versed in dozens of legal loopholes which they regularly use to have the legitimate claims of unrepresented accident victims dismissed. The less contact you have with the insurance adjuster the better. So hire an experienced Sacramento truck accident lawyer and let your legal counsel deal with the insurance adjusters. Adjusters have many tricks up their sleeves to deny your claim or to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. Sometimes, adjusters will call unrepresented truck accident victims after an injury and ask them questions about the crash. Their questions may seem well-intentioned, but are nearly always designed to get victims to admit something that could damage their claims. In other instances, adjusters try to convince unrepresented plaintiffs to settle their cases for much less than their cases are worth. When considering a settlement offer, however, you must be aware that accepting a settlement destroys your right to seek more money from the defendant in the future. Insurance adjusters know that if they get you to accept a low settlement offer before you hire an attorney, you won’t be able to get a lawyer later and collect what your case is really worth. The best method for dealing with these adjusters is not to talk with the adjusters at all. Adjusters can’t call an accident victim who has a lawyer.

Your Sacramento truck accident lawyer has a team of professionals to do a thorough investigation, collect relevant evidence and to communicate with witnesses, responding police officers and medical personnel. As soon as we're hired we go to the accident scene, so we can look for any evidence that proves our client's case. In most cases, the trucking or insurance company sends their investigators to the scene of the accident as soon as the trucker reports it. The defense investigators have no concern with identifying how the accident really happened; they just want to gather evidence that proves your injuries were a result of your own negligence. If you don't have your Sacramento truck accident attorneys on the scene conducting their own investigation, you have no way of knowing whether or not the defense tampered with the evidence or conducted its investigation honestly.

In the State of California, you have a certain time to file a claim. Once this time (statute of limitations) has expired, you will be forever barred from filing your claim. That is why it is important to contact a Sacramento truck accident attorney from the Crow Law Offices immediately.

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Potential Truck Accident Causes

Government studies show that most truck crashes occur as a result of truck drivers errors. Such accidents generally involve driver fatigue, substance abuse, or reckless driving. The economic demands of the trucking industry tempt drivers to stay awake.

Many trucking companies choose to pay their drivers by the mile or by the load, giving drivers a financial incentive to exceed the speed limit, drive when they are tired and cut corners on safety. A mechanical or material defect in a truck, such as bad tires or brakes, may have caused the truck accident. Trucks and trailers are comprised of thousands of parts that are all interlinked to ensure the safe operation of the vehicle If any of these components fail to perform their intended purpose while the truck is in operation, then an accident can result. Negligence by a company that serviced the truck may caused the truck crash. In such cases, manufacturers or service companies may become truck accident defendants. A trucks cargo may cause a truck accident. Poorly distributed cargo weight can cause a truck crash if it makes a truck tip over or lose control on a turn. Those providing or improperly loading the cargo could become truck accident defendants. Truck accidents are also caused by unsafe lane changes, following too close, and failures to compensate for bad weather and road conditions. Poor road design and poor road maintenance can also be a cause. The entity responsible for roads, often the government, may become a truck accident defendant. The Company that planned the route can also be held liable. Not all roads and neighborhoods are zoned for trucking, and many bridges may have weight restrictions to drive on them and height constraints to pass underneath them. In order to ensure safety, busy trucking companies often depend upon on contracting out the planning of safe routes to other companies. If this planning company plots a course that proves unsuitable and dangerous for 18-wheelers, then a lawsuit can be filed against that party.

Substance abuse, especially the use of alcohol and certain illegal narcotics is a common cause of truck accidents. Other common causes of truck accidents includes: speeding by the truck driver, mechanical problems caused by the truck companies negligence, poor hiring, supervision and training of the truck drivers and a lack of sleep by the truck drivers.

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Financial Damages in a Trucking Accident Case

If your injury in a truck accident is due to someone else's negligence, you may receive compensation including: Medical bills - for your past, present and future costs of treating truck crash injuries; Property damage - for truck crash damage to your car and its contents; Pain and suffering - for physical pain and limitations due to injury in a truck crash; Loss of wages - for time off of work while recovering from trucking accident injuries or visiting professionals who treat your injuries; Loss of Earning Capacity - for your reduced ability to earn wages due to your trucking accident injuries. Damages like pain and suffering or loss of earning capacity are highly subjective and open to interpretation. Calculating damages can be extremely difficult for the inexperienced. Lifestyle changes - for loss of enjoyment of life due to debilitating truck accident injuries; Life-Care - for ongoing non-medical needs after a serious truck crash injury; Punitive damages - these may apply if a defendant’s intentional or reckless acts contributed to causing your truck crash injuries. Receiving a fair settlement offer from a defendant is almost impossible without the assistance of a Sacramento truck accident attorney.

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Settlements vs. Trial

In a settlement, the plaintiff and the defendant avoid the need for trial by negotiating and reaching an agreement without the assistance of a judge or jury. In exchange for the money, the plaintiff promises not to sue the defendant in the future for more money accident related injuries. However, accepting a good settlement offer is highly beneficial to an accident victim. When you elicit and accept a fair settlement offer, you’ll usually get your money much faster than you would have had your case gone to trial. Additionally, accepting a fair settlement offer means avoiding the uncertainty that’s always present when you entrust the fate of your claim to a panel of randomly selected jurors. Getting a good settlement offer from a defendant usually isn’t easy and typically requires the assistance of a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Defendants know that they have no obligation to pay you anything unless you win your case in court. Because of this, they’re rarely motivated to volunteer to pay you money in a settlement unless they’re concerned that they will lose if they face you at trial. The best way elicit this type of settlement offer is to have strong evidence and a lawyer with an excellent reputation on your side.

Sometimes, for many reasons, cases don’t settle out of court. If your case doesn’t settle, you’ll need to take it to trial to win. Because of the burden of proof placed on a plaintiff, you will need a strong trial strategy, compelling evidence, and a Sacramento personal injury lawyer on your side.

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Truck Accident Statistics

Estimates today report that there are over 1.9 million trucks on the highways and roads in the United States. Over 70% of all cargo in the country is now hauled by commercial freight trucks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, ninety-eight percent of the individuals killed in collisions involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle are the occupants of the passenger vehicle. Around 500,000 trucking accidents occur every year in the United States. Out of these accidents, 5,000 trucking collisions result in fatalities. One out of every eight traffic fatalities involves a trucking collision. Studies have shown that the chances of a trucker getting into a wreck are doubled after eight consecutive hours behind the wheel, and 20 percent of truck drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the month prior to being surveyed. Every 16 minutes a person is injured or killed in a US truck accident. Cars created under industry-standard Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards are designed to encounter like size vehicles, not 80,000 pound trucks.

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