The population of the United States is growing fast which requires more and more goods and other services. The trucking industry is thriving in California due to the rise in transportation needs. The Port of San Diego is bustling, and San Diego city has therefore become a hub of trucking activity for many industries.
Since the truck companies mostly pay by the mile, truck drivers have an incentive to deliver the goods as quickly as possible. This can encourage excessive hours and other unsafe activities, leading to accidents that are otherwise avoidable.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle, you should contact us online or call us at our phone number for a free consultation.
Our top-rated lawyers have been winning cases of serious injury and wrongful death in truck and 18-wheeler accidents for over three decades. Thanks to our experience in this field, dedication to our clients and our proven approach to truck accident lawsuits, our success rate is unparalleled.
Our approach is based on personal service. We accept a limited number of new trucking accident cases so as to provide the best representation to our clients.
On this page, you will learn:
- Why Should You Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
- Early Investigation by an Expert Truck Lawyer is a Must
- Don’t hire an Inexperienced Attorney
- Compensation Available to Truck Accident Victims
- Drivers and Trucking Companies, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
- Crash Attorneys Know About Dangerous Equipment on Trucks
Why Should You Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
When hit by a commercial truck, we often have no idea what to do to protect ourselves and our family. Here are the guidelines on what to do after being hit and injured by an 18-wheeler or some other commercial truck.
Preserve certain evidence after you or someone close to you meets such an unfortunate incident. This would include evidence relating to the scene of the accident, such as damage to the vehicles, debris and skid marks on the road, and computer data from the big rig. It is better you do some research and find the best attorney to deal with your truck collision case.
Our accident attorneys maintain a quick response team for appropriate action following a serious injury or wrongful death in a truck accident. Putting our team to work on your case early will help in combating the insurance carriers and the trucking company. This is more important because many trucking companies maintain their own quick response teams which they dispatch to the crash site within hours of an incident. In a couple of truck-wreck cases that we handled, we found that defense lawyers were already at truck accident scene while the law enforcement were conducting the preliminary investigation.
Getting and securing critical data such as measurements and preserving the vehicles involved in the crash for inspection are very important steps. The earlier you contact an 18-wheeler accident lawyer the better he or she will be able to fight to get your justice.
In cases of serious injury or wrongful death, the investigating officers will usually examine the scene themselves thoroughly. This would include taking of measurements and taking of photographs for documentation purposes. In truck accidents involving minor injuries, the investigating officer might do a detailed scene analysis.
Take photographs with your cell phone at the scene on your own if you can do so. Focus on the vehicles in their final resting positions and any skid marks as well as debris indicating the direction of the vehicles before and after the impact.
The defense will most probably hire an accident reconstruction expert who would attempt to shift the blame onto the victims or other third parties in his bid to save the driver and the trucking company. Preserving the scene and documenting it by photographs can greatly help in combating this defense technique.
Preserving your own vehicle is also important as it would help determine how the accident occurred. You should always talk with an attorney before your vehicle is repaired after an accident involving significant damage or injuries. This is import to thwart any bid of the defense lawyer to prove that your vehicle had or might have had a defect that contributed to the collision.
Early Investigation by an Expert Truck Lawyer is a Must
One cannot overstate the importance of an early investigation by an expert accident lawyer after a truck hit. The accident scene, the condition of the vehicles involved, investigators’ findings and compliance with the federal regulations all should be probed early after collision with a truck. You will need a lawyer who has great success record in fighting cases against trucking companies.
Don’t hire an Inexperienced Attorney
Trucking companies carry insurance policies that protect them against claims for personal injury or wrongful death. These policies often carry seven-figure amounts to cover liability. The stakes are thus substantial for the insurance carrier who would fight harder to pay less on the claims. It is therefore very important that the lawyer you choose has vast experience in such litigation. You should not go for an attorney who would be learning on the job in your case.
The sooner you hire an expert attorney the better for your case. But before you sign the paperwork, always thoroughly probe the law firm you are hiring to handle your truck wreck case.
- To speak with an expert truck accident attorney call (619) 550-1321, for a free consultation.
Compensation Available to Truck Accident Victims
Legal damages for victims of a commercial vehicle crash in San Diego can include the following:
- Reasonable/necessary medical expenses (both past and future)
- Physical impairment
- Loss of earning capacity (both past and future)
- Mental anguish and physical pain (both past and future)
- Exemplary or punitive damages (in appropriate cases)
- Wrongful death and survival damages
Free Consultation with Top-Rated Lawyer
We accept only a limited number of cases in order to ensure the best representation for our clients. We have the reputation, skill, and experience needed to obtain the maximum compensation for your injury or loss.
Call us for a Free and No-obligation consultation at (619) 550-1321.
Since 2005, we have helped hundreds of families in San Diego and across California after truck crash cases involving serious injury or wrongful death.
Many of our incredible results are confidential by the demand of the trucking company to prevent others from knowing how much they paid to our clients.
Drivers and Trucking Companies, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
Both the drivers and the truck companies are bound to follow the safety laws given in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. One of the rules limits the period of time a driver can be behind the wheel or on the clock. The hours of service regulations specify the time a truck driver can actually be on the driving seat.
- 14-hour duty limit (a minimum of 10 hours of rest is a must after 14 hours duty)
- 11-hour driving limit (minimum 10 hours rest is essential after 11 driving hours during a full day i.e. 24 hours)
Drivers often feel pressed to deliver the loads as quickly as possible either for their own financial benefit or to appease the company. Driver fatigue can easily occur and it is almost a given for those drivers who do not follow the safety regulations. It is therefore very important that the truck accident law firm you select has vast experience in investigating driver fatigue as well as violations of the federal regulations.
Important evidence after a serious truck accident can include:
- Computer event data
- Inspection of the accident scene and the tractor-trailer
- Documents showing the load and prior deliveries
- Record about Driver’s Training
Many 18-wheeler drivers simply have a commercial driver’s license and they are let loose on the highways by the trucking companies without proper training. We believe that having only a CDL is insufficient safety training for a driver operating a truck that can weigh as high as 80,000 pounds. The trucking and transportation companies have a duty to ensure that their drivers are sufficiently trained so they could safely operate the big rigs. Ongoing safety training and refresher courses for the drivers must be a part of all motor carrier (trucking companies) operations.
Crash Attorneys Know About Dangerous Equipment on Trucks
Trucking companies also must make sure that the trucks they run on the highways are in proper operating condition. Drivers must not only inspect their tractor-trailers every day but they must also ensure that the loads that they are to carry are properly secured.
The federal regulations require truck drivers to inspect their trucks before starting any trip. The drivers must inspect:
- Air Lines and Compressor
- Fuel system
- Safety equipment
- Wheels and tires
- Coupling devices
When a trip ends the vehicle driver must re-examine each item listed on their daily vehicle inspection reports. The reports must carry all dangerous conditions or defects and they must be sent to the motor carrier before taking the truck on the next trip.
Inspection of such aspects after a serious truck accident can be an important part of a claim for damages. Our lawyers in San Diego are experts in digging out all the details and discover irregularities on part of the truck drivers and their employers. So never hesitate to consult us for free before you hire an attorney after you meet any truck accident.