San Ramon Truck Accident Attorneys
Legal Professionals Ready to Challenge Any Opposition
Truck accidents usually involve severe injuries due to the size and force of an 18-wheeler. If you have been hit by a truck driver, it is important that you hire a firm that has experience working on these types of complex cases. Our attorneys have been representing truck accident victims since 1979 and have secured multiple multi-million-dollar recoveries for victims of truck accidents.
On This Page:
- Forms of Truck Driver Negligence
- Other Causes of Truck Accidents
- Can a Trucking Company Be Liable for a Crash?
- Severe Truck Accident Injuries
- Get Full Compensation Today
It is critical to discover all evidence relevant to your trust accident. Truck companies will be working with their attorneys and insurance carriers to aggressively defend themselves after a wreck, even when it seems clear that their drivers caused the accident. Through our investigation and legal expertise, including access to top-notch expert witnesses in the fields of accident reconstruction and trucking practices, we will build a persuasive case to obtain the most compensation possible for you.
Some common causes of truck accidents include:
- Exhausted driving: Trucker drivers can be scheduled for up to 14 hours or longer in a single day due to loopholes in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) regulations. Such long hours often cause truck drivers to get exhausted toward the end of their shifts, which increases the risk of causing an accident.
- Impaired driving: There have been cases in which truck drivers take stimulants – such as off-the-shelf daytime cold medicines or controlled substances– to keep themselves awake during long shifts. These stimulants can cause impairment due to side effects such as slowed reaction times or foggy thinking.
- Distracted driving: As with any type of driver, truck drivers can be distracted by smart phone use, causing a collision.
- Unsafe lane changes: A commercial truck’s blind spots are typically much larger than those of cars. On the right side of a truck, for example, numerous vehicles can be hidden from sight. Truck drivers need to change lanes and merge with extreme caution, which includes giving motorists plenty of time to get out of the way if needed.
Not all truck accidents are caused solely by the mistakes of the truck driver involved. Depending on what we uncover in our investigation of the crash, there may be additional parties that are also responsible for causing the accident, and thus financially liable for your injuries.
Examples of Causes Beyond the Truck Driver:
- Poorly loaded cargo: When cargo and freight items are loaded into or onto a truck’s trailer, the truck driver usually has little input in the process. For example, retail stores are expected to use their own employees to place pallets on the truck for warehouse returns. If the load crews overload the truck or make it top-heavy and that weight distribution results in a crash later, then the company that put the cargo in the trailer could be liable..
- Defective maintenance or truck parts: In some cases, a truck accident’s cause can be traced back to a defective part or to improper maintenance. Brakes, axles, and tires, in particular, can cause sudden accidents if they fail while the vehicle is in motion. If we discover that a truck part defect caused the wreck, or that a repair was performed improperly, then the part manufacturer or maintenance company may also be liable for the collision.
If a truck driver is an employee, then their employer will likely be liable for any crashes they cause. This legal rule is called respondeat superior. In summary, this doctrine makes employers liable for the negligence of their employees when committed in the course and scope of their employment.
If the trucker who hit you is categorized as an independent contractor by the truck company, then it e may be more difficult to attribute liability to the trucking company. However, whether a truck company calls a driver an independent contractor is not determinative; the driver’s employment status will ultimately be determined by the objective circumstances surrounding their employment, such as the amount of control the company exerts over the driver’s schedule. Our truck accident attorneys in San Ramon have the experience to ensure that these important legal issues are determined correctly and that all parties that should bear legal responsibility are held accountable.
18-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds before violating FMCSA regulations. Due to the massive weight and size of a semi-truck, a collision between this type of vehicle and a smaller car can, and often does, result in catastrophic injuries or death. It is typical for a truck driver to suffer minor injuries in a serious crash, but the occupants in the other cars will need emergency medical attention.
Injuries suffered in truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries: Blunt force trauma to the head during a truck accident can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that results in lifelong consequences.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spine injuries are commonly suffered in truck accidents. Severe neck or back injuries might include spinal cord damage that causes partial or complete paralysis.
- Amputations: Particularly violent truck accidents can cause severe limb injuries, including amputations..
- Third-degree burns: If a vehicle catches on fire in a truck accident, passengers might suffer third-degree burns.
Our firm has the financial and legal resources to secure full compensation from all responsible parties in complex truck accident cases. We have built a reputation for legal excellence in Contra Costa County for over 40 years, securing dozens of multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements for victims.