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Sacramento Truck Accident Attorney

Call Today if You Have Been Injured in a Trucking Accident

Commercial trucks have made the transportation of large quantities of things easier, cheaper, and more reliable than ever. However, as with any large piece of machinery, these giants also include an added risk to safety. With their tremendous weight, high levels of horsepower, and often limited operating visibility, these machines cause numerous injuries every year, many of them severe.

If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation benefits for things such as your medical expenses, rehabilitation, and even property damage. It is difficult for the average person to know whether they may be able to receive compensation, but a skilled Sacramento truck accident attorney could help you make that determination.

Call our Sacramento personal injury law firm at (916) 571-0400 today.

Attorneys James Smolich and Robert Smolich of Smolich & Smolich are Board Certified Specialists® in Workers’ Compensation law by the State Bar of California. Their dedicated firm has helped numerous clients with a host of various personal injury claims, including commercial truck injuries.

How can you be injured by a truck?

Truck technology is constantly advancing and improving and all commercial vehicles are subject to various regulations to help keep drivers on the road safe. Regardless, the nature of what these machines are asked to do every day makes complete safety difficult.

  • You could be injured in a number of ways by a commercial truck, including:
  • Negligent or failed maintenance
  • Driver negligence or inexperience
  • Improper or unsecured cargo
  • Poor visibility
  • Texting or cell phone use
  • Tire blowout
  • Loss of control

Who is Liable for a Truck Accident?

Truck accident cases differ from typical vehicle collision cases because there are often multiple parties who may be liable for the resulting damages. Yes, a car accident case can involve multiple defendants, but this is much rarer than it is in truck accident cases.

In most cases, the truck driver will probably be primarily liable for accident damages. It is ultimately their responsibility to know how to operate their vehicle, and how to do it safely. However, it is possible that another person’s negligence could have limited their ability to drive safely — for example, if they were not trained properly. In these cases, that at-fault party would be liable for damages as well. Additional liability in truck accident cases generally falls on the trucking company, the driver’s employer. Trucking companies are often responsible for maintaining their vehicles and monitoring driver behavior as well, so any employer negligence can potentially contribute to an accident.

Other third parties who may be liable for truck accident damages include vehicle manufacturers and retailers, and the people who are responsible for maintaining the roads. A vehicle producer could be liable in cases of defective truck parts. If an accident is caused by hazardous road conditions, the city or state that repairs the road could be responsible for collisions that are caused by their negligence.

Causes of Truck Accidents

The cause of a truck accident can be attributed to a variety of factors that may be directly or indirectly related to the truck driver themselves. Like in any motor vehicle collision case, driver negligence is often the primary cause of truck accidents — this can range from more common negligent driving behaviors like speeding, to extremely reckless behavior such as drinking and driving. Large semi-trucks are very difficult to operate, so collisions can also be caused by any external influence that causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle, such as weather, reduced visibility, maintenance issues, or heavy cargo.

Although a driver may have caused the accident, a truck collision could also be the result of negligence throughout the trucking company. Even driver behaviors such as driving while fatigued could be a consequence of a demanding schedule and inadequate rest time as ordered by an employer. Driving a truck is a complex responsibility, so any oversight within a trucking organization can eventually contribute to an accident.

A truck accident can be caused by:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Improperly loaded cargo, heavy cargo, or dangerous cargo
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Improper maintenance
  • Negligent hiring and training of truck drivers
  • Alcohol and/or drug intoxication

California Truck Accident Statistics

The roads of California are home to many large trucks that transport the state’s abundant agricultural products throughout the area and across the country. The number of semi-trucks in the state present an inherent risk of collision, and in California’s populated urban areas, this risk could be greater. The high volume of traffic congestion around Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco contributes to a heightened possibility of truck accidents.

The following statistics demonstrate the dangers of truck accidents in the state of California and throughout the United States:

  • According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4.761 people were killed in truck accidents in 2017.
  • “Large-truck drivers have a higher percentage (20.7%) of previously recorded crashes compared to drivers of other vehicle types (motorcycles, 20.3%; passenger cars, 19.1%; and light trucks, 17.0%).” (NHTSA).
  • In California in 2017, 6.7% of the vehicles involved in fatal crashes were large trucks (NHTSA).
  • There were 361 people killed in truck accidents in California in 2017 (NHTSA).

Commercial trucks are not limited to just 18-wheeler semi-trucks either. Bulldozers, cranes, earthmovers, dump trucks, harvesters/combines, and delivery vans could all be classified as commercial trucks. Truck accidents can lead to devastating injuries or even death. Pick up the phone and retain the legal counsel of an experienced Sacramento truck accident lawyer to get the compensation you are eligible for today.

Don’t let your case pass the statute of limitations without filing your claim! Contact Smolich & Smolich online today and get a free initial case evaluation.

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