Truck Accidents Are Always Severe for Those Involved
Commercial trucks: we’ve all driven beside them on the highway. However, can you imagine what it’d be like to get into an accident with one of them? If you landed on this page, then you already know how serious a truck accident can be. If you were involved in an auto accident in Rancho Cucamonga, California, you need top-rated legal representation to advocate for and protect your rights when going up against trucking companies and their insurance companies. Call us to schedule a free consultation today.
Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga?
Accidents with passenger vehicles are often very straightforward. A driver ran a red light. They were drunk. They weren’t paying attention because they were too busy texting on their cell phone. In either scenario, that negligent driver was clearly at fault. Truck accidents, however, aren’t always so black and white and instead operate under shades of gray.
See, liability for Rancho Cucamonga truck accidents can fall on many different parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the manufacturer, and even the cargo loading company. Liability for your trucking accident will depend on the details of your specific case, which is why hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer is so important and valuable to the outcome of your case.
Furthermore, truck drivers and trucking companies have to follow both state and federal regulations that are designed to keep everyone safe, but chances are this isn’t information the average layperson knows after they’ve been involved in an auto accident. But, a lawyer does.
Since truck accident attorneys in Rancho Cucamonga frequently handle truck accident cases, they may be able to tell you off the bat what federal or state laws and regulations were broken simply based on your account and the police report. They will let you know how long you have to file a claim so you don’t miss your window of opportunity. In California, accident victims have two years from the date the truck accident occurred to file a claim. While this seems like a long time, sometimes injuries don’t appear until much later, so the law still wants to give accident victims their fair shot of collecting the compensation they are owed for the truck driver’s negligence.
Another big benefit of hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer is that the law is constantly evolving. In 2022, the National Roadway Safety Strategy plans to issue a nationwide plan to add more cameras to trucks and pay more attention to speed enforcement and distracted driving to curb deadly truck accidents. Since this is an ever-changing law, the need for an experienced truck accident attorney who is up-to-date with these changes is paramount.
Common Causes of Rancho Cucamonga Truck Accidents
Just like other types of motor vehicle accidents in California, truck accidents have several different causes. However, one of the most common includes speeding in an effort to make on-time deliveries. Unfortunately, when a vehicle of this size travels at high speeds, it makes them more susceptible to tipping over, especially if the cargo is improperly loaded to one side. Speeding reduces the control the driver has over their vehicle, putting everyone around them at risk of a collision.
Speeding isn’t the only cause of Rancho Cucamonga truck accidents, though it is one of the most egregious acts of negligence. Other common causes of truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving such as picking up your phone to look at it or responding to a text message. Since truckers are away from home for long periods, they may be more inclined to call or text their family while on the road. Unfortunately, even taking your eyes off the road for a second can have life-altering consequences for another driver.
- Aggressive driving such as tailgating, cutting people off, and weaving in and out of traffic are all common signs of aggressive, reckless behavior behind the wheel. Truck drivers are usually under immense stress to make deliveries or pick-ups on time and unfortunately, some of that stress can come straight from the top. Even though drivers and their bosses are instructed to adhere to state and federal law, that doesn’t mean they will. Not only can this lead to aggressive driving, but it can also lead to fatigued driving.
- Fatigued driving is one of the most common causes of truck accidents not only in Rancho Cucamonga, CA but everywhere across the continental U.S. According to the NHTSA, accidents involving fatigued driving occur between the hours of midnight and 6:00 am. Most truckers are active during the hours of 1:00 am – 4:00 am, putting drivers on the roads at those times at significant risk of colliding with one of these massive vehicles.
Common Injuries Resulting From a Rancho Cucamonga Truck Accident
Because of the sheer size and weight of commercial vehicles, it’s not uncommon for the injuries people sustain in truck accidents to be incredibly severe and often life-threatening. Here’s an overview of the most common injuries resulting from truck accidents in Rancho Cucamonga:
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, the most important thing to do is call 911 so they can block off the accident scene and have emergency personnel there to diminish the risk of a vehicle fire if one of the vehicles involved starts to leak gasoline. After you call 911, here’s what you should do after a truck accident in Rancho Cucamonga, CA:
- Stay inside your vehicle until help arrives and try not to move as this could exacerbate your existing injuries.
- Document the accident scene. While the police will write up a police report that contains contact info for everyone involved, witness statements, and their opinion about who caused the accident, you should try to secure your own evidence as best you can. Write down everything from the street names where the accident occurred, road hazards, weather conditions, make and model of vehicles involved, contact and insurance info from the other driver, skid marks on the road, driver’s license plates, and photos of the vehicle damage. Also, take care to write down the name of the company listed on the truck.
- Go to the doctor. Many injuries take time to appear, but when it comes to a truck accident, most will require immediate medical attention. A medical record can support your personal injury claims and prove that they were the direct result of the truck accident.
Remember, memories fade over time so documenting everything while it’s still fresh in your mind is the best way to preserve the integrity of your account.
Who’s at Fault for a Rancho Cucamonga Truck Accident?
As mentioned before, liability for a Rancho Cucamonga truck accident can fall on many different parties. In some personal injury cases, liability may fall on several entities at the same time depending on the situation. The most common entities at fault for truck accidents include:
- Truck manufacturers who make defective auto parts such as defective tires and brakes
- State contractors who may have failed to maintain the road despite routine travel, or made and implemented a defective highway design
- Third-party vendors such as auto repair shops that failed to fix faulty brakes or companies hired to conduct routine drug and alcohol screenings, or schedule routine truck maintenance
- Cargo owners that improperly loaded the truck, putting too much weight on one side
- Truck companies who negligently hired drivers that have a previous FMSCA infraction such as the failure to make a record of their duty status
- Truck drivers who failed to inspect the rig or oversee cargo loading at a pickup
As mentioned earlier, trucking companies and the drivers they employ are required by state and federal law to adhere to specific safety requirements. For example, under federal law, drivers must take a 30-minute consecutive break if they’ve been driving for eight hours. Drivers and trucking company owners who purposely break this law can have liability placed on them. If multiple parties are at fault, then the plaintiff can go ahead and pursue multiple claims against and seek compensation from those different entities.
How the Value of a Truck Accident Claim is Determined
The value of your truck accident claim is going to depend on the details of your case. As is with all personal injury claims, your lawyer will look at your current and future medical expenses, as well as the damage your vehicle suffered and the total cost of its repairs, or if it was deemed a total loss by the insurance company. They will also consider emergency room expenses, cost of prescription medicine, therapeutic treatments, medical equipment, rehab, surgery, and if your home required reconstruction to account for your injuries such as the addition of a ramp if your injuries left you paralyzed.
Your Rancho Cucamonga truck accident lawyer will also consider your loss of income and future wages, including long-term wages if you’re unable to return to work for a long time, or have to change careers due to your injuries. An example of this would be if you used to work in construction, but can no longer perform the same tasks due to a loss of limb or extreme back pain. In these types of cases, your lawyer will utilize an economic expert to place value on these losses to determine the kind of compensation you need to sufficiently move forward.
However, these aren’t the only kinds of losses you’re able to recover. Because of the severity of truck accidents, it’s not uncommon for people to develop PTSD or Vehophibia, which is a fear of driving that develops after being involved in a crash. A condition like this can make life
debilitating, making it difficult to even approach your car. Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering can include fear and anxiety, as listed above, as well as the suffering that stems from not being able to continue your line of work or having to physically and emotionally suffer through serious surgeries and rehabilitation. All of these factors are used to determine the total value of your truck accident claim.
Why Choose the Truck Accident Lawyers at Sierra Accident Lawyers?
Because of their massive size, those involved in truck accidents suffer serious and often life-threatening injuries. When you’re pursuing a truck accident claim, the defendant is going to want to try and reduce their amount of liability, so one way to counter them is by having a medical expert testify that the injuries you suffered were, in fact, a direct result of the truck accident and driver and/or trucking company’s negligence.
To do this, you need to go with a law firm that has access to the very best medical experts in all of California. At Sierra Accident Lawyers, we have just that. This is just one of the many ways we set ourselves apart from the competition and it’s what’s earned us the reputation of being the top truck accident lawyers in Rancho Cucamonga.
Contact Our Rancho Cucamonga Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck accidents are one of the worst types of motor vehicle accidents you can be involved in. Because of their size and weight, the multiple parties that may be at fault, and the severe injuries that can result from them, you need a Rancho Cucamonga truck accident lawyer who has years of experience with these types of claims.
At Sierra Accident Lawyers, our track record speaks for itself. Our truck accident attorneys have proudly represented truck accident victims and with the help of our reconstruction experts and medical professionals, have been able to maximize compensation for our clients. Call us today at 909-942-7632 to schedule a consultation.