Commercial trucks may legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Most passenger cars weigh between 2000 and 3500 pounds. This makes trucking accidents especially dangerous for passenger vehicles.
Truck accident cases generally involve comparing the plaintiff’s negligence to that of various defendants such as the truck driver, truck owner, and those loading and servicing the truck.
Expert truck accident witnesses will often be used to interpret and explain information about the truck crash and appropriate damages for a jury.
Truck accident damages may include costs of medical care, compensation for pain and suffering, loss of current and future wages, loss of life enjoyment, and sometimes punitive damages.
Car drivers injured in truck crashes may needlessly endanger their compensation by politely assuring others that they are not injured, that the accident was their fault, or that they will ensure that injury costs are paid. Except when seeking help for injuries, drivers in truck accidents should not speak to anyone at the truck crash scene besides the police.
Drivers should seek medical attention after truck accidents even if they do not immediately believe they were injured.
Drivers in truck crashes should be interviewed by the police, note witnesses identities, and ensure that their car is secured.
Drivers of trucks above a certain weight must have a special license.
Drivers of trucks above a certain weight are subject to drug and alcohol testing.
Commercial truck drivers can drive only a limited number of hours per day and per week.
Commercial truck drivers must keep special log books to document their time on and off work.
Drivers of trucks above a certain weight must maintain vehicle maintenance records.
Truck accident lawsuits begin with an initial complaint and response. This is followed by discovery of evidence and then settlement or trial.
Most truck accident lawsuits end in settlement rather than trial.
The rule of comparative negligence states that drivers cannot be compensated if they are 50% or more at fault in an accident.
Truck crashes are generally caused either by driver error or vehicle error.
On-board “black boxes” are supposed to document the actions of the truck in the minutes and moments leading up to a truck crash.
Driver fatigue is considered to be the leading cause of truck crashes. It often arises due to the pressures on truck drivers to complete their journeys quickly.
Substance abuse and speeding are other major sources of driver error and truck crashes.
Vehicle error may occur due to design defects in a truck component, improper truck maintenance, and improper loading of cargo.
Truck drivers, truck owners, and others in the trucking industry have been known to falsify or intentionally suppress driver’s and maintenance logs to protect their interests after a truck crash.
Regulations, statistics, and safety advice is available from various government, non-profit, insurance industry, and trucking industry related websites.
Even someone who is partially at fault can be compensated for damages in a truck accident.
One of the most important things you can do if you are in a truck accident is to contact an experienced California big rig accident attorney as soon as possible, before evidence becomes unavailable.