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Expert Large Truck Accidents Lawyers Sacramento, Northern California
Large Truck Accidents Attorneys
The accident attorneys at York Law Corporation deliver a strategic approach to large truck accidents injury claims, built on our experience with insurers, health professionals and accident reconstruction experts. Our Truck Accident Lawyers Sacramento have experience with cases with complex facts and liability issues. We represent injured truck accident victims utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach. We have strong allies with leading experts enabling us to provide strategic advice from the outset to give our clients the edge they need to prevail in a lawsuit.
York Law Corporation lawyers achieve excellent results in personal injury and accident cases not only preparing the matter for trial, but also presenting the case for trial before a jury or judges. We are devoted to representing individuals and families who have legitimate, serious claims. We have obtained more than $130 million on behalf of our clients in personal injury verdicts and settlements, a true testament to the excellence of our firm.
Accidents involving large trucks are among the most serious and most deadly in the United States. Each year truck crashes kill over 5,000 people and injure almost 150,000 more on our nation’s roads and highways. Nearly 25% of auto vehicle deaths involve a large truck. Large trucks are involved in multiple-vehicle fatal crashes at twice the rate of passenger vehicles.
One of the recurring issues in truck accidents is driver fatigue brought on by driving long hours on the highway. When commercial drivers become fatigued from excessive daily and weekly work hours, they substantially increase the risk of crashes. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 750 people die and 20,000 more are injured each year due directly to fatigued commercial vehicle drivers.
Types of Truck Accidents York Law Firm Handles
Every year, large truck collisions cause over 5,000 fatalities and almost 150,000 injuries. There are several different types of truck accidents York Law Firm handles, including:
- Tractor Trailer Truck Accidents. Accidents involving tractor trailer trucks (also known as semi-truck accidents).
- 18 Wheeler Accidents. These consist of a tractor and a trailer and usually have eighteen wheels.
- Rollover Accidents. Big trucks are more susceptible to rolling over because of their high center of gravity. If a driver takes a curve too fast, the truck is likely to rollover.
- Jackknife Accidents. Jackknife accidents occur when a truck with a tractor goes into a skid causing the trailer to swing out to form a 90 degree angle. It usually occurs when the wheels lock and the front wheels and the trailer keep moving forward.
- Wide turn accident. This accident occurs when the driver swings out too far to make a turn. This endangers the vehicles in other lanes.
- Blind spot accident. This happens when the truck collides with another vehicle in his or her blind spot.
- Brake failure. This occurs if the brakes are too old, improperly maintained or improperly installed. Accidents can also occur if the truck driver does not maintain a safe distance between his or her truck and the vehicle in front (big trucks take longer to stop since they are bigger).
- Head-on collisions. This occurs when a truck collides with an oncoming vehicle and almost always results in fatalities. These accidents will often occur if the truck or vehicle drifts into the oncoming lane.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Accidents involving large trucks are among the most serious and most deadly in the United States. Each year, truck crashes kill over 5,000 people and injure almost 150,000 more on our nation’s roads and highways. Nearly 25 percent of auto vehicle deaths involve a large truck. Large trucks are involved in multiple-vehicle fatal crashes at twice the rate of passenger vehicles.
Driver fatigue. One of the recurring issues in truck accidents is driver fatigue brought on by driving long hours on the highway. When commercial drivers become fatigued from excessive daily and weekly work hours, they substantially increase the risk of crashes. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 750 people die and 20,000 more are injured each year due directly to accidents caused by fatigued commercial vehicle drivers.
Accidents caused by inexperienced drivers. Many trucking companies save money by using untrained, overworked, or inexperienced drivers. Employing these individuals can result in negligent driving and makes them more likely to overturn, jackknife or collide with passenger vehicles.
Turning. Large trucks need more room than passenger vehicles to turn. It is not uncommon for a large truck to use more than one lane to turn. This endangers vehicles in other lanes.
Runaway trailers. Sometimes, a trailer will disconnect from the truck, leaving all vehicles in its way in danger of a collision.
Defective parts. Sometimes, products have a defective design (the design is flawed so that it does not function as a normal consumer would expect it to perform). A tire that inexplicably blows out can indicate a defective design.
Unsecured loads. If load is improperly secured, it can fall off of an 18 wheeler, creating an obstacle course for other vehicles on the road.
Who Is Responsible?
There are many regulations which can be tools to establish liability in truck cases and to show the negligent conduct of the truck driver and the motor carrier contributed to or caused the collision. A violation of a statute or ordinance adopted for the public’s safety may be negligence per se and may establish the violator’s civil liability.
Careful examination of records after an accident often shows serious and even fraudulent violations of those safety regulations. However, trucking companies are only required to maintain many of those records for six months. Without obtaining those records before they are destroyed, the injured person or survivors of a person killed in a truck wreck has a much more difficult time proving the trucking company’s negligence.
In truck crash litigation, it is important to immediately secure all evidence that may otherwise be lost destroyed or unavailable later. Due to the complexity of the regulations surrounding the specifics of accidents involving large trucks and the required prompt action to secure the proper evidence, you should consult a qualified attorney immediately.
Large Truck Accidents vs. Passenger Car Accidents
There’s nothing scarier than seeing an 80,000 pound truck heading straight for you or changing into your lane. The sheer size of the vehicle makes avoidance nearly impossible; all you can do is brace yourself and hope for the best. Unfortunately, many large truck accidents result in fatalities or severe, disabling injuries of all occupants in the passenger vehicle.
York Law Firm understands that there is nothing more tragic than losing a loved one in a large truck collision, or having to watch your loved one cope with a debilitating or life-altering injury. We make it our mission to ensure that all our clients who were injured in truck vs. car collisions are fully compensated for all their past and future medical expenses, physical injuries and pain and suffering. Our attorneys have extensive experience in handling large truck accidents and have obtained our clients millions in verdicts and settlements.
Truck Accident Statistics
National Statistics. Every year, truck crashes kill roughly 5,000 people and injure almost 150,000 more on our nation’s roads and highways. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), large trucks accounted for 9 percent of fatal vehicle crashes; however, they only accounted for 4 percent of injury or property-damage-only crashes. Not surprisingly, large trucks are more likely to result in fatal multi-vehicle crashes than are passenger vehicles. The weight and size of large trucks makes it more likely that a collision between a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle will result in fatalities. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides more current information – in 2008, there were a total of 3,733 large truck accident fatalities.
California Statistics. The National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) found that in the year 2003, California had a total of 5,725 total fatal vehicle crashes. Of them, 332 were from fatal truck accidents. While California is over one hundred fatalities shy of leading the U.S. in fatal truck accidents (Texas led with 438), we are among the top five states with the most fatal truck accidents.
Legal Considerations in a Truck Accident Case
Statute of Limitations. As with any lawsuit, truck accident lawsuits must be filed within a certain period of time of the harmful wrongful conduct, a period known as the statute of limitations. Failure to bring suit within this period may bar your ability to bring suit completely. The statute of limitations, however, differs depending on the subject matter of the case. At York Law Firm, our attorneys can advise and protect your legal claim.
Recovering Damages in a Truck Accident Case
The injured plaintiff can recover past and future medical expenses and non-economic damages (also referred to as pain and suffering – the harms, injuries and losses suffered). Punitive damages can also be awarded when the plaintiff can prove that the wrongdoer acted fraudulently, maliciously or recklessly.
York Law Firm knows how expensive treatment for truck accident injuries can be. It is neither fair nor just that the injured party eat any costs associated with their injury caused by a negligent or reckless large truck driver. The attorneys at York Law Firm are devoted to getting our clients the compensation they deserve.
Types of Damages
Compensatory Damages. Compensatory damages are damages meant to “right the wrong.” In other words, they are meant to reimburse/make up for the injuries, harms and losses sustained by the victim.
There are two types of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include quantifiable amounts such as out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills, lost wages or property damage. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, physical injuries/harms, mental anguish and emotional distress. They also include “loss of consortium,” or damages for loss of society, comfort and care of the injured plaintiff. Because the human loss – physical pain and suffering – are immeasurable, an experienced lawyer can help you quantify your pain and suffering. Non-economic damages will often exceed the amount of economic damages awarded, which is why you need to contact one of our skilled attorneys at York Law Firm. We have extensive experience in advocating for recovery of damages.
Punitive Damages. Damages awarded to the victim in order to punish the wrongdoer for his or her gross negligence are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded where the conduct was malicious or in reckless disregard of the plaintiff’s rights, displaying an indifference to the rights and safety of others. Punitive damages may also be awarded when the defendant’s conduct is fraudulent or oppressive.
Liability in Commercial Truck Accidents
Commercial truck accident injuries are often the result of the driver’s recklessness, carelessness or negligence. Interstate truck drivers must abide by both federal and state safety regulations. Among them are regulations for when and how long commercial motor vehicle drivers may drive (known as “Hours-of-Service” regulations) and several driving regulations such as using extreme caution in hazardous driving conditions and a regulation that prohibits large truck drivers from driving while ill or fatigued.
Proving liability requires thorough investigation, witness reports, and the help of a skilled and experienced truck accident attorney. York Law Firm works with investigators to re-create the scene of the accident and to help us and our clients understand what caused the accident.
Wrongful Death from a Truck Accident
To lose someone you love due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness or carelessness is especially heart-wrenching. When someone dies from gross negligence or the wrongful conduct of another, it is known as “wrongful death.” There is probably nothing you wouldn’t give to see, hold, or talk to your loved one just one more time. Although there is nothing that can truly make up for your loss, the law imposes a duty upon the liable party to pay damages to the plaintiff’s “next of kin”. The next of kin are direct family members such as the deceased person’s husband, wife, domestic partner, children, parents, or siblings, in that order.