How Many Truck Accidents Happen Per Year?Truck accidents are not uncommon. Over half a million accidents involving trucks occur each year, with over 5,000 fatalities coming from those incidents. The high number is due to the sheer size of trucks and how devastating crashes can be. Trucks traveling at the same speed as cars can cause extreme damages because of the increase in mass. The majority of truck crashes occur on the freeway or highway, generally due to some mistaken merge or lack of unawareness. A driver may not stop in time, may not see the truck driver signaling, or may cut a truck off. Similarly, a truck driver may not see a car in the lane next to him that he is trying to mere into or he may be traveling too fast to adequately stop. For more information, you can call our firm. We have experience truck accident attorneys in San Bernardino who can help you understand more about such incidents.
What Causes Truck Accidents To Happen?There are many different causes of truck accidents. Some of them can be contributed to the truck drivers themselves while others can be blamed on the fellow drivers on the road. A few causes can be found below:
- Driver fatigue: Many truck drivers are behind the wheel for hours at a time, sometimes traveling across state lines to make deadlines and drop off their cargo or pick up some materials. If drivers do not adequately rest on these trips, there is the chance that they will fall asleep at the wheel or have much lower reflex times and awareness. Many truck drivers have veered off the road at night because they were too tired to continue driving.
- Careless driving: Truck drivers can also operate their vehicles dangerously in an attempt to make up for lost time. Some are likely to speed and tailgate while others do not adhere to right of way laws. Many truck drivers may run red lights and stop signs as well. While on the highway, they may not properly look when turning, which can lead to sideswipes and other crashes.
- Improper loads: The cargo in a truck’s trailer or on the truck’s bed can be loaded wrongly, which may increase the chances of accidents. If a trailer is not properly distributed in weight, it can tip over during turns. Some beds are also left uncovered but are overfilled, while others have machinery and equipment on them – without a warning for wide loads.
- Truck defects: Trucks may sustain brake damage, unhitched trailers, engine troubles, blown tires, broken lights and blinkers, and more, which can all contribute to crashes.
- Drunk driving: There are many instances where truck drivers will drive while under the influence of alcohol, which greatly contributes to crashes. These drivers may also take certain drugs and pills to stay awake.
- Weather and environmental troubles: In some areas, the weather can make it extremely difficult to drive. Truck drivers may drive through fog, heavy rain, sleet, snow, blizzards, floods, and more, which can cause them to crash.
What Should I Do After A Truck Crash?After you have been involved in a truck crash, it is important that you follow these steps. Not only will you be safe and protected, but you will also have a good foundation for a lawsuit. Firstly, you should get medical attention to check your health. Even if you feel you were not harmed, you should see paramedics or go to the doctor. Some injuries can creep up on you days later or may not be readily felt because of your adrenaline. Quick medical attention will sufficiently link your injuries to the accident, whereas waiting too long will raise a red flag to an insurance agent. You should ask for a copy of any notes from the paramedic or doctor, and of course the bill of receipt from the hospital. You should also photograph these injuries to show them from different angles and to adequately showcase the damage. Their freshness and severity can be highlighted. If there were any eyewitnesses or passengers who saw the accident happen, you can request that they give testimony which can be used to help your claim. It is wise to get the contact information and insurance details from the truck driver so you can file a claim with the correct party. You can take pictures of the scene of the accident, the damage to your car, the damage to the truck, and more, as this will all help illustrate how the crash happened and the results of it. The police will likely show up to conduct an investigation. Upon their completion of it, you can request a copy of the police report. Finally, it is highly recommended that you reach out to a truck accident lawyer in San Bernardino. You may not have the legal experience necessary to win a claim; it is very difficult to do so, especially with all of the negotiating required and the knowledge of the law needed. A qualified lawyer for truck accidents in San Bernardino can be crucial to your case. An attorney will help you prove that the truck driver was negligent. Negligence is the basis on which personal injury claims are filed. You can show tht the truck wdriver owed you a duty of care that was breached, and that breach of duty resulted in an accident and physical injuries to your person. If you cannot prove these four points, you will likely not succeed with your lawsuit.
How Long Do I Have To File A Truck Accident Lawsuit?In California, you have 2 years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit against the truck driver or company. This 2-year limit is in place to ensure that claims are not left sitting around while evidence gets lost or corrupted. The longer a claim sits, the less relevant becomes and the more likely it is that the expenses all get paid off or the parties no longer live nearby. The statute of limitations can be temporarily suspended, though. For example, if you were under the age of 18 when you were hit by a truck, you would not have to adhere to the deadline until you turned legal age, and you would have until you’re 20 to take action. Further, you may have been so seriously hurt whether mentally or physically, that you could not reliably file a claim. The statute would thus be put on hold until you returned to a functioning state of mind. Additionally, the defendant may have vacated the state, which could also suspend the time limit until he returned, allowing you a lot of extra time to get all your evidence together. It can be confusing to keep track of these dates, and it is very likely that you will not remember the exact time you need to file a lawsuit. Our firm can make sure that all your documents are filed within the acceptable time frame. You will not be in danger of missing the deadline and not being able to take any action at all. Talk with one of our truck crash lawyers in San Bernardino today for more assistance.
What Is The Value Of A Truck Accident Claim?The value of a truck accident claim will vary depending on the circumstances of the incident. For example, if you were not negligent at all and the truck driver was wholly responsible for the crash, he could be hit with a much larger burden of liability. If you were severely injured in the crash and needed to take time off work, or if there were permanent damages, you could be paid much more. Typically, truck accident claims will be worth around $20,000 or more. In some cases, they could even be worth over $1,000,000, especially if you suffered long term damage or there were instances of gross negligence.
Call (213) 389-3765 to set up a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a case.
What Compensation Can I Get From A Truck Accident Lawsuit?As a victim of a truck accident, you should be able to secure the maximum compensation available for your damages. We will see to it that you are fully covered for your expenses. Our attorneys will fight to bring you restitution for the following:
- Medical expenses, including surgery, hospitalization, ambulatory transportation, medication, physical therapy, and future treatments
- Property damage to any items you had that were lost or broken or the damage to your vehicle
- Lost wages from your job if you were forced to take days off to recover, as well as additional lost income
- Pain and suffering damages to cover anxiety, fear, depression, PTSD, psychological trauma, and more
- Wrongful death damages if a loved one passed away in the accident, which can include funeral and burial fees, pre-death medical bills and pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of expected savings and inheritance, and more
- Punitive damages, which are additional forms of monetary compensation that are handed out when a driver aims to harm you or acts with gross negligence; these are hard to win, though, and only a skilled attorney will have the ability to secure them
Learn more about your legal options by chatting with a representative now.