Dedicated San Luis Obispo 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Lawyer
One of the most horrifying, dangerous, and violent types of accidents on our lovely California streets is an 18-wheeler truck accident, which may have injured you or someone you care about. You cannot overstate the full extent of how disastrous such events may be. Accidents involving semi-trucks can result in severe bodily, psychological, and financial losses. Our 18-wheeler truck accident attorneys can help you with accidents like this in California.
Suppose a semi-truck driver has left you or your loved one injured, or worse, in a traffic accident. In that case, you need the professional legal services of our experienced San Luis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer. 805 Law Group is an 18-wheeler truck accident law firm in California, and we have been helping victims of truck accidents like you for several years. You may count on our devoted semi-truck accident law office to assist you in getting the compensation you are entitled to.
Why Do You Need an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Lawyer in California?
Accidents involving 18-wheelers are different from those involving other types of motor vehicles. While it’s generally a good idea to speak with a lawyer following any accident, it is crucial if the collision includes a big commercial truck.
When you file a claim for a semi-truck injury, you will be up against one or more corporate organizations with a lot of legal expertise and financial resources that you are not even close to having on your own.
In other words, without legal counsel, you’re fighting on shaky ground after a semi-truck accident and require our California truck accident lawyer. We can fight to get you the maximum financial compensation you are entitled to and can defend your interests and protect you at all times.
Below are several specific reasons why hiring our skilled SanLuis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer after a semi-truck crash is in your best interest.
Truck Carriers and Insurance Companies Are Aggressive and Working Against You
At least one thing unites trucking businesses and insurance providers: their primary concern is financial security. Even if the trucking business is unquestionably at blame in a semi-truck accident, you should anticipate that the firm and its insurance provider would do everything in their power to limit your financial recovery. They could even make an effort to refute your assertion.
You should know right away that these businesses are not obligated to treat you fairly like a lawyer. In addition to other obligations, trucking businesses are responsible for following the law, properly hiring and training drivers, and setting appropriate timetables for their employees.
Meanwhile, insurance providers are responsible for upholding the provisions of their contracts and treating injury claims properly (though some insurance companies are notorious for mishandling claims or unfairly denying them without justification).
However, neither of these parties is responsible for defending your legal rights, in the same manner our San Luis Ob18-wheeler truck accident lawyer would. Therefore, you might expect both businesses to put up much effort to safeguard their revenues.
They may resort to unfair but frequently successful strategies to escape their responsibility. We can assist you in fending off those strategies and avoiding the errors that insurers hope you make.
Truck Accident Law is Complex
In addition to standard personal injury laws and traffic regulations that apply to all drivers, additional rules and legislation are unique to the commercial trucking sector. These laws are exceedingly complicated and are in place on both the state and federal levels.
Due to the frequency and risk of semi-truck accidents and the long history of safety violations by truck carrier businesses, Congress passed stringent federal laws for the sector. Regulations apply to the manufacture of the trucks, their daily operation, ongoing maintenance, and the way they must be driven, among other things.
For instance, semi-truck drivers need a particular form of driver’s license. Additionally, they are only permitted to drive for a certain number of hours before stopping to rest. Because drowsy driving frequently ranks as one of the major contributing factors to significant semi-truck accidents in the United States, these Hours of Service laws are incredibly crucial.
One or more laws were regularly broken by the driver, the truck carrier, or the truck manufacturer in semi-truck accidents in California.
Even if you are unaware of them, the pertinent laws might significantly affect your claim and your chances of obtaining financial compensation. You can get assistance from our knowledgeable San Luis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer to determine which laws might apply to your situation.
Evidence is crucial in semi-truck accident cases because they frequently entail substantial financial damages, strong opposition from the other side, and a complicated body of legislation (as mentioned above).
At 805 Law Group, we have coordinated a comprehensive semi-truck accident investigation in most of these cases. As part of that investigation, our San Luis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer will typically look for the following kinds of evidence:
- Expert reconstruction of the accident scene
- Witness accounts
- Video footage from the surrounding area
- Road plans or designs from the city, county, or relevant jurisdiction
- The truck driver’s employment history, qualifications, and license status
- The truck driver’s driving history (including mandatory driving logs)
- The truck driver’s assigned route and schedule
- The truck company’s insurance policy information
- The truck company’s knowledge of relevant problems or safety concerns
- The truck’s ECM data (Electronic Control Module, similar to an airplane’s black box)
- Medical records
- Vehicle property damage evidence
- Other relevant evidence
It’s Easy to Make Critical Errors on Your Own
Adjusters for insurance claims are skilled at deceiving accident victims and their families. Following their typical playbook, they will hope to lead you into making contradictory or self-defeating statements (unplanned admissions of fault, for example). They could pressure you to provide an unrepresented recorded statement or respond to probing questioning.
Even if you believe your claim to be entirely true and have no intention of answering dishonestly, it’s still possible to make a mistake or be caught off guard, especially under a time constraint. You need to be concerned with more than simply your remarks. Online activity is one of the daily actions they might use against you.
Additionally, there are detailed procedural requirements and timelines to be aware of. Our knowledgeable San Luis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer will handle every part of your claim and assist you in avoiding mistakes that might jeopardize your legal rights.
Having an Experienced Advocate in Your Corner Brings Peace of Mind
The best decisions in life are guided by knowledge and planning. By hiring our skilled San Luis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer after a semi-truck accident, you tap into years of experience and perspective. You work with someone knowledgeable about these situations and how to address them.
It may be pretty calming to know that you have a skilled advocate on your side when you most need it. Our legal team will handle every part of your case to relieve you of that load and allow you to concentrate on the path ahead.
California Semi-Truck Basics
A semi-truck is only one of the terms used for the massive commercial trucks that roam our highways and byways. Big rig, 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, and semi-trailer trucks, large trucks are other terms.
However, whichever name you choose, it designates a commercial vehicle that is made up of two components and is incredibly large, heavy, and cumbersome:
The tractor is the motorized front section of the semi-truck that includes the driver’s cab and is connected to the cargo trailer that is attached to the back via a coupling mechanism. The tractor and trailer may move together with considerable freedom thanks to this connection device, which functions somewhat like a hinge.
The trailer is the extended back section of the truck that often connects to the cargo space. Tractor-trailers can occasionally tow many trailers, forming what some refer to as “road trains” or “land trains.”
Accidents involving semi-trucks are deadly, and claims involving semi-trucks are complex. Your rights and the financial compensation to which you are entitled matter. If a big rig leaves you injured, consult with our knowledgeable San Luis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer today.
California Truck Safety Laws
Both trucking companies and truck drivers are subject to various truck safety requirements. But when these regulations are broken, accidents frequently happen.
First, trucking businesses must keep their owned or leased trucks in good condition. This calls for the proper engine operation, steering, lighting, braking systems, and other mechanical components. Trucking businesses must do regular maintenance and safety checks to ensure trucks operate safely.
Additionally, it is necessary to save and make accessible records of all inspections and repairs. In conclusion, trucking businesses that disregard these regulations may be held accountable for mishaps that result in severe injuries or fatalities.
Additionally, truck drivers are accountable for driving their trucks safely and following the law. They must, in particular, get special licenses, adhere to driving restrictions, and take frequent rest intervals. Truckers must deal with tight delivery dates, travel great miles, and frequently breach the law.
In addition to quickly falling asleep at the wheel, truck drivers sometimes use stimulants like methamphetamine to remain awake. No matter what contributed to an accident-driver inattention, driver fatigue, or driver impairment-the results can be disastrous, and reckless truck drivers may also be held accountable.
What Are the Common Types of Truck Accidents?
RolloversTruck rollovers can happen for various reasons:
- Steep inclines and drops.
- Hitting curbs.
- Swerving to avoid obstacles or other cars.
- Taking curves too quickly.
- Inadequately loaded goods.
JackknifesThese accidents occur when the drive axle brakes of a large rig lock, forcing the trailer to slide and eventually halt after forming a 90-degree angle with the trailer. The truck turns over onto other vehicles while it is jackknifing, and the trucker is powerless to stop it.
Brake FailuresBoth improperly installed and poorly maintained brakes can fail, while aging brakes and sudden stops cause overheating. These situations raise the possibility of collisions, especially with bigger trucks and tractor-trailers.
Runaway TrucksTruck drivers must be taught how to apply the brakes so that each application slows down the vehicle’s speed. A runaway truck accident can be brought on by a driver who employs incorrect procedures, such as abruptly slamming on the brakes.
Blind SpotsMore significant blind spots may be seen on the sides and back of most commercial trucks. However, failure to stay out of these so-called “No-Zone” areas might result in accidents for drivers of motor vehicles.
Rear-EndA truck that collides with the back of a smaller vehicle may seriously injure its occupants due to its cargo’s weight.
Under- RideIf a big rig driver suddenly slams on the brakes, vehicles traveling behind can become crushed under the rear trailer, often resulting in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
Wide TurnThese accidents, also known as swinging turn accidents or squeeze-play accidents, happen when truckers fail to account for the distance required to make a turn or see smaller vehicles directly in front of a trailer.
What Are the Common Truck-Related Causes of 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents in California?
To a certain extent, trucking businesses and their drivers are accountable for upholding strict safety regulations, which include routinely scheduled maintenance and safety inspections of their trucks. Failure to do so may lead to fatal truck accidents on our roads.
Several common truck-related causes contribute to many dangerous accidents:
The Truck’s Tires
Because they have 18 enormous tires, large trucks are known as 18-wheelers. There is a lot of wear and tear because these tires attach these massive vehicles to the ground.
A worn or otherwise problematic tire on an 18-wheeler may make it difficult for the driver to retain control, creating hazardous driving conditions for everyone sharing the road with the vehicle.
Further, a blown tractor-trailer tire often leaves dangerous debris on the road, which can lead to additional accidents. Large rubber pieces combined with moving vehicles might be hazardous.
The Truck’s Brakes
Because trucks are many times larger and heavier than noncommercial vehicles, they take that much longer to come to complete and safe stops, and their brakes get a good workout in the process.
For safety, semi-trucks intricate braking systems must be kept in top condition. When they aren’t or when these brakes are defective from the start, it can lead to highly deadly accidents.
The Truck’s Coupling Device
The hitch that attaches a truck’s motorized tractor, which houses the driver’s cab, to the trailer that pulls behind it is known as the coupling device. To securely cross our roadways in a big truck, the integrity of this connection device is crucial.
The severity of horrible accidents caused by coupling devices that have been improperly built, damaged, malfunctioning, or worn cannot be overstated.
It’s time to speak with a professional California 18-wheeler accident law firm if you sustain injuries in an accident brought on by a truck with a defective part, regardless of whether it was created during the manufacturing process or by poor maintenance by missing safety inspections.
Our professional San Luis Obispo18-wheeler truck accident lawyer has the skills and dedication required to diligently pursue the compensation you need to navigate the complex and time-consuming journey to your complete recovery.
What is the Truck's "Black Box," and What Does It Track?
The term “black box” refers to the digital onboard recorder many commercial trucks have recently been equipped with.
When a semi-truck crash happens, this device gathers data that may be highly useful to accident investigators since it frequently sheds light on what went wrong. The information obtained by this box during an accident involving a semi-truck may be crucial in figuring out what happened and who was to blame.
The “black box” keeps track of the truck’s speed, braking performance, steering input, use of its turn signals, and other details.
805 Law Group has access to experts who can review this data and determine what might have contributed to the accident. Getting this information as soon as possible is crucial to prevent it from being lost or overwritten.
What to Do After an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident in California?
The aftermath of an 18-wheeler truck accident can be pretty chaotic. Follow these easy steps to protect your health and your right to damage:
Move Your Vehicle
If it is possible, move your vehicle from the flow of traffic. If you stay on the road, you risk getting hit again or injuring yourself.
You should skip this step if you or anybody else within the vehicle is seriously injured since it is more crucial that you avoid endangering anyone else.
Being inside the vehicle might be risky. It can result in a pile-up accident if you do not move it as soon as possible. Before moving the vehicle, you should, if at all possible, take pictures of the scene to support your claim.
Report the Accident
After a truck accident, you must report the incident as quickly as possible to safeguard your legal rights. If you do not file a police report, 805 Law Group may still be able to help you file a claim for damages, but it will be much more complex and complicated.
In California, you are required by law to report a collision to the police, even if the damage is minimal. This is because any truck accident damage to a vehicle will total over $500 (the minimum required to warrant a call to the police), and the police will need to reroute traffic while the accident is dealt with.
Seek Medical Attention
After a truck accident, it’s crucial to get medical help immediately, even if you don’t think you’re injured. This is for your safety and will ensure that our knowledgeable San Luis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident attorney has the supporting evidence for your claim. Calling an ambulance for help should be your first action if you are badly injured.
After the police have released you from the truck accident scene, always proceed to an emergency room. You might have injuries that aren’t yet manifested as symptoms. Whiplash, internal bleeding, and severe brain damage might take hours or days to manifest. There could have been lasting damage by then.
Following a truck accident, gathering evidence is essential. Even though 805 Law Group has expert investigators that can compile evidence to back up your claim, you should still obtain any further supporting information.
If you can, write down the names of everyone you talk with and obtain their contact information. You should also take photos at the scene and make notes of any witnesses. Try to keep a record of events as well. You can use this to reconstruct the sequence of events later on in your damage claim.
Although gathering this information might seem obvious, it is possible to forget essential advice like this in the commotion that follows an accident. That is why every driver should know these steps before they are in an accident.
Watch What You Say
You must protect your interests. If you say anything such as “It’s fine,” “I’m fine,” etc., you could risk losing your claim for damages. This is because people can cite this information as you not having been injured. Even if you hadn’t yet had a medical examination, this might invalidate any potential claims you could make for damages.
Remember, our knowledgeable San Luis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer will be on your side. Don’t let this discourage you from claiming if you were seriously hurt and unintentionally uttered something they may have misinterpreted.
What Are the Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries?
Tractor-trailer accidents can have various reasons, but the injuries that follow can sometimes be quite severe. A truck may easily inflict catastrophic damage to any vehicle it collides with because of the size and weight difference between it and other cars on the road.
After being struck by a truck, drivers may experience shattered bones, back problems, brain injuries, face abrasions, paralysis, and other severe health conditions.
In an accident with a semi-truck or an 18-wheeler, it is crucial to seek medical assistance immediately. Your doctor will examine your injuries in detail and decide what treatments are required for your situation.
Your insurance provider could decline to cover related medical expenses if you contributed to the accident. You need our seasoned San Luis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer to fight for the just compensation you are entitled to.
Who is Liable for a Trucking Accident?
Proving liability after a truck accident is often more complicated than a basic car-to-car collision. After a truck crash, several parties could be legally responsible for a victim’s injuries and other losses (“damages”), including:
- the truck driver
- the owner of the truck or trailer
- the cargo loader
- the truck manufacturer or a parts manufacturer
- a local government or contractor responsible for highway design or maintenance
If several parties could be held liable for a truck accident, you might be able to maximize your compensation by making multiple claims.
Truck Driver Liability
You might file a lawsuit against a truck driver if their negligence, such as driving while tired, distracted, or speeding, resulted in an accident. Since a truck driver is often in charge of doing maintenance checks and ensuring that the cargo is loaded correctly, if a maintenance issue or cargo shift causes a truck accident, the trucker may be at least partially to blame for the incident.
However, suppose a truck driver’s insurance policy can’t pay for your injuries. In that case, our knowledgeable San Luis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer will seek other parties who might be at fault, such as the trucking company.
Trucking Company Liability
Trucking companies sometimes try to shield themselves from trucking accident liability by requiring drivers to own their trucks as independent owner-operators. However, a trucking company’s argument that the driver is the sole person accountable because of their status as an independent contractor won’t always be valid.
Some of the questions that a court takes into consideration when deciding if the trucking company is also liable include:
- How much control does the trucking company have over the driver?
- Can the driver enter into contracts with other trucking companies, or is the driver exclusively with one carrier?
- Does the trucking company set the driver’s working hours and routes?
- Can the driver refuse a load?
- How does the trucking company pay the driver?
- Is the driver responsible for insurance, including workers’ compensation and liability insurance?
- Is the trucking company using the driver’s independent contractor status to shield it from liability even though the driver performs all the functions that an employee would perform?
The court will evaluate the relationship between the business and the driver and assign liability after considering these (and other) factors. Generally speaking, a driver’s status as an independent contractor won’t relieve the trucking company of liability.
According to federal laws, a business with a trucking license is liable for any accidents involving a truck bearing its placard or name. It doesn’t matter if the driver is an employee or an independent contractor.
Cargo Shipper and Loader Liability
When a carrier works as a contractor to ship cargo for another company, they could seal the shipment the whole time the trucking company deals with it. Someone might be held accountable for the accident if the cargo was incorrectly loaded or secured.
For instance, a loader who used the wrong straps overloaded the trailer or neglected to use enough tie-downs may be liable.
Truck and Parts Manufacturer Liability
Poor maintenance may have contributed to the breakdown of a truck component, such as a flat tire, failed brakes, or a steering issue. You could also hold the manufacturer and distributor liable if the failed component or system resulted from a defect.
Local Government Liability
Local governments and their contractors may be liable if a road contains flaws that contributed to the collision, such as poor design, cracked pavement, or a wet spot.
Other potential reasons for an accident that the local government or its contractors might be held legally responsible for include
- a work zone setup that resulted in an accident
- insufficient warning signs
- faulty guardrails.
What is the Truck Accident Statute of Limitations in California?
As a truck accident victim, you must move swiftly to file your claim to meet California’s filing deadline, often known as the statute of limitations. A victim of an accident in California typically has two years from the date of the 18-wheeler truck accident or the discovery of their injuries to initiate a civil lawsuit for damages.
In most cases, the courts will dismiss a claim for personal injury or wrongful death if it is not filed within that time frame. After a semi-truck crash, don’t hesitate to act. To protect your legal rights, get in touch with our competent San Luis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
What is the Compensation for Truck Accident Victims in California?
The answer will be different for each accident victim, but the types of damages that can be awarded include
- economic damages,
- non-economic damages,
- punitive damages
Depending on the details of your truck accident injury case, a settlement or judgment award may be able to compensate you for a wide range of damages.
Find out what your specific accident case could be worth during an initial consultation with a skilled San Luis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer from our law firm.
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle damages
- Lost wages
- Past and future losses
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Life-changing disabilities
- Punitive damages
For the most part, severe and catastrophic truck accident cases will receive greater compensation than minor claims. More compensation may be granted by a judge or jury in cases of wrongful death or grave or severe physical injury. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to non-economic, economic, and punitive damages as a truck accident victim.
Punitive damages are an additional award you may get from a judge if the defendant caused your injury with gross negligence or recklessness. We are not afraid to take claims to court if we believe it will result in better compensation for the client.
How Can Our San Luis Obispo 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
A trucking company’s principal objective following an accident is to shield itself from liability. Despite having sufficient insurance, most trucking businesses prefer not to assign blame for accidents. They will employ enormous legal resources to avoid accountability and spend less money.
Our skilled San Luis Obispo County 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer has matching resources we can put to good use on your behalf. We can use forceful legal tactics to establish liability against the trucking firm and assist you in building a solid case.
During insurance negotiations, we will not let you settle for less than your case is worth. Whether a major trucking company or a single trucker, our personal injury attorney will fight for the highest compensation from all responsible parties.
Call Our San Luis Obispo 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Lawyer Today.
We at 805 Law Group are prepared to assist you if a careless driver injured you in a truck accident. Our knowledgeable San Luis Obispo 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer can assist you in gathering evidence, looking into your claim, and bringing legal action against those responsible for the collision. We represent injured truck accident clients in California.