Truck Accidents: Know Your Rights
Drivers face a number of significant hazards when they take to the roads in California, one of which is the risk of an accident involving a large commercial truck or tractor-trailer. Auto accidents involving trucks can be especially dangerous, especially for those driving smaller, personal vehicles. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be able to sue for compensation from the trucking company, driver, or another third party.
California’s growing economy has led to increased traffic of commercial trucks, the largest of which may weigh as much as 40 tons. These vehicles lack the maneuverability of smaller cars and require a much greater stopping distance. When a collision occurs, the size and weight of the truck often leads to much more devastating results in terms of injuries and property damage. Sadly, large truck accidents are on the rise in California, and led to 322 fatalities in 2016 (the last year statistics are available).
In order to stay safe on the road, it is important to recognize the potential causes of truck accidents:
Weather – Bad weather is a significant contributing factors for car accidents nationwide, and truck accidents are no different. Rain, snow, and ice all impair visibility and reduce traction on the road. Keep in mind that the roads are often most slippery when it first begins to rain after a dry period.
Road Conditions – Truck accidents can also be caused by substandard conditions of the roads themselves, such as potholes or cracks in the pavement, or poorly marked construction areas.
Driver Inattention – Like any other auto accident, a truck accident can occur if the truck driver takes their focus off of the road for even a second. Although the amount of time a trucker can spend driving is regulated, many truck drivers still spend long hours on the road, making them susceptible to drowsiness. Distracted driving may also result from a driver eating, texting, or talking on the phone while behind the wheel. Although you cannot prevent another driver from losing focus, it is important to drive defensively, knowing distracted drivers are out there.
Driver Error – Although commercial vehicle drivers typically spend a lot more time behind the wheel, they are still prone to making mistakes while driving, especially as they try to maneuver large 18-wheelers.
Truck accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence in California and can lead to serious damage, physically, emotionally, and financially. If you or a family member was hurt in an accident involving a truck or tractor trailer, you may be able to sue for compensation, including the cost of medical treatment, any lost wages or reduced earning capacity, and payment for pain and suffering and mental anguish. A skilled attorney can help determine who was at fault and prepare your case to get the maximum settlement or verdict.
To consult with an experienced California truck accident attorney, please contact us at KG Law.