According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, California is the second most dangerous state for truck accidents. In a typical year, nearly 4,000 vehicles in California are involved in fatal truck accidents. Thousands of people are injured in these crashes—usually the occupants of passenger vehicles. These injuries are often quite severe and result in tremendous financial burdens for those involved.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one due to a negligent truck driver, consult with an experienced San Francisco truck accident lawyer from the Law Offices of J. Chrisp to explore your legal options.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in San Francisco
Driving always comes with potential dangers. Operating a machine such as a large truck that weighs as much as 80,000 pounds and is over seventy feet long comes with even greater potential dangers.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include all of the following:
- Fatigued driving
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving, including cell phone use
- Poor maintenance
- Defective truck parts
- Unsafe lane changes
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
The cause of your truck crash will determine who was responsible and how. Your San Francisco truck accident lawyer will use this information to ensure that your case is the strongest possible, and so that you can name all at-fault parties in your lawsuit.
Common Injuries from Truck Crashes
Because trucks are so large, they have the potential to cause significant damage. Some of the most common injuries from truck accidents include:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
Truck accidents can easily result in serious injuries that cause paralysis and other permanent disabilities that decrease your quality of life. In addition to your medical and vehicle repair bills, this impact should be accounted for in your settlement. A San Francisco truck accident lawyer from our firm can properly value your claim, thereby allowing you to receive the compensation you need, now and in the future.
California’s Trucking Laws
The state of California recognizes that the size of big rigs, the demands the trucking industry puts on its drivers, and the frequency of accidents combine to demand strict regulation of the industry.
Truck drivers are subject to limits on the amount of time they may drive, and they must follow rest guidelines before they get behind the wheel. The trucks themselves must pass rigorous and regular inspections in order to ensure all vehicles stay in safe operating condition.
Understanding how to use these laws to either negotiate with trucking companies and their commercial insurers or argue in court is essential for helping truck accident victims gain fair compensation. A San Francisco truck accident lawyer from our firm will be well versed in both approaches, thereby giving your claim the best possible chance for success.
Truck Accidents and Negligence
In order to collect fair compensation from those responsible for your injuries, you might have to file a personal injury lawsuit. Most personal injury cases settle out of court, however. Your San Francisco truck accident lawyer may be able to negotiate with the insurance company or opposing attorneys on your behalf, and that could mean that you never need to step foot into a courtroom.
Your San Francisco truck accident lawyer will seek to prove that a reasonably careful driver would not have caused the accident you experienced. For example, any of the below items could be used to prove a truck driver’s or trucking company’s negligence should they be present in your accident:
- Failure to stop and rest, as shown by sleep logs
- Failure to refrain from texting or talking on the phone while driving
- Improper maintenance procedures
- Failure to follow state and federal laws and regulations
Comparative Negligence in Truck Accident Cases
Insurance companies and opposing attorneys often claim that a plaintiff was partially negligent for what happened in 18-wheeler accidents. Comparative negligence is the idea that two or more parties involved in an accident might be partially to blame for an injury or damages.
For instance, you might have been speeding when the truck driver who hit you fell asleep at the wheel. Or perhaps you made an improper lane change before a truck driver ran you off the road. In both instances you might be found partially responsible, which could reduce your final financial award.
Mitigating your responsibility is one of the single most important reasons to retain the services of a San Francisco truck accident lawyer from our firm.
Compensation for Truck Crash Injuries
You may be eligible for financial compensation if you were injured by a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence. This compensation may be awarded for any expenses or damages you have suffered due to the wreck:
- Medical bills, both current and future
- Lost wages and income due to time off from work
- Pain and suffering
- Home or vehicle modifications to accommodate your injury
- Loss of consortium if your personal relationships have been harmed
All of these elements should be accounted for by your settlement—something that a San Francisco truck accident lawyer from the Law Offices of J. Chrisp will make certain of.
Going to Court vs. Settling Out of Court
The majority of truck accident cases settle out of court. This happens when your San Francisco truck accident lawyer is successful at negotiating a settlement with the insurance company involved.
You will have the opportunity to approve or decline a settlement. We will evaluate any offers they make and advise you of whether your should accept or hold out for more.
If a reasonable offer will not be forthcoming, it may be necessary to go to court. However, sometimes filing suit is enough to convince the other side to make a better offer. If not, then a court-rendered verdict will need to be sought. In either case, you can count on us to represent you in each and every stage of the process.
Talk to a San Francisco Truck Accident Lawyer
You don’t have long to file a personal injury claim. California has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims that allows a lawsuit to be filed two years from the date of the injury. This makes it important to act as soon as possible after your 18-wheeler crash.
If you were injured by a negligent truck driver or by a trucking company that was more concerned about profit than safety, a San Francisco truck accident lawyer from the Law Office of J. Chrisp can help you get the financial compensation you deserve.
Call us at 1-877-JCHRISP (524-7477) or submit the form at the bottom of this page for a free case evaluation. We will be happy to examine the facts in your case and help you determine your next course of action.