In a crash between a large truck and a passenger vehicle, the truck always wins. Commercial big rigs can weigh up to 23 times as much as an average passenger car. The immense size of large trucks often leads to them completely crushing or obliterating smaller cars in collisions. Truck crashes can easily be fatal to drivers and passengers. After a truck accident in San Jose, California, you are right to feel angry or confused. Let the dedicated truck accident attorneys at Henshaw & Henry, PC handle your claim to optimize your odds of full damage recovery.
Wrongful death compensation may be a legal recourse for families when a loved one is killed by the negligence of someone else. Truck accidents are more likely to be fatal than passenger vehicle accidents, therefore negligence on the part of truck operators or truck manufacturers is more likely to result in a wrongful death case.
If a loved one has been killed in a truck accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation for:
The State of California allows only two years in which to file a wrongful death lawsuit. After that time, your case may be dismissed, even if would otherwise merit restitution. Retaining an attorney to pursue legal compensation is the best option for protecting the rights of you and your family.
There were 5,476 injuries resulting from accidents involving a truck in California during 2014, the most recent year with full statistics available. Additionally, there were 279 truck fatality accidents. These numbers have grown steadily each year since 2010 and show no signs of decreasing. There were nine fatalities and 110 injuries from truck accidents in Santa Clara County alone.
Like other traffic accidents, truck accidents most often occur due to driver error. Despite being in charge of large, heavy, and dangerous vehicles, truck drivers are not always sufficiently careful. Drivers may operate trucks under the influence of drugs or alcohol, while drowsy, or while using cell phones in San Jose. In 2015, 33% of fatal truck accidents in the U.S. involved at least one driver-related factor. Speeding was the most frequent driver error related to fatal truck collisions, followed by driver “distraction/inattention” and “impairment (fatigue, alcohol, illness, etc.).”
Unsafe speeds are the most common cause of truck driving accidents, causing over 1,000 injuries and 22 fatalities. Larger vehicles are unable to come to a stop as quickly as smaller cars, and greater speed means less time to react to an unforeseen event. Large trucks also require greater stopping distances, which can compound accident risk factors when reckless driving habits, or unsafe practices like driving under the influence, are involved.
Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol were the cause of four fatalities and 28 injuries involving an at-fault truck driver. All drivers have a responsibility to refuse to drink and drive, and those driving these large vehicles have an even greater duty of care to ensure that they are able to operate their vehicles safely before getting behind the wheel.
Improper lane changes and improper turning are two other significant factors leading to truck accidents. In these scenarios, the truck driver fails to ensure that the lane being moved into is free of other vehicles or fails to notice other traffic that would make a turn or lane change unsafe.
Trucks, just like a person’s personal vehicle, need regular maintenance and can break down from time to time. Truck maintenance is even more necessary due to a large number of miles the travel every year. Common equipment failures include:
The massive force of the impact, potential for fire, and other factors common in truck accidents greatly increase the risk for catastrophic or fatal injury. The most common serious consequences of a truck accident include the following:
Several factors, including the force of impact, potential fire, and more, increase the risk of fatal injuries. In cases such as these, we advise that a victim file a claim for their injuries, or a loved one file a claim on behalf of the deceased.
Those involved in a truck accident may mistakenly believe that the process is similar to a typical auto accident. Commercial vehicle accidents are different from car accidents because of the following:
Assessing who is at fault in a truck accident can be a complicated task that may require expert depositions and testimony. It may be obvious that a truck driver who was speeding is to blame for an accident, but it may also be true that the trucking company failed to perform proper maintenance on the brakes, for example, and this contributed to the accident as well. If the parts manufacturer failed to properly warn the owners of a potential defect in the braking system, they too may be partly responsible for the accident.
After a motor vehicle accident, our personal injury attorneys will gather the evidence and find the experts needed to demonstrate the facts of your case and fight for the compensation you deserve after a truck accident. These cases may be complex at times, and the attorneys at Henshaw & Henry have a track record of success in getting fair compensation for clients.
Truck drivers have to follow state roadway laws as well as laws from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Truckers have more stringent cell phone laws, drinking and driving laws, and others than typical drivers. They must obtain special Class C driver’s licenses and undergo driver training before getting behind the wheel of commercial trucks. If a truck driver breaks any of these rules and causes an accident, he or she may be personally liable for the damages. The trucking company may also share fault, or be vicariously liable for the actions of its drivers.
It is possible to sue a trucking company in San Jose after an accident. The company may be a defendant in a personal injury case if it is guilty of negligent vehicle maintenance, poor hiring or training practices, inadequate cargo loading, pressuring drivers to meet deadlines, or other dangerous acts. There may also be other defendants in a truck accident case, such as a product manufacturer, truck leasing company, government agency, or third-party driver. Truck companies maintain insurance policies to cover damages in events like truck accidents.
Crashes involving trucks or semi-trucks are often very serious and can lead to long recovery times for injuries or possibly even more severe damage. California laws protect drivers and pedestrians involved in a truck or commercial vehicle accident. These laws, however, are often complex and require the help of an attorney experienced in truck accidents. Victims of such accidents may recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages from being unable to work, lost quality of life, and pain and suffering.
A person involved in a truck accident may need a personal injury lawyer for several reasons, including:
If you are involved in a commercial vehicle accident in the San Jose area, call the trusted team of personal injury lawyers at Henshaw & Henry. Our attorneys will guide victims of truck accidents through the legal process of filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
A conversation with a San Jose truck accident attorney at Henshaw & Henry can help you identify potential defendants in your truck accident claim. There is often more than one party responsible for a trucking accident. For example, in a tire blowout accident, the trucking company may share fault due to inadequate fleet maintenance, but the tire manufacturer could also be partially responsible for a defective tire. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys can investigate your accident, assign fault, and help you pursue maximum recovery.
Retaining an attorney can make all the difference in how much you recover after a truck crash. An attorney can go up against major insurance companies on your behalf, showing evidence of the extent of your injuries and how much your case is worth. An attorney can also go to trial for your case if necessary for fair compensation. To learn about your specific legal opportunities after a truck wreck in San Jose, call (408) 533-1075 or get in touch online.