Trucking accidents can be devastating, causing significant property damage, severe injuries, and even fatalities. At Chandler Law, our seasoned team of legal professionals brings to the table a formidable blend of knowledge, experience, and dedication that sets us apart.
Our attorneys also believe that each client is unique, and so is their journey toward recovery. That's why we offer personalized strategies tailored to your specific circumstances.
We don't just handle cases; we build relationships. Our approach is rooted in empathy, understanding, and a genuine passion for justice, and our successful history underscores our relentless commitment to our clients.
Types of Trucking Accidents
Here are some of the most common types of truck accidents that occur:
- Tire blowout accidents. These occur when a truck’s tire bursts, causing the driver to lose control. Factors leading to tire blowouts include poor vehicle maintenance, overloading, and extreme weather conditions. Damage can range from minor vehicle scratches to severe multi-vehicle collisions. Regular tire inspections and adherence to cargo weight restrictions can help prevent these incidents.
- Underride accidents. This type of accident happens when a smaller vehicle slides under the trailer of a semi-truck. It's often due to sudden braking by the truck or the smaller vehicle failing to keep a safe distance. The consequences are usually catastrophic, given the smaller vehicle's vulnerability. Installing underride guards and maintaining proper following distances can help mitigate such accidents.
- Jackknife accidents. Named for their resemblance to a folding knife, these occur when a truck's cab and trailer fold at the hinge, forming a 90-degree angle. Factors include sudden braking, slippery roads, and equipment failure. Proper brake maintenance and careful driving in adverse weather can help prevent jackknifing.
- Rollover accidents. These accidents happen when a semi-truck tips over onto its side or roof, usually due to high speed, sharp turns, or uneven cargo distribution. They can result in significant property damage, severe injuries, or even fatalities. To prevent rollovers, drivers should adhere to speed limits, load cargo evenly, and take extra caution on curves and slopes.
- Blindspot accidents. Semi-trucks have large blind spots or "no-zones" where smaller vehicles are invisible to the truck driver. Accidents occur when a truck changes lanes or turns without noticing a vehicle in its blind spot. Regular mirror checks and the use of blind-spot detection technology can help reduce these accidents.
- Head-on accidents. These occur when a semi-truck collides with oncoming traffic. Causes include driver fatigue, distraction, intoxication, or straying from the correct lane. The impact often results in severe injuries due to the size and speed of the truck. Regular rest breaks, avoiding distractions, and sober driving are crucial for prevention.
What Is Considered a Commercial Vehicle in California?
Accidents involving any commercial vehicles can be as severe and similar to those involving semi-trucks. Given their size and weight these commercial vehicles, can cause substantial damage and injury in the event of a collision. Whether it's a delivery van, a bus, or a heavy-duty truck, these vehicles often carry heavy loads and travel at high speeds.
According to the California Vehicle Code and California's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a commercial vehicle is defined as any vehicle that is used, operated, or kept for the purpose of transporting individuals in exchange for payment, remuneration, or financial gain can be considered as such. In simpler terms, if a vehicle is used for business purposes, it falls under the category of a commercial vehicle. This includes vehicles used for the transport of property or goods, such as delivery vans and trucks.
Commercial vehicles come in various forms. These range from cargo vans and pickup trucks to large freight trucks and buses. Each type serves a unique purpose within different industries. For instance, delivery services may rely on cargo vans, while transport services might use buses.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Several factors contribute to truck accidents, many of which are preventable. Here are some of the most prevalent:
- Speeding. This is the leading cause of all types of vehicular accidents, including truck collisions. Truck drivers often speed to meet tight delivery schedules, but this increases the likelihood of accidents due to reduced reaction times.
- Dangerous overtaking. Trucks have larger blind spots than regular vehicles, making overtaking particularly risky. If a truck driver fails to check these blind spots thoroughly before overtaking, it can result in a collision.
- Failure to maintain Distance. Trucks require longer stopping distances due to their size and weight. Should a truck operator neglect to keep an adequate gap from the vehicle ahead, they may lack sufficient room to halt securely, which could result in collisions from the rear.
- Inattentive driving. Distractions like mobile phones, eating, or fatigue can lead to inattention, causing drivers to overlook critical road signs or changes in traffic patterns.
What to Do After a Fresno Trucking Accident
Being involved in a trucking or commercial vehicle accident can be a daunting and overwhelming experience, and it can be hard to know what you should do following an accident. Here are some steps you can take after being involved in a truck accident:
- Ensure safety. Your immediate priority should be the safety of everyone involved. If possible, move your vehicle out of the traffic to a safe location. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
- Call the authorities. Dial 911 and report the accident. Even if no one seems injured initially, it's crucial to have emergency medical personnel assess everyone involved for any hidden injuries.
- Gather information. Collect as much information as possible from the scene. This includes the truck driver's name, contact information, insurance details, and license plate number. Also, gather details from any witnesses and take pictures of the accident scene, including vehicle damage and roadway conditions.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, some injuries may not manifest immediately. Visit a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Document all medical visits, treatments, and costs.
- Report the accident. Notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible.
- Document everything. Keep a detailed record of everything related to the accident. This includes medical bills, repair costs, missed work, and any other financial impacts.
- Contact a trucking accident attorney. When an accident happens the damages can be life altering. An accident attorney will be your claim advocate against the other party or insurance company and ensure you secure maximum compensation.
Benefit from Our Decades of Experience
At Chandler Law, we understand the devastating impact a trucking accident can have on your life, and we're committed to championing your rights and advocating for fair compensation. With us, you're not just another case number; you're family. And family deserves nothing but the best.