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Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck Accident Attorney in Sacramento, CA
Table of Contents
- Why Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
- How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
- Common Causes of Truck Accidents
- Types of Truck Accidents
- Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident?
- Accidents Caused by Overloaded Trucks
- Truck Accidents Caused by Speeding
- Most Dangerous Sacramento Roads for Truck Accidents
- What to Do After a Truck Accident in Sacramento
- Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in Sacramento, CA If You Were Hit
- Truck Employer Negligence Lawyer in Sacramento, California
- Choose the Kreeger Law Firm for Sacramento Negligent Hiring Truck Accident Claim Counsel
- Why Do I Need an Employer Negligence Truck Accident Attorney?
- Proving Fault for Your Truck Accident Claim in Sacramento, CA
- Potential Complications With a Negligent Hiring Truck Accident Claim
- Securing Your Recovery With Reliable Legal Representation
- FAQs About California Truck Accident Laws
- California Trucking Accident Resources
Why Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
How a Sacramento Truck Accident Attorney Can Help?
You may think that only the commercial driver is to blame for your accident. But at Rosenthal & Kreeger, LLP, we know there may be numerous parties at fault. When you hire our Sacramento truck collision lawyers to represent you, we do a thorough investigation to determine all responsible parties. Those who may be held accountable for your trucking accident include:
- Truck driver – Did the driver fall asleep? Is the driver properly licensed? Was the driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
- Trucking company– Did the company force the driver to drive under unsafe conditions? Did it properly maintain the truck? Did it ensure the truck was properly inspected?
- Truck manufacturers– Was the truck built with defective parts? Were all manufacturing codes adhered to? Was the truck properly built?
- Truck repair companies – Did they make all necessary repairs? Were repairs made to appropriate specifications? Did they allow an unsafe vehicle on the road?
- Cargo manufacturer– Was the cargo properly loaded onto the truck? Was the correct type of truck used to transport the cargo? Did something happen to the cargo during transport that affected the driver’s ability to control the truck?
- Roadway authorities– What was the condition of the roadway? Were the roads properly maintained?
- Other drivers – Who else was on the road? Could another reckless driver have caused the truck to hit you?
When we know who all the players are, we can seek recompense for your injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, medical care, lost wages and more. Knowing who is at fault ensures your case is headed in the right direction. We pursue all possible avenues so we can get you the maximum recovery possible.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in California
When you first contact the truck accident attorneys of Rosenthal & Kreeger, LLP, we’ll provide you with a free initial consultation. With this meeting, one of our Sacramento trucking accident lawyers will review your case, help you understand your rights, evaluate your chances of success, and discuss your best legal options moving forward.
Once you decide to work with us, we’ll start obtaining the necessary evidence to support your case. This process will include obtaining witness statements and other official reports to help establish fault. After you’ve recovered from your injuries or your condition has stabilized, we’ll also gather medical records, bills, and reports to calculate your damages.
We can also assist with the settlement negotiation process. If we cannot reach a suitable agreement with the insurance company, we can proceed to file a lawsuit and present your injury claim to court. Throughout the entire process, we’ll provide you with the legal counsel and support you need to let you focus on recovery.
Types of Truck Accidents in California
Truck drivers are trained professionals in the trucking industry. Their job is driving a tractor-trailer and they are responsible for safely getting their cargo to its destination. Eighteen-wheelers can be hard to maneuver – they have many blind spots – and often drivers are under tremendous pressure due to tight schedules and deadlines, especially delivery truck drivers. These issues, however, do not excuse a big-rig driver from negligent driving. In fact, a semi-truck driver must be in compliance with many rules, lest he or she be considered negligent, such as maintaining trip/hauling logs and valid and current medical certificates. Common causes of truck wrecks in Sacramento, CA include:
- Driver fatigue or drowsy driving
- Improper truck loading
- Auto defects such as faulty brakes, faulty repairs, and tire blowouts
- Drug use and/or drinking
- Failure to see a car due to blind spots or distracted driving
- Being forced to drive in unsafe conditions
- Improper road design or maintenance
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Inadequate safety equipment
Drivers must exercise reasonable care when operating their vehicles, and if they do not, they are responsible for subsequent vehicle accidents.
Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident?
Many types of truck accidents can occur, causing serious injuries to the involved drivers. Common accidents include:
- Rear-end. A truck may fail to slow down in enough time, colliding with the rear end of the vehicle in front of it. Depending on traffic conditions and the force of the impact, a rear-end accident can cause a chain reaction.
- Jackknife. Jackknife accidents occur when the front cab of a truck slows, but the trailer does not, causing the trailer to shift at a 90-degree angle with the cab.
- Rollover. When a truck tips over, it’s a rollover accident. These accidents can occur due to a driver not slowing enough while making a turn, or when improperly secured cargo shifts in the trailer, upsetting its balance.
- Underride. Underride accidents occur when a passenger car slips underneath a truck’s trailer, either from the rear or side. These accidents can sheer off the top of a car and cause severe damages.
- Lost load. Some commercial trucks have open trailers, and improper loading and driving can cause the cargo to fall into the road, potentially causing several accidents and other health hazards. It’s also possible for closed trailer trucks to spill cargo.
No matter what type of accident you experienced, a Sacramento truck accident attorney at Rosenthal & Kreeger, LLP is ready to help you file your claim.
Accidents Caused by Overloaded Trucks
Overloading or improperly loading a large truck can result in complications such as falling debris, tire blowouts, and jackknife brake accidents. Our team represents individuals injured as a result of accidents caused by overloaded trucks and their accompanying issues. We seek maximum compensation from all available sources to cover damages such as medical treatments, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
We work with accident investigators and other professionals to reenact accidents and determine the negligent parties that are liable. Our truck accident lawyers in Sacramento will handle all aspects of your case and take on the insurance companies on your behalf to make sure you get what you deserve.
Truck Accidents Caused by Speeding
Big rig trucks must be driven and handled differently from passenger vehicles. Understanding the proper way to operate a big rig truck is part of professional truck drivers’ responsibilities. Large trucks require a greater stopping distance and, as a result, speeding is a dangerous act of negligence. When not operated properly, a big rig truck is a multiton weapon capable of causing catastrophic injuries and changing the lives of innocent drivers and their families forever. For example, it can take well over 500 feet for a truck to come to a complete stop, depending on the load and the condition of the pavement. Speeding opens the door for the possibility of not stopping in time and colliding with other vehicles.
A rear-end collision caused by speeding can also result in an underride truck accident, which can cause immense damage. The bottom line is that when truck drivers speed, they place people at risk and deserve to be held accountable for the consequences of their actions. Our Sacramento truck accidents attorneys thoroughly investigate the circumstances of truck crashes; we will do everything in our power to obtain compensation from all liable sources.
Sacramento Roads with High Risk of Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks are a common presence on Sacramento roads but some areas are more likely to see truck crashes than others. Some of the most dangerous roads and highways for truck accidents are:
- Highway 99
- Capital City Freeway
- Interstate 80
- Highway 99
With so many major highways passing through the Sacramento area, commercial trucks join the busy roadways, potentially leading to accidents during high traffic times. These incidents can potentially cause more collisions, as blocked roadways increase traffic and the risk of distracted driving.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Sacramento, CA?
You are driving down the road and suddenly you feel as though you have been hit by a truck – because you have. Call 911 immediately and report any injuries. Even if no one has been hurt, you should still call the police and report the accident. If possible, you need to start documenting what happened. Try to gather the following information from everyone involved:
- Driver’s license numbers
- License plate numbers
- Insurance information
- Driver contact information
- Names and contact numbers of any passengers
- Witness information
- Notes on the weather and road conditions
You should also take as many pictures as possible of the accident scene, the damage to the vehicles, your injuries, the position of the vehicles and the surrounding area. Once you have gathered all the information, you will have to call your insurance company to report the accident. Just give basic information, never admit fault to anyone you speak with and don’t sign anything. Your next call should be to a qualified truck crash attorney in Sacramento.
At Kreeger Law Firm, our skilled lawyers help clients in the Roseville and Sacramento areas and we can help you with your recovery.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in Sacramento, CA If You Were Hit
Truck Employer Negligence Lawyer in Sacramento, California
Commercial trucks are some of the most important vehicles in the country’s economy. Large tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles deliver goods across the nation every day. Many communities throughout California and the rest of the country rely on truck shipping to receive the goods they need each day.
The United States Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are regulatory agencies that oversee and control the United States’ trucking industry. These agencies uphold various statutes and regulations for all members of the trucking industry, from individual truck drivers to the companies, partnerships, and syndicates that hire them.
The companies that hire drivers must use appropriate and thorough onboarding procedures and hire new drivers with care and attention. When they fail to do so, they put other drivers at risk and leave themselves vulnerable to liability for a negligently hired driver’s actions.
Choose the Kreeger Law Firm for Sacramento Negligent Hiring Truck Accident Claim Counsel
If you have recently sustained injuries and other damages in a truck accident in the Sacramento area, you likely have questions. It’s natural to wonder who is liable for your injuries and how much you could potentially recover. It’s also difficult to manage these legal concerns while you are in excruciating pain and recovering from your injuries. An experienced Sacramento truck accident lawyer can be an incredible asset to you and your family in this situation.
At the Kreeger Law Firm, we provide every client we represent with individualized legal counsel and take the time to get to know them so we can provide more personalized experiences. We understand how intimidating the legal system can be without guidance and the pressure you feel due to your compounding losses. Our goal is to identify the party or parties responsible for your damages and help you maximize your recovery in every possible way.
Why Do I Need an Employer Negligence Truck Accident Attorney?
You might think your truck accident claim is straightforward, but one of the most challenging factors in most truck accident claims is accurately determining liability for the plaintiff’s damages. Your Sacramento truck accident attorney can help you establish liability for your damages and explore vicarious liability claims should another party bear responsibility for a truck driver’s negligence. When a trucking company has engaged in negligent or non-compliant hiring practices, they are responsible for any damages a negligently hired driver causes to others.
Your attorney can manage your legal affairs so you can focus on your recovery with peace of mind. A good Sacramento truck accident lawyer will provide you with regular updates about your case and help you better understand your situation through all phases of your legal proceedings. Ultimately, hiring an attorney means you will have a resource readily available to answer your questions, prepare you for the next steps in your case, and clarify any confusion you might have about your situation.
Proving Fault for Your Truck Accident Claim in Sacramento, CA
The first step toward recovery after any truck accident is identifying the party or parties responsible for your accident. If negligent hiring has contributed to your damages, you’ll need proof. You and your Sacramento truck accident lawyer will need to gather evidence to prove the trucking company in question did not follow appropriate procedures in their hiring of the driver responsible for your accident.
There are many ways for a trucking company or other organization to fail to fulfill its obligations in this manner. For example, if a trucking company did not perform a criminal background check on a truck driver prior to hiring them and the driver had a history of DUI, the company would almost certainly face vicarious liability should the truck driver cause an accident in the future due to driving under the influence.
Negligent hiring may also come into play in a truck accident claim if the trucking company did not verify a driver’s credentials and experience, allowing the driver to operate a vehicle or complete a route when they did not possess the skill or experience to do so safely. If a trucking company intentionally disregarded or knowingly obfuscated information about a driver that should have disqualified the driver from employment and that driver causes an accident, the company could face severe legal repercussions and even criminal penalties.
Potential Complications With a Negligent Hiring Truck Accident Claim
If you have filed a personal injury claim against a truck driver and/or their employer citing vicarious liability, your attorney can help you gather the evidence necessary to meet the burden of proof for your allegation. Your attorney may demand the trucking company produce their hiring records and recorded policies to prove they followed proper hiring procedures for the driver in question. It is also possible for a Sacramento truck accident attorney to coordinate with other legal experts and professional expert witnesses like forensic researchers for greater clarity in a negligent hiring case.
When negligent hiring comes into play in a truck accident case, it becomes more difficult for the plaintiff to establish liability. However, the potential recovery from the claim could easily justify the additional effort. In a negligent hiring truck accident claim, a trucking company or other employer is implicated through vicarious liability for their employee’s actions. Therefore, the plaintiff and their Sacramento truck accident lawyer must not only prove negligence but also prove that the employer satisfies the legal requirements for vicarious liability.
Securing Your Recovery With Reliable Legal Representation
A truck accident can easily lead to catastrophic injuries, life-changing disabilities, and a host of economic problems for the victim and their family. A truck accident lawsuit can be the only method of recovering a victim’s losses, which likely include medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. A negligent hiring truck accident claim will be more challenging to win than a standard negligence claim, but the end result typically includes a more substantial recovery for the plaintiff.
If you are ready to discuss a negligent hiring truck accident claim with an experienced Sacramento truck accident lawyer, contact the Kreeger Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with our team. We can help you identify the party or parties responsible for your damages and help you better understand your options for recovery.
FAQs About California Truck Accident Laws
Large trucks are an essential component in our economy, transporting crucial goods, like food, medicine, and fuel products to communities across the country. However, these vehicles form a significant safety hazard to the average driver of a passenger vehicle.
Even though they only make up four percent of the nation’s 268 million vehicles, large trucks are responsible for thousands of devastating accidents with long-term consequences. These vehicles are implicated in half a million accidents each year and one in every ten deaths on the highway. Injury or death from such an accident occurs in the US approximately every fifteen minutes.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, there are certain questions you will have concerning the legal process of receiving compensation for damage and injuries. Check out the following for frequently asked questions about truck accidents, then contact Kreeger Law to discuss how we can help you with your claim.
I’ve Just Been Involved in a Truck Accident! What Should I Do?
Truck accidents are not only scary and potentially catastrophic; they are confusing and often overwhelming to handle. The first thing you should do in the event of a truck accident is to contact the police to ensure the necessary emergency services will arrive to treat any injuries. Then, if you are able, assist anyone who is injured and requires first aid. Do not move an injured person unless their current position puts them in impending danger.
Stay at the accident scene until professional help arrives, or you could be held liable for a “hit and run.” If your car is blocking traffic or causing other safety concerns and is still drivable, pull over to the roadside and switch on hazard lights to alert other drivers of the crash.
Now that you have completed these safety-related steps, you must gather the important information necessary for your claim. Record the exact location and circumstances of the accident, including the day of the week, time of day, weather conditions, and anything else that may be useful.
Collect the following information:
- Names and addresses of any drivers and passengers
- License plate number of the truck and other identifiers, such as make or model
- License number and employer name of the truck driver
- Insurance company contact information and the truck driver’s policy number
- Names, addresses, and phone number of witnesses
While you wait for the police and emergency services, consider what you might need later. Use your phone to take photos of the scene and resulting damage to your vehicle, as well as injuries sustained by you or any of your passengers. This can serve as vital evidence for your claim and allows you to document anything the police may miss. You can also recount the specifics of the accident while it is fresh in your mind using audio or video footage but be careful you do not assume or admit fault for the crash.
When the police arrive, they will take statements from all parties involved and anyone who witnessed the accident. Ask for a copy of the police report as soon as it is available.
Seek legal assistance from a qualified professional as soon as possible. Truck accident claims are complex and require an attorney with experience in this area. Contact Kreeger Law Firm at (916) 782-8400 for a free initial consultation.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Mechanical Defects: According to statistics, the leading cause of truck accidents is mechanical defect, especially involving issues with the truck’s tires or brake system. Steering wheel malfunctions are also prevalent, and the electronic systems that are now included in many large trucks pose another risk for mechanical failure.
Driver Errors: After mechanical issues, the most frequent cause of large truck accidents are the drivers themselves. In most crashes with fatal consequences, driver error is recognized as a contributing factor.
Driver error may take the form of:
- Improper loading of cargo
- Inadequate maintenance of truck
- Driver inexperience or unfamiliarity with a particular route
- Distracted or inattention driving, including interacting with the radio, using a cell phone, looking at a map, or eating
- Aggressive or careless driving
- Failure to yield
- Driving while impaired, meaning under the influence of drugs or alcohol or suffering from an illness or fatigue
How Are Truck Accidents More Serious Than Car Accidents?
Large truck accidents are typically much more serious than passenger car accidents due to the massive size and weight of these vehicles – a large truck with a full cargo load can weigh over 40 tons. These vehicles require greater stopping distances, so they tend to collide with other vehicles at higher speeds and more powerful impacts.
Compared to car accidents, large truck accidents involve:
- Increased damage – A car that collides with a large truck sustains much more significant damage than a car that collides with a similarly-sized vehicle.
- More intense injuries – Such powerful collisions are more likely to result in severe injuries, such as spinal cord damage, brain trauma, paralysis, or amputated limbs. The risk of death is also extremely high in these accidents, with up to 5,000 deaths occurring every year from large truck accidents.
- More expensive medical bills – Because injuries that result from large truck accidents are more severe than those resulting from passenger car accidents, they require more extensive treatment and more time spent in the hospital. This equates to more expensive medical bills and a longer amount of time you have to wait before returning to work if you can return at all.
- Larger Insurance Policies – A truck driver’s insurance policy can be up to fifty times larger than a traditional car accident policy, reaching a value of millions of dollars. The amount of money involved in such a claim means that the insurance company will do everything they can to avoid being held liable, including offering payouts to victims that seem generous but are actually far less than what you could receive with help from an experienced trucking crash attorney.
Who Is Responsible for My Truck Accident?
To receive the compensation you deserve for your accident, you need to retain the services of a lawyer who will provide negligence on the part of any responsible parties. Several parties may be held liable for a large truck accident, including the truck driver, the owner of the vehicle, the transportation company, the company that leases the truck or trailer, the shipper who ordered the load transportation, and the manufacturer of the truck, trailer, or any associated parts.
To prove that an accident resulted from negligence, your lawyer must establish guidelines for the driver’s duty of care, or the duty to exercise the proper care to protect the safety of other motorists while operating their vehicle. Your lawyer will then show that the truck driver demonstrated a disregard for this duty that led to damage and injury.
How Is Compensation Determined for a truck accident case?
Similar to other personal injury claims, compensation is available in the form of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include current medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages between the date of injury and conclusion of the claim and lost earning capacity due to injury. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
Along with economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages may be pursued if your lawyer can prove that the defendant’s actions that caused the injury were irresponsible, intentionally harmful, or fraudulent.
How do I find a Truck Accident Attorney in Sacramento, California?
California Trucking Accident Resources
- Truck Loading Docks Accident
- Truck Tire Blowouts Accident
- Tractor-Trailer Brakes Accident
- Truck Driver Fatigue Accident
- Unsecured Cargo Truck Accident
- Commercial Truck Axle Weight Limits in California
- What should you do if you’re involved in a truck crash?
- New technology could prevent truck crashes
- Who is responsible if I am in a commercial truck accident?
- Look for an upcoming rollback in truck safety rules
- Avoid truck accident fatalities with these tips
- These causes of truck accidents might surprise you
- Accidents Caused By Unsecured Truck Cargo
- Determining Liability in a Truck Accident Lawsuit
- How To File a Truck Accident Claim
- Truck Accident and Car Accident Lawsuits Differences
- 5 Things to Consider for Truck Accident Attorney
- What to Look for When Choosing a Lawyer for Your Truck Accident Claim
- How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
- Vicarious Liability in Truck Accident Cases
- Truck Accident Cases: California Trucking Industry Regulations