Truck Accident Lawyer in San Francisco, CA
When you get into a truck accident, you need the help of a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA from the Morales Law Firm. We know far too well how serious a truck accident can be. When you are the victim in this type of accident you may be experiencing severe injuries that can cause long-term or permanent damage to your health. This kind of accident can be terrifying if you were in a car because of the sheer size and weight difference between a car and a truck. Unfortunately, even if you are a safe driver and follow the rules of the road, you can still get into a truck accident. So, this begs the question: what are common causes of truck accidents? Below, a San Francisco truck accident lawyer discusses some of the most common causes of truck accidents.
4 Ways Weather Affects Truck Driving
Going out on the road when there’s only a bit of ice and rain may not seem like an unusually risky idea. A thin layer of snow on the ground could make truck drivers think that there is nothing to worry about.
However, driving without appropriate care in such conditions can lead to severe crashes with cars and other smaller vehicles on the road.
1. Less Visibility
Flurries and raindrops coming down at a steady pace can greatly impact how far down the road you can see. Even a brief lack of visibility can lead to a truck sideswiping another vehicle or ramming into the back of it. Calling a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA, such as The Morales Law Firm, could be your next step if this kind of accident happens to you.
2. Added Confusion and Frustration
While negligent driving is a serious concern, so is distracted driving. If a truck driver is fixated on the heat outside the vehicle or the sound of thunder more than the road in front of him or her, then a crash may occur.
This frustration can also build when an employee driving a truck is trying to make up for lost time due to bad weather. Unsafe driving and speeding can lead to a crash, which means a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA, could get involved.
3. Different Handling
Driving the same speed in stormy weather as clear weather can lead to someone losing control of a large truck and potentially harming others. This is because how to handle a vehicle when the roads are wet or slick is different than how it should be handled when the roads are dry.
Truckers who are rushing to fulfill orders or get to their next stop can disregard warnings and continue to go over the recommended speed limit or fail to leave enough room for braking on a wet road. After an accident, you may feel as if you need a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA, like The Morales Law Firm.
4. More Obstructions
Windy days can leave cardboard or other items blowing around near a road. If these obstructions cover up a driver’s windscreen, it can cause that person to swerve and hit another vehicle. Strong winds can also impact how fast a truck should be driven, since larger vehicles can become unsteady in some conditions. This instability often causes crashes and injuries on highways.
4 Common Causes of Truck Accidents
A truck accident lawyer in San Francisco, California will tell you that there are four common reasons that truck accidents occur.
- Maintenance and training – These make up the performance and the capability for a truck driver to drive safely. First, if they are improperly trained, they will not be able to safely drive a commercial vehicle on public roads with other cars. Because of how inherently dangerous it is to drive these vehicles, they must go through a certain number of hours to learn to safely drive. Further, there are laws on how a truck should be maintained before the driver hits the road. If the truck is not maintained, it can cause accidents even with a well-trained driver.
- Fatigue – A trusted San Francisco, CA truck accident lawyer will tell you that one of the top causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. Many truck drivers are overworked and must work long hours through the night. To get to their destination on time, the driver may take very few stops. Because of this, the driver may accidentally doze off behind the wheel. Additionally, a truck driver will have a longer reaction time if something goes wrong on the road.
- Distracted driving – Just like other drivers, a San Francisco, CA truck accident lawyer knows that truck drivers get bored on the road. They may want to play with the radio, listen to an audiobook, text, or make a phone call. When this happens, the driver’s reaction time is not quick and they may not see other cars on the road. Taking their eyes off the road for even a few seconds can cause a deadly accident.
- Speeding – As a truck accident lawyer San Francisco, CA noted above, truck drivers are typically on a very tight schedule and must reach their destination in a certain period of time. This is not always easy for the truck driver, and they may feel the need to speed to their destination to meet their deadline.
Getting into a truck accident can be deadly. If you have been the victim of a truck accident, you should seek compensation for your injuries. Reach out to a San Francisco, CA truck accident lawyer from The Morales Law Firm now.
4 Reasons Drowsiness Can Contribute to a Truck Crash
You may not immediately notice as you drive on highways or back roads at night, but a lack of sleep can greatly impact how safely you can operate a truck.
Truck driving while drowsy can lead to serious problems, so it is important to know why it is so dangerous.
1. Slower Reaction Time
For every few seconds someone looks away from the road or closes his or her eyes, the possibility of an accident increases. The fogginess in your mind you may feel because of a lack of sleep can affect how quickly you react in a dangerous situation.
If a car or other vehicle swerves in front of you, it takes an extra second to turn the wheel of your own truck. This small amount of time is crucial and can mean the difference between danger and safety. Talking to a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA can help you learn more.
2. More Road Rules Broken
Running a red light or forgetting to stop at a stop sign can happen if a driver is behind the wheel but not fully awake. Drowsiness can lead to mistakes on the road, such as missing important signs or exits. Even minor traffic mistakes may confuse others and cause a crash.
Contacting a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA like The Morales Law Firm is one possible step to take if you are in an accident.
3. Worse Concentration
If a truck driver is rushing because he or she must make a deadline, then he or she is risking the safety of people around him or her. Drowsy driving does not only happen because of a lack of sleep, but also because of medications or sleep disorders.
Drinking caffeinated coffee may temporarily increase your concentration, but it will likely leave you with a worse attention span after it wears off. Pulling off the road is one simple way to avoid further issues.
4. Uneven Driving Speed
Accelerating and then decelerating without warning can unnerve other drivers and cause confusion. Someone who is falling asleep can easily step on or back off the brake pedal without realizing as he or she drifts in and out of consciousness.
Following other vehicles on the road too closely can also cause an accident. Contacting a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA like The Morales Law Firm is one option for a person who is struggling after a crash.
The Impact of a Trucking Accident
There are a variety of ways that a trucking accident can occur, as a result, victims stand to face serious and even life-threatening injuries. Because of this, it may be appropriate for an accident victim, or their family to consider pursuing legal action. This is a primary reason to contact a San Francisco, CA truck accident lawyer as soon as possible so that victims are able to provide themselves with the best opportunity at obtaining compensation for the damages they have suffered.
Types of Trucking Accidents
Large trucks can be seen from coast to coast, playing an essential role in the transport of goods throughout the country. Despite the essential role that large trucks play to the country’s economy, there is tremendous pressure on truck drivers and companies to perform. Our San Francisco, CA truck accident lawyer will tell you that because of this, it’s possible for trucking companies and their drivers to participate in negligent behavior in efforts to transport goods as quickly as possible. As a result, some large trucks can pose a significant risk to others on the road. For many, driving near a truck can bring on a sense of anxiety. At a moment’s notice, a truck driver’s negligence has the ability to produce results that can be life-altering. Our trucking accident lawyer based in San Francisco, CA shares with you common ways that a trucking accident may occur:
- Poorly trained truck drivers
- Improperly maintained trucks
- Driving in blind spots
- Inclement weather conditions
- Truck rollovers
- Lost loads
- Becoming trapped under trucks
- Wide turns
Managing trucking accidents can be incredibly complicated. You will be required to not only prove negligence, but determine who can be held responsible. A trucking accident lawyer representing San Francisco, CA can help you to determine whether there are multiple parties at fault, and assist you in taking action.
Types of Injuries Trucking Accident Victims Suffer
A trucking accident can be devastating, the sheer size of a large 18 wheeler, even at reduced speeds can have a significant impact should an accident occur. Much of the time, trucking accidents can produce injuries that are far more severe than that of a motor vehicle collision. Our trucking accident lawyer based in San Francisco, CA has experience representing victims who have faced a number of extensive injuries. Common types of injuries may include:
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
Working with a truck accident lawyer from San Francisco, CA can support accident victims and their families in not only valuing their claim, but representing them by negotiating with insurance companies and attorneys to obtain the best possible outcome.
Why Hire a San Francisco Truck Accident Lawyer?
Whether you were the driver of the truck or an occupant of a car, if you are involved in a truck accident, it’s important you retain a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco. Here’s why victims turn to today to schedule your complimentary consultation.
1. Dealing with the Insurance Companies
If you are at fault, you may want a San Francisco truck accident lawyer to help you deal with your own insurance company. Sometimes you are entitled to partial compensation, depending on the circumstance. If you are not at fault, it is also a good idea to hire a lawyer to help with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Sometimes the at-fault party’s insurance company will contact you in hopes of making a quick, cheap settlement, but you don’t have to speak with them or explain yourself to them. Instead, refer the representative to your truck accident lawyer in San Francisco.
2. Determining Who Is at Fault
Determining fault is not always straightforward. Sometimes it takes further investigation to determine what caused the accident, who is responsible, and why. Regardless of what you might think, or whether you feel you are not to blame, the accident should (and will) be investigated to get to the answers. In general, if you plan to seek compensation, you should ask a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco to investigate the case and build a defense for you on your behalf.
3. Suing the At-Fault Party
If you have filed a claim, or are planning to do so, you should have a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco to help you out with the legal process. Your attorney can help you determine the best strategy to follow so the entire process isn’t quite as stressful as it could be. Your lawyer can walk you through the steps it takes to recover compensation from someone, including understanding which damages to seek.
4. Having Legal Guidance
No matter what the situation might be, it can give you peace of mind in knowing you have unbiased legal guidance to help you along the way. Your truck accident lawyer can ensure all of the details are identified, addressed, and presented in your case (when applicable). A full assessment of your current and future prospective losses can be analyzed so that you recover maximum damages. Without legal guidance, you might risk losing the money that you need and deserve.
There are many reasons why truck accidents occur in California and across the country, including truck driver error, truck driver fatigue, defective truck parts, etc. One of the most dangerous – and avoidable – causes of truck accidents are oversized loads. As a San Francisco, CA truck accident lawyer knows, overloaded trucks put everyone on the roads at significant risk of being injured in a crash, especially other commuters. According to national statistics, more than 70 percent of victims killed in large truck accidents are occupants in other vehicles.
Because of their massive size and weight, when a commercial truck is involved in a crash with a passenger vehicle, the results are often catastrophic ones. Many victims do not survive their injuries and those that do may be left with devastating and permanent injuries. A San Francisco, CA truck accident lawyer can fight to get truck accident victims and their families damages for the physical and financial losses these crashes can cause.
Commercial trucks are difficult to maneuver but putting a truck that is overloaded on the road increases the risk significantly that the truck driver will have difficulty handling the vehicle. For example, if an overloaded truck has to take a sharp turn – such as coming off or on a highway or turning at an intersection, being overloaded can cause the truck to rollover. Any other vehicles near the truck when this happens can be crushed when the 80,000+ pound truck lands on top of it.
Each San Francisco, CA truck accident lawyer from The Morales Law Firm has successfully handed many truck accidents that involved oversized load trucks. The following are some of the most common scenarios of crashes:
- Weight limit: As mentioned above, when the cargo a truck is transporting is over the legal weight limit set forth by federal regulations, the risk of that truck rolling over spikes, especially when merging into another lane or turning. Having too much weight on the truck can also cause a tire blowout since the recommended weight limit for the tires is also being exceeded. A tire blowout can cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle, resulting in the truck crashing into other vehicles around them.
- Distance to stop: Large trucks need more distance to slow down or come to a complete stop than smaller vehicles do. For example, a truck that is traveling at a speed of 65 mph may need up to the length of two football fields in order to come to a complete stop. A loaded truck requires even more time.
- Jackknifing: Jackknifing is the term used when a truck comes to a sudden stop, but the trailer of the truck continues to move, causing the cab of the truck and the trailer to fold and form a sharp angle. In most cases, when a truck jackknifes, the truck driver loses control of the vehicle. An overloaded truck significantly increases the risk of jackknifing.
- Height clearance: If an open-bed truck is piled too high with cargo, it can hit overpasses or bridges, causing cargo to fly off the truck and strike other vehicles. The cargo can totally dislodge or become stuck under the bridge, which can also result in serious accidents.
Differences Between Truck and Car Accidents
Being in a truck accident is more complicated than being in an accident with a regular passenger vehicle. That is why it is critical to have a skilled truck accident lawyer on your side. Here are some of the differences between truck and car accidents.
- Truck accidents result in more severe injuries. Commercial trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. Therefore, it stands to reason that truck accidents often result in more serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, amputations, burns and spinal cord injuries. These injuries may even result in temporary or permanent disability.
- Truck accidents have multiple liable parties. In an accident with a passenger vehicle, the driver of the vehicle is typically the only responsible party. In a truck accident, on the other hand, there tends to be multiple parties. Besides the truck driver, the trucking company, repair companies and cargo loaders can be held responsible for the accident.
- Truck companies have bigger insurance policies. Trucking companies also tend to carry more expensive insurance policies than drivers of passenger vehicles. After all, truck accidents are more likely to cause severe property damage and injuries. As a result, victims of truck accidents may receive a higher settlement than victims of car accidents.
- Truck drivers are held to higher legal standards. Compared to drivers of passenger vehicles, truck drivers are held to very high legal standards. They are only permitted to drive a certain amount of hours in a day and must adhere to lower speed limits than other drivers. Therefore, truck drivers will have more responsibility after making mistakes than drivers of private passenger vehicles.
- There is different evidence in truck accidents. In an accident with a passenger vehicle, a lawyer will look at evidence like, camera footage, witness statements and damage to the vehicles. However, in a truck accident, a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA will have to look at other types of evidence, such as driver qualifications, the truck’s maintenance history, truck inspection history and information about the truck’s cargo.
- Truck accidents result in higher medical bills. As mentioned above, truck accidents frequently result in severe injuries. As such, you will have more expensive medical bills to deal with. You may even need long-term medical care. That is why it is even more important to have a skilled truck accident lawyer represent you.
How to Drive Safely Around Commercial Trucks
Although sharing the road with commercial trucks can be dangerous, it can’t always be avoided. Therefore, it is important to take extra steps to keep yourself safe. Here are a few ways a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA suggests for driving safely around commercial trucks.
- Increase your following distance. It is never a good idea to follow too closely to the vehicle in front of you. Doing this with a commercial truck, however, can be even more dangerous. If you’re following too closely and the truck stops suddenly, you may get pulled under the trailer. To protect yourself, always stay far behind commercial trucks.
- Avoid distractions. It is especially important to stay focused on the road when you’re around commercial trucks. If you read a text message or change the radio station, you will be forced to take your eyes and attention off the road ahead. If a truck suddenly pulls out in front of you or changes lanes, you may not be able to react quickly enough.
- Stay out of a truck’s blindspots. If you are in a truck’s blindspots, the driver won’t be able to see you. To avoid getting hit, make an effort to stay out of a truck’s blindspots.
- Pass safely. When you have to pass a commercial truck on the road, you should do so very carefully. Commercial trucks can’t stop as quickly as passenger vehicles, so you should not attempt sudden lane changes. Always pass from the left side so that the driver sees you and put your turn signal on in advance.
- Dim your brights. When you approach a commercial truck, remember to dim your headlights. Otherwise, your brights can reflect in a truck’s mirrors and make it difficult for the driver to see.
- Be patient. Truck drivers often have to follow lower speed limits than drivers of passenger vehicles. If you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, this can definitely be frustrating. However, that doesn’t mean you should try to speed up, honk at the truck driver or weave in and out of lanes. Doing so can increase the risk of an accident.
- Wear your seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt may not be able to prevent all truck accidents. However, if you do get into an accident, you are less likely to suffer life-threatening injuries.
What To Do After a Truck Driving Accident
Being involved in a trucking accident is a frightening thing. Every accident is scary, but one involving an 18 wheeler is even more so. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, there are a few things that you can do. First, focus on taking care of yourself. Then focus on getting the compensation you need for medical bills and other expenses. Consider these three tips for making the process as simple as possible.
1. Obtain a Police Report
After any traffic accident, you need to contact the police. Contact is even more urgent when it involves an 18 Wheeler accident. The police can determine if the truck was carrying a safe load. Your legal team needs this information because it is essential for building your case. Ask for a copy of the police report so you can give it to your truck accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA. Lawyers at The Morales Law Firm can use this report to determine what happened during the accident.
2. Seek Medical Care
Due to the size of trucks, accidents involving them are often severe. If you need medical attention after an accident, do not hesitate to get care. If you are concerned about medical costs associated with your accident, contact a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA. An attorney can help you make a case to recoup the costs associated with your medical bills. They may also be able to help you recoup costs due to loss of work.
3. Contact an Attorney
After obtaining a police report and seeking medical care, you should contact a truck accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA. A legal team can help you make a case to get the compensation you deserve. Accidents of this magnitude often cause long-lasting injuries. Your attorney can help you manage the consequences of this type of accident. You may need short or long-term disability care, or you may need help securing a new vehicle. Whatever your needs, your lawyer can help you move forward in your case.
Millions of people drive every day. Unfortunately, accidents are not as uncommon as you might think. Even if you are a safe driver, bad things can happen on the road. If you have been in a trucking accident, there are lawyers that can help you with your case. Contact The Morales Law Firm to find out what steps you can take to bring your case forward.
How is the Value of My Claim Determined?
Commercial trucking accidents can cause serious damage and physical injuries, as a truck accident lawyer based in San Francisco, CA understands. If you have been injured in an accident and are looking to explore your legal options so that you can obtain compensation you may be entitled to, don’t wait to get started. A truck accident lawyer who serves San Francisco, CA clients like one from Morales Law Firm can provide legal help. If you are wondering how the worth of your accident claim is calculated, there are several things that are considered.
How are damages in an accident calculated?
Truck accident victims can be eligible for many types of economic and non-economic damages. Medical bills, repairs, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship and more can all be listed as damages. Your total number of damages indicate the value of your truck accident claim. It is necessary to ensure that your list of damages is accurate, because last minute changes may result in you not getting the amount you are entitled to. A lawyer can assist you in determining the cost of your damages.
Which parties can be sued in a truck accident?
Trucking companies work with many different parties, from drivers to third party vendors. If there is an accident where a commercial truck is involved, parties that can be sued include the driver, carrier or trucking company, parts manufacturer, maintenance company, or loading company. Because there are so many parties involved in a trucking accident, determining who can be sued can get complicated. A lawyer will work to find out who played a role in the accident, and the more parties involved the higher your compensation may be.
If I have partial fault will it reduce the value of my claim?
California is one of several states known as a comparative negligence state, which means that even if you have partial fault you may still receive compensation. If you have partially contributed to a truck accident, it doesn’t completely eliminate your chances of receiving compensation. Depending on the circumstances, you may still be able to recover some financial compensation, albeit a reduced amount.
What if I don’t receive enough compensation to cover my losses?
A skilled and experienced truck accident lawyer will fight aggressively for you so that you receive the compensation that you deserve. They expect insurance companies to attempt to minimize the amount they have to pay, even if they are faced with strong evidence that you are entitled to a higher amount. If you receive a low settlement offer, a lawyer will continue to make negotiations or take the case to trial.
What should I do after the accident?
The first thing you should know is that there are certain procedures to do after an accident that will help you both as you heal from your injuries and as you start the process of filing a claim. To be as successful as possible when filing a claim for a truck accident, you should:
- Get the truck driver’s information. This also applies if anyone else was involved in the accident. You should always get any other driver’s information. For a truck driver, you can get their license and insurance as well as their motor carrier number and the name of the company they work for.
- Call the police. Getting the police to the scene of the accident can help you to get law enforcement to write up a police report regarding the accident and it can help bolster your claim by having them do the work of gathering evidence and collecting information from any witnesses who may have seen the accident happen.
- Gather any evidence you may have. This means if you are still at the scene of the accident, you can take pictures of the truck, the car, the road signs, and the weather conditions. You can also preserve the clothes you were in and create a video documentary that may be helpful to show how the accident occurred.
- Get medical help. Regardless of how serious you think your injuries are immediately following the accident, you will want to get medical attention right away to ensure a doctor has seen your injuries and given you a prognosis. This will go a long way in making sure you have the treatment you need as well as helping your truck accident claim.
Contact a San Francisco Truck Accident Lawyer Today
In the wake of a trucking accident, the process of taking legal action can be incredibly overwhelming, especially when recovering from the severe injuries that a trucking accident is likely to produce. Whether you were the victim, or are a grieving family member, the impact is sure to be life-altering. The Morales Law Firm is committed to assisting you in taking legal action to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced, compassionate and committed truck accident lawyer that San Francisco, California area residents trust.
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