Do you need a Chula Vista semi-truck accident lawyer?
Semi-truck accidents can devastate the lives of people in Chula Vista who are involved in them. Commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, which is significantly heavier than other vehicles that may travel around them on the roadways and freeways. Occupants of passenger vehicles that are involved in commercial truck accidents are much likelier to suffer lifelong disabilities or to be killed than are people who are involved in other types of accidents. Truck accident victims might want to talk to an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer in Chula Vista in order to get help.
How common are semi-truck accidents?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that 4,067 people were killed in accidents involving large trucks in 2015 alone. An additional 116,000 people suffered injuries in semi-truck accidents. In California, 296 people were killed in accidents involving large trucks during 2015.
Common causes of semi-truck accidents
Truck accidents may be caused by truck drivers, passenger vehicle drivers, environmental conditions, defective parts, poorly maintained parts and improper loading. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Shifting cargo
- Improperly secured loads
- Aggressive driving
- Improper lane changes
- Drugged or drunk driving
- Brake and tire problems
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Driving faster than the conditions allow
- Driver inattention
What happens when the truck driver is at fault?
When truck drivers cause crashes with other vehicles because of negligence, the victims may file a lawsuit against the drivers and the trucking carriers for whom they are driving. California follows a doctrine called respondent superior, which means that employers are liable to pay damages when their employees cause injuries to others because of negligence while the employees are working. Being able to sue the companies may offer injured victims the ability to recover damages that may reasonably compensate them for the losses that they have suffered.
Other parties that may be at fault
In addition to the drivers and their employers, other parties may be partially at fault in truck accidents, including:
- Shippers and brokers
- Distributors and others who load the cargo
- Companies that negligently repaired or maintained the trucks
- Parties responsible for maintaining the roads
- Designers and manufacturers of defective truck components
Attorneys investigate truck accident cases thoroughly so that they can identify all of the parties that should be defendants in the lawsuits. By identifying additional parties, the attorneys may help their clients to recover all of the potential damages to which they might be entitled.
How fault is determined
In order to determine all of the liable parties, an attorney may retain the help of experts. They may work with accident reconstruction experts, investigators, medical experts, engineers and others. Getting expert opinions may help to prove fault so that the insurance companies are likelier to make fair settlement offers. Liability in a truck accident case involves identifying all of the responsible parties whose negligence contributed to the accidents.
Common injuries in truck accidents
It is common for people who are struck by commercial trucks to suffer severe injuries, and they frequently suffer more than one type of injury. Some of the most common types of injuries that happen in truck accidents include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull fractures
- Facial fractures
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Clavicle and rib fractures
- Fractures of the extremities
- Abdominal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
When to contact an experienced Chula Vista semi-truck accident lawyer
Like other states, California has established a limitations period for personal injury claims. Claims must be filed within two years after the accident. If you don’t meet this deadline, you will not be able to recover damages for the losses that you were caused. For practical purposes, however, it is important to get legal help as soon as possible rather than waiting until the deadline is looming. This gives the lawyers more time to investigate the claim and to build a stronger case. Contact experienced Chula Vista semi-truck accident lawyers at our firm today to learn more about the rights that you might have.
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