Are you looking for a National City semi-truck accident lawyer?
Large trucks pose an acute danger to other drivers when they are involved in accidents. Because of the heightened risks of catastrophic injuries and fatalities in semi-truck crashes, the industry is heavily regulated. Despite the numerous safety rules that are in place, semi-truck accidents still happen. When they involve passenger cars, the passenger car occupants may be left with permanent disabilities, or they may be killed. People who are the victims of semi-truck accidents might want to talk to one of our experienced National City, California truck accident lawyers about their rights. Our attorneys help people to recover damages so that they might be made financially whole.
How frequently do semi-truck accidents happen?
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 3,986 people were killed in accidents with semi-truck accidents in 2016. This was a 27 percent increase in the number of people killed over 2009. Of the people who were killed, 66 percent were passenger vehicle occupants, 16 percent were motorcyclists, bicyclists or pedestrians, and the remaining 17 percent were occupants of the large trucks. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, large trucks or buses were involved in 11.9 percent of all of the fatal accidents that happened in the U.S.
Common causes of semi-truck accidents in National City
Accidents involving semi-trucks can be caused by a number of different things, including the following:
- Poorly maintained trucks
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Drugged or drunk driving
- Inattentive driving
- Improper loading
- Improperly secured loads
- Defective truck parts
Common semi-truck accident injuries
It is common for people who are involved in accidents with large trucks to suffer multiple injuries. Some of the most common types of truck accident injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Skull fractures
- Head, neck and facial injuries
- Broken bones
- Thoracic injuries
- Pelvic injuries
- Broken arms and legs
- Internal injuries
Accidents in which the semi-truck drivers are at fault
Accidents are not always the fault of the truck drivers. When they are, the injured victims or the families of people who were killed may file lawsuits against the drivers and the companies for which the drivers were working at the time of their accidents. Trucking companies may be named as defendants under a legal theory called vicarious liability. Employers may be vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employees when the employees are working. In most cases, the trucking companies are the parties that actually pay damages when their drivers cause trucking accidents.
Accidents in which third parties are at fault
Some truck accidents may be caused by third parties. For example, if a defective part on a truck fails and causes the driver to lose control, the manufacturer or designer of the defective part may be liable to the truck accident victims under a theory called products liability. Other third parties that might be liable for truck accidents include companies that are responsible for maintaining and repairing the trucks, distributors who improperly loaded the trucks or failed to adequately secure the loads and others. Shippers and brokers may be liable for truck accidents in some cases such as when they negligently hire trucking companies that have poor safety records.
How fault is determined in semi-truck accidents
Determining fault in a semi-truck accident case can involve a complex process. Some accidents may result because of the negligence of multiple parties. Trucking companies and insurance carriers often mount aggressive defenses to truck accident claims because the amounts of potential damages are often very substantial.
In order to help to prove liability, our experienced attorneys review all of the evidence from the accidents. They also may work with experts such as accident reconstructionists, safety experts, engineering experts, medical experts and others. Lawyers will try to identify all of the parties who should be named as defendants in the subsequent lawsuits to try to maximize the recovery sources for their clients. After conducting thorough investigations, the attorneys may then build the cases as if they were going to trial. In reality, many cases settle before they reach trial. However, some cases will be litigated through trial.
Most truck accident cases proceed under theories of negligence. In order to prove that a driver was negligent, the attorney will have to prove all of the elements by a preponderance of the evidence. The elements include the following:
Contact an experienced National City semi-truck accident lawyer
It is important to contact an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer in National City as soon as possible after an accident. California has a limitations period within which lawsuits must be filed. For personal injury claims, lawsuits must be filed no later than two years after the date of the accident and injury. If this deadline is missed, then you will not be able to file a lawsuit to recover damages. Contact one of our experienced National City semi-truck accident lawyers today to learn more about your potential case.
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