Truck Accidents

Per statistics, 5,005 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents from 2018 to 2019. In addition, 119,000 were involved in injury crashes, and 414,000 were involved in property-damage-only crashes. Overall, there were 13.65 fatal large truck crashes per million people in the United States in 2019, a 29-percent increase from 10.6 in 2010. The majority of these fatalities, about 82 percent, were not occupants of the large truck.

These numbers show a disturbing trend as trucks' design and sheer size means that their drivers will generally escape accidents relatively unscathed. Unfortunately, the other victims in the accidents do not fare as well, as they typically sustain more severe and life-altering injuries. If you or your loved one has been injured in a truck accident in the South Bay area, our truck accident lawyers at Sullivan & Sullivan can help you recover maximum damages for your injuries. 

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

No two truck accidents are the same, and the most unimaginable reasons can cause them. However, common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Fatigued truck drivers due to violating federal hours of service regulations
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Reckless or aggressive driving
  • Poorly maintained trucks
  • Improper weight distribution caused by badly loaded cargo
  • Defective truck parts
  • Violating traffic laws

Determining Liability in Truck Accident Cases

Because of the sheer size of trucks, their accidents are usually catastrophic, often involving more than one vehicle. For this reason, things can become very complex, and determining liability becomes difficult. Also, seeing as truck accidents often involve more than one vehicle, multiple claimants are possible.

These different parts make truck accidents particularly overwhelming for victims, and the question of fault and taking responsibility becomes challenging to answer.

However, our truck accident attorneys are highly skilled at determining liability when it comes to complex truck accidents. Therefore, when we take on your case, one of the first things we will do is carry out our investigations into the matter. Of course, by this time, it is possible that the other party's insurance provider would have done their investigation as well and may have even contacted you with a settlement offer. If this is the case with you, here's our advice: don't take the offer. The chances are that the other party knows that they are liable for your injuries and are angling to settle things with you even before you have decided to file a claim. 

While this may look like an honorable thing, the fact is that the offer they presented to you is lower, sometimes much lower than the compensation your injuries deserve. So instead, reach out to a competent truck accident or personal injury firm, such as Sullivan & Sullivan and let our team handle everything for you. 

How Will We Do This?

First off, we will determine how much fault lies with the other party and the likely causes of the accident. To do this, we compile evidence from the following sources:

Witness statements: Witness statements are valuable when filing liability claims. They give accounts of what happened just before the accident occurred and how the accident happened. For example, was the driver driving erratically or aggressively? Did the truck's brakes appear to fail? Did anything unusual happen? Witnesses can answer these questions and more.

Electronic control modules (ECMs): These are also known as event data recorders or black boxes. They record all data regarding the truck from just before the accident, including the truck’s speed, whether the driver applied brakes, etc. This information is valuable because crash experts can retrieve and analyze a truck’s ECM data and use it to reconstruct the accident. 

Truck cameras: Installing cameras inside trucks is now standard with trucking companies. The cameras may be facing the road, the driver or both. A camera's footage helps determine the driver's conduct before the accident. It also works as a deterrent against misconduct for truck drivers.

Electronic logging devices enable truck drivers to keep track of their hours, including rest hours, and the FMCSA requires drivers to use them. Therefore, we can examine these records to see whether the driver complied with the federal hours of service regulations.

Most of these forms of evidence are confidential and will require us to subpoena the trucking companies for them. 

After examining all pieces of evidence and determining the degree of fault, we will negotiate aggressively, if need be, and ensure that we recover the maximum damages for your injuries.

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