San Bernardino Truck Accident Lawyer
Several important freeways and state highways run through San Bernardino, making it almost impossible to avoid large commercial trucks on daily commutes. Sadly, truck accidents are relatively common due to thousands of big rigs crossing through the city every day. Contact Bentley & More LLP for legal representation if you or someone you love has experienced a truck accident in the Inland Empire. Our San Bernardino truck accident lawyers have just what you need for exceptional settlement negotiation and litigation in the city.
Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Trucking companies must ensure that their drivers maintain state and federal requirements regarding driving distances and required rest hours. However, some companies can push drivers beyond their limits, risking driver and public safety due to drowsy driving. As a result, most companies keep lawyers at the ready to defend such practices.
In the event of a truck accident, the company’s lawyers may attempt to shift responsibility for the accident onto other drivers, and are well-practiced at defending the company and the driver’s actions. Receiving compensation for injuries obtained in a truck accident can be difficult, particularly when it comes to litigation. The trucking company has lawyers fighting on its side, and you should, too. Our San Bernardino personal injury lawyers can help.
Why Are Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
In 2016, 28 people in San Bernardino County died in large truck accidents. Truck accidents are so deadly for passenger vehicle occupants because of the immense size and weight of the average 18-wheeler. Commercial trucks transporting goods can reach 80,000 pounds – about 20 times the weight of the average passenger car. When trucks and cars collide, the latter always loses. Trucks carrying hazardous cargo such as flammable liquids or heavy loads are especially dangerous in collisions.
What Percent of Accidents Are Caused by Trucks?
According to a study conducted by the American Trucking Association, truck drivers only cause an average of 20% of truck crashes. In fact, car drivers were at fault in over 90% of head-on and opposite-direction sideswipe collisions. However, truck drivers are responsible for crashes of several other types.
What Are the Most Common Truck Accident Causes?
Although car drivers cause many truck accidents, truck drivers are susceptible to causing major accidents as well. Since California is a comparative fault state, meaning both drivers may seek compensation in the event of an accident, determining the cause of a truck accident is crucial. What are the most common truck accident causes?
- Impaired driving. Truck drivers operating trucks while impaired by either alcohol or drugs are subject to decreased concentration and focus, impaired reaction time, and poor judgment. Some prescription drugs, even if taken as directed, can affect driving abilities as well.
- Poor training and maintenance. Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring each driver receives adequate training based on a mandated number of training hours. If a company fails to provide training, an inexperienced driver risks the safety of every other driver on the road. Similarly, trucks must receive sufficient maintenance to run safely. If a driver or company fails to maintain the truck, malfunctions can endanger other drivers or cause accidents.
- Reckless driving. Despite proper training, some drivers engage in reckless habits such as speeding, improper passing, and careless turning. Such behaviors can result in the driver losing control of the truck, and endangering other drivers in the vicinity.
- Distracted driving. All drivers are susceptible to distracted driving, particularly due to the ever-increasing number of mobile devices available on the market today. However, the sheer number of hours truck drivers spend on the road can lead to additional temptation to check mobile devices.
If you believe a truck driver has caused your accident, a San Bernardino truck accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for your injuries.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck driver fatigue is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. In fact, federal regulations exist to ensure drivers receive an adequate amount of rest during trips of certain lengths. Currently, drivers must take at least ten hours off before driving again, and eight of those hours must include sleeping in the driver’s berth. Additional regulations exist regarding rest periods and number of hours drivers may operate before stopping to rest.
However, some trucking companies pressure drivers to make a certain number of deliveries, or drive a certain number of miles or hours outside of federal regulations. Sometimes, the companies promise additional compensation or other benefits to drivers who meet their specifications. Although illegal, drivers may comply to keep their jobs or increase wages.
As a result, truck drivers are particularly susceptible to driving while fatigued. Fatigue reduces the brain’s decision-making capabilities, slows reaction time, impairs vision, and can cause symptoms similar to drunk driving. Fatigued truck drivers endanger themselves as well as the other drivers around them, and an accident caused by a fatigued driver can have serious repercussions for both the driver and the trucking company.
If you believe a fatigued driver caused your accident, reach out to your San Bernardino truck accident attorneys at Bentley & More for a free consultation.
Types of Truck Accidents
Our San Bernardino truck accident attorneys have handled many different truck accident types in our years in the personal injury practice area. Our firm understands the common causes of truck accidents (namely, truck driver and company negligence) and how most of them occur. The nature of a large truck makes for certain types of accidents more than others. Contact us if your accident involved any of the following:
- Rollover accident
- Rear-end or underride collision
- Wide-turn collision
- Blind spot accident
- Tire blowouts or bad brakes
The type of crash can help us understand what likely caused the wreck. For example, a tire blowout could point to company negligence in failing to maintain the truck or manufacturer negligence in creating a defective tire. From there, we can help you file your claim against the correct party.
Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident?
The trucking company will be liable, or legally responsible, for most trucking accidents in San Bernardino. The company will face accountability for the negligence of its drivers as well as for its own negligence. Lost loads, poorly maintained trucks, and inadequately trained drivers will all likely come down to company liability. Otherwise, a product manufacturer, third-party driver, or roadway maintainer may hold or share liability for the wreck. Contact our San Bernardino truck accident lawyers to learn who might owe you for your particular truck wreck.
Damages You Can Recover in a Truck Accident
Truck accidents are notoriously catastrophic for the occupants of smaller motor vehicles. In a lawsuit, you might be able to recover thousands or even millions of dollars for your serious, life-threatening injuries. You could fight for compensation for your medical costs, past and future pain and suffering, lost wages, disabilities, and other losses. A good lawyer at Bentley & More, LLP can help you maximize your compensation.
Why Do You Need a Truck Accident Attorney?
Truck companies have plenty of resources to spend on legal representation and fighting personal injury lawsuits. Don’t go up against corporate insurance companies alone. You need an attorney to help even the playing field. A San Bernardino truck accident attorney can fearlessly negotiate with major insurers for a better settlement or take your claim to trial if necessary for fair compensation. Choose the personal injury lawyers at Bentley & More LLP for representation and experience the difference outstanding attorneys can make. Call (949) 870-3800 for more information or schedule your meeting online today.