Sacramento Big Rig Accident Attorneys
In 2019, over 4,100 people died in large truck crashes, with nearly 66% percent of them being occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles involved in the collisions. Typically, in a collision involving a ‘big rig’ or a large commercial truck, passenger car occupants are more likely to suffer severe injuries or die than the truck driver.
Unfortunately, big rig accidents are common in Sacramento, California, considering the city and surrounding areas’ major freeways that semi-trailers use to transport goods in, out, and through the region. Due to these large trucks’ massive size and weight, a big rig accident is often dangerous and leaves victims with catastrophic injuries or dead.
While the law entitles compensation to victims of big rig accidents due to someone else’s negligence, pursuing compensation in these accidents is more complicated than an accident involving two smaller vehicles. Essentially, there is more at stake in damages, and trucking companies, their legal teams, and insurers will fight vehemently to reduce or even deny you fair compensation.
If you or a loved one is a victim of a Sacramento big rig accident, we are here for you. Our skilled Sacramento big rig accident attorneys at Heidari Law Group will fight for your rights to recover the compensation you need and deserve for your injuries and other damages.
An Overview of Big Rig Accidents
Besides expecting semi-trailer drivers to observe all traffic rules and regulations, the law holds them to a higher standard of care. Additionally, the trucking industry regulator, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), demands specialized training and licensing for all truck drivers. The governing body also has strict guidelines, including limiting the number of hours a truck driver can continuously drive.
Where a truck driver’s negligence leads to an accident, the law may also hold their employer vicariously liable. Besides being a threat to smaller motor vehicles, negligent big rig drivers are a danger to all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians. Victims of big rig accidents usually sustain catastrophic injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain and head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Sprains, fractures, and broken bones
- Amputations and paralysis
- Severe bruises and disfigurements
Common Causes of Big Rig Accidents
There are different types of big-rig or semi-trailer accidents, including collisions with other vehicles and rollover accidents. Even though these different accidents have different underlying causes, the most common causes of big rig accidents include:
- Negligent Driving
Negligent driving mostly involves reckless acts on the road, including over-speeding, driving under the influence, distracted driving, carelessly overtaking, and generally disregarding basic traffic rules and regulations. Trucking companies may be to blame for some negligent acts like over-speeding as they put drivers under pressure to save time and money.
Even though the law demands higher standards of care from truck drivers, intoxicated or drunk driving cases are common in the trucking industry. Some drivers use stimulants and other addictive substances like alcohol to offset the effect of working under immense pressure and for long hours.
Distracted driving is another form of negligent driving where drivers use their phones, eat/drink, talk to other passengers, or operate the navigation system while driving. Other motorists or other activities on the road may also distract the driver. Like drunk drivers, distracted drivers have impaired judgment and are likely to cause an accident, especially in situations that need a quick reaction.
- Poor Truck Maintenance
Even when they are not loaded, big rig trucks haul a lot of weight, and any mechanical failure on the road due to poor truck maintenance can be disastrous. Consequently, there are federal requirements for truck companies to inspect, repair, and maintain their trucks frequently. When the companies disregard these requirements, their vehicles become un-roadworthy and a threat to other road users, especially when they unexpectedly break down on the road.
- Defective or Malfunctioning Products
In addition to poor truck maintenance, a big rig may break down on the road due to defectively manufactured parts. A mechanic may also add a defective product or part during repairs leading to mechanical failure. Malfunctioning parts, including brakes and steering wheel, increase the risk of a big rig accident.
- Overloading and Improper Loading
Generally, big rig trucks transport heavy loads, and any form of overloading or improper loading can make it hard for drivers to operate these vehicles properly. Essentially, it becomes harder for the driver to brake, make turns, or even emergency stops. Accordingly, overloaded and improperly loaded big rigs have an increased risk of being involved in a traffic accident. Overloading and improper loading are common despite the existence of federal regulations on truck loading.
- Bad Weather and Road Conditions
Due to their large size and the massive weight they carry, driving a big rig is already a hard task even without bad weather and poor road conditions. Bad weather conditions, including heavy rains, snow, and fog, often make a truck driver’s task harder. Similarly, poor road conditions, including poorly maintained roads, bad road designs, and improper road signage impede driving and increases the likelihood of a big rig accident.
Big Rig Accidents and Personal Injury Claims
Besides negligent drivers, other parties may be liable for a big rig accident, and it is common for a case to have multiple defendants. However, California law requires you to prove the defendant(s) party’s negligence beyond a reasonable doubt to recover damages in a big rig accident. You must prove that:
- the defendant(s) owed you a duty of care, and
- through their actions, they breached this duty of care, and
- caused a big rig accident, and
- the accident is the direct cause of your physical injuries and other damages
It is usually a challenge determining the at-fault party where there are potentially multiple defendants. In addition to the concept of multiple defendants, other legal concepts can complicate a big rig accident claim, including vicarious liability, truck driver’s duty of care, and statutes of limitations.
However, a skilled and experienced big rig accident lawyer can help you navigate the complexity while helping you determine who is liable and how to get compensation. The attorney will also negotiate with the insurance on your behalf and, if necessary, file a personal injury claim.
Some of the damages that an attorney can help you recover in a big rig accident include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, lost earning capacity, property damages, pain, and suffering, among other economic and non-economic damages.
What to Do After a Sacramento Big Rig Accident
After being involved in a big rig or semi-truck accident, how you react is critical to the personal injury case afterwards. Your reaction will make your attorneys attempt to get you fair compensation, either easy or hard. Some of the things you need to do after a big rig accident include:
- Move to a Safe Place
While it is normal to feel disoriented after a traffic accident, especially if hit by a semi-truck, it is important to remain calm and focus on your safety. Get out of your car and move to a safe place where you can assess your injuries and call for help. Depending on the extent of your injuries, avoid moving your car or leaving the crash site.
- Assess Your Injuries
Once you are in a safe space, take a moment to assess your injuries and those of anyone else involved. This step is critical as you can overlook or downplay a serious injury due to the common adrenaline rush after accidents. Consequently, seek immediate medical treatment, including having a medical professional assess your injuries.
- File a Police Report
The police are part of the emergency response in accidents and should be the first people you call after an accident if they are not already there. Their report on the accident will be a critical part of your negligence claim case. If necessary, file a police report and ask for copies of the same.
- Gather Evidence
If you can, gather evidence about the accident, including taking pictures of the accident scene. You should also gather other information, including the semi-truck description, the contact information of the semi-truck driver, and that of other parties to the accident.
- File an Insurance Claim and Consult a Big Rig Accident Attorney
You should contact your insurance company as soon as possible to file an insurance claim. You should also consult a big rig accident attorney before talking to the other party or their insurance company.
Contact a Sacramento Big Rig Accident Attorney
Big rig or semi-truck accidents are usually dangerous and leave victims with catastrophic injuries requiring lengthy and costly medical care. If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries in a Sacramento big accident due to another’s negligence, you can recover damages. However, you are probably uncertain as to who is liable and how to recover the damages.
If you are in Sacramento, CA, do not worry. Our skilled and experienced Sacramento big rig accident attorneys at Heidari Law Group will guide you through the complex legal process while helping you get fair compensation for your damages. Contact us for a free consultation and to learn more about our services.
Get a Free Consultation
If you need a personal injury attorney with a history of success, good communication at all stages of your case, and who will help you manage and settle your case call Abogados Con Experiencia. We will handle your case so that you can heal and put your life back together.
Are we a good fit?
- Have you suffered injuries in an accident that was caused by someone else?
- Does the person who is responsible for these damages have insurance?
- Were there significant injuries that caused hospital visits or missed work?
- Did the accident happen within the last 24 months?
If you answered YES to ALL of the questions, Abogados Con Experiencia may be a good option. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Our team will lay out your options and answer all of your questions regarding your potential case. It is our job to determine how to best protect your rights and minimize the impact of an injury caused by another’s carelessness thus giving you the ability to focus on recovery.