An Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You Recover
If you have sustained injuries in an accident involving a commercial truck, it is imperative that you secure experienced legal representation immediately. Trucking accidents can become far more complex than typical car accidents because they often involve multiple parties and their respective insurance companies. Our firm in San Diego, CA, has extensive experience seeking compensatory and punitive damages for clients who have been injured in trucking accidents. Our lead attorney, Kerry Steigerwalt, has successfully represented our clients against large corporations while consistently securing large settlements and jury awards commonly exceeding $1 million. If you have been involved in a collision with a large truck, please contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation with one of a truck accident attorney you can trust.
Regulations and Insurance Requirements
Commercial vehicles, including large trucks, are governed by different regulations and insurance requirements than standard passenger vehicles. There are numerous regulations in place regarding truck size and the weight of cargo loads, how many consecutive hours a trucker can drive before taking mandatory rest, and more.
Federal laws require commercial freight vehicles to carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability coverage to compensate a victim’s injury in the event of a collision. Additionally, California state regulations may require supplementary insurance depending on the type of cargo the truck carries. The repercussions of a truck accident can be vast and devastating. You can depend on us to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Like other types of motor vehicle collisions, truck accidents can be caused by a variety of factors. Trucking companies are required to routinely check their vehicles to ensure they are in proper and safe working order before sending them out on the road, but statistics show mechanical problems are still the cause of many accidents. Other common causes may include:
- Driver Negligence: Using electronic devices such as a phone or radio while driving and other distractions can lead to an accident. Truck drivers may also be negligent if they fail to adjust their speed, do not use appropriate braking, misjudge the height of their vehicle in relation to overpasses and other obstacles, or do not turn on truck lights according to changes in the weather, road, or traffic conditions. In some cases, truckers simply have not been sufficiently trained.
- Trucker Fatigue: Despite the regulations that place limits on the number of consecutive hours a trucker can drive before taking mandatory rest breaks, drivers may ignore these regulations to meet deadlines and schedules, resulting in fatigue and impaired driving. Additionally, the varied hours truckers keep can also contribute to driver fatigue.
- Driving Under the Influence: Any level of impaired driving skills can become exponentially dangerous when operating a large vehicle. Commercial drivers are under stricter regulations when it comes to blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits. When operating a large vehicle, these drivers must maintain a BAC of 0.04 percent or lower.
- Defective Parts or Equipment: Manufacturers have an obligation to create safe parts. Unfortunately, defective equipment or parts can make their way into large commercial trucks and trailers and lead to serious consequences when they fail.
- Speeding: Regardless of the weather, road, or traffic conditions, speeding can result in serious accidents. It takes longer for trucks to slow down and come to a stop, and speeding gives a driver less time to react. In addition, excessive speeds can lead to unstable loads and unpredictable trailer movement.
- Other Drivers: In some cases, accidents will be caused by another drivers' reckless behavior. Another vehicle cutting in front of trucks, following too closely, and passing on the right are only some of the actions that can lead to a serious accident.
Our attorneys will work tirelessly to determine the cause of your accident and prove liability for your injury. Our primary trial attorney has over 30 years of experience in the courtroom fighting against large insurance companies and can help protect your interests.
Liability in Truck Accidents
There are several different parties who may potentially be held liable in a truck accident. Sometimes only one party is truly at fault. Other times, more than one party could have contributed to the factors leading to the accident. Possible at-fault parties may include:
- The truck driver
- A trucking company
- The vehicle and trailer parts manufacturer
- Any mechanic or truck maintenance employee responsible for maintaining the vehicle
Because so many different parties are involved, it is critical to work with an experienced attorney. Each of these parties will have their own insurance provider and attorney, further complicating matters. Without an attorney, you could face minimized settlements or a total denial of liability, resulting in loss of compensation.
Reconstructing the Scene of the Accident
Our firm works with a series of experts and authorities who can reconstruct the scene of any type of motor vehicle accident. Our consultants evaluate the original scene of the collision and recreate the conditions that existed at the time of your accident. Using police reports, eyewitness accounts, trucking company records, and road and weather conditions, we can illustrate the cause of the accident and which party was responsible. Accident reconstruction is an invaluable tool in any motor vehicle accident case, but especially in trucking accidents where liability can be less clear.
Trusted Counsel from a Truck Accident Lawyer
Immediately following a crash, the attorneys who represent the trucking company, the driver, and their insurance carriers will begin investigating the accident. To ensure your best interests are protected, you should secure legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced truck accident attorney will start building your case right away to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
Our legal team is led by Kerry Steigerwalt, an original member of the board of directors of the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.
Commercial vehicles, including large trucks, are subject to a different set of regulations and insurance requirements than typical passenger automobiles. An experienced attorney will have a full understanding of these rules and regulations and how they might impact your case. Our attorneys work with accident reconstruction specialists, safety engineers, and other professionals and experts to investigate every aspect of your case. In addition, our legal team is led by Kerry Steigerwalt, an original member of the board of directors of the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America (APITLA). With his experience and dedication, our team can provide the knowledgeable representation you need.
Schedule a Complimentary Case Evaluation
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, please contact our firm online or call (858) 413-9228 as soon as possible to arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We can immediately begin building your case and dealing with insurance adjusters.