A collision with a heavy commercial truck can be devastating, and truck accidents are all too common on Temecula’s busy roads. Catastrophic injuries and fatalities are common in semi-truck collisions, especially among passenger vehicle occupants. Even seemingly minor truck collisions can lead to severe physical, mental, and financial hardship.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident due to another driver’s negligence, you could seek compensation. The Sargent Law Firm can guide you through the legal process. Reach out to discuss your case with a skilled Temecula truck accident lawyer in our office. During your free consultation, we can explain the legal process, advise of your rights, and help you decide on your next steps.
You Could Pursue Damages Following a Temecula Truck Accident
California law lets accident victims seek compensation from the parties responsible for the collision. If you suffered injuries due to another person’s negligent or careless behavior, the Sargent Law Firm can help you pursue a settlement through an insurance claim or injury lawsuit. Damages we could seek on your behalf include:
Truck accident injuries are often debilitating, with long-term mental, physical, and financial consequences. In addition to emergency assistance and critical care, you may require surgery, inpatient treatment, and rehabilitation. You can recover these and other medical expenses through a truck accident claim against the at-fault party and their insurance company.
Other eligible medical costs may include medication, medical devices, assistive equipment, transportation to and from appointments, domestic assistance, and accessibility modifications.
Serious injuries from a semi-truck accident may require extensive medical treatment that keeps you from work. If your injuries caused long-term or permanent disability, you may find it difficult to return to your previous position. At the Sargent Law Firm, we understand how a major work disruption can affect you and your family.
Our truck accident lawyers in Temecula can help you pursue compensation for the income you lost during treatment, as well as future income loss due to impairment or disability.
Pain and Suffering
Physical injuries account for only part of the losses you suffer following a severe truck crash. Physical pain and suffering, mental distress, and emotional anguish can reduce your quality of life. If your truck accident injuries prevent you from working or engaging in daily activities, you deserve compensation for those intangible losses as well.
The Sargent Law Firm’s Temecula truck accident attorneys can help you determine the full scope of your losses, so you can pursue the compensation you deserve.
If you lost someone you love in a semi-truck accident, you have our sympathy. Sargent Law Firm’s compassionate wrongful death lawyers can help you pursue justice and financial compensation for the loss of your loved one.
While nothing can make up for your lost loved one, a financial settlement can ease the financial burden. Damages you could recover include funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and loss of companionship.
Our Dedicated Temecula Truck Accident Lawyers Can Assist With Your Claim
Healing after a truck collision can be an uphill battle. While you undergo medical procedures and work through rehabilitation, the Sargent Law Firm can begin work on your legal case. Once you sign a contract for our legal representation, we contact the insurance company immediately. Our legal team will field phone calls and other communication regarding your case so you and your family can heal in peace.
At the Sargent Law Firm, we know that your truck accident injuries create unique difficulties and challenges. Our team provides personalized attention so you have the guidance and support you need during this difficult time.
As soon as you sign a contract with our personal injury firm, we become readily available to answer all your questions about the legal process and your rights. You never have to guess where your case stands because we keep you fully informed throughout the claim.
Our Temecula truck accident lawyers extensively investigate every case to establish who is responsible for the accident. Trucking companies are required to keep records for a certain amount of time, after which they can destroy the documents. This means that they can destroy an employee’s driving hours logs, which could help prove negligence. We can draft and send a letter of spoliation, which stops the company from destroying potential evidence.
Other evidence we may use to prove your claim includes:
- Medical records and bills
- Repair estimates
- Videos and photos of the accident site
- Witness statements and expert testimony
The Sargent Law Firm has established a reputation for success for our clients in Temecula and throughout California. We have recovered more than $40 million in settlements, judgments, and verdicts on behalf of our injury clients. When you work with us, we leverage our extensive experience and resources to seek the maximum settlement possible.
Comprehensive Legal Services
Throughout your truck accident case, you can rely on the Sargent Law Firm to do the heavy lifting. We can:
- Obtain documentation
- Gather witness statements
- Secure expert testimony
- Establish fault and determine damages
- File a claim or demand with the insurance company
- Negotiate for a fair settlement
- File a lawsuit against the responsible parties
If you have trouble obtaining medical care following your accident, we can also help you connect with a health care provider familiar with injury cases.
Truck Accident Facts
The Federal Motor Carrier Traffic Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that approximately 100,000 large trucks are involved in injury crashes every year, and around 5,000 truck crashes each year are fatal.
Due in part to its high commercial traffic volume, California is one of the most dangerous states for truck accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that truck accident fatalities in California are second only to Texas. Per the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the state sees approximately 7,000 injury crashes and over 300 fatalities in truck collisions each year.
Weight Differential Between Trucks and Cars
The size and weight of a commercial truck is significantly greater than that of a passenger vehicle. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, 20-30 times as much as a standard passenger vehicle.
Their weight and heft make semi-trucks more difficult to stop and maneuver. What’s more, collisions with tractor-trailers cause significantly more damage to the smaller, lighter passenger vehicles.
Car Drivers Are Often at Greater Risk Than Truck Drivers
In a truck collision, any of the involved parties can suffer injuries, including the truck operator, the driver of another vehicle, passengers in the vehicles, or non-occupants. However, occupants of passenger vehicles are much more likely to suffer severe injuries or fatalities in a collision with a semi-truck. In fact, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that approximately 68% of fatalities in truck accidents are occupants of cars and other vehicles.
Conditions That Lead to Temecula Truck Accidents
While truck size and weight play a role in the severity of an accident, many semi-truck collisions are preventable. When truck drivers or other vehicle operators are careless or reckless, they can be held liable for accidents they cause. The Sargent Law Firm’s truck accident attorneys in Temecula can help you establish fault and pursue the responsible party.
Negligent behaviors that can lead to truck accidents include:
To protect truck operators and others on the road, the FMCSA has established hours of service regulations. These standards place limits on how long a commercial vehicle operator can drive before taking a break or extended time off.
When drivers fail to meet these requirements may suffer from impaired judgment, inattentiveness, and delayed reaction times. While drivers may be liable for accidents they cause due to fatigued driving, they may not be the only parties at fault. Trucking and logistics companies that set unrealistic deadlines or pressure drivers to exceed legally allotted service hours could also be accountable for the resulting accident.
The Sargent Law Firm’s Temecula truck accident attorneys are well-versed in laws and regulations for commercial semi-trucks. We know how to hold all the responsible parties fully accountable for their part in your truck accident.
Aggressive Driving and Speeding
Drivers that are in a hurry may display road rage and other aggressive driving behaviors. Since they cannot stop or maneuver quickly, semi-truck drivers have an obligation to monitor their speed and behavior. Failure to do so can result in devastating accidents.
Aggressive behavior from a truck driver may look like:
- Driving too fast for the conditions
- Passing illegally
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Purposely slamming on their brakes or “brake checking”
- Shouting, gesturing, or otherwise engaging in threatening behavior
Speeding is involved in nearly one-third of all vehicle accidents, and it is easily preventable. Truck drivers who drive aggressively can be held liable for accidents they cause. If their employer encourages or fails to discipline drivers for aggressive behavior, they could also be liable for damages.
Inattentive or Distracted Driving
All drivers, whether they are operating a car or semi-truck, should keep their eyes on the road. Even a moment of distraction can have severe consequences. Distractions that could lead to a truck accident include:
- Texting or talking on a cell phone
- Fiddling with navigation controls
- Adjusting audio levels
- Talking to someone else in the vehicle
- Eating or drinking while driving
Drivers could also be distracted by animals, people, or objects outside the vehicle. While distracted driving is often the driver’s fault, a trucking company could share liability in some cases.
For example, if the driver was provided incorrect directions and became lost, they may be in an accident while trying to correct their route.
Impaired or Drunk Driving
Drivers who use drugs or drink alcohol suffer from compromised cognition, including slowed reaction time and impaired judgment. A heavy semi-truck can be a dangerous weapon in the hands of a drunk driver. Truck operators on tight schedules may also turn to stimulants or other drugs that can cause inattentiveness, drowsiness, or other complications.
Brake failure is a common cause of truck collisions, especially in the mountainous areas in and around Temecula. A defective brake component or other part failure can cause catastrophic loss of control. Even the most cautious truck driver may crash due to a system failure.
A truck accident from a brake failure or other critical component failure can cause serious injuries to the driver and others on the road. Our team can help you pursue compensation from the manufacturer, distributor, or other parties responsible for the defective part.
Regardless of the cause, if your truck collision occurred as a result of another person’s negligence, you should not have to pay for the consequences. The Sargent Law Firm’s dedicated truck accident attorneys in Temecula can investigate your case to find the cause and establish liability.
Determining Liability in a Temecula Truck Accident Case
A major factor in your truck accident claim is liability determination. Just as in an accident caused by a driver of another passenger vehicle, a truck driver can be legally responsible for the injuries that occur when he is at fault in an accident. In addition, the employers of professional drivers may also be vicariously liable.
Trucking companies can be liable for an accident caused by one of their drivers in two ways:
Examples of direct liability include when a trucking company fails to properly vet potential employees and hires a driver with a history of distracted, drunk, or negligent driving. A company can also be directly liable when it continues to employ a driver who engages in these behaviors.
The principle of vicarious liability states that companies can be liable for any irresponsible behavior committed by their employees when the behavior occurs on the job and causes a wreck.
California has complicated laws surrounding the allocation of fault after an accident. The truck driver and trucking company may be at fault, but other parties could also be liable.
Liability allocation can affect how much compensation you receive, so you benefit from hiring a personal injury attorney with experience handling Temecula truck accident claims.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Temecula Truck Accident Lawyer Today
No matter how complicated your case, the Sargent Law Firm can face aggressive trucking companies and difficult insurance carriers on your behalf. If we cannot reach a reasonable settlement out of court, our trial attorneys can readily take your case to trial.
California’s statute of limitations typically allows accident victims two years to file a lawsuit, so timing is critical. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Temecula.