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San Diego Truck Accident Lawyers

The consequences of a trucking accident can be significant, from property damage to severe injury and time out of work. Whether a truck accident is a result of negligence, a roadway defect, or equipment failure, the damage is often devastating.

If you or your family member is a victim of a truck crash, it is vital that you reach out to lawyers who can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Why Choose Us For As Your San Diego Truck Accident Lawyers

Experience, Knowledge, Compassion, and Commitment for San Diego Truck Crash Victims

At CaseyGerry, we have spent more than 72 years protecting victims’ rights and helping clients during tough times. We understand the ins and outs of truck accident law and the complex rules that govern drivers and trucking companies. Our San Diego attorneys undertake thorough investigations and analyses, working with reconstructionist experts to leave no stone unturned. We aim to maximize clients’ monetary recovery of medical expenses and lost wages and obtain fair compensation for their pain and suffering. Most importantly, our firm treats each client with compassion, because we understand what they’re going through.

Commercial Truck Responsibilities in San Diego

Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies have significant responsibilities and are held to high standards. Operating large commercial vehicles requires specialized training, skills, and necessary physical abilities. When safe trucking standards are violated, people often suffer severe injuries and damages in truck accidents.

Owners and operators of semi-trucks, garbage trucks, delivery vehicles, tractor-trailers, and other types of large vehicles that require training and licensing must follow state and federal rules and regulations for trucking operations. Unfortunately, negligent, reckless, and intentional practices that violate truck industry standards and requirements are common, and these violations put the health and safety of innocent people in jeopardy.

Truck Accident Liability in San Diego

Truck accident lawyer in San Diego

Commercial trucks are the vehicles we depend on to transport goods on the road, so they are often around us as we drive. Trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, which makes them more dangerous to nearby motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians in a crash.

Determining liability in truck accident cases can be complicated because multiple parties may be responsible, depending on the accident’s cause and circumstances. If you have been involved in a truck accident, one or more of the following parties may be responsible:

  • The truck operator
  • The truck owner
  • The trucking company
  • The truck seller or manufacturer
  • The person or entity responsible for truck maintenance
  • The cargo loading company
  • Another party involved in the truck accident

Causes And Contributing Factors

California was among the ten states with the highest average fatal large truck and bus crashes from 2014 to 2016. In 2016, 4,564 deaths in 4,079 crashes involved large trucks or buses, an increase of five percent from 2015.

Truck accidents are not like regular passenger vehicle accidents. Injuries are typically much more severe in truck accidents, especially for pedestrians, bicyclists, and occupants of other vehicles involved in the collision. Because of the strict regulations that govern the trucking industry, thorough investigations must be conducted by experienced and knowledgeable legal teams to determine the accident cause and contributing factors. Evidence of negligent employment practices, regulation and maintenance violations, driving violations, and vehicle defects are often used to prove and support the plaintiff’s claim for damages.

Driving Mistakes And Violations

Commercial truck drivers must go through intense training and secure proper licensing before operating commercial vehicles. Even with training and licensing, however, truck drivers sometimes make mistakes that have severe consequences. Common truck driving mistakes and violations include the following:

  • Operating in dangerous weather conditions. Trucking companies and their drivers are responsible for deciding to delay their trips or to pull over when weather conditions make truck operation unsafe.
  • Speed is a factor in a large portion of truck accidents. Drivers often face pressure from their employers to meet unsafe and unreasonable delivery goals and deadlines.
  • Driving too closely behind another vehicle, especially when combined with excessive speed, frequently results in rear-end truck accidents. Large trucks are not equipped to stop quickly or make sudden evasive maneuvers, which is why they must keep a safe distance behind vehicles in front of them.
  • Intoxicated drivers are a serious problem in the trucking industry. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol often results in catastrophic accidents and fatal injuries.
  • Distracted driving is an ever-increasing problem, especially for truck drivers who spend hours driving alone each day. Distractions involve anything that takes the truck driver’s full attention away from the road, including texting, emails, talking on the phone, watching movies, and eating.
  • Aggressive driving is always dangerous, especially when it involves the largest vehicles on the road. Speeding, erratic weaving and lane changes, running traffic lights, and passing or following too closely to other vehicles are examples of aggressive and reckless driving.

Negligent Employment Practices

Truck companies have a duty to ensure that their vehicles are operated safely and responsibly. Companies that cut corners and demonstrate negligent employment practices must be held accountable. No one is in a better position to hire and train responsible drivers than truck company employers, and there is no excuse for negligent employment practices that put dangerous truck drivers on the road.

Negligence in the hiring process frequently involves failing to conduct background checks, hiring drivers with checkered driving records, and ignoring health issues such as sleep apnea or vision problems. Not everyone is qualified to drive commercial trucks, and employers have a duty to evaluate and weed out high-risk drivers.

Employers are also responsible for monitoring their truck driver employees by continuously reviewing their driving records, conducting criminal background checks, and regularly testing drivers for drugs and alcohol. Employers can be held accountable for failing to discover or turning a blind eye to the presence of drugs and alcohol, criminal conduct, and driving violations.

Truck companies are responsible for thoroughly training and evaluating truck drivers. They must ensure that all drivers go through proper training and that they are capable of operating a commercial truck before putting drivers on the road. When drivers are not properly trained, driving errors can cause severe accidents and injuries.

Regulation Violations

As previously mentioned, state and federal rules and regulations govern the commercial trucking industry. Evidence of regulation violations can be used to prove that the trucking company’s negligent practices caused your accident. See below for some of the most common truck driving regulation violations.

  • Hours of service violations – Drivers are limited in the number of hours and consecutive days that they are permitted to operate commercial trucks. Employers sometimes allow and encourage drivers to ignore those hours of service regulations to speed up trucking operations.
  • Cargo violations – Cargo regulations are in place to reduce the risk of cargo-related accidents. Non-compliance with loading, unloading, securing, and placement of cargo regulations can cause serious accidents. Unbalanced and unsecured cargo are common contributing factors in truck accidents and roll-over incidents.
  • Size and weight limits – Commercial trucks are subject to size and weight restrictions. Truck length, width, and weight limit violations can impact the driver’s ability to maneuver and stop the vehicle. Size and weight violations can also cause accidents and lead to more severe accident injuries.
  • Maintenance violations – When commercial trucks are not properly maintained, accident and injury risks increase significantly. Trucks cannot safely operate when brakes are not checked, tires are not inspected, and necessary repairs are not made. Negligent maintenance is a common cause and contributing factor in commercial truck accidents.

Defective Trucks And Parts

Even when trucks are well maintained and sufficiently operated, accidents sometimes happen due to defective trucks, trailers, and vehicle parts. Truck defects are often discovered after examining physical evidence, reviewing statements made by the truck driver and other accident witnesses, and reviewing truck expert opinions. Claims against truck manufacturers frequently involve defective tires, breaks, and underride guards.

Common Types of Truck Accidents

There are several kinds of truck accidents that commonly occur:

  • Blind Spot Crashes: Trucks have much larger blind spots than passenger vehicles, so a driver may not see other vehicles at their side or behind them. When a truck driver cannot see a car in what is known as “No Man’s Land” and changes lanes or makes a turn, the other vehicle can be severely damaged in seconds. 
  • Underride Accidents: Tractor-trailers have a higher profile, and as a result, when a passenger vehicle collides with a truck, it will often slide under the side or rear of the truck. This kind of accident typically results in severe injuries, including death and total loss of the vehicle.
  • Rollover: This type of accident often occurs due to a cargo shift on an incline or from too wide of a turn. A truck that rolls over poses a severe threat to its driver and surrounding vehicles. Its cargo may also spill onto the road, leading to further collisions. 
  • Tire Blowout: When a tire blows out, the truck driver can completely lose control of their vehicle. A tire may blow out, for example, if it is defective or because of the extreme weight of the vehicle.
  • Jackknife: When a truck’s attached trailer swings into the cab, causing the truck to fold in on itself at a 90-degree angle, it is called a “jackknife accident.” These accidents often occur when a truck driver must brake hard and too fast, causing the truck’s axles to lock up.
  • T-Bone: One of the most frequent truck accidents, that often happen when a truck runs a red light, and a vehicle collides into its side. 

Types of Damages Available After a Truck Accident

San Diego truck accident lawyer

Victims have the right to demand compensation for their injuries and other losses caused by a truck accident. Some of the types of damages available include: 

Medical Expenses

This includes any current and future medical bills related to treating your injuries from the truck accident. To calculate future medical care typically requires a medical expert’s opinion, as well as medical records showing the extent of your injuries and your doctor’s prognosis regarding the projected length of your recovery and the treatment they recommend. 

Lost Wages

Any lost income and benefits while you recover, and future lost wages. If you cannot earn the same level of income as before the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for diminished earning capacity. 

Property Damage

Compensation for your vehicle’s repairs or replacement, and any other personal items damaged in the truck accident (e.g., laptop, phone, clothing, etc.).

Pain And Suffering

For the physical and psychological pain you must endure, as well as any emotional distress (e.g., depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.) or loss of quality of life caused by your injuries and the accident. 

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages may be available in cases where the defendant (at-fault party) exhibited an extremely reckless disregard for the safety of others. This type of compensation is meant to punish the at-fault party and deter others from similar conduct but it is rarely awarded. 

How Much Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?

Many truck accident lawyers, including CaseyGerry, accept truck accident cases on a contingency fee basis. That means there are no upfront fees to hire representation, and all expenses related to pursuing your claim are covered, so you do not have to risk any money out-of-pocket. Whether or not your truck accident lawyer gets paid is dependent on you winning. If you do not receive a settlement or award, there are no legal fees. As their contingency fee, your attorney will typically deduct between 25 to 40 percent if you recover compensation, plus court costs. Generally, it is 33 and a third percent of your recovery, but it can vary depending on the lawyer you hire. Some attorneys’ contingency fees fluctuate based on the work involved in a truck accident case. For example, it may decrease if you settle and increase if you must go to trial. 

What To Do After a Truck Accident

San Diego truck accident attorney

After a truck accident, there are specific steps to take to ensure you protect your health and right to compensation. 

Call 911

Truck accidents often cause severe injuries and fatalities, which means many victims must be immediately taken to the hospital. Call 911 if you are injured or believe someone else might be. It is also critical to have law enforcement come to the scene to create an accident report. It will contain details about the accident and the officer’s opinion on who caused the crash, which can carry a lot of weight in an insurance company’s decision on fault. 

Preserve Evidence 

If you are not taken to the hospital, collect any potential evidence from the scene, including taking photos and videos. Document the positions of the vehicles, their damage, any debris, traffic signs, skid marks, and your injuries. Ask the truck driver and anyone else involved for their contact and insurance information. Be sure to get the trucking company’s name that the driver works for. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information and if they will make a recording on your phone of what they saw. 

Seek Medical Care

See a doctor as soon as possible even e if you do not believe you are injured. Some serious injuries may not be immediately apparent, and you need medical records linking injuries and potential injuries to the accident. 

Report the Accident to Your Insurer

Let them know about the truck accident, but do not give a recorded statement until you speak to a lawyer.  

Speak to a Truck Accident Attorney

Contact a truck accident as soon as possible. Evidence from a truck accident must be collected quickly to ensure you recover full and fair compensation. Commercial trucks typically have a “black box,” which contains data about the crash and the truck’s condition right before it. This data can be vital to your case, and once you hire a lawyer, they will send a spoliation letter to the trucking company to ensure it is preserved. Your attorney will also take over any communication with the insurance companies so that you can focus on your recovery. 

How Our San Diego Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help You With  Claims

We know that the aftermath of a truck accident can be stressful for injury victims and their families. Our attorneys work to alleviate some of your stresses and concerns while handling your case. We offer free initial consultations without any obligation, and we provide legal services on a contingency fee basis. You will never have the stress of coming up with out-of-pocket attorneys’ fees.

We have decades of experience representing clients who were injured in truck accidents. We know the applicable rules and regulations, and we know how to find relevant evidence beyond reviewing the accident report and witness statements. We gather documentation, such as hours of service and maintenance records, to look for evidence of negligence and regulation violations.

Our attorneys are experienced negotiators who know how to work with insurance companies and large truck company defendants. We are not afraid to take on powerful defendants and their litigation teams because we have succeeded in personal injury cases like these for more than 70 years. We will hold out for settlement agreements that fully and fairly compensate you and your family while continuing to prepare your case for trial.

The Value of a San Diego Truck Accident Case

Many factors go into placing a value on your injuries and damages, such as:

  • The extent and severity of your injuries
  • The pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of your injuries
  • The impact and imposition your injuries have on your life
  • The long-term outlook regarding your recovery
  • The emotional consequences you have suffered due to the truck accident and resulting injuries
  • Missed work due to your injuries
  • Whether or not your injuries are permanent
  • Whether or not your earning capacity is reduced due to your injuries
  • Whether or not the defendant’s conduct was egregious enough to warrant punitive damages

If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you and other surviving family members might have a wrongful death claim for compensation. Recovery options may include loss of financial support, the value of the decedent’s household services, loss of companionship and guidance, and funeral expenses. In some cases, the estate’s personal representative may make a claim for compensation under a survival action.

Contact our San Diego Truck Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured or a family member has been killed in a trucking accident, we can help. Please contact CaseyGerry to schedule a consultation with an experienced trucking accident lawyer. We can be reached at (619) 238-1811.

Free Consultation

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