Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer
Navigating the aftermath of a truck accident can be challenging. Amid the physical pain and emotional turmoil, victims often struggle to comprehend their legal options. A Sacramento truck accident lawyer can be your lifeline when you or a loved one have been involved in a traumatic truck accident.
We at J.G. Winter Law prides ourselves on providing victims with truck accident attorneys across Northern California. Our personal injury lawyers in Sacramento guide you through this complex legal process and help you receive maximum compensation.
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WE HAVE HELPED THOUSANDS OF TRUCK ACCIDENT VICTIMS
Truck Accident Attorney in Sacramento
Commercial trucks can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Conversely, cars typically weigh less than 3,000. Therefore, truck accidents are often devastating collisions that leave accident victims with severe injuries, costing thousands of dollars in medical bills. Additionally, they may have to pay thousands more to repair or replace their vehicle. As a semi-truck accident victim, it is easy to feel lost. Truck drivers often have extensive resources behind them that will do everything possible to blame you for the accident. However, hiring a Sacramento truck accident lawyer may level the playing field.
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are a serious problem on Sacramento highways, often resulting in catastrophic damage. Understanding the various causes of truck accidents is crucial to figuring out who’s liable and how you can secure maximum compensation. Below are listed some common causes of truck accidents in California.
Driver fatigue is a widespread issue in the trucking industry. This is partly due to the long hours that truck drivers have to keep. Federal regulations allow commercial truck drivers to work up to 14 hours daily, with a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel. The result? Tired drivers pose a significant risk to themselves and others on the road.
Distracted driving ranks high among the causes of truck accidents. The distraction could be caused by using mobile phones, eating, or daydreaming. Whatever the reason, the effect remains the same – a decreased attention span that can result in fatal accidents.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Speeding and reckless driving, often linked to meeting tight deadlines, are other prevalent causes of truck accidents. When a truck moves faster than the traffic flow, the odds of an accident happening increase significantly.
Improper Cargo Loading
If cargo is not correctly loaded onto a commercial truck, it can cause the truck to jackknife or roll over, leading to severe accidents. Improper loading can also lead to overloaded truck accidents, another common cause of truck-related incidents.
Poor Truck Maintenance
Poor maintenance is another significant cause of truck accidents. Brake failures, tire blowouts, and steering component failures can all lead to severe accidents. The truck companies are responsible for ensuring their fleet is in good condition. Failure to do so can make them a negligent trucking company.
Sadly, substance abuse is another common cause of truck accidents. This could involve alcohol, prescription medication, or illegal drugs. Truck drivers under the influence are dangerous to themselves and everyone else on the road.
Sometimes, the fault lies with the trucking company for negligently hiring an unfit driver. This could be a driver with a history of DUIs or a driver without the proper licensing.
What Are the Most Common Truck Accidents?
Commercial trucks often cause unique accidents that many drivers do not know. While they can cause a head-on crash or rear-end collision, trucks are more likely to cause one of the following accidents.
Jackknifing occurs when a commercial vehicle folds in on itself, forming a 90-degree angle. These crashes usually occur when a truck driver brakes suddenly, or the brakes lock up, causing the trailer to swing out. Additionally, a jackknifing truck can easily overturn or roll over, causing damage to several vehicles.
Wide Turn Crashes
Truck drivers often swing left to make a right turn, but they may not account for the vehicle’s length nor the traffic behind them. As a result, cars and pedestrians may get hit.
Trucks have more prominent blind spots than a vehicle does. If a truck driver cannot see you, it may result in you being hit, crushed, or forced off the road. In general, avoid driving on both sides of the trailer and directly behind and in front of the vehicle.
When a driver loses control of their truck, it may roll over onto its side and endanger other vehicles and pedestrians. Drivers may lose control from high speeds, steep inclines, or wet surfaces.
Lost Load Accidents
When truckers or cargo loaders improperly load freight, cargo can fall off the vehicle, endangering other motorists.
You can see evidence of tire blowouts all over California highways. When a truck’s tire blows out, it can cause the vehicle to lose control and crash into other drivers.
A head-on collision involving a commercial truck and a smaller vehicle often results in severe injuries or even death.
Given the size and weight of commercial trucks, rear-end collisions involving trucks are usually devastating. They commonly result from a truck driver’s inability to stop quickly due to high speed or distraction.
This occurs when a smaller vehicle slides under the rear or side of a large truck.
Also known as side-impact collisions, T-bone accidents occur when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another.
Truck crashes are more common than you might think because of their size, length, and inability to maneuver as easily as other vehicles. When approaching a truck in Sacramento, always be alert and avoid driving next to one for long distances.
Most Common Injuries From Truck Accidents
Truck accidents often lead to severe, life-altering injuries. They can lead to permanent cognitive and physical impairment, affecting every aspect of a person’s life. The following are some common injuries from truck accidents.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can lead to partial or total paralysis, requiring lifelong care and leading to significant changes in a person’s quality of life.
Truck accidents can lead to broken bones, which can take weeks or months to heal. In severe cases, victims might require surgery and physical therapy.
These injuries can affect various organs in the body and often require immediate medical attention. They can lead to significant complications if left untreated.
Victims could suffer severe burns if a truck accident leads to a fire. These can lead to significant pain, disfigurement, and long-term psychological trauma.
Lacerations and Abrasions
Though they might seem minor compared to other injuries, cuts and abrasions can still lead to significant pain and suffering. They also pose a risk of infection.
In the most tragic circumstances, a truck accident can result in the wrongful death of a loved one. This loss has both emotional and financial consequences for the surviving family members.
You must see a doctor after being in an accident with a truck. Remember, not all injuries show symptoms immediately, but a doctor may diagnose and begin treatments early.
Who Is Liable for a Trucking Accident in Sacramento?
Pinpointing liability in a truck accident is not always straightforward because these crashes do not just involve the truck driver. For example, the driver may work for a larger trucking company. Conversely, there might be instances where the truck driver is an independent contractor. Additionally, more than one party may be responsible. Knowing who may be liable for the crash is vital to your claim’s success.
Liable parties for a Sacramento truck accident may include:
The Truck Driver
A truck driver might be at fault for the crash if they were engaging in negligent behavior, such as speeding, driving fatigued, or driving distracted. Truckers are also responsible for ensuring that their vehicle is free of any maintenance issues and that all cargo is secured correctly. If a maintenance issue or cargo contributed to the crash, the driver might share some fault.
The Trucking Company
Commercial truck companies are responsible for the trucks and drivers they employ. If a company does not provide adequate training, they might be responsible for a crash a driver causes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates how many hours truck drivers can work before needing a break. If a company forces drivers to work over these hours, they could be liable for a crash.
In some cases, a cargo loader may be responsible for a truck accident. For example, the loader may not have adequately inspected cargo before loading it onto the truck. Similarly, they may not have properly secured freight to the truck.
Some truck accidents may result from a defective part, such as brake failures or steering wheel problems. While this could be a maintenance issue, the manufacturer might be liable if they knew of the defect and did not notify trucking companies and truck drivers.
California Truck Accident Facts and Statistics
Truck accidents are a significant concern in California. According to the latest Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data, California ranks among the top 10 states for the highest average of fatal truck accidents.
California records about 3,000 truck accidents involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) annually. These accidents result in 200 to 300 deaths. In Sacramento specifically, fatal and injury-involved truck accidents have steadily increased over recent years. It has further emphasized the need for experienced Sacramento truck accident lawyers.
California Truck Accident Laws
California laws surrounding truck accidents are complex. Under the comparative negligence principle, more than one party can be held responsible for a truck accident. For example, the driver, the trucking company, or even the truck manufacturer could be found liable.
California enforces strict regulations on trucking companies and drivers, including laws on maximum driving time and necessary rest breaks. Violating these laws could play a significant role in establishing negligence in a truck accident case.
Dangerous Roads in Sacramento
Sacramento witnesses many motor vehicle accidents each year. Intersection-related accidents reportedly make up over 20% of total vehicle accidents and cause 33% of total injuries and casualties in Sacramento.
Between 2013 and 2017, there were more than 5,500 crashes at intersections in Sacramento, leading to 6,695 injuries and 46 fatalities. According to a recent survey, these are Sacramento’s 10 most dangerous intersections. This information could be crucial for residents and visitors to avoid potential accidents.
- Arena Bl & Truxel Rd
- Los Robles Bl & Marysville Bl
- 12Th St & I St
- Franklin Bl. & Mack Rd
- 56th St. & J St
- 9Th St & X St
- Gateway Park Bl & Truxel Rd
- 19Th St & X St
- Florin Rd & Freeport Bl
- Fruitridge Rd & Power Inn Rd
What Makes a Dangerous Intersection?
An intersection becomes dangerous when certain features or conditions increase the likelihood of vehicular accidents, pedestrian injuries, and other mishaps. Many factors, both environmental and human, can contribute to making an intersection hazardous:
High Traffic Volume: Intersections with significant vehicular traffic, especially during rush hours, can increase collision risks.
Pedestrian Activity: Intersections frequented by pedestrians, especially without proper crosswalks or pedestrian signals, can be hazardous.
Limited Visibility: If buildings, trees, or other obstructions limit visibility at an intersection, it can make it difficult for drivers to see oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
Complex Traffic Patterns: Intersections with multiple lanes merging or splitting can confuse drivers, leading to accidents.
Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, uneven pavement, or lack of proper signage can contribute to accidents.
Difficult Turns: Some intersections might have sharp turns or require drivers to merge quickly, leading to potential collisions.
Poorly Designed Infrastructure: Some intersections might have design flaws, like sharp turns, blind spots, or short merge lanes.
Inadequate Lighting: Poor lighting during nighttime or during low-light conditions can hinder visibility and judgment.
What Compensation Can I Receive After a Truck Accident?
Truck accident victims can claim two main types of compensation: economic and non-economic damages. In some cases, punitive damages might also apply.
Economic damages cover the financial losses related to a truck accident, including:
Medical bills: All current and future medical costs related to the accident are covered. This includes hospital stays, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, etc.
Lost wages: If the victim misses work due to their injuries, they can recover lost wages. If the injuries are severe enough to prevent the victim from returning to work, they can also recover lost earning capacity.
Property damage: Economic damages can also cover the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged vehicle.
Non-economic damages aim to compensate for the intangible losses from a truck accident. These include:
Pain and suffering: This covers the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident.
Loss of enjoyment of life: If the victim’s quality of life diminishes due to the accident, they can be compensated for this loss.
Emotional distress: Victims can receive compensation for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD that result from the accident.
In cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious or malicious, punitive damages may be awarded. These are meant to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior in the future.
Local Courthouse – Truck Accident Lawyer Near Sacramento, CA
If you or your loved one have been involved in a truck accident in Sacramento, California, we know you are going through a tough time. Hiring the right truck accident lawyer can make a significant difference when dealing with such a difficult time. You will spend hours and hours at your local Sacramento Courthouse trying to figure out what to do on your own. If you don’t hire a lawyer, you might waste countless hours and likely receive less settlement than you could have gotten with professional help. That’s why hiring the right lawyer can help to resolve your case and settle it faster. Most importantly, you’re more likely to receive a larger settlement.
At J.G. Winter Law, we’re here to help, and it won’t cost you anything to consult with us. If you have any questions or want to know how much you might be owed, contact us for a free consultation. In California, you have up to 2 years to file a claim and sue for compensation. If you decide to go to the court by yourself, you can find Sacramento County Courthouse at 720 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. But, if you want professional help, our truck accident lawyer in Sacramento would gladly assist you.
Speak to a Skilled Truck Accident Lawyer in Sacramento Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury in a truck accident in California, it is vital that you contact an attorney who has experience handling these intricate cases. At the Law Offices of JG Winter, we will deal with the insurance companies for you and answer all your questions so that you can concentrate on your recovery. With resources that include industry experts, investigators, and medical professionals, we will fight for full and fair compensation for all damages you sustained, including:
- Medical expenses
- Long-term care
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning power
- Pain and suffering
We stand behind the principle that financial cost should not hinder your ability to attain experienced legal advocacy. It is our promise that you will not pay anything unless we win your case for you.
Sacramento Truck Accident FAQs
What is the Statute of Limitations for California Truck Accidents?
What Should I Do if an Insurance Company Calls Me?
What If the Accident Was Partly My Fault?
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Truck Accident Claim in Sacramento?
What Evidence Do You Need to Support Your Claim?
How Can You Prove Fault/Negligence in a Truck Accident in California?
What To Do After Truck Accident in Sacramento?
- Report the accident to law enforcement.
- Exchange information with the other parties involved.
- Document the scene and gather contact information of the witnesses.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Contact a top-rated Sacramento truck accident lawyer.
How Much Does a Sacramento Truck Accident Attorney Cost?
About Sacramento, California
The city of Sacramento blends innovation and history to create a fascinating atmosphere. As the capital of California, it stands proudly at the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers, with landmarks like the California State Capitol Building and Old Sacramento reflecting its rich heritage. The city’s story unfolds through its unique districts, such as East Sacramento and Downtown Sacramento, from the legacy of John Augustus Sutter to the multicultural charm of its historic Chinatown. Museums, festivals, and educational institutions like UC Davis and California State University, Sacramento, reflect the city’s vibrant culture. Embrace the warm Mediterranean climate as you explore landmarks like the Tower Bridge and enjoy sun-soaked days. The city’s past and present weave seamlessly, offering a unique experience where modern spirit meets historical significance.
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Law Offices of J.G. Winter
1540 River Park Dr
Sacramento, CA 95815