Fresno Truck Accident Lawyers
The massive size and weight of big rigs such as tractor-trailers or semi-trucks make them much more dangerous on our highways. Because of their large size and the momentum they generate, large truck accidents are often catastrophic, resulting in serious injuries and deaths. Often, it is the occupants of smaller passenger vehicles that are severely injured in collisions involving large trucks. Truck accident investigations can become extremely complex because of the involvement of multiple parties and agencies. It is important that injured truck accident victims and their families get the necessary resources on their side to obtain justice and fair compensation for their significant losses.
Fighting for Your Rights in Fresno
Trucking firms usually have a large contingent of attorneys and insurance company representatives working for them, trying to protect their best interests. Injured truck accident victims need a strong, resourceful and tenacious advocate on their side who will fight for their rights and ensure that they are fairly and fully compensated for their losses. The experienced Fresno truck accident attorneys at BISNAR CHASE have helped thousands of severely injured accident victims and their families get the support they need after a catastrophic crash. We have a 98 percent success rate with our cases. Our track record speaks for itself. In addition, we give all our clients a no-win, no-fee guarantee, which means you do not pay any fees or costs unless we win your case. To obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights, please contact us.
Causes of Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a study on the causes of truck accidents nationwide and found that driver behavior was by far the most common cause of these types of crashes. In fact, truck accidents are 10 times more likely to result from driver behavior than other factors such as road conditions, weather and vehicle performance. Therefore, drivers can help prevent these catastrophic crashes by obeying the speed limit, remaining attentive and exercising safe driving habits. Acts of truck driver negligence that can lead to a crash include driving while distracted, driving while fatigued, exceeding the speed limit, operating a vehicle while under the influence, changing lanes without looking, turning across the path of other vehicles and tailgating.
When and Where Truck Accidents Occur in Fresno
About 63 percent of truck accidents occur on urban roadways such as interstates, freeways and expressways. This is why so many Fresno truck accidents occur along the 5 Westside Freeway as well as highways 41, 99, 168, and 180. However, truck accidents can occur at any location at any time. About 54 percent of accidents included in the FMCSA study involved trucks that were going straight at a steady speed at the time of a crash. Another 15 percent of trucks involved in the study were negotiating a curve, 10 percent were stopped in traffic and 5 percent were attempting to decelerate before the collision. The size of trucks makes them dangerous in all of these situations. Colliding with a truck, whether it is moving quickly or not, can have devastating consequences.
Types of Truck Accidents
One type of crash that is unique to tractor-trailers is an "underride crash." This is when a smaller vehicle is forced underneath the trailer of a large truck. Side and rear underride crashes are often fatal because the top of the smaller vehicle is crushed upon impact resulting in fatal head injuries for the occupants. When these types of collisions occur, it must be determined if the trailer had adequate underride protection and if the truck driver turned in front of the victim's vehicle or braked suddenly without warning. Other common types of truck accidents include rear-end collisions, roadside departures, rollovers, sideswipes, head-on collisions and jackknifing.
Truck Accidents and Hours of Operation
Driving any type of vehicle while fatigued is dangerous, but it is particularly hazardous to operate a large truck while drowsy. Many drivers, however, attempt to travel long distances without taking a break. Some even violate federal laws regarding the amount of hours they can work without rest to meet unrealistic delivery schedules and deadlines. Under federal law, truck drivers are not allowed to drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour when they come on duty after 10 hours off duty. Additionally, they may only drive if eight hours or less have passed since the end of their last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes. These regulations are meant to reduce the chances of driver fatigue, but many truck drivers and trucking companies violate these rules in the pursuit of higher profits.
Preserving the Evidence
Fatigued, distracted, impaired and careless drivers can be held accountable for the damages they cause. In order to receive compensation, injured victims must prove how the accident occurred and how the driver's negligence contributed to the accident. Evidence preservation is critical in any accident case, but it is particularly crucial in truck accident cases. It is important that all vehicles involved in the crash are preserved, including the truck. A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer will help victims request and preserve important pieces of evidence including truck driver logs, cell phone records and vehicle maintenance logs, which can help shed light on how or why the crash occurred. These crucial pieces of evidence must be preserved before they are lost, misplaced or destroyed.
Other Potentially Liable Parties
One of the reasons why truck accidents are so complicated is that there are a number of potentially liable parties. Truck drivers are responsible for their own actions, but they are not the only party that can be included in a claim. Truck owners can be held accountable for crashes related to their failure to properly inspect, maintain and repair their vehicles. Trucking companies are responsible for the actions of their employees when they hire drivers with a history of careless behavior. Truck part manufacturers are potentially liable when a mechanical malfunction or faulty part leads to a crash.
Illegal speeding is a common cause of large truck accidents
California has many particular laws that apply solely to trucks traveling on the state's roads and highways. Heavy duty trucks, 18-wheelers, and big rigs hauling cargo must adhere to a much slower speed limit than other drivers. Most truck accidents in California are found to be the fault of the truck driver and caused by the driver traveling at an illegal rate of speed. A Fresno truck accident lawyer can help you recover all damages suffered due to the negligence of a truck driver.
Our lawyers have successfully won significant monetary awards for our truck accident clients that include money for automobile damage, medical expenses, wrongful death, pain and suffering, insurance problems, trucking company disputes, and mental distress. The amount of monetary compensation that our Fresno truck accident attorneys may be able to recover for you will vary depending on the details of your case. Contact our office immediately for a free consultation.
Long distance trucking is a dangerous business and many truckers run the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel due to long work hours. In many trucking accident cases both the driver and the trucking company they work for can be at fault and a lawsuit can be filed against both of them. Other cases have involved faulty truck accessory damages, motor freight company problems, farming equipment accidents, and drug or alcohol use. A Fresno trucking accident lawsuit can seek damages for many reasons stemming from an accident.
In order to file a lawsuit with our Fresno trucking accident attorneys, contact us immediately, before signing any paperwork from anyone else or admitting any guilt. The qualified truck accident lawyers at BISNAR CHASE work on a contingent fee basis meaning that we only get paid if we win your case. If we lose then you don't pay us anything.