Riverside Truck Accident Attorney
Have you ever wondered why the maximum speed for trucks is 5 to 10 mph slower than cars? A loaded semi-truck going 65 mph takes almost 600 feet – two football fields – to safely stop. A passenger car can stop in half that distance. And a loaded tractor-trailer truck typically weighs 80,000 lbs – about 10 times more than most passenger cars. A big truck’s combination of size, weight, and speed can mean devastating consequences and even fatal results when collisions with smaller passenger cars or motorcycle accidents occur.
A lot of freight moves through southern California. That means a lot of big trucks are on the roads in and around local communities. More trucks in congested areas increase the chances of getting into an accident with a truck. Understanding some of the issues unique to driving a big truck can help other motorists avoid behaviors and situations that might result in an accident.
At Ellis Law, we help those who have been severely injured in truck accidents. Our Riverside truck accident lawyers have collected over $350 million on behalf of our clients, and we are here to help you.
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Why You Need a Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accidents can involve more than just the driver of the truck. The trucking company that employed the driver may have some responsibility for the accident. If faulty maintenance contributed to the accident, the company that serviced the truck might be liable. A manufacturer might also bear some responsibility for a defect in the truck that caused the accident. A separate company may have loaded the truck and be responsible for the consequences caused by a shifting load.
Establishing responsibility for different parties will be based on separate legal standards that only a lawyer will be familiar with. A truck accident attorney knows how to investigate and prove what is necessary to get you the most complete recovery from all possible sources.
Significant Reasons Why Trucks Get in Accidents
Trucks crash for a lot of the same reasons that all motor vehicles crash. But because of their increased size and weight, the consequences of truck accidents can be far more catastrophic.
- Brake problems – this is the most common reason given as the cause of truck accidents
- Speed – going too fast for weather, road, or traffic conditions
- Driver unfamiliar with roads – perhaps going too fast with bad brakes
- Condition of roadway – might involve government responsibility for not maintaining roads
- Driver fatigue – despite regulations requiring drivers to rest, drowsy driving remains a problem
- Distraction – even momentary inattention can have deadly consequences
What Other Motorists May Not Understand About Trucks
Some accidents between big trucks and passenger vehicles may occur because drivers of passenger vehicles are not aware of the limitations in driving ability that truck drivers have due to the size and weight of their rigs.
Many trucks have their speed limited by governors. A lot of trucks have their maximum speeds fixed at something between 60-65 mph. That can make it super hard for one truck to get around another and why trucks can sometimes seem to get bunched up on the roads.
Trucks are hard to stop and hard to get going. Big trucks are very heavy. It takes a lot of fuel to get them up to speed and it takes a lot of braking to get them to stop. This is why you don’t want to slow down suddenly in front of a truck that’s approaching rapidly from behind. And why trucks will sometimes seem to abruptly cut over in front of you rather than slowing down as they come up behind a slower motorist.
Trucks have blind spots large enough to miss entire cars. Trucks have fairly good-sized blind spots on all four sides. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), unless you can see the truck driver’s face in his or her own mirror you should assume the driver does not see you.
How to Safely Share the Roads With Big Trucks
As with so many things, a little knowledge and understanding can go a long way toward helping everyone have a better experience. Keeping the following in mind when you are in close proximity with a large truck or trucks will reduce the risk of getting into an accident.
- Give trucks space – don’t follow too closely and don’t cut in front of them
- Stay out of blind spots – don’t drive alongside a truck – either pull ahead or drop back
- Pass safely – make sure there is plenty of room and try to pass on the left
- Be patient – remember trucks are not as maneuverable as cars and truck drivers are likely doing the best they can
- Pay attention – if you’re in traffic with trucks, any change in road conditions can quickly become a hazard
What to Do When You are Injured in a Truck Accident
When you have been injured in an accident with a truck in southern California there are a lot of potential parties that may have some responsibility for compensating you for your injuries. A number of factors may have come together to cause the accident and they will all need to be investigated to determine who is liable and to what extent. The legal analysis can be complex and you will want to employ the services of an experienced truck accident attorney as early as possible.
Our Riverside personal injury attorneys at Ellis Law will evaluate your accident using all possible legal theories. We will investigate and collect the evidence we need to get you the biggest recovery possible. We work with some of the best evidentiary experts to build you a solid, credible claim that gets you the maximum results. Contact us here for a free consultation to discuss your injury claim. Or call our office any day, any time at (310) 641-3335.