The bigger the vehicle, the more complicated the case. At least that’s true when it comes to truck accidents. Large truck collisions are not the same as car crashes. In fact, they are significantly more complex and typically involve more severe injuries, massive vehicle damage, and the added stress and pressure of dealing with the trucking company’s team of insurers and lawyers.

If you’ve been injured in an accident with a truck, you need to talk to an experienced San Jose personal injury attorney about your situation. At OnderLaw , we are ready to go head-to-head with the trucking company’s lawyers to protect you and make sure you are getting the full and fair compensation that you deserve.

If you are interested in scheduling a free consultation to talk about the unique details of your case, call us today. We want to help you go after the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and get on with your life.

Why Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?

Why do I need an experienced truck accident attorney? It’s a fair question. Many people assume that they can handle a truck accident claim on their own. What most people don’t realize is that the trucking company employs teams of insurers and attorneys whose sole purpose is to protect the company and its profits. This team can short circuit your accident claim or, even worse, turn the blame onto you and try to refuse to pay the compensation that you may rightfully deserve.

Truck accident cases are not like car accident cases. They are much more complicated. Add to that the fact that truck accidents tend to cause much more damage and result in more severe injuries, and you can see why you need to have an attorney willing to fight for you. You need one who won’t back down in the face of a challenge.

At OnderLaw, we have a team of dedicated and knowledgeable attorneys who are willing to represent you and your best interests aggressively after a serious truck accident. Our track record speaks for itself. We have helped victims of truck accidents receive sizable settlements that have helped get their lives back on track.

A truck accident can change the course of your life. Don’t count on the generosity of the trucking company to make things right. Protect yourself and contact an experienced San Jose truck accident attorney today.

Causes of Truck Accidents

From jackknife accidents to rollovers and underride collisions, truck accidents are serious and traumatic events. Some of the most common causes of these types of serious collisions include:

  • Distracted driving. Distracted driving is defined as any type of activity that takes a driver’s eyes or attention off the road. Distracted driving can happen if a truck driver is using their phone, texting, entering information into a GPS, eating or drinking, or even watching videos.
  • Drunk driving. Truck drivers may not be able to take the time to kick back, relax, and have a few drinks like other people who work 9 to 5. However, that is never an excuse to drink and drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2018, three percent of the drivers of large trucks who were involved in fatal crashes had a BAC of at least .08 at the time of the accident.
  • Drowsy driving. Drowsy or fatigued driving is a major concern for truck drivers who are running on tight deadlines. A lack of proper rest and sleep deprivation can cause symptoms much like those you experience from being drunk. The National Sleep Foundation finds that being awake for 18 hours is similar to having a BAC of .05. This can mean impaired judgment and a slowing of the body’s reflexes, which is a dangerous combination for a driver responsible for maneuvering 80,000-pounds of metal and cargo.
  • Untrained or inexperienced drivers. Driving a truck is a specialized skill that takes skill and the right educational background. Trucking companies have a responsibility to hire qualified drivers who have the proper credentials. Failing to conduct background checks or verifying a driver’s credentials can put others at risk.
  • Aggressive driving. Aggressive driving is a set of dangerous behaviors that result when someone is taking an angry or aggressive stance against other drivers on the road. This behavior includes actions such as risky or dangerous lane changes, tailgating, or “brake checking” other vehicles. These actions are particularly dangerous when the aggressive driver has an 80,000-pound vehicle at their disposal.
  • Failure to obey traffic signs and regulations. The rules of the road apply to everyone, not just to drivers of cars. Truck drivers must also abide by all posted speed limits, yield signs, and traffic signals.
  • Speeding. A speeding truck is a dangerous truck. It takes an enormous amount of power and time to stop a fully-loaded speeding truck. Anything caught in the path of a truck that can’t slow down can be crushed in an instant.
  • Road construction. Construction zones can be tight and difficult to maneuver through. Truck drivers need to be aware of their surroundings and obey all posted signs and speed limits to protect other drivers and the construction crew.
  • Improperly loaded cargo. Trucks carry a wide variety of goods and cargo across the country. However, when this cargo is loaded improperly, it can significantly shift the vehicle’s center of gravity, making it more difficult to control. An improperly loaded or overloaded truck is at a higher risk of being involved in an accident. Improperly loaded or improperly secured cargo can also come loose during transport and can cause accidents from the flying debris.
  • Mechanical defects and defective parts. Trucks are tough, hard-working machines that need regular maintenance and routine part inspections. Unfortunately, not all parts are created equal. Flaws and defects in truck parts can compromise the safety of the truck driver and everyone else on the road. When a defective or faulty part is to blame for an accident, victims may be able to hold both the trucking company and the part manufacturer responsible for the fallout.

Common Injuries Suffered in Truck Accidents

The enormous size and power of large trucks often mean that occupants of other vehicles caught in their path are crushed, flattened, or dragged. Truck accidents often account for some of the most serious and catastrophic types of accident-related injuries. These injuries can impact a victim for years to come and sometimes for the rest of their life, diminishing their quality of life and their ability to work and play.

Some of the most common injuries reported in truck accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Concussion
  • Neck and spinal injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of limb
  • Facial injuries
  • Dental injuries
  • Physical burns
  • Chemical burns
  • Broken bones
  • Crushing injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Lacerations
  • Contusions

The physical and mental toll these injuries take on a victim can be life-altering. That’s not to mention the financial toll that paying for the medical bills and rehabilitation costs can take. At OnderLaw, we have seen the immense destruction that a serious truck accident can cause. That is why we are so committed to helping victims of truck accidents seek the full and fair compensation they deserve.

Compensation for a Truck Accident Claim

Determining the value of compensation for a major truck accident case comes down to calculating both economic and non-economic factors. Economic damages are measurable losses that a victim incurs as a result of the collision. This includes property damage and medical costs. Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as emotional distress, disfigurement, and pain and suffering. When assessing the value required to fully compensate for a victim’s losses,  the following factors may be considered:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Emotional distress
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Property damage
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering

However, the value is only part of the equation. California law dictates that the amount of compensation a victim may receive from an at-fault driver is tied to their own portion of the blame in causing the accident. This is known as the “pure comparative negligence” rule.

When it comes to court cases, a truck driver could be found 90 percent at fault for causing an accident because they were driving while fatigued. However, if the victim was slightly speeding at the time of the crash, they could be found to be ten percent liable for the collision. That means the victim can claim the total amount of damages, minus ten percent. While this rule binds the courts, it also strongly guides insurance adjusters who may default to how they think a court would rule.

This is an important law to understand, especially when it comes to truck accident cases. The attorneys employed by the trucking company can make a compelling argument that attempts to shift blame away from their insured and onto the victim. This ultimately could mean that the company will end up paying less compensation. Victims need to protect themselves by hiring their own attorney who can investigate the accident and gather crucial evidence before it can be lost or destroyed. This evidence could include items such as cell phone records, data from the truck’s “black box”, and dashcam video.

Contact a San Jose Truck Accident Attorney Today

Being the victim of a large-scale truck accident is a terrifying experience, one that can leave both physical and mental scars. While you are at your most vulnerable, trucking companies may want to take advantage of you and offer you much less compensation than you deserve. Don’t let them. Contact an experienced San Jose truck accident attorney immediately.

At OnderLaw, we vow to stand by you every step of the way and guide you through the truck accident claim process. You deserve full and fair compensation for your suffering. Let us help you build a case that offers you the best chance at a positive outcome for your situation. Contact our office today by calling and scheduling a free consultation.