Stockton Truck Accident Lawyers
If you were hurt in an accident involving a commercial truck, you might be entitled to compensation. It’s critical that you contact the Stockton personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC immediately to discuss the details so we can determine who was at fault. If the truck driver, trucking company, or another party caused the accident, we could help you recoup your medical bills and other costs, so you’re not forced to pay out of pocket for your expenses.
We need commercial trucks to deliver online products, transport food to grocery stores, and carry heavy materials to construction sites. Although they’re necessary, they’re also dangerous. Large trucks, such as tractor-trailers, can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds with a full cargo load. During a collision with a small car, the passenger vehicle occupants are at a higher risk of severe injuries and fatalities than the truck driver.
At OnderLaw, LLC, our Stockton truck accident lawyers understand the trauma and pain of recovering after an accident. You likely need ongoing medical care. Those bills are expensive and can lead to debt if you can’t afford to pay. You should not be financially responsible if someone else were entirely at fault for the crash. We will advocate for your rights and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Call OnderLaw, LLC today at (314) 963-9000 for a free consultation to learn more about your rights after a truck accident and how we can help you secure the money you’re owed.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer? Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC?
Since 2002, the Stockton truck accident lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC have been helping the injured heal after devastating accidents. We understand the physical, emotional, and economic struggles you face. We believe in holding people accountable for their misconduct and giving our clients the opportunity to seek compensation for their losses.
The St. Louis Business Journal, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, and other publications have written about our firm and the many successful cases we have represented. We also earned recognition from prestigious organizations, such as Super Lawyers, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and The National Trial Lawyers. Our AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating a law firm can receive, shows the quality of services you receive when you hire us.
At OnderLaw, LLC, we know how to get the job done and reach a favorable outcome for accident victims. You should never pursue a case alone. Studies have shown that represented clients receive higher compensation than unrepresented clients. That’s because the process can be confusing and complex. If you don’t have a knowledgeable legal team on your side, you will likely walk away with less money than you deserve or even nothing at all.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for the safe operation of commercial trucks. They must maintain these vehicles adequately, complete thorough training, and obey all traffic laws and federal regulations. If a trucker feels tired, drives recklessly, or makes a dangerous mistake, they put other people at risk of harm.
The most common causes of truck accidents are:
- Drunk driving – All truck drivers must undergo random drug and alcohol testing. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) considers a trucker to be “under the influence” if their blood alcohol concentration is at or above 0.04%.
- Negligent hiring – The trucking company should perform complete background checks on new drivers. That includes employment history and criminal records. Some employers will hire new people without doing a background check because they’re short-staffed, resulting in dangerous drivers on the road.
- Defective parts – Trucks must function correctly, so the driver doesn’t lose control and crash. Companies must repair or replace faulty or recalled parts promptly. Knowingly putting a commercial truck on the road that contains defects is careless and leads to accidents.
- Inadequate inspections – Federal law requires drivers to inspect their trucks and prepare a report at the end of each shift. They must check that various parts and accessories are in good working condition and note any deficiencies or defects.
- Distracted driving – Truckers maneuver large vehicles around traffic and hazards. Focus and attention are necessary at all times to recognize potential dangers and react appropriately in emergencies. Taking even just a few seconds to send a text or reach for an item in the truck redirects the driver’s attention to something else.
- Failure to check blind spots – There is a blind spot on both sides of passenger vehicles. However, commercial trucks have a blind spot on all four sides. If the truck driver doesn’t check these blind spots before changing lanes, they could sideswipe a car.
- Tailgating – Large trucks need a greater stopping distance than passenger vehicles. A stopping distance is a total distance it takes for a driver to recognize a hazard and brake to bring their vehicle to a complete stop. According to the FMCSA, a truck traveling at 65 miles per hour requires at least a 200-yard stopping distance. Following a car too closely means the trucker likely won’t have enough time and distance to avoid a collision.
- Speeding – Driving at excessive speeds can cause severe injuries and fatalities. Speeding trucks are more dangerous for the drivers and passengers in a small car than the truck driver. In 2019, a total of 4,119 people were killed in accidents involving large trucks. Of those fatalities, only 16 percent were truck occupants, while 67 percent were the occupants of non-commercial vehicles.
- Poor maintenance – Maintaining commercial trucks ensures that they ru smoothly and don’t have issues that could cause the driver to lose control and harm others in a crash. If the company doesn’t perform routine maintenance on the vehicle fleet, unknown issues could cause the parts and systems to malfunction.
Any of these factors can lead to serious consequences for accident victims. You can face life-altering injuries that cause ongoing problems, such as pain, psychological damage, and disability. The costs you continue to incur can result in significant financial strain as you’re trying to recover. OnderLaw, LLC is ready to take on your case and hold the at-fault party liable.
Common Injuries Suffered in Truck Accidents
When you’re involved in a crash with a commercial truck, it’s nearly impossible to walk away completely uninjured. Even if the accident occurs at a low rate of speed, you could still sustain a concussion, soft tissue injuries, or spinal cord damage. These accidents often lead to emotional trauma, causing victims to deal with anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
The most common injuries caused by truck accidents include:
- Concussion, traumatic brain injury, and other head injuries
- Spinal cord damage and back injuries
- Loss of limb or amputation
- Broken bones
- Psychological or emotional distress
- Cuts and burns
- Crush injuries
- Permanent disfigurement
- Significant scarring
It’s hard to imagine the destruction an accident can cause. Ending up on a collision course with a commercial truck is a scary experience. Many people face months or years of painful treatment. Some become disabled. For most victims, it’s traumatic and the emotional and physical scars can take a long time to heal.
Who Is Responsible?
One of the main differences between a truck accident and a car accident case is the parties involved. When you’re in a collision involving another passenger car, the other driver is likely to blame for your injuries. However, when the accident involves a commercial truck, multiple parties could be at fault.
Possible parties liable for a truck accident include:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Freight owner
- Maintenance or repair company
- Governmental entity
- Owner of the cab or trailer
- Cargo loading company
- Truck part manufacturer
Knowing who you can hold responsible for your losses is crucial in a case like this. The source of your compensation will depend on the party at fault for the crash. For example, if the truck driver caused the accident, you could recover your losses from their liability insurance company. However, if a governmental employee was to blame, you could file a claim with the governmental agency they work for.
Compensation for a Truck Accident Claim
The FMCSA requires trucking companies to buy and maintain liability insurance for their drivers. The minimum coverage amounts depend on the type of cargo being transported and the weight of the truck. When you file a claim, you could pursue compensation to cover the losses you suffered in the accident, such as:
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Medical expenses
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
If the insurance company denies your claim or offers a low settlement, you could file a lawsuit. There’s a deadline you must follow called a statute of limitations. The California statute of limitations for traffic-related accidents is two years. That means you have two years from the date of the crash to sue the at-fault party for compensation.
California and National Accident Statistics
In 2019, the number of deaths in accidents involving large trucks based on the occupant type was:
- Passenger vehicle – 2,757
- Large truck – 679
- Motorcyclist, bicyclist, and pedestrian – 633
Head-on collisions with a commercial truck caused a total of 618 fatalities, the highest number of all types of two-vehicle accidents.
In 2020, there were 11,330 crashes involving large trucks in California. They caused a total of 4,575 injuries and 436 fatalities.
Let OnderLaw, LLC Help You Fight for Justice
If you were injured in a truck accident due to someone else’s negligent actions, do not hesitate to contact OnderLaw, LLC. One of our Stockton truck accident lawyers can discuss your case during a free consultation to determine your available legal options. Call now at (314) 963-9000 and let us help you get on the road to recovery.