Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents
Below are questions people often ask us after sustaining injuries in a truck collision. These answers generally apply in California, but sometimes exceptions may apply. RELY ON YOUR OWN ATTORNEY FOR DETERMINING WHETHER AN EXCEPTION APPLIES TO YOU. Only by consulting an experienced truck crash attorney can you be sure your rights are fully protected.
What types of vehicles are commercial trucks?
A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is used to transport property. Trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, which makes them far more dangerous to nearby motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians in the event of a crash.
What are the most common causes of truck crashes?
There are many factors that can lead a large truck to crash. The driver’s health and alertness could impact his or her reaction time on the road. Although truck drivers are limited to 11-hour workdays before taking a break, surveys have indicated that many drivers still work longer hours than they are legally permitted to work. Fatigue, unhealthy eating, drug and alcohol abuse, and distractions might also play a role.
Driving conditions such as bad weather, low visibility, and roadway hazards can also lead to a collision.
Cargo must be loaded with care to keep the weight balanced inside a trailer. An improperly loaded or overloaded trailer could lead to a rollover accident when turning or driving in bad weather. Overly heavy cargo also puts pressure on a truck’s brakes and can lead to brake failure, and increases the distance needed to stop.
Motorists who drive around trucks must exercise caution. Driving in no-zones (where the truck driver cannot see you), and/or making unpredictable or improper maneuvers can also lead to a crash.
These are just a few of the factors that might cause a truck crash. In most scenarios, some sort of negligence has a role in an accident. It’s important to contact an experienced truck accident attorney right away if you are involved in a truck collision.
Is there a statute of limitations for truck crash claims in California?
You have two years to sue from the date of the of the accident, or the judge may deny your claim. When the injured victim is a minor, the two-year period does not begin to run until they turn 18 years old, so they can file at any time before they turn 20.
If a governmental entity is involved, you must file a claim within six months of the accident or the judge may deny your claim, whether or not you are a minor.
If I file a truck crash lawsuit, from whom might I recover damages?
It depends on who is at fault for the accident. Whoever is negligent may be responsible. If applicable, the defendants in your case might include any or all of the following:
- The truck driver,
- The trucking company,
- Insurance companies covering the truck, its driver, or the company,
- Cargo shippers or loaders
- The HAZMAT manufacturer,
- The manufacturer of a defective vehicle part, and/or
- A governmental entity that controls and maintains the road.
NOTE: If a governmental entity is involved, it will be given extra protection in California. You must file your governmental claim with it within six months of the accident or the judge may deny your claim, whether or not you are a minor.
Another driver caused me to collide with the truck. Can they be held responsible?
If someone forced you to take evasive maneuvers and you crashed as a result, you may pursue a claim against them if you can show they are responsible.
Should I contact a San Diego truck accident lawyer? If so, when?
Medical care should be your first priority. Then, contact an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as reasonably possible.
Acting quickly is critical for several reasons. When a lawyer has the opportunity to gather and preserve evidence immediately, he or she can better show what happened and who was at fault. In addition, trucking companies typically send investigators and lawyers to the scene of a crash immediately to protect their interests. CaseyGerry has two full-time investigators to enable us to move fast to protect our clients.
There is a statute of limitations for truck lawsuits. Truck crashes involving injuries are personal injury cases. An injured person or surviving family (if the victim died) has two years from the accident to file a claim in California. If the victim is a minor, the two-year period does not start to run until they turn 18. If the at-fault party is a government-owned entity, victims have only six months after the truck accident to file a governmental claim – including minors!
How much is my case worth?
Every truck accident case is different. The value of each case depends on a variety of factors. One factor is how your injury interferes with your life, how painful it is, and whether or how soon you will recover. Other factors are your past and future medical bills, lost earnings, opportunities, etc.
More specifically, these factors will help determine the value of your case:
- The nature and severity of your injuries,
- The costs of the medical treatment needed for your injuries and whether you require ongoing treatment,
- Whether your injuries caused you to miss work and lose income,
- Whether your injuries caused any long-term or permanent impairments, disfigurement, or disabilities, and
- Physical and/or emotional suffering you experienced because of your injuries.
An experienced truck accident attorney can review the circumstances of your individual case to determine what your claim may be worth. You can speak with the experienced San Diego truck injury attorneys at CaseyGerry by calling (619) 238-1811.