All automobile accidents can cause physical and emotional damage to accident victims, and the devastation is often worse when a truck is one of the vehicles involved in the accident. The bad news is that these accidents are common on the roads and highways of California.
In 2019 alone, more than 12,000 motor vehicle accidents in the state involved a large commercial truck. These accidents were responsible for 5,464 injuries and 452 traffic fatalities. Two-thirds of the fatalities in these accidents were drivers or passengers in the smaller car involved in the accident.
Truck drivers must adhere to federal laws in addition to the local and state traffic laws that all motorists must obey. These federal laws include established limits for hours behind the wheel, time spent sleeping and when a driver takes breaks. These activities are often tracked by electronic logging devices that make data available both to carriers and any law enforcement officer who wishes to conduct an inspection.
Truck accidents may involve additional parties
Accident claims that involve two cars will often only list the drivers of the vehicles. When a commercial truck becomes involved in an accident, the parent trucking company, service providers and parts manufacturers are also among the list of entities that can share fault in the accident.
Insurance companies are not allies
Trucking companies often have lawyers and large insurance companies that come to their aid when an accident occurs. Their job is to decrease the value of a claim or help the trucking company avoid paying the other motorist altogether. The other motorist should understand that these insurance companies are not an ally to them when settlement talks begin.
The accident claims process can be quite different when the other vehicle is a large truck. Individuals who become involved in an accident with a commercial truck may benefit from the services of an attorney.