Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

The headlines pop up with alarming frequency. “Semi-truck driver falls asleep at wheel, crashes causing serious injury to passenger.” “Highway 99 lane closed after truck crash, fuel spill near Merced.” “Trucker pleads guilty to California crash that killed 13.” A semi-truck driver operating his vehicle in a fatigued state is one of the biggest dangers on the road. Crashes involving semi-trucks often inflict major injuries and massive harm to those involved… and to their families. If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident due to the negligence of a commercial truck driver, you may be entitled to receive substantial compensation from the driver, the trucking company and others. An experienced San Mateo truck accident attorney can provide invaluable help to you as you take on these companies and pursue the recovery you need.

In the three California crashes mentioned above, they all had one thing in common: a truck driver who was asleep (or claimed to be asleep) at the wheel at the time of the accident. The most recent one, which just happened earlier this month, involved only the big rig and occurred in San Luis Obispo County. Once the driver fell asleep, the truck went off the road and landed on its side. The passenger inside the truck’s cab suffered major injuries. The “cause of the crash is believed to be driver fatigue,” according to a KSBY report.

Last month, the scene was the San Joaquin Valley. Authorities were forced to close part of Highway 99 after the driver of a northbound fuel tanker fell asleep and jackknifed. The driver said he fell asleep and neither drugs nor alcohol were believed by CHP to have been factors, according to the Merced Sun-Star. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in that crash.

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A successful outcome in your truck accident case is something that involves much more than just a jury verdict that says those who you sued were “negligent” and “liable.” A successful outcome also means getting a damages award that truly and fully reflects just how much harm this accident has inflicted upon you and your family. That means going the extra lengths necessary to get the evidence that clearly shows who was to blame for the crash. It means getting the proof needed to establish that the defendants you sued had engaged in various missteps and misconduct that further increased their liability. In other words, your case needs the skill of an experienced San Mateo truck accident attorney to get you all the compensation that you deserve.

A recent verdict from Bakersfield is an example of many of the ways that it pays to have a skilled attorney on your side. T.C. and her children, A.C. and M.C., were shopping for school clothes when they were hurt in a massive crash. A big rig and the family’s SUV met in an intersection, with the collision causing major injuries to the mother and the son. The mother and son each suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial fractures, skull fractures and multiple brain bleeds. The injuries left the mother with no sense of smell or taste, and with diminished vision and hearing, all of which took away her independence, according to Bakersfield.com. The daughter suffered cuts and scratches.

Clearly, the family had suffered major harm. The mother and son had injuries that would affect them for the rest of their lives. However, what they didn’t have at first was definitive proof regarding who caused the crash. The big rig driver who collided with the family’s SUV said that his traffic light was green when he went through the intersection and that T.C. ran a red light. The mother, due to her injuries, had no memory of the crash or the moments immediately preceding it. The two surveillance cameras at nearby businesses, which the California Highway Patrol reviewed, were inconclusive.

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Being hurt in an auto accident is almost always a stressful time. You probably have many questions. How will I pay all these medical bills? What do I do if I have to miss work for an extended period of time? These and other things likely race through your mind. Instead of shouldering this burden on your own, reach out to a knowledgeable San Mateo injury attorney, who can give you the representation you need to get the compensation you deserve.

While not in San Mateo, here’s a recent example from Northern California. Back in January, the Sacramento Bee reported on a settlement of a lawsuit between an injured driver and the City of Sacramento. According to the report, 64-year-old R.D. was driving southbound on Riverside Boulevard near the Sacramento Zoo when he slowed to make a left-hand turn. When R.D. slowed down, the driver of a city animal control truck, who was immediately behind R.D., apparently did not notice and crashed into the rear end of the man’s SUV. According to the Bee, the impact was substantial enough that it spun the SUV around, sent it through a fence and into the lawn of a nearby home.

A city spokesman told the Bee that, as of the time of the case’s settlement, the driver of the animal control truck no longer worked for the city.

In any civil case, you, as the plaintiff, are going to have one version of the facts of the case. The defense is very often going to have a version of the facts that differs, many times dramatically, from your version. The key to success, then, is having stronger proof that makes your version of the facts more credible. In other words, find the evidence you need to debunk the defense’s theory of the case and you may be well on your way to a successful outcome. When it comes to acquiring and interpreting the information you need for your case, be sure to rely on representation from a skilled San Mateo injury attorney.

As reported by trucking publication landlinemag.com, K.G. was a spouse having to deal with an unthinkable trauma: her husband had died in a vehicle accident. Prior to the accident, a commercial truck driver had parked his big rig alongside the shoulder of the transition lane between two freeways in Pomona. Before he could move his truck, a box truck slammed into the semi. Allegedly, another driver cut off the box truck and the box truck driver swerved to avoid that collision, only to crash into the corner of the semi.

The accident left both the semi driver and K.G.’s husband, who was a passenger in the box truck, dead. K.G. sued the trucking company that employed the deceased driver, alleging that the driver was negligent in parking where he did and that his negligence caused the crash and the box truck passenger’s fatal injuries. (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC536714.)

When you decide to cross a street, there are certain things you can do to enhance your safety. You can choose to cross with the light and you can choose to cross inside the crosswalk. When you do those things, you likely have certain expectations, like not being run over by a large vehicle. Regrettably, these kinds of pedestrian accidents do happen all too often. If you’ve been hurt (or a loved one was killed) in this type of pedestrian-versus-truck accident, be sure you reach out to a knowledgeable California injury attorney about your situation.

Unfortunately for one 69-year-old southern California woman, she allegedly did all those safety-related things right as she cross a street in Alhambra, but still met with a tragic end. She reportedly had a walk signal and she was inside the crosswalk when a cargo van that was turning left crashed into her. She suffered injuries to her brain and to her cardiovascular system. Those injuries ultimately proved fatal, according to the Pasadena Star-News.

When that happens to your loved one, there are certain things you should know. It is fundamentally understood that no amount of money can take the place of a beloved family member. However, what is also undeniably true is that the unexpected loss of a loved one can cause massive harm to the family members left behind, both emotionally and, sometimes, financially.

If you watch enough TV and movies, you’ve probably seen a certain character. That character is the person who is involved in an auto accident and, in the immediate aftermath, is walking and talking and seemingly unaffected by the crash, only to re-emerge several days or weeks later sporting a gigantic neck brace. This may make for good comedy but it isn’t very realistic at all. The truth is that people may suffer injuries in auto accidents, including very serious ones, and not notice any symptoms for days or even weeks after the accident. Just because you did not show symptoms right away or you declined treatment at the scene doesn’t mean that you weren’t hurt and aren’t entitled to compensation. To learn more about your options for recovering damages, talk to an experienced San Mateo injury attorney.

A recent car crash case (San Diego Superior Court Case No. 37-2015-00037880) from Southern California is a good example. S.K. was an 18-year-old driver who was driving through Carlsbad. As he approached an intersection, his light was red. When the traffic signal turned green in his direction, he advanced forward. As he passed through the intersection, a cement dump truck broadsided the teen’s Nissan car.

At the scene, S.K. refused an offer of treatment. There are many reasons why an injured driver or passenger might say that he is “OK” and refuse treatment at the scene of an accident, even if he is injured. An injury, potentially even a serious one, can be masked in various ways. Especially for a young driver, there might be a very massive “dump” of adrenaline experienced as a result of the shock and stress of the accident. That uptick of adrenaline can sometimes mute pain receptors and make one think that they are not in pain, even though a significant injury has taken place.

In any injury case, the area or areas that will be the key that both sides focus upon can vary from case to case. Sometimes, the two sides will contest liability, with the defense counsel arguing that the defendant was not to blame at all for causing the injury-causing accident. Other times, both sides agree the defendant is liable. That, however, does not automatically mean the case itself is “open and shut.” The two sides may battle extensively over the amount of damages that the injured plaintiff should receive. In any case where the amount of damages is a major issue, it is extremely important to have “done your homework” and collected extensive evidence to support your damages claim. To make sure that you are accumulating the right amount and right type of evidence you need to get the outcome you deserve, be sure you put the skill of a knowledgeable San Mateo injury attorney on your side.

J.L.’s case (San Bernardino Superior Court Case No. CIVDS1613468) was one where the battle centered solely on damages. J.L. was a nursing student in southern California who, while driving through an intersection in Redlands, allegedly got cut off by a a semi truck. According to the student’s lawsuit, she was unable to avoid contact and the result was a collision between the car and the semi. The student’s airbags deployed and the impact fractured her right wrist, which was her dominant arm. The student underwent multiple surgeries, and suffered an infection that left her with a permanent scar . She also testified that she would need total fusion surgery performed on that wrist as part of her treatment in the future.

The trucking company admitted that its driver was liable for causing the accident.

In many vehicle accident cases, the basic misconduct that has led to the injured person’s harm is negligence. The wrongful conduct that is to blame for most vehicle crashes is merely negligent and is not intentional. However, there may be many different negligent missteps made, and these may allow you, as an injured plaintiff, to assert many different causes of action in your injury lawsuit. Asserting multiple different causes of action is often beneficial to your case. The more different bases you can give the jury (or the judge in a non-jury trial) to hold the people you’ve sued to be responsible and liable for your damages, the better your chances of obtaining a full and fair compensation award. For advice and strategies for pursuing compensation in your auto accident case, be sure to talk to an experienced California car accident attorney.

A recent example of how an injured plaintiff may bring multiple different negligence causes of action was the case of two brothers injured by a trucker. This was a result of a horrific highway crash. Hector was driving his semi-truck through a construction zone when the commercial truck allegedly crossed the center line and slammed into a private vehicle carrying two men, Michael (an off-duty law enforcement officer) and his brother, Matthew.

The accident caused extremely extensive harm to the brothers, including, according to a livetrucking.com report, shattered vertebrae (Michael), fractured ribs (Matthew), and traumatic brain injuries (both). The injured brothers sued Hector and his employer. In the brothers’ case, they accused Hector of being negligent in his operation of the truck. This is a common claim and essentially argued that, if the truck driver had driven his vehicle in a sufficiently safe manner, the accident wouldn’t have happened. This claim frequently relies upon a combination of witness testimony, document evidence (like accident scene photos and accident reports), and, in some cases, the opinion testimony of an expert (like an accident reconstruction specialist).

There may be many reasons why you, as a person injured in an auto accident, might prefer to litigate your case in court as opposed to arbitration. You may feel that a jury will give you a fairer hearing, or that a jury will be more likely to award the full and fair amount of damages for the harm you’ve suffered. Regardless of the reasons, if you and your California truck accident attorney have identified trial as a better option than arbitration, it is important to avoid traps that will force you to arbitrate your claim.

One example of an injured person who avoided arbitration was Virgil, a warehouse worker for a company that sold fitness equipment. In the summer of 2013, the worker’s supervisor, Charles, instructed him to haul a load of massage chairs and exercise machines to the Sacramento State Fair. The employer sent Virgil to Sacramento in a truck that the employer had rented.

During the trip from San Bernardino County to Sacramento, the truck blew a tire. The blow-out caused Virgil to suffer injuries. Virgil sued the company that owned the rental truck, arguing that the owner had negligently maintained the truck, and that negligent maintenance had caused the blow-out and the man’s related injuries.

When you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you may have a case for damages. Even with a strong claim, there are several things you’ll need to do if you are to convince a jury and receive a favorable verdict and award of compensation. In many cases, achieving a successful result may rely, to a significant degree, on having compelling and persuasive expert witness testimony. Knowing which type of expert testimony, and which type of expert witnesses, you need to succeed is one of the areas where experienced California auto accident counsel can help you and your case.

One case (Monterey County Superior Court Case No. M133274) in which experts played an important role was a truck accident involving Sabino, a man who was hurt traveling along Highway 101 in Monterey County. Sabino was headed southbound on Highway 101 at around the same time that Dalvir was approaching Highway 101 on eastbound San Juan Road. Dalvir steered his tractor-trailer onto the southbound 101 and stopped. Sabino tried to stop his Honda Accord in time but could not, eventually crashing into the rear of Dalvir’s truck. Sabino suffered serious injuries in the accident. Specifically, Sabino alleged that the accident inflicted a lumbar spine injury upon him and that it forced him to undergo lumbar decompression and fusion (back) surgery.

The car driver sued the trucker and the trucker’s employer for the injuries he suffered. Sabino’s lawsuit asserted a fairly common and familiar claim as the basis for recovery:  that Dalvir was negligent because he improperly failed to yield the right of way when he pulled in front of Sabino and stopped, and that the employer was liable because Dalvir was acting within the scope of his job when the accident happened.

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