Brentwood Truck Accident Lawyer
Representing Victims of Large Commercial Vehicle Collisions
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident or collision with a commercial vehicle, turn to the dedicated team at Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard. Our experienced Brentwood truck accident attorneys are here to provide personalized counsel and representation throughout the Bay Area.
We understand the complexities of these cases and the challenges you face. That's why having a skilled lawyer by your side after a truck accident is crucial. Without legal guidance, you risk jeopardizing your future and the compensation you rightfully deserve. Let our Brentwood truck accident attorneys represent you and ensure you receive the maximum compensation available.
Understanding the Frequency of Truck Accidents
Large truck accidents cause thousands of serious injuries and fatalities each year in the United States. Unfortunately, California ranks among the deadliest states for truck accidents, affecting both truck drivers and other parties involved in these collisions.
According to data from the Department of Transportation (DOT), California witnessed 437 fatalities in traffic crashes involving large trucks in 2021. Nearly 7% percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes involved large trucks. In 2021, Texas ranked the highest for nonoccupants killed in large-truck traffic crashes at 87. California and Florida ranked number two with more than 60 nonoccupants killed in large-truck accidents.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Similar to car accidents, negligence is often the primary cause of large truck accidents. Truck driver errors, as well as the negligence of third parties, can lead to devastating crashes.
Some of the most frequent causes include:
- Truck Driver Error and Negligence: Like any other motorist, truck drivers are susceptible to mistakes and careless behavior.
- Hours-of-Service Violations: Truck drivers must adhere to hours-of-service rules, which regulate the number of hours they can operate their vehicles and mandate rest breaks. Violating these regulations puts drivers at risk of fatigue, which is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Fatigued truck drivers have slower reaction times and are more likely to cause serious accidents. Adequate sleep is crucial for road safety.
- Improper Truck Maintenance or Repairs: Regular inspections and maintenance are essential for large trucks to ensure they are in proper working order. Failure to conduct thorough truck inspections and incomplete repairs can lead to serious accidents, including engine or brake failures, when issues go undetected or are not adequately addressed.
- Improperly Loaded Cargo: Large trucks transport substantial amounts of cargo across the state and nation. Proper loading is vital to prevent shifting during transit. Uneven or unsecured loads can cause truck drivers to lose control, resulting in serious accidents. Additionally, exceeding maximum weight limits for trucks can have significant consequences.
- Trucking Company Negligence: In some cases, trucking companies display negligence in their hiring, training, or supervision practices. Failure to conduct background checks on new drivers or disregarding driver violations, such as DUIs and traffic citations, are examples of trucking company negligence. In certain situations, trucking companies may even encourage drivers to violate hours-of-service rules to meet delivery deadlines, jeopardizing road safety.
- Defective Trucks, Truck Parts, and Roadways: If a truck has a defective design or contains faulty components, the driver may be unable to prevent a crash. Similarly, a defective roadway can contribute to an accident. Common defects include faulty braking systems and accelerators, missing reflective strips, defective tractor-trailer connections, and missing components.
- Third-Party Negligence: Truck accidents can also result from the negligence of other motorists on the road. Reckless or careless driving by another driver can cause a multi-vehicle accident involving a large commercial truck. In such cases, the rule of pure comparative negligence comes into play. Under this rule, the injured party can seek compensation from any negligent party, but their total recovery will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
At Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard, our Brentwood truck accident attorneys work with accident reconstructionists, expert witnesses, and other professionals to evaluate the cause of accidents and determine liability.
Truck Driver Negligence
Truck drivers are required to follow certain rules and regulations. If a truck driver breaks these rules and causes an accident, they can be held liable for any damages.
Some of the rules that truck drivers are required to follow include:
- Driving at safe speeds
- Not driving while fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Not texting or talking on the phone while driving
- Following traffic laws
Truck drivers who break these rules, or any other rules and regulations they are supposed to follow, can be liable for the damages they cause.
Determining Liability for Commercial Truck Accidents
Identifying the responsible party in a commercial truck accident is typically more complex than in a standard car accident claim. In most cases, the trucking company is liable due to the principle of respondent superior, which holds employers responsible for their employees' actions while carrying out work-related activities.
If the truck driver caused the collision, you would likely have a claim against the trucking company and/or its insurance carrier. However, third-party liability can sometimes affect the filing process. For instance, if a defective accelerating system caused the driver to lose control, you may have a claim against the manufacturer. In situations where multiple factors, such as improperly repaired truck brake lights, contribute to the crash, you could have multiple claims against different parties.
At Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard, we meticulously identify the liable party and take immediate action against them. Our Brentwood truck accident attorneys are determined to pursue maximum compensation for our clients and leave no stone unturned in seeking the justice they deserve.
To learn more about your trucking accident case and how we can help, call (925) 744-8869.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, you may be dealing with a lot of uncertainty. You may be wondering if you will be able to get the medical treatment you need, how you will pay for your current and future expenses, and how you will get the compensation you deserve. You may also be dealing with emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may be anxious and jumpy, or you may have trouble sleeping.
After a truck accident, you should not talk to the insurance company or the truck driver's employer. They may try to get information from you that could be used against you. You should not give this information to anyone.
At Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard, our Brentwood truck accident lawyer is available to answer your questions and help you get the compensation you deserve. We can help you navigate the insurance claims process and help you get the maximum compensation you are owed. We can also help you file a claim against the truck driver's employer if they are responsible for the accident.
What Does Truck Accident Insurance Cover?
Truck accident insurance coverage in California typically includes several types of insurance that may come into play in the event of a truck accident. These coverages provide financial protection to various parties involved in the accident, including truck drivers, other motorists, and property owners. The specific coverage and limits can vary depending on the insurance policy and the circumstances of the accident.
Types of insurance coverage that may apply:
- Liability Insurance: Truck drivers and trucking companies are required by law to carry liability insurance to cover damages and injuries they may cause in an accident. This insurance coverage helps compensate victims for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses resulting from the accident. In California, the minimum liability insurance requirements for commercial trucks are higher than those for regular passenger vehicles.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This coverage applies when the at-fault party in the truck accident does not have sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate the injured party. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage helps bridge the gap and provides additional compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): PIP coverage, also known as no-fault insurance, is optional in California. It provides benefits for medical expenses, lost income, and other costs regardless of who was at fault in the accident. PIP coverage can be beneficial for truck accident victims to cover immediate medical expenses and other financial needs while pursuing a claim against the at-fault party.
- Medical Payments Coverage: Medical payments coverage, also known as MedPay, is an optional coverage that pays for medical expenses resulting from a truck accident, regardless of who was at fault. It can cover medical bills, ambulance fees, hospitalization, and other related costs.
- Comprehensive and Collision Coverage: Comprehensive coverage and collision coverage are typically part of a truck's physical damage insurance. Comprehensive coverage helps cover damages to the truck caused by events such as theft, vandalism, or natural disasters. Collision coverage helps cover damages to the truck resulting from collisions with other vehicles or objects.
- Cargo Insurance: If the truck was carrying cargo at the time of the accident, cargo insurance may cover damages or losses to the cargo itself. This coverage can be important for both trucking companies and cargo owners to protect against financial losses resulting from damage, theft, or loss of cargo.
Insurance coverage and limits can vary depending on the specific policy and the parties involved in the accident. If you've been involved in a truck accident in Brentwood, CA, it's advisable to consult with an experienced attorney who can review your case, evaluate available insurance coverages, and help you navigate the claims process to ensure you receive the appropriate compensation.
Start with a Free Consultation
If you or your loved one has suffered injuries or a fatality in a collision involving a semi-truck, big rig, tractor-trailer, delivery truck, or any other large commercial vehicle, contact Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard today. We provide answers to your questions and offer personalized legal counsel during a free consultation, whether in-person or over the phone. Rest assured, you won't pay any legal fees unless we recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf.