Has a Truck Accident Injured Your Family?
You Can Trust Our Santa Maria Truck Accident Attorneys to Help
Commercial trucks are the most recognizable vehicles on the road. However, these big rigs are often the most dangerous vehicles on the road. And when they cause catastrophic crashes, our Santa Maria truck accident attorneys are ready to help.
At the Law Offices of Esteban L. Valenzuela & Associates, we pride ourselves on helping families recover after an accident. We focus on providing compassionate, caring legal service so your family can heal. Let us handle the courts, insurance and trucking companies, so you can focus on what is important—your family.
How Often Do Truck Accidents Happen?
In 2015, there were an estimated 415,000 large truck accidents, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. About 83,000 of these crashes resulted in injuries while 3,598 proved fatal. Since California is the largest shipping hub in the country, many such semi-truck accidents happen in our state.
California had 327 fatal truck crashes in 2017 and 6,897 big rig crashes that resulted in injuries. These crashes led to 367 lives lost and 9,710 people suffered injuries.
What Are the Grounds for a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
In California, it can be tough to prove you have a case against a trucking company. Often the company will go to great lengths to discredit your claim or control the evidence against them. To prove your case, you must prove that the responsible parties in the truck accident breached their duty of care to you. This breach must have led to your loss or injury. Also known as “negligence”, many actions can constitute a breach of duty.
- Failure to properly load the truck. A load that is not properly balanced can tip a truck or cause it to jack-knife. Other weight-related dangers include overloading the truck’s suspension or brakes.
- Failure to perform maintenance on the truck. Trucks that are not routinely check for maintenance issues often fail. Brakes that are not checked can fail to stop an 18-wheeler. Unchecked tires can blowout. Steering racks that are not lubed can seize up and keep a truck from turning.
- Failure to properly train the truck driver. It takes a lot of experience to operate a large commercial vehicle. These trucks often have many necessary features that are not common in passenger vehicles. If a driver does not know how to use these features, it can lead to a devastating collision.
- Driving while fatigued. Unrealistic deadlines and the desire to take on more work often leads truckers to push themselves too far. However, nodding off at the wheel or even having a slow reaction can have deadly consequences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even claims that commercial drivers are more prone to these types of accidents.
- Driving while distracted. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 3,166 people lost their lives to distracted driving in 2017. Activities such as eating, drinking, talking on the phone, messing with the radio or texting can all result in these crashes. Since truckers are on the road for so long, they may fail to resist utilizing such distractions.
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Marijuana, prescription medications, illegal drugs and alcohol can all dull a person’s ability to drive. It is also illegal for a driver to use such substances while driving.
Who Is at Fault for a Truck Accident?
When it comes to figuring out who is responsible for a big rig accident, things can get very complex. You must determine what caused the accident. Depending on what led to that cause, several parties may be at fault for a tractor-trailer crash.
If a truck was improperly weighted, loaders, weighing station attendants or even the truck driver could be at fault. This also means the related employers of these individuals may also carry some responsibility for a truck crash. This can become even more complicated when insurance companies become involved.
What Evidence Do You Need for a Truck Accident Claim?
In order to prove that a responsible party was negligent, you may need to present several types of evidence. This evidence may include:
- Photos and video of the crash scene
- Dashcam video
- Surveillance from nearby establishments
- Shipping paperwork
- Electronic Logging Device records from the truck
- Trucker’s logs
- Food receipts
- Gas receipts
- Toll receipts
- Medical records
- Doctor testimony
- Eyewitness testimony
- Expert testimony
- Police reports
How Can Our Santa Maria Truck Accident Attorneys Help With Your Truck Accident Claim?
Collecting the information listed above, as well as determining who is at fault in a truck accident can be very difficult. Can you imagine doing the tasks we mentioned above while also recovering from a catastrophic injury? Worse yet, insurance companies look for the tiniest mistakes when trying to deny your truck accident claim. Do not face these challenges alone.
The Santa Maria truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Esteban L. Valenzuela & Associates are here for you. We take on the trucking companies, insurance companies and the legal system for you. Our clients enjoy personalized legal service from our father, daughter legal team. For a free consultation about a truck accident, call us at (805) 608-3743 or send us a message using our online contact form.