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Truck Accident FAQs

It is important to understand your rights and the basic expectations following a commercial truck accident. We have compiled a list of questions and answers to help make this process easier on you and your loved ones.

 

What constitutes a commercial truck, as opposed to a regular truck?

A commercial truck is any large truck that serves a specific commercial purpose. Commercial trucks require a CDL, or commercial driver’s license, to be operated. Cement trucks, eighteen-wheelers, and freight trucks are all considered commercial.

Why is a collision with a commercial truck more dangerous than a normal auto accident?

The weight and force of the truck is what usually causes the large amounts of damage in trucking accidents. Commercial trucks weigh around 80,000 pounds, while your vehicle is probably closer to 3,000.  If a commercial truck does not crush your vehicle, it can still leave passengers seriously injured.

What are the important factors to consider when driving near a commercial truck?

When driving near a commercial truck, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First, trucks have as many as four or five blind spots and cannot easily see smaller vehicles when they attempt to make passes. Second, large trucks are not able to turn, break, or accelerate with the same ease as smaller cars.

What is a trucking “no zone?”

The left shoulder, or rear corner panel, the right shoulder, and directly behind the truck within one car length are all parts of the “no zone.” Avoid these areas to stay visible to a commercial truck driver and avoid unnecessary risk.

If I am driving in the “no zone” at the time of an accident, am I automatically at fault?

Not necessarily. There are still many factors that play into the conditions of your accident. Speak with an experienced truck accident attorney to understand your rights regarding the specific circumstances of your accident.

The commercial truck driver was determined to be at fault. Do I sue the commercial truck driver or the company?

This depends on the employment status of the driver. If a driver is an independent contractor, he or she is responsible. However, many motorists receive damages from the trucking company itself if the driver is a direct employee of the company. Your accident attorney can help determine who is at fault.

How soon after my truck accident should I contact an attorney?

As soon as possible. A slight hesitation or delay can cause you to compromise the case or lose valuable evidence.

What are the primary causes of commercial truck accidents?

  • Fatigue
  • General truck driver negligence
  • Motorist negligence
  • Faulty parts
  • Poorly secured trailers
  • Unsafe roadways

If I am at partial fault for the truck accident, can I still receive damages?

Most states, including California, have enacted laws based on comparative fault, meaning the degree of your fault compared to the truck driver’s fault will be compared. If both parties have significant fault, damages may be paid in both directions to some degree. However, if 50% fault is determined, the case may be considered a wash.

Are there specific driver requirements or responsibilities for commercial trucks?

Yes. Commercial truck drivers must obtain and keep current a CDL, or Commercial Driver’s License. These types of licenses come in various classes which determine the size and capacity of vehicle the driver may legally operate.

How many deaths occur annually because of truck accidents?

It is estimated that more than 4,000 deaths occur annually in the United States from commercial truck accidents. 65% of these deaths are general motorists and passengers, 30% are commercial truck drivers, and 5% are innocent bystanders or pedestrians. If you have been involved in a truck accident and believe you are entitled to compensation, please give the law offices of Estey & Bomberger a call today!

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If you are hesitant to contact us about your claim, it may help you to gain an understanding of what personal injury law is, and what is is not. We are ready to help you. Whether you prefer talking on the phone, coming into our office in San Diego, or you need us to come to where you are, give us a call at 1-800-925-0723 to schedule an appointment.

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