Stockton Accident Attorney Helps Victims of Accidents Involving Large Trucks
According to the most recent national crash data, large trucks were involved in over 3,700 fatal crashes, 88,000 injury crashes and 346,000 property damage only crashes in 2014. These numbers are expected to rise as we continue to see an increase in national vehicle miles traveled by large trucks.
Who is at fault in a Large Truck Accident?
Like all accidents, each large truck accident involves its own unique set of circumstances that will determine who is at fault. Unlike most passenger vehicle accidents, there are often more parties involved than just those present at the time of the accident. Many truck drivers are hired to drive a company truck, and therefor are not responsible for the maintenance of the vehicle – this liability can be passed onto the trucking company. Determining the key cause of negligence in these cases is more complicated and requires the deep knowledge and experience of a Stockton accident lawyer. The lawyers at The Friel Law Firm are experts in the field and have a proven track record of producing results for individuals injured during accidents involving large trucks.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Because truck drivers are “on the clock” while driving our highways, they are under pressure to perform and meet delivery deadlines. The trucking companies are under similar pressure to spend the least amount of money possible on truck maintenance. This further complicates the already dangerous and difficult job of driving a large truck safely. Common causes of large truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue – Not all truck drivers follow the FMCSA’s maximum drive time rules
- Brake problems – Brake failures and other general maintenance negligence
- Tailgating – Trucks require a longer stopping distance than passenger cars
- Wide turns – Trucks have a difficult time navigating narrow streets and intersections
- Rollovers – Trucks are prone to tipping over in adverse weather and driving conditions
- Jack-knifing – Driver loses control of the trailer as it swings forward perpendicular to the cab
What is considered a Large Truck?
Truck classifications, ranging from class 1 through class 8 are used to identify the size and registration/licensing requirements of trucks that travel US roadways. Generally speaking, an accident with a large truck is any accident with a class 3 vehicle and up. Some examples of these types of vehicles include:
- Walk-in Vans
- Box Trucks
- City Delivery Trucks
- Heavy Duty Pickup Trucks
- Bucket Trucks
- Refuse / Garbage Trucks
- Logging Trucks
- Cement Trucks
- City Transit Buses and School Buses
- 18 Wheelers, 5 Axle Tractor Trailers, and Sleeper Cabs
Accidents involving vehicles of this size are far more serious given the weight of the vehicles involved. Injury and property damage statistics show that accidents involving large trucks are far more costly than accidents only involving passenger cars. It is imperative that individuals involved in an accident with a large truck secure proper legal representation.