San Diego Truck Accident Attorney

Helping Accident Victims in Southern California Since 1987

Commercial trucks such as 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and big rigs can easily weigh 20 times what an average passenger vehicle weighs. Because of the additional danger these vehicles pose, it is important to be aware that the drivers carry an additional level of responsibility and liability. In fact, all commercial truck drivers are required to abide by the regulations set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

If you were hit by a truck driver who violated regulations or otherwise acted negligently, you have rights. With the help of a San Diego injury lawyer from The McClellan Law Firm, you can pursue the level of compensation that you deserve. Not only have we obtained more than 115 verdicts and settlements worth $1 million each, but we have been widely recognized for our success in the field. Call now to arrange your free case evaluation.

Some of the truck accident cases we have handled in the past include:

  • $7,830,000.00 Settlement – Our client was partially run over by an asphalt truck
  • $2,250,000.00 Settlement – Our client was paralyzed after being cut off by a truck

Truck Drivers Must Abide By Federal Trucking Regulations

There are particular federal regulations that all commercial truck drivers are required to observe.

Just a few of these federal trucking regulations include:

  • Truck drivers may not drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.04%
  • Commercial drivers may not drink alcohol up to four hours prior to driving
  • Truck drivers must be older than 21 and demonstrate an ability to drive safely
  • Truck drivers must inspect their vehicles' loads at regular intervals
  • Truck drivers must exercise extreme caution or stop driving in dangerous weather
  • Truck drivers must take regular rest breaks at scheduled times
  • Trust drivers may not log more than a certain number of hours
  • Truck companies must schedule reasonable unloading times

Weighing as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, trucks can quickly become massive safety hazards with even the slightest error. At The McClellan Law Firm, we understand what it takes to secure the maximum compensation possible, and will work with you to navigate every step of the legal process.

Brake Failure

Truck drivers and trucking companies need to make sure that their vehicles are in proper working order. Failure to do so could lead to serious mechanical failure. Trucks already require a considerable amount of road to come to a complete stop in the best of situations, and when their brakes fail to work as effectively as intended or fail completely, a catastrophic accident can result.

Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Laws covering different types of vehicles can vary dramatically, and it’s important to make sure that you have an experienced attorney by your side to help you navigate the legal system. No matter your situation, our attorneys at The McClellan Law Firm are ready to provide you with knowledgeable legal representation. We have experience handling cases involving limousines, delivery vans, food service vans, and more.

Jackknife Accidents

Jackknife accidents can be caused by any number of factors, including equipment failure, a negligent driver, poor weather conditions, road surface conditions, and more. One of the most dangerous aspects of these types of crashes is the risk of causing secondary collisions if the truck’s trailer skids into other lanes of traffic. If you were seriously injured in a jackknife accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit to secure compensation for the damages you incurred.

Truck Driver Cellphone Use

Using a cellphone while behind the wheel is dangerous no matter what vehicle the negligent driver is operating, but the danger increases exponentially when they’re used behind the wheel of a massive truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) looked into the use of cellphones by truck drivers, and found that the risk of a driver being involved in a “safety-critical event” – a crash, near-crash, or unintentional lane deviation – increased by 600 percent when the driver was distracted by a cell phone.

Truck Driver Negligence

Many truck crashes involve negligent actions taken by one or more parties. At The McClellan Law Firm, we will investigate the circumstances leading up to the crash you were involved in to identify who was at fault. Some of the most common negligent actions include failing to properly maintain the vehicle, ignoring the rules of the road, falsifying driver’s logs, and more.

Truck Regulation Violations

Trucks, truck drivers, and trucking companies are strictly regulated in order to ensure safety. However, these regulations are not always followed, and when violations occur a serious crash can result. Some of the most common infractions include hours of service violations, driving without a license or insurance, driving under the influence, and more.

Truck Tire Blowouts

Truck tires, just like any other part of the vehicle, need to be regularly inspected to ensure that they remain in proper working order. While they are designed to last for years, it only takes one failure to cause a serious accident. Some common issues that need to be checked for in order to prevent this from occurring include overinflation, underinflation, and wear and tear. Overloaded vehicles and poor road conditions can also cause a tire to burst.

Underride Accidents

Underride accidents are so dangerous that specialized safety equipment is fitted to trucks in order to prevent vehicles from sliding underneath trailers. However, a recent study found that these underride guards are often not strong enough to prevent an underride accident from occurring, even at low speeds. The study, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, tested crashes at 35 mph and found that the connection between the truck and the rear guard failed, allowing vehicles to be crushed underneath.

How to Establish Fault after a Truck Accident

In the aftermath of an accident, things can get complicated. Accident scenes change quickly, vital evidence can disappear, and witnesses’ memories become fuzzy. For this reason, it is critical that you reach out to an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as you have been injured. The McClellan Law Firm can move quickly to preserve evidence, speak to witnesses, and deal with the insurance adjusters on your behalf.

Some of the things that our firm can do after a truck accident include:

  • Interview witnesses about their recollection of the accident
  • Obtain the driver’s logs and trucking company records
  • Keep the truck from being repaired so that it can be inspected
  • Preserve the truck’s electronic on-board recorder data
  • Obtain a copy of the truck driver’s driving history
  • Inspect all maintenance and inspection records for the truck
  • Examine and document the scene of your truck accident

Study Concerning Truck Drivers & Alcohol / Drugs

Researchers at the State University of Londrina reviewed 36 studies conducted in countries all over the world concerning the use of alcohol and illicit drugs by truck drivers. The results have important implications for safety experts looking to curb the number of truck accidents that occur every year. While the studies varied widely in their approach to tackling the issue, the fact that alcohol and substance abuse is a problem that affects trucking safety was clear. One expert responded to the review by saying, "The results of this review are a cause for concern, not only for truck drivers using psychoactive substances, but also for the general public."

The following all showed an increased predilection for using alcohol or drugs while driving:

  • Younger drivers
  • Drivers who work overnight
  • Drivers who drive longer distances
  • Drivers who are less well-paid

The leader of the review called for closer observation of gas stations, truck stops, and trucking companies regarding the sale and use of alcohol and illicit drugs. The studies identified several commonly identified substances, either by biological sample or surveys conducted among truck drivers, as being used. Alcohol, speed, marijuana, and cocaine were all listed as substances most frequently abused by truck drivers.

Don't Wait to Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation

Many truck accidents involve violations of one or more of these regulations. If you or someone in your family was hurt in an accident involving a commercial truck, do not hesitate to retain legal representation as soon as possible from a San Diego personal injury attorney who can help you protect your rights and interests.

Call our San Diego law firm today to schedule your free case evaluation.

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