San Diego Truck Accident Attorney
Helping Accident Victims in California Since 1987
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 truck accident lawyer from The McClellan Law Firm, you can pursue the level of compensation that you deserve.
The McClellan Law Firm has secured more than 140 verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million each, giving us the experience needed to fight for the outcome you deserve. Contact our firm today to find out how we can put our experience to work for you.
Call now to arrange your free case evaluation: (619) 215-1488.
Not only have we obtained more than 140 verdicts and settlements worth $1 million each, but we have been widely recognized for our success in the field.
Truck accident cases we have handled in the past include:
Our client was partially run over by an asphalt truck
Our client was paralyzed after being cut off by a truck
Truck Drivers Must Abide By Federal Regulations
Commercial trucks such as 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and big rigs can easily weigh 20 times what an average passenger vehicle weighs. For this reason, truck drivers carry an additional level of responsibility and liability. In fact, all truck drivers must abide by the regulations set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
All commercial truck drivers are required to observe the following federal trucking regulations, and more:
- 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
Far too many truck drivers choose to ignore these regulations in order to maximize their efficiency, and far too many trucking companies push their drivers to ignore these regulations in an attempt to maximize their profits. When these actions result in a serious truck crash, injured victims deserve the chance to take their case to court.
At The McClellan Law Firm, our truck accident lawyers understand what it takes to secure maximum compensation. Let us help you navigate the legal process.
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.
After a truck accident, our firm can:
- 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
In accident claims involving semi-trucks and big rigs, there are usually several defendants with an interest in blaming one another, as well as denying their own fault.
Much of the hard work in truck accident litigation involves sorting through the evidence to match particular instances of negligence with the roles played by:
- Truck owners
- Trucking companies
- Lessee or lessors
- Employee drivers
- Independent contractors
- Independent owner-operators
In most cases, the starting point for an investigation is the truck driver's own negligence. Additionally, we make sure to consider the role of design and manufacturing defects to further expand the possible sources of recovery. Our firm looks at all possible angles.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
Over the past 30 years, The McClellan Law Firm has made a name for itself as a serious law firm for serious injury cases. We not only look to establish the negligence of the driver, but also consider other possible factors that may have contributed to a trucking accident.
We work with trucking industry experts, accident reconstructionists, and highway safety engineers to investigate and present evidence of negligence, such as:
- Alcohol or drug use
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Driver fatigue or excessive hours of service
- Unsafe operation under the conditions of weather, visibility or grade
- Falsified driver's logs, inspection logs, or maintenance records
- Moving violations such as tailgating or improper lane changes
- Other distractions such as texting while driving
Truck drivers and trucking companies need to ensure 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, so when their brakes fail to work, a catastrophic accident can, and often does, result.
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 jackknife accidents is the risk of secondary collisions.
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 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” increased by 600 percent when the driver was distracted by a cell phone.
Truck Tire Blowouts
Truck tires need to be regularly inspected to ensure 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 include overinflation, underinflation, and wear and tear. Overloaded vehicles and poor road conditions can also cause a tire to burst.
Who’s Liable For My Trucking Accident?
It depends. Determining fault and liability in truck accidents is a fact-specific task that requires extensive investigation, evidence gathering, and collaboration with experts. Whether it seems clear who’s at fault for your accident or not, there are many considerations that may affect who ultimately bears financial responsibility for your damages.
While every case is different, examples of parties commonly held liable in commercial trucking cases include:
- Negligent truck drivers or thetrucking companies that negligently hired them, violated federal trucking violations, or failed to meet their duty of care.
- Maintenance companies that have responsibilities for regularly inspecting commercial trucks, and addressing any hazards that could foreseeably cause harm.
- Distributors and other third parties that negligently overload trucks, fail to secure cargo, or contribute to the underlying accident.
- Manufacturers of trucks, trucking components, or other auto parts that were defectively designed, manufactured, or marketed.
How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in California?
Truck accident lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations; in other words, a deadline beyond which no lawsuit can be filed, and no damages recovered.
Although the statute of limitations in California personal injury actions is generally 2 years from the date of the accident, there may be circumstances that shorten or extend the statute of limitations, such as claims against the government, claims involving minor children, and others.
At The McClellan Law Firm, we encourage victims and families to reach out to our experienced team as soon as possible after their accidents. We can help review your case and determine the applicable statute of limitations that applies, and benefit from the time required to build strong cases.
How Much is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
That also depends. Truck accident claims, like any personal injury case, are unique and personal matters. They involve different types of accidents, different injuries, and different lasting consequences.
Because this is a common question, we help clients assess the elements of their case that factor into its value to project a range of what their case may be worth. Of course, this requires investigation and some leg work, but calculations are generally based off the types of damages victims are eligible to recover in a personal injury case. This includes compensation for:
- Medical bills and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages / lost future income;
- Physical pain and suffering;
- Emotional anguish / lost quality of life / lost companionship; and
- Other economic and non-economic damages.
Truck accidents can cause severe and fatal injuries, which is why trucking companies carry large commercial insurance policies, and why these cases can be high-value claims.
How Can An Attorney Help?
Working with an experienced attorney can make all the difference when it comes to navigating your legal journey. At The McClellan Law Firm, our attorneys limit our caseload so as to devote the personal support, attention, and communication each client deserves, and to handle all the challenging and nuanced aspects of litigating their case while they focus on repairing their lives.
This includes work from initial investigations, informal requests for evidence, and communications with insurance carriers to formal discovery, depositions, settlement negotiations, and, when necessary, trial.
Without experienced advocates and knowledgeable legal minds in your corner, you face considerable risks of being victimized yet against by insurance companies that care more about profits than people, as well as a lack of overall resources required of these high-stakes cases.
Don't Wait to Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation
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 our truck accident attorneys in San Diego, CA. We can help you protect your rights and interests.
Call The McClellan Law Firm at (619) 215-1488 for your FREE consultation.