Natomas Truck Accident Lawyer
Natomas is a beautiful city near the Sacramento International Airport and multiple highways, such as I-5, I-80, and Highway 99. As a result, it is quite common to encounter semi-trucks, big rigs, and tractor-trailers in and around Natomas. Unfortunately, this creates an environment where a deadly collision between a semi-truck and a smaller commuter vehicle is possible.Collisions with a Semi-Truck
Many commercial tractor-trailers can be up to 75 feet long and weigh over 80,000 pounds. Contrast that with your average sedan or SUV which may be around 16 feet long and weigh closer to 4,000 pounds. When a collision occurs between a commercial truck and a smaller commuter vehicle, the people inside the smaller car are at a much greater risk of suffering catastrophic injuries.Life-Altering Ramifications
Due to the massive physical disparity between a commercial semi-truck and a smaller commuter vehicle, a collision often involves serious physical injuries, even if the crash occurred at a relatively low speed. It is common for someone hit by a semi-truck to suffer one or more of the following injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury or other types of a head wound
- Loss of a limb
- Cervical Sprains (also known as whiplash)
- Back and neck injuries
- Multiple broken bones and torn tendons
- Disfiguring scars
As you can see, these injuries can be catastrophic and can ruin someone's life. The bodily harm can be so significant that you require multiple surgeries and are forced to spend weeks or months in the hospital. You may be unable to return to your job due to the severity of your injury, which places a significant financial strain on you and your family. This is why it makes sense to hire an experienced Natomas truck accident lawyer and pursue a personal injury claim to recover the financial compensation you are owed.
The video below discusses some of the most common injuries in truck accidents.More Complex than Other Accident Cases
When an accident occurs between two commuter vehicles like sedans, SUVs, and/or pickup trucks, the injury claim process is typically straightforward. You are often dealing with a single insurance adjuster representing the interests of the other driver. When an accident occurs between a big rig and a smaller vehicle, the complexity increases significantly since commercial trucks are regulated at the state and federal levels. There may be multiple insurance companies involved, depending on the facts of your case. Once again, this is why hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer to be on your side is a wise decision.Take Action Now to Preserve Critical Evidence
The vast majority of commercial big rigs on the roads today are built with an Electronic Control Module (ECM) placed in the engine's component parts. The ECM is routinely referred to as a "black box" that maintains critical operational data such as the truck's average speed, highest speed traveled, the amount of time driven, seat belt usage, etc. The data in this black box is critical for someone injured in an accident with a semi-truck because it offers factual data about how the truck was operated at the time of the collision. This data could reveal if the truck operator was speeding and the length of time the operator had been on the road, and these are critical factors in establishing liability.
The black box data can also refute any assertions by the trucking company that the operator was obeying all traffic laws or was not driving beyond the Hours of Service established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
You must take action sooner rather than later because black box data is typically recorded and maintained for only thirty days. After thirty days, the box begins recording new data over the old data, which is lost forever. This is why swift action is so necessary and can influence the outcome of your truck accident injury case.
When you hire a Natomas truck accident lawyer, they will take action right away by filing a motion for a protective order to preserve the contents of the black box and/or send a written agreement to the commercial truck company requesting preservation of the data. Your attorney will then need to figure out who has ownership and possession of the semi-truck and file a motion seeking a court order limiting access to the vehicle and black box before your attorney can conduct an inspection.Other Important Evidence
In addition to black box data, there are other essential pieces of evidence your attorney should seek to retrieve and maintain from the commercial truck. For example, federal regulations mandate that the truck operator record important information while the truck is in use. For example, trucking companies must maintain records of the regular inspections and repairs made to the vehicle. If these records indicate that the semi-truck was not inspected or neglected, it can help establish liability on the trucking company.
Another critical piece of evidence is the bill of lading and data from the weigh station. This evidence can help establish whether the semi-truck was overloaded, which may have caused the truck to turn over or jackknife on a road or highway.
As mentioned, there are federal regulations governing the hours of service for truck operators. These regulations limit the amount of time an operator can be on the road to help ensure they do not become fatigued. This is why your injury lawyer should take action to request the preservation of the truck operator's logbook.Natomas Truck Accident FAQ
What if I can't afford a truck accident lawyer?
At AutoAccident.com, we offer affordable, accessible, and experienced legal guidance for injured victims in truck accidents. We'll assess your case during your initial free consultation with us and provide you with your legal options. Our firm works on a contingency plan. You won't pay for our services unless we win a settlement for your truck accident case.
Can I still file a claim if I'm partly at fault in a truck accident?
If you are partly at fault in an accident involving a truck, you could still recover damages from the accident. California is a pure comparative fault state, allowing injured parties to claim damages even if they are partly at fault. However, not everyone is eligible to receive compensation for an accident. It's best to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer who can help guide you through the legal process and increase your chances of collecting compensation.
What should I do if I'm at fault in a truck accident but don't have insurance?
In an accident, the at-fault driver must compensate the injured party for their damages. However, if you don't have insurance, you may have to pay out-of-pocket. In this situation, you should consult with a lawyer. Your attorney can evaluate your case and develop a plan based on the unique circumstances of the accident.
Accidents involving a commercial big rig can be complex and overwhelming, especially for someone struggling with a severe bodily injury. We have been helping people hurt in accidents since 1982 all over Northern California. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, please call our experienced Natomas truck accident attorneys at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for compassionate, free, and friendly advice. You can also reach us online at AutoAccident.com.