The old playground adage of never fighting with someone bigger than you is just as true on the road. While many semis may peacefully roll down the road, drivers who have had an accident with one know just how deadly and dangerous these monstrous trucks can be.
If you’ve been injured due to a collision with a commercial truck, you need the valuable expertise of a San Jose truck accident attorney and the experience they have in handling truck accident claims. The sheer size of the vehicles often causes life-altering injury to the other driver, and insurance companies fight hard to deny claims of wrongdoing on the part of their semi-truck drivers.
Truck accident cases can be complicated and not all truck accident lawyers provide the same quality. To get the best results from your claim, here are the top 3 qualities to look for in a truck accident lawyer.
1. They Understand Legal Standards for Trucking Companies
Semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This is over thirteen times more than an SUV, which will weigh between 3,000 and 6,000 pounds. They also have higher centers of gravity, make wider turns, and take longer to stop, all of which make them more dangerous to operate, especially for a novice operator. That’s why all truck drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which demonstrates that they’ve been trained to operate these vehicles.
A CDL holds the driver to a higher standard of responsibility than a standard driver’s license. It includes tougher standards for impaired driving and legally mandated rest breaks, prohibiting them from driving for too many hours at a time.
However, to keep up with the demands of their trucking company or because they are under pressure to secure as many loads as possible, some drivers may violate these standards.
A San Jose truck accident lawyer who knows the rules can help pinpoint times when a truck driver or trucking company isn’t following them — which can make them liable for your accident.
2. They Know the Root Causes of Truck Accidents — and How to Prove Them
Understanding the circumstances that caused your crash is critical to determining the cause of the accident. For example, a rear-ending truck accident may mean that the driver carelessly followed too closely or didn’t maintain their brakes properly.
When your truck accident lawyer knows the type of accident you had, they can often pinpoint the actions of the truck driver that caused it. Other common types of truck accidents include:
- Underride accidents (a smaller vehicle slides underneath the truck)
- Jackknifing (the trailer swings wildly, folding in the shape of a jackknife)
- Rollovers (the truck flips over due to driver error or poor road conditions)
- Lost loads (the load falls off the truck and hits other vehicles)
No matter what type of accident you face, a skilled San Jose truck accident lawyer can help.
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3. They Can Find Hidden Factors in the Accident
Determining the cause of a truck accident often means taking a closer look at the trucking company’s records and the driver’s own records of their trip. Each driver is responsible for logging their mileage, rest breaks, and weigh-station check-ins. If the driver falsifies these records, then they’re usually responsible for the crash.
Trucks also have a “black box,” just like planes, that records their location, travel direction, and speed. Your lawyer might use data from the black box to establish whether the truck was speeding at the time of the accident.
Trucking companies shoulder responsibility for hiring and supervising their drivers. Some companies don’t practice due diligence when vetting drivers. If they hire drivers with DUIs or multiple traffic violations, then the company itself may hold some blame for your accident. More than one party may share in the blame for your accident, depending on the circumstances. Your attorney may pursue a claim against:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- Another vehicle involved in the crash
Your San Jose Truck Accident Lawyer Advocates for You
Truck accident lawsuits can be complex. The insurance companies of the driver, the trucking company, and the manufacturer will want nothing more than to settle your case for a pittance. You need an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side to help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle, don’t try to go it alone. The team at Valley Accident Attorneys can help you pursue legal action against those responsible. We have the experience and commitment necessary to represent you in a personal injury lawsuit. Trust only the best when you need a San Jose truck accident lawyer. Call us today for a free consultation about your truck accident case.