On January 2nd, 2024, CBS News Bay Area reported that a motorcyclist was killed in a crash with a tractor trailer in the Stockton area. The collision—which is still under a comprehensive investigation—occurred on Highway 5, just north of French Camp Road. Within this article, our Stockton semi-truck accident attorney explains what we currently know about this devastating crash and discusses the risks that large commercial trucks pose to motorcyclists.
Deadly Motorcycle/Truck Crash Reported in San Joaquin County
Tragically, an as-of-yet unidentified 20-year-old motorcyclist was killed in a collision with an eighteen wheeler in San Joaquin County, The crash happened shortly before sunrise on the morning of Tuesday, January 2nd. The accident was reported on Highway 5 north of French Camp Road, just outside the city limits of Stockton, California. The driver of the commercial truck was uninjured in the crash. A preliminary investigation revealed that a motorcyclist collided with the rear of the commercial truck. The accident is still under investigation by the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
Large Commercial Trucks Pose a Heightened Safety Risk—Especially to Bikers
When carrying the maximum allowable load in California, a semi-truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. In contrast, your typical motorcycle in California only weighs around 400 pounds. In other words, a tractor trailer can be approximately 200 times the size of a motorcycle. The reality is that large commercial trucks pose a significant safety risk. Due to their massive size and weight, these trucks have longer stopping distances, larger blind spots, and limited maneuverability, they can cause devastating crashes, especially when a motorcycle is involved. Some of the most common injuries sustained by motorcyclists in trucking accident cases in California include:
- Road Rash: When motorcyclists are thrown off their bikes, they may slide across pavement. It can cause road rash—which is a painful injury where layers of skin are scraped off.
- Head Injuries: Even with a helmet, motorcyclists can suffer serious head injuries. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have long-term effects on a person’s cognitive and physical abilities. TBIs always require immediate medical attention.
- Broken Bones: The force of a collision with a large truck can easily break bones. Some of the most common broken bones reported in motorcycle/truck accidents include broken ribs, broken arms, and broken legs.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: The impact of a truck collision can damage the spine and the nerves within it. Any degree of spinal cord damage is a catastrophic injury. These devastating injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis.
- Internal Injuries: The force exerted in a crash can cause internal organs to be damaged or bruised. These injuries can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash With a Semi-Truck in Stockton, CA
Motorcycle crashes are stressful and chaotic—especially so if a large commercial truck is involved in the crash. It is crucial that injured victims know the steps to take to protect their rights and secure their future. Here are four things to do after a motorcycle with an eighteen wheeler:
- Stop Your Motorcycle and Report the Crash: All motorcyclists involved in a commercial truck accident have a responsibility to stop their bike and remain at the scene of the crash. There is an exception for medical emergencies. The crash should be reported to law enforcement, such as the Stockton Police Department, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, or the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
- Get Immediate Medical Care for Any Injuries: All motorcycle crash injuries in California should be immediately evaluated by a doctor. Do not wait to get the proper care. When a motorcycle is involved in a collision with a large commercial truck, there is an especially high risk of serious injury. In California, you cannot bring a semi-truck accident injury claim unless you have supporting medical records.
- Thoroughly Document the Semi-Truck Accident: California is a fault-based motor vehicle accident state. The standard applies to both semi-truck accidents and motorcycle accidents. If you can, take pictures of the accident scene, including your motorcycle, the semi-truck, and the surrounding area. Also, get the truck driver’s name, contact information, truck license plate, and insurance details. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information.
- Consult With a Lawyer Before an Insurance Representative: Commercial trucking companies are generally represented by large insurance companies. These insurance providers are not on the side of motorcyclists. They are looking for anything that they can find to reduce the value of your claim. Do not go it alone: Consult with a top-tier Stockton semi-truck accident lawyer right away after a serious crash.
We Help Injured Motorcyclists in California Recover the Maximum Financial Support
Were you or a loved one involved in a motorcycle crash with a large commercial truck? These crashes can cause devastating, life-altering harm. It is imperative that victims are able to secure the greatest possible financial recovery so that they can pay their bills and provide for their family members. In California, injured motorcyclists can hold negligent truckers and/or negligent trucking companies liable for the full extent of their damages. Unfortunately, insurers fight aggressively to pay out less to truck accident victims. At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, we know how to hold truck companies accountable, including in motorcycle accident claims. You may recover for:
- Property damage, including motorcycle/vehicle repairs;
- Ambulance costs and other emergency medical needs;
- Hospital bills and other medical expenses;
- Rehabilitative care costs;
- Lost wages and loss of long-term earnings;
- Pain and suffering;
- Long-term disability or permanent impairment; and
- Wrongful death of a family member.
Contact a Top-Rated Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer in Stockton, California Today
At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Stockton semi-truck accident lawyers have the skills and legal expertise to handle the full range of claims, including those involving motorists. If you or your loved one was hurt in a commercial truck accident, please do not hesitate to contact us today to schedule your free, strictly confidential consultation. From our Stockton law office, we take on truck and motorcycle accident cases in San Joaquin County and all across Central California.