Served by an extensive highway system due to its location at the “crossroads” of the Central Valley, when driving through Stockton, large trucks are a common sight. These trucks carry goods, equipment, products, and food in and out of the area and are an essential piece of economic activity and consumer comfort. While large trucks may be necessary, the size of trucks makes them particularly dangerous, especially when combined with negligent driver behavior and poor road conditions.
When a truck accident occurs, the results can be devastating. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Stockton, our Stockton truck accident attorneys at the office of Redkey Gordon Law are ready to advocate for you. For your free consultation, call our law firm directly today. We are ready to get started on your case.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are almost always preventable and avoidable and only happen because of the result of the negligence of one of the parties involved. With that in mind, some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Stockton include:
- Truck driver negligence. A large percentage of truck accidents are the result of truck driver negligence–truck drivers’ failure to operate their vehicles with a reasonable degree of care. Common types of negligence demonstrated by truck drivers include behaviors like driving while intoxicated or impaired, driving while fatigued, driving while distracted, and performing illegal or unsafe maneuvers, such as taking a turn too fast for conditions.
- Third-party driver negligence. Of course, truck drivers aren’t the only ones on the road who perform dangerous maneuvers that lead to collisions. Sometimes, truck accidents are not caused by either driver directly involved in the crash, but by a third-party driver. For example, a third-party driver could swerve in front of a truck, be following too closely, or be engaging in other dangerous behavior that results in the truck driver or the other driver involved in the crash colliding.
- Vehicle defects. Most people want to assume that the vehicle that they’re driving is perfectly safe. While this is usually the case, vehicle defects do cause accidents. Common types of defects are tire tread separation issues, which can lead to a blowout and brake issues. If a truck or truck part is defective–for example, if the truck’s brakes go out–the driver may lose control of their vehicle, resulting in a serious collision.
- Cargo shifts. Trucks are used to carry cargo. It is critical that the cargo is properly loaded and secured so that it does not shift in transit. If the cargo shifts in transit, the entire trailer of the truck could sway, too, resulting in a catastrophic accident. If cargo is not properly loaded and secured, this could be the cause of an accident.
- Road conditions. In some cases, poor road conditions are the primary cause or risk factor for an accident. Things such as debris in the roadway, poorly maintained road surfaces, or a lack of adequate signage–for example, a sign warning a truck driver about a steep grade or sharp curve–are dangerous.
Injuries from Truck Accidents
For those who have been involved in a truck accident and who have suffered harm, the cause may be the last thing they’re thinking about; their injuries demand their full attention.
Large trucks weigh up to 20 times that of standard passenger cars, which means that the amount of force involved in a truck accident may be up to 20 times that of the force involved in a crash involving two smaller vehicles. The sheer size of trucks alone means that the damages in these types of crashes, particularly for those in the smaller vehicle, are almost always severe.
Common types of truck accidents include override accidents, where a truck runs over a vehicle in front of in; underride accidents, where the smaller vehicle driver under the back trailer of the truck; squeeze play accidents, where a truck making a right-hand turn crushes a vehicle to its right between it and the curb; jackknife accidents, where the trailer of a truck swings around; and truck rollover crashes. Each of these types of accidents–as well as others not listed–can result in tragic injuries for those involved. Common types of injuries in a truck accident case include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs when the head is hit with an object, subjected to rotational forces, or punctured. Traumatic brain injuries can cause long-term complications for memory, language, thinking, emotion, sensation, and more. Sometimes, TBIs are permanently disabling.
- Spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord is one of the body’s most essential parts, as it is the spinal cord that allows us to both feel and experience physical sensations and control our movements. When a spinal cord injury occurs, the brain’s ability to communicate with any parts of the body that are located below the point of injury is disrupted. The result is partial or complete paralysis that is permanent.
- Limb crush and amputation injuries. The smaller vehicle involved in a truck accident may be completely destroyed in the crash; for any occupants of that vehicle, the chances of escaping without severe injuries are small. When a vehicle is crushed or severely damaged, it is common for an occupant to suffer a crushed limb or limb amputation injury as a result.
- Internal injuries. Internal injuries can occur when the body’s internal organs are punctured or hit with force. Internal bleeding can lead to organ failure and death if it is not treated immediately.
- Bone fracture injuries. There are 206 bones in the human body and, in a serious truck accident in Stockton, it is very likely that at least one, if not more, of these bones will undergo enough force and pressure as to fracture. While some bone fracture injuries will heal completely with time and medical care, others may be severe enough to require surgery and could result in long-term complications.
- More. While the injuries listed above are some of the most common, the list is by no means inclusive of all potential injury types, nor does it touch on the array of psychological injuries that are likely after a crash occurs. When you work with our law firm, we’ll work hard to make sure you’re compensated for the full value of your losses, including your noneconomic losses of pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
Why Truck Accident Claims Are So Complicated
While all serious motor vehicle accident claims are best handled by experienced personal injury lawyers, truck accident claims are especially complicated. This is true both because the damages in a truck accident claim are often much greater than the damages in standard motor vehicle accident claims, and because liability in a truck accident claim is often very complex.
Liability in a truck accident claim may not immediately be clear. Proving liability is difficult because there is a wide range of potential causes of truck accidents, as listed above, including different drivers’ errors, shipping and loading errors, vehicle defects, and more. In addition to determining how the accident occurred, it is also important to establish the relationships between different parties in determining liability. For example, while a truck driver may have caused an accident due to a negligent act, such as driving while distracted, the trucking company with which they are employed may actually be held liable, not the truck driver themselves.
Because the damages in a truck accident claim are so significant and an injured party’s claim will likely be highly valued as such, there will likely be a lot of pushback from each party involved in the claims process. Insurance adjusters representing the liable parties may try to argue that their client was not to blame for the crash and should not be held liable as such, or they might try to argue that the claimant has not suffered the degree of damages that they’re claiming. Working with an experienced Stockton truck accident lawyer is one of the best ways to arm yourself against these arguments and improve your chances of recovering your full settlement amount.
How a Stockton Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
When you work with the Stockton truck accident lawyers at the office of Redkey Gordon Law, you can count on our lawyers to handle 100 percent of your claim. Some of the most important things that we will do for you include
- Investigating your case. Our lawyers will open a thorough investigation that aims to determine precisely how your accident occurred and who should be held liable for the damages. To do this, we travel to the accident scene ourselves, talk to eyewitnesses, and review all evidence. We also bring in other experts, such as vehicle design experts and accident reconstruction experts.
- Calculating your damages. We’ll work hard to make sure that the amount of compensation that you request from the at-fault party is a direct reflection of the full value of your economic and non-economic damages.
- Negotiating your settlement. We are experienced negotiators who don’t back down when facing a challenge.
To learn more about our Stockton truck accident attorneys and your legal rights after being harmed in a truck accident, please call our law firm directly today or send us a message online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation at your convenience.