The growing traffic congestion in San Jose increases the odds of being involved in a truck accident. Given the size and weight of a typical commercial truck, the consequences of an accident can be catastrophic for the occupants of a smaller vehicle. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
The truck accident attorneys at J&Y Law are dedicated to holding negligent trucking companies and truck drivers accountable. Well-versed in the applicable state and federal truck safety laws, we have a proven track record of helping our clients obtain meaningful compensation. Through the years, we have recovered millions of dollars in settlement awards and jury verdicts on behalf of injury victims. When you become a client of J&Y, you can rest assured our San Jose personal injury lawyers will never stop fighting for you.
Common Causes of a San Jose Truck Accident
In spite of the state and federal truck safety laws that are designed to protect the public, truck accidents occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Driver Fatigue — While federal law imposed hourly driving limits and mandatory rest breaks on truckers, driver fatigue is pervasive throughout the trucking industry. Because truckers must meet strict delivery deadlines, they typically cover vast distances while driving for long periods of time, which increases the risk of fatigue. When a truck accident results from driver fatigue, both the trucking company and the trucker can be held liable.
- Distracted Driving — Truckers are a higher risk of becoming distracted than other motorists for many reasons, from relying on GPS navigation devices to using smartphones, to eating or drinking. Regardless of the reasons, a trucker can be held liable for an accident caused by distracted truck driving.
- Improper Maintenance — Safety laws require trucking companies to ensure vehicles and components such as braking systems, engines, tires braking lights, hitch assemblies and straps are properly maintained. A trucking company that fails to follow these rules can be held liable for an accident caused by improper maintenance.
- Inadequate Training — In the trucking industry, inexperienced truck drivers are often sent out on the the road too quickly since they they are usually paid less per mile than seasoned truckers. Without the requisite experience and skills to safely maneuver a truck or tractor trailer, a poorly trained truck driver is more likely to cause an accident. In this situation, the trucking company can be held liable.
- Improper Loading — Although state and federal laws regulate permissible cargo weight, improper loading is common, which can make a vehicle harder to stop or maneuver. The party responsible for loading the truck — the trucker, the trucking company or a third party (e.g. a freight, cargo or warehouse operator) — may be held liable.
Common Types of Accidents
Some of the most common types of truck accidents include:
- Rollover Accidents — Speeding and improper loading are two of the leading causes of rollover accidents, which typically occur on steep inclines or declines. A rollover accident can also occur if a truck driver hits a curb, swerves around other vehicles or objects on the road, or takes a curve too fast.
- Jackknife Accidents — A tractor-trailer can “jackknife” if drive-axle brakes lock, causing the trailer to skid and come to a stop at a 90-degree angle with the tractor.
- Brake Failure Accidents — Brakes that are poorly maintained or improperly installed are at a risk of failing, while sudden stops can cause overheating, increasing the risk of brake failure.
- Runaway Truck Accidents — Improper braking techniques can result in runaway truck accidents, which typically occur at intersections, tollbooths, off-ramps, and railroad crossings. A truck driver with proper training will apply the brakes gradually to slowly reduce the truck’s speed.
- Blind Spots — Commercial trucks have blind spots along the sides and rear, so-called “No-Zone” areas. A motorist who fails to avoid a No-Zone area can easily be involved in an accident when the truck driver is changing lanes or making a turn.
- Rear-End Accident — These accidents occur when a truck collides with the back of another vehicle, which can cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful death to the occupants of a smaller vehicle.
- Under-Ride Accident — If a truck driver suddenly slams on the brakes, vehicles traveling behind may fail to stop quickly enough and become crushed under the rear of a truck or trailer, causing severe injuries and fatalities to the occupants of the trailing vehicle.
- Wide-Turn Accidents — If a truck driver underestimates the space needed to complete a turn or doesn’t see a smaller vehicle in the trailer’s path, the other vehicle can be pinned against other vehicles, medians or other obstacles.
Contact A San Jose Truck Accident Attorney!
At J&Y Law, we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of truck accident victims and holding the responsible parties accountable. Knowing that being injured in a truck accident is an overwhelming experience, we will offer you knowledge, compassion, and aggressive legal representation. Although trucking companies and insurance companies often attempt to minimize their liability, we have the legal skills and resources to level the playing field. Above all, we will work tirelessly to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Please contact our office as soon as possible to set up a free consultation.