Experienced Oakland, CA Truck Accident Attorney
Big rig accidents differ from automobile accidents in many different ways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), although there has been a decrease in the number of traffic accidents between 2017 and 2018, the number of truck accidents have increased. The agency reports that accidents between large trucks and single-vehicle accidents increased by 10 percent in 2018, with a total of 4,951 people killed.
Truck injury accident cases are challenging, but when a collision occurs, getting full compensation is our goal. When involved in a truck accident, hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer early on will facilitate gathering the evidence needed to win the case.
After a Truck Accident, You Need the Support of a Qualified Law Firm
The Oakland truck accident attorneys at Callaway & Wolf have the experience necessary to lead your case. Truck injury cases demand a full investigation and typically require experts, so hey can be very costly. The attorneys at Callaway & Wolf understand this and work hard assiduously to help their clients obtain the best recovery. After a devastating truck accident, contact the legal team at Callaway & Wolf. Schedule a no-obligation consultation with the firm today.
Understanding the Physics of Truck Accident Cases
In a collision between a large truck and a regular passenger vehicle, the differences in size and weight often can result in disastrous consequences for the smaller vehicle. While speed can have a significant influence in any traffic accident, an accident that involves two objects with drastically different sizes and weight can be catastrophic even at low speeds.
A fully loaded 18 wheel semi-truck can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds. In comparison, the average passenger vehicle can weigh 3,500 pounds or less. The extra weight of a large truck can present serious issues:
Loaded Trucks Take Longer to Stop – A loaded truck will take more time and a longer distance to stop than a smaller vehicle. Consequently, when a truck is loaded, it can take hundreds of feet to come to a complete stop. In an accident involving a large truck and car, assuming both vehicles have applied their brakes at the same time, the loaded truck will be traveling at a faster speed at the time of impact.
Newton’s Second Law of Motion – The force of a large truck on a regular passenger vehicle will be indisputably greater than a lighter, smaller passenger vehicle. This is because of physics, or Newton’s Second Law of Motion, where force = mass x acceleration. The heavier loaded semi-truck will impact the smaller vehicle with a greater force than another vehicle traveling at similar speeds. As a result, the smaller vehicle will also absorb substantially greater damage. The reason for this is simple: the heavier the striking vehicle is, the less it slows down as a result of an impact with another vehicle. Think of a locomotive, which is slowed little or not at all by hitting an SUV.
The Higher Likelihood of Damage Can Have Disastrous Outcomes – Tragically, the higher likelihood of damage can mean that a truck vs. car accident can result in more serious injuries or the probability of death. The NHTSA reports that between 2016 and 2018, there were 14,534 deaths involving large commercial vehicles.
Additional Factors That Could Lead To a Truck Accident
Aside from their inability to stop right away, large commercial vehicles also have dangerous blind spots, which further increases traffic accidents. Additionally, large commercial vehicles can sometimes consist of more than one trailer attached to the cab. These vehicles can require additional levels of safety, as they can often result in “jackknife”accidents.
Moreover, truck drivers are often exposed to long working hours and boredom while on the road. Driver exhaustion is dangerous and it leads to hundreds of accidents each year. After an accident, a thorough investigation of the truck driver’s schedule will be investigated to establish driver or truck company negligence.
Additional Resources: The NHTSA has compiled additional research on Heavy Vehicles here.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Rules and Regulations for Truck Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has specifically limited the number of hours a commercial driver can work. Under this rule, commercial drivers can online work 11 cumulative hours behind the wheel within a 14-hour period. Following this work period, truck drivers will need to rest for a minimum of 10 consecutive hours. Those who are employed in daily operation will not be able to work over 70 hours in an eight day period.
Legally, truck drivers and truck companies are required to keep a log of their working hours. After an accident, these logs can be subpoenaed and obtained by request in legal discovery.
California’s Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents
Filing a case for the damages caused in a truck accident is subject to California’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases. In general, a claim must be filed within two (2) years from the date of the accident. In the event the commercial vehicle was owned or operated by a government entity, the personal injury claim must be filed in the appropriate agency within six (6) months from the date of the accident.
Speak to a Knowledgeable Attorney Today
There are many factors that set truck accidents apart from regular vehicle accidents; thus making truck accident cases considerably more complex. If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident, obtain the legal support of an exceptionally experienced law firm.
The Oakland truck accident lawyers at Callaway & Wolf are prepared to immediately handle complex truck accident cases. The firm takes immediate action in commencing the investigation process, which is critical in a truck accident case. For a free consultation, consider contacting the attorneys at Callaway & Wolf today.