We rely on big commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to deliver everything from groceries and necessities to clothing and other consumer goods. But while 18-wheelers and semis play a critical role in our society, they can also be dangerous. If you’ve been injured in a wreck, a Hayward truck accident lawyer from Varlack Legal Services will fight for you.
There’s no risk associated with learning about your legal rights. We invite you to schedule a completely free, confidential, and no-obligation informational meeting with a compassionate attorney today.
California Trucking Industry & Crash Statistics
As a major shipping and transportation hub, California is an important player in the nation’s economy. According to current data, the Golden State has:
- More than 2,450 miles of interstate roadways, second only to the state of Texas.
- Approximately 136,950 trucking companies operating within state lines.
- The second-highest total number of fatal large truck crashes.
- Lost 437 people to fatal truck accidents in 2021.
8 Things to Do After a Big Truck Accident
If you’ve been injured in a collision with a big rig, the steps that you take afterward matter. That’s why the team at Varlack Legal Services recommends that you take as many of the following eight steps as possible after a CMV crash:
- Call 911
- Seek medical attention
- Exchange information with the other driver
- Take pictures and videos of the accident scene
- File an accident report
- Report the crash to your auto insurer
- Document all injuries, bills, and financial losses
- Schedule a free informational meeting with a truck accident lawyer
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve done one or most of the above steps. No matter where you’re at in the process, we’re here to help. Please get in touch as soon as possible so that we can review the details of your case during a completely free consultation.
Big Rig Accidents—Most Common Causes and Factors
There are many causal factors that play a role in big rig accidents, from driver errors to trucking company negligence. Part of what we do here at Varlack Legal Services is to identify the root causes and, in turn, legal liability for these types of accidents. It’s our job to know the most common causes of truck crashes, and it’s a job we take seriously.
Causal factors can be broadly broken down into three categories: driver errors, mechanical failures, and trucking company negligence.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), some of the most common driving violations include:
- Hours of service (HOS) violations
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Reckless driving
- Improper turns
- Improper lane changes
- Right of way violations
- Failure to adhere to traffic control devices
- Failure to use hazard flashers
- Railroad crossing violations
- Hand-held mobile device usage
- Texting while driving
- Usage or possession of narcotics or amphetamines
- Usage or possession of alcohol
Mechanical failures (which are often the result of poor or negligent maintenance) can include:
- Defective or worn-out brakes
- Faulty brake lines
- Brake failure
- Worn-out tire treads
- Tire blowouts
- Under- or overinflated tires
- Missing or burned-out lights
- Malfunctioning windshield wipers
- Broken coupling devices
- Transmission or engine failure
Trucking company negligence can influence and even raise the risk for both driver errors and vehicle malfunctions. We’re familiar with all the different bad behaviors that motor carriers engage in, including:
- Hiring unqualified drivers
- Failing to complete background checks
- Failing to perform drug and alcohol testing
- Ignoring or skipping needed maintenance
- Creating unreasonable delivery schedules
- Encouraging drivers to exceed HOS regulations
Truck collisions tend to be much more complicated than crashes involving only passenger vehicles. As a victim, it shouldn’t be left up to you to figure out what caused your accident and who is responsible.
For guidance on determining the causal factors of your accident, please reach out to Varlack Legal Services. The sooner, the better, as evidence tends to disappear quickly in these types of cases.
Injuries Most Commonly Associated with California Semi-Truck Collisions
When fully loaded, the average tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 40 tons, which is equal to a whopping 80,000 pounds. By comparison, the typical passenger vehicle weighs only around two tons or a little over 4,000 pounds.
The sheer size and weight difference between these two types of vehicles means that in a collision, the big truck will win every time. The most severe, traumatic, and life-altering injuries take place among passenger vehicle occupants.
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Broken bones
- Crushed limbs
- Amputation injuries (loss of limb)
- Internal organ damage
- Significant blood loss
- Soft tissue injuries
A single serious injury can translate to a lifetime of needed care and related medical bills. If you didn’t cause the accident, you shouldn’t be forced to shoulder the burden of these and other costs.
To learn more about holding the truck driver and their employer responsible for what happened to you, please get in touch with Varlack Legal Services as soon as possible. We’re here to help members of our community fight for the compensation that they are lawfully owed.
The Importance of Working with a Hayward Truck Accident Lawyer
You’re hurt and maybe even out of work. Medical bills keep coming in, and you don’t know where to turn for help. So, if you’ve been injured in a crash with a semi, we can’t emphasize the importance of working with a truck crash attorney enough.
When you’ve been hurt in a truck collision, you’re not just asking the at-fault party to pay for your damages. You’re facing off against multi-million-dollar trucking companies and their insurance providers. At every step of the claims or litigation process, you’ll be faced with parties whose only interest is boosting profits by minimizing payouts.
A Hayward truck accident attorney will uphold and defend your rights at every turn, no matter what the insurer might try to throw at you.
With the backing of the right lawyer, you’ll have someone on your side who can:
- Correctly value the total worth of your damages and losses
- Collect evidence that proves liability
- Negotiate for maximum compensation on your behalf
- Handle all communication with the insurance company
- Ensure that your rights are protected at all times
Don’t face the big trucking companies and insurers alone—find someone who will fight for every cent of compensation you deserve.
The Types of Truck Crash Cases We Handle
Every truck crash attorney at Varlack Legal Services has the expertise and knowledge needed to handle a wide range of CMV accident cases, including those involving:
- Jackknife accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
- T-bone (broadside) accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Wide turn (squeeze play) accidents
- Tire blowout crashes
- Underride accidents
- Override accidents
No matter what you’ve been through, we’re here to provide unparalleled legal representation and guidance. Please get in touch even if you don’t see your exact crash type listed above—we’ll still be able to help.
California Truck Accident Frequently Asked Questions
We know that this is a confusing and overwhelming time in life. It is our goal to take the burden off your shoulders as much as possible.
While we are prepared to answer all of your questions during a no-cost, no-obligation case consult, we’ve also provided answers to some common FAQs about truck accident claims in California.
Do I need a lawyer to file a truck accident claim?
There is no law requiring you to hire legal representation before filing a truck accident claim. However, having an attorney on your side not only increases your chances of a favorable outcome but also increases the likelihood of recovering full and fair compensation for everything that you’ve been through.
You can choose to work with a lawyer even if you initially filed your claim or lawsuit on your own.
How much is my truck crash claim worth?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Truck accident compensation varies from case to case and is dependent on factors unique to your situation. How much you may be entitled to recover is based on your economic (financial) and noneconomic (non-financial) losses.
At Varlack Legal Services, we work closely with our clients to determine exactly how much they are owed—and we won’t accept anything less.
How long do I have to file my claim?
The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file your claim or lawsuit.
In California, you have only two years from the date of the accident to initiate legal action. This is a relatively short period of time to collect and analyze evidence, build a case, and file a claim. That’s why we encourage accident victims to take action as soon as possible or risk losing out on essential compensation.
Who pays for my losses and damages after a CMV collision?
Liable parties are responsible for paying your related damages and financial losses. Following the complex network of liability in truck accident cases can be complicated, though, as trucks and cargo pass through a number of hands before hitting the road.
Possible liable parties can include:
- Trucking companies
- Truck drivers
- Shipping companies
- Vehicle or auto part manufacturers
- Auto mechanics
Missing out on even a single liable party could mean missing out on compensation that is vital to your health and recovery.
Why Choose Varlack Legal Services?
Varlack Legal Services is so much more than just a law firm. We are proud members of our local community. It is our honor to provide legal representation to our neighbors, friends, and community members in Hayward, Alameda County, and beyond.
In all that we do, it is our goal to provide accessible and effective legal services.
We have built a reputation on the long-lasting relationships we’ve fostered with our clients. Our attorneys are here in good times and in bad, so when things get tough, you know who you can turn to.
No client is too small, and no case is too insignificant. If you’re looking for a reputable and experienced attorney, know that you’ve found a powerful ally in Varlack Legal Services.
Varlack Legal Services—Fighting for Accident Victims in our Community and Beyond
Access to information about your legal situation should never come with a price tag. That’s why we’re honored to provide no-cost case evaluations to accident and injury victims and to families of those who have lost loved ones in what should have been preventable accidents.
Are you ready to learn more about your rights and legal options? That’s what we’re here for. Contact us online or by phone, and we’ll match you with a Hayward truck accident lawyer who’s best suited to your needs.