In the U.S., someone is injured or killed in a commercial-truck related incident every 16 minutes. Overall, there are close to 500,000 trucking accidents each year. Of these accidents, approximately 5,000 of them result in fatalities. In fact, one out of every eight traffic fatalities involves a trucking accident. While most truck and bus drivers are experienced and drive safely, 30% of truck-related accidents involve sleepiness or driver fatigue.
Truck and bus accident cases are complex and therefore proving negligence can be complicated. It is advisable to seek legal assistance as soon as possible in order to determine whether you have grounds to file a claim for compensation.
Since 1980, Howard Blau Law has been fighting for injured parties in truck and bus accidents. We know what a threat large tractor trailers, commercial trucks and buses are to smaller vehicles. We understand the forces at work on the road and also the lengths that trucking and bus companies will go to limit their liability in accident cases.
It is important that the attorney you hire be fully aware of all federal and state commercial vehicle regulations, as well as fully committed to you and to your legal rights as an injury victim.
Insurance companies representing truck and bus companies are very quick on the scene of these accidents. While accident victims are dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of their accidents, the truck and bus insurance companies are bringing in highly-trained investigators and experts in an effort to limit their liability. Faced with this level of response, it is important that individuals involved in truck and bus-related accidents find representation with an attorney who specializes in these accidents. There are special Vehicle Code sections, which apply to commercial truck and bus drivers and their companies, and there are special licensing and training requirements for these drivers as well.
Responsibility for a truck or bus accident can sometimes be difficult to determine. In general, any person or entity that was at fault for causing the accident can be sued. This includes the driver and the company, the owner of the trailer, the shipper, as well as any other driver, person or entity who in any way contributed to the accident, such as the manufacturer of one of the vehicles involved in the accident, the manufacturer of a tire that contributed to the accident or the owner of any public or private property whose negligence contributed to the accident.
What if the truck or bus was loaded over stated capacity? What if there was a mechanical failure or defective parts? What if the driver was using controlled substances? What if the driver has exceeded the allowed number of consecutive hours behind the wheel? What if the driver was not fully licensed to be operating the vehicle in question? What if the truck or bus was not equipped with federally required parts and accessories?
The bottom line is that there is just too much to know to let an inexperienced personal injury lawyer handle your case. Your first call should be to an experienced truck and bus accident attorney. Answering these and other such questions makes it imperative that you retain a legal team experienced in pursuing the answers to just such questions. Even more so than accidents involving other personal vehicles, trucking and bus companies have the means and spare no expense when it comes to limiting their liability. It is up to you and your attorney to hold them fully accountable.
Howard Blau Law will provide you a FREE confidential legal consultation in these matters. It is best to call us either at our Westlake Village (818-888-0303) or our Oxnard (805-644-2112) office (or send us an email) BEFORE you say or do anything that might jeopardize the determination of responsibility in your case, or your rights to full compensation.