In 2015, there were about 116,000 people injured and 4,067 killed in crashes
involving large trucks, or any vehicle excluding buses and motorhomes
weighing more than 10,000 pounds. That same year 433,000 large trucks
total were involved in police-reported traffic crashes. While these numbers
don’t reach the heights of the number of passenger car-related accidents,
commercial trucks tend to have more impact on other vehicles and nearby
individuals. Part of the danger is that these trucks can weigh anywhere
from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds, and the heavier the vehicle is, the more
damage it is likely to do.
If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, make sure to call
Habbas & Associates about your case as soon as possible. Our skilled
San Jose truck accident attorneys have more than 175 years of combined
legal experience to offer your case and can help you determine the best
course of action to take in seeking compensation.
Give us a call at (888) 387-4053 to get your case started.
Types of Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, there are many ways a commercial vehicle can cause an accident.
Depending on what kind of cargo it’s carrying, anything from over-packing
cargo to unsecured items could cause a problem on the road. Here are some
types of accidents that could be caused by various types of commercial trucks:
Tractor-trailers: Big rigs and semis are designed to travel long stretches of time. They
are large and also come with equally large blind spots. They also have
higher centers of gravity, which can cause them to roll over more easily.
These are usually involved in accidents resulting from an inability to
see a smaller car or by overturning.
Tankers: Tanker trucks haul liquids and gases, many of which are hazardous. Because
of their shape, they are also prone to rollovers. If one of these ruptures,
they can also cause toxic reactions in people nearby or can explode.
Flatbeds: These are long open trailers, which are easy to load and unload cargo.
Because they are open, however, they can cause accidents if their cargo
isn’t secured properly and becomes dislodged from the vehicle.
Tow trucks: These are usually run by private operators and can weigh much more than
10,000 pounds. They aren’t always driven by a trained driver, so
many times accidents involving these trucks can be blamed on a negligent
driver or his or her negligent employer.
All of the above are also prone to similar accidents caused by similar
circumstances. The shape of these vehicles can all cause them to jackknife
when they need to brake suddenly. If too much pressure is put on their
tires, the trucks can also experience tire blowouts, which can be disastrous
to nearby cars. Additionally, because they are so large, anytime one of
these trucks strikes a car on the side or head-on, they can cause an extreme
amount of damage to the smaller vehicle.
State and Federal Regulations
Because these vehicles have such an enormous potential for damage, both
state and federal regulation keeps them in check. Without a special permit,
no commercial truck is allowed to be more than 80,000 pounds fully loaded
with cargo. Likewise, rules prevent trucking companies from taking advantage
of their drivers forcing them to work more hours than their bodies can
handle, as often happened in the past. Federally, the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration oversees and implements regulations. If a driver
or company violates these laws, they are in charge of implementing civil
Liability in truck accident cases can be quite complicated. There are many
players involved in the trucking industry, including the driver, the company
who employs the driver, the people who maintain the truck, and the manufacturer
who made the parts that comprise the vehicle.
If the driver is an independent contractor and is found responsible for
the accident, he or she is fully liable for any damages caused. In cases
like these, the driver will usually have insurance to cover the cost of
compensation; however, if this insurance isn’t enough, or he or
she has no insurance at all, you will have to file a civil suit to recover
If the driver is employed by a company, even if the driver is responsible
for the error that caused the crash, the company would be held liable
for the incident. You would then file a claim with the business’s
A truck is also maintained and calibrated by certain individuals. These
technicians could be independent contractors or could be employed by the
people who own the truck. Depending on the situation, whoever was responsible
for failing to notice a deficiency in the vehicle, such as a worn-out
tire, he or she would be on the hook for negligence.
However, in cases where a truck part itself was flawed, or if the vehicle
was improperly put together, you would file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
This situation, however, can be particularly difficult to determine without
an investigation into the cause of the truck accident.
Call Our Skilled Attorneys Today
Because liability is so hard to determine, it can also be equally difficult
to prove negligence. However, our experienced
San Jose personal injury attorneys have decades of experience to offer your case. We have worked on many
truck accident cases in the past and can provide legal advice and compassionate
advocacy. Let us take a look at your case. You may be eligible for compensation
for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering
if a trucker, truck company, or truck manufacturer is found liable for
your injury. Over the course of our history, Habbas & Associates has
recovered more than $300 million in verdicts and settlements for our past
clients. Let us see what we can do for you and your family.
Contact us at (888) 387-4053 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case
consultation today. We look forward to speaking with you.