The trucking industry is a highly lucrative field. Statistics prove that just a couple of years ago, total revenue exceeded $791 billion. While profit margins are on the rise, companies must stay ahead of the competition by keeping more trucks on the roads than ever.

An area heavily impacted by the increase in delivery truck and commercial truck traffic is the Alameda Corridor East, the route from Los Angeles running through San Bernardino County.

The traffic results in heightened wear and tear on typical truck routes. A case in point is the California State Route 60. Yet as officials note, funding of road projects is not “fully met.” What do these statistics have to do with a San Bernardino truck accident lawyer?

While trucking companies are growing rapidly and becoming more profitable, local streets are becoming worn to such an extent that current maintenance is insufficient to keep them in good shape. This puts drivers at risk. However, the increase in truck traffic also poses another threat: Big rig truck crashes.

Why Hire a San Bernardino Truck Accident Attorney?

Any collision between two cars can result in a dangerous car accident. However, add a heavy commercial truck – frequently with a payload – to the mix, and the situation is often much more serious. Injuries following big trucking accidents may be catastrophic or deadly. Moreover, your vehicle is most likely totaled. Any goods or valuables you were transporting at the time of the accident will also be destroyed.

An attorney helps you think through the damages you suffered. Plus, they will handle the paperwork associated with filing a truck accident claim, which gives you the freedom to concentrate on regaining your health.

Our team at MKP Law Group, LLP knows the complications that can arise when it comes to big rig accidents resulting in a truck accident injury. We understand the local transportation laws and have experience in injury litigation. We know how to deal with insurance companies so that you do not have to. We also work with medical doctors, therapists, and professionals who can treat injuries resulting from the accident so you can focus on getting better.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a San Bernardino truck accident, you need a San Bernardino truck accident lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve. There are no upfront, out-of-pocket costs to our clients. Call us today at 310-285-5353 to schedule your 100% FREE consultation.

How Serious are Truck Accidents?

Truck accidents can be fatal. According to the latest figures, there were 2.11 fatalities per 100,000 population due to large truck involvement. The figure jumps to 3.49 when discussing light truck occupant fatalities. That said, death is not the only outcome.

Often victims of truck accidents are likely to sustain catastrophic injuries. Often truck crashes involve big rigs, so the physical impact resulting in collisions can be devastating.

The most common of  injuries are as follows:

Regardless of the severity of your injury, always see a medical professional following the accident. From minor injury to catastrophic injury, taking care of yourself first is of utmost importance.

Going to a doctor as soon as possible, even when there are no physical signs of damage, can ensure that you catch signs of deeper trauma that may cause future suffering. Traumatic brain injuries or spinal injuries often take time to appear and can often be the result of truck accidents.

Understanding the Risk That Trucks Pose on Local Streets

crash on the road due to insufficient distance between vehicles

San Bernardino’s vehicle fatality data proves that the area consistently exceeds the California median average.

This is due, in part, to the various types of trucks that are currently driving the streets, such as:

  • Tow Trucks – private operators often run these large vehicles. Improperly attached loads and obstructed brake lights can be a concern for road safety.
  • Dump Trucks – These trucks carry large loads of gravel, dirt, and more. Flying or falling particles can pose a risk, and their top-heavy design risks them tipping over.
  • Garbage Trucks – Often driving around residential areas, garbage trucks have lots of blind spots, and debris can fly out of the bin.
  • Delivery Trucks – This type of truck delivers various products for commercial businesses, often into residential areas. Tired drivers and blind spots can make them a potential road hazard.
  • Utility Trucks – These trucks, often owned by businesses offering utility services or repair, can be wobbly due to the distribution of the utility bed and its various drawers and compartments.
  • Long-Haul Semi-Trucks – A truck of many names: semi-trailer, big rig, and 18-wheeler. They have lots of blind spots, are prone to rollovers, and often are driven for long periods.
  • Fuel Trucks – also known as tanker trucks, these trucks often haul hazardous liquids or gases and can be prone to rollovers.
  • Flatbed Trucks – Trucks with an extended open trailer often hauling cargo that is sometimes improperly secured.

A Closer Look at Big Rig Accidents

The NHTSA identifies a large truck as weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Large trucks are considered heavy if they exceed a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds.

It is interesting to note that – nationwide – it was this type of large motor vehicle that was involved in 85% of fatal traffic crashes involving trucks. At the time of the data collection, fatalities were slightly decreasing, but injury accidents were on the rise.

The majority of crashes occur during the week when truckers haul freight. The numbers also show that drivers of large trucks involved in deadly crashes “had the highest percentage of previously recorded crashes.” What the numbers do not show are the reasons for the accidents.

Was there a mechanical failure? Did the driver feel pressured to arrive at their destination at a certain time, which led to aggressive driving? Maybe the trucker was tired, ill, or not properly trained and missed seeing a small car that moved into their blind spot.

Best Practices after an Accident Involving a Truck in San Bernardino

If you have been in a truck crash, your health and the health of your passengers are of first importance.

  1. Contact the police and ambulance. First responders will treat your injuries and may start preventative measures for conditions that might not present until later. Moreover, the police will take photographs and prepare a traffic collision report. Speak to the police officer right away so that you do not forget any of the details involved in the crash.
  2. Get witness information and document the accident. If you are in the position to do so, take your own photos, request the truck driver’s insurance details, and get the names and contact information for any witnesses. Do not worry if you are not able to do so. A lot of this information will be available through the police report. Moreover, an attorney can assist you to recover the data later.
  3. Talk to the lawyer. From the moment of the accident, there is a time span that rapidly decreases. It is the window during which you must protect your legal rights. If you do not do so, you may find later on that you are barred from seeking compensation because of the statute of limitations.

Truck Accident Liability and Complications

Truck accidents are often complicated. Not just are injuries often substantial, but the number of parties involved can complicate which insurance is triggered or who exactly is at fault. Many times, particularly in accidents involving commercial trucks, the tractor (driving component) of the truck is owned by one entity and the trailer by another.

This can make it hard to uncover who is liable or responsible for covering the injuries resulting from the accident.

Our San Bernardino truck accident attorneys have the experience and resources to conduct a thorough fact-finding investigation to fully understand the accident’s circumstances and who is at fault.

To combat the issue of driver fatigue and promote safety, the trucking industry is highly regulated by federal law with safety regulations on how many consecutive hours truckers can drive for, mandatory break periods, and rules requiring logs detailing trucker work hours. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations are the set of rules put in place by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (or “FMCSA”), the agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry in the U.S.

Unfortunately, oftentimes these logs are manipulated or altered by the trucker or the trucking company to skirt federal laws and safety regulations. MKP Law Group, LLP’s truck accident lawyers know how to analyze these logs and determine if they are falsified and, if so, how to hold the trucking company fully accountable.

How Can a San Bernardino Truck Accident Lawyer Help You Recover Damages?

In the aftermath of the accident, focus on recovery first. Your attorney will file the necessary papers to protect your legal rights.

When you are ready to explore the possibility of compensation, it is time to think through how the accident has adversely affected you.

  • Income: Have you lost income because of hospitalization or doctors’ appointments? Were there missed opportunities for promotions or bonuses? Will there be a loss of earning capacity in the future?
  • Expenses: Insurance may cover the majority of the costs. However, some expenses are not covered. Next, there are the expenses associated with your vehicle and any consumer goods you were transporting at the time.
  • Pain and suffering: Did you know that some truck accident victims no longer feel safe driving on the highway with trucks? Their lives have been so traumatized that it is impossible for them to drive in certain places or situations for fear of getting into a car accident. Others have injuries that make it impossible for them to drive at all. The measure of pain and suffering can vary greatly and cause costly changes to lifestyle and quality of life.

Discuss your situation fully with a dedicated attorney who can assist you in attaching the correct legal terminology to the losses you have experienced. Once they’ve accessed your situation, they can and will help you determine the maximum recoverable damages and put them in writing for your claim.

Who Do Our San Bernardino Truck Accident Attorneys Represent?

Our team at MKP Law Group, LLP are dedicated, personal injury lawyers.

We work with accident survivors who may have fallen victim to an accident involving a big rig, 18-wheeler, or other truck. These are often people going about their day when someone else’s negligence changed the course of their lives forever.

The aftermath of a truck accident leaves injured parties hurt, suffering from financial setbacks, and dealing with a variety of losses. We’re here to personally help navigate the legal process. We also work closely with a team of local medical experts to ensure that you or your loved one receives top-notch medical care for a speedy and healthy recovery while we deal with the legal process and negotiate with the insurance companies to get you top dollar.

What is the Truck Accident Injury Claim Process

Filing a truck accident injury claim and getting on the road towards filing legal action is complicated.

It is imperative you hire an experienced truck accident lawyer to take your case as soon as possible after a commercial truck or semi-truck accident.

Here is an outline of the steps that must be taken:

1. Truck Accident Investigation

Almost every semi-truck accident will produce a police investigation and report due to the often catastrophic nature of these types of collisions. MKP Law Group, LLP will hire accident reconstruction experts to investigate the scene of the truck crash, trucker logs, and truck footage/data. We also reach out directly to any eyewitnesses to obtain their statements and send out spoliation letters to the trucking company.

What are spoliation letters and why should you send them?

Sending spoliation letters is standard practice following trucking accidents. These letters should be sent as soon as possible to the trucking company in order to preserve key evidence for the case at hand. This letter notifies the company that they need to safeguard and preserve any evidence relating to the case, such as any and all relevant data, footage, and/or reports. If the party is found to have destroyed evidence related to the case, they may be issued a “spoliation charge.”

2. File Your Insurance Claim(s)

After completing the investigation, it is time to submit a claim to any and all insurance companies that may provide coverage for the incident. Each claim will include a demand for full compensation for your injury claim as well as a detailed summary of reasoning for why the trucking company or truck driver was negligent and liable for the injury claim.

3. Negotiating Settlement

Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys know how to negotiate to maximize the case value. Before beginning negotiations, we talk to our clients to understand your ultimate goals for your injury claim to make sure we are all on the same page.

4. If Negotiations Are Not Reached: File a Lawsuit

If we are unable to resolve the case via settlement negotiations with the insurance company, the next step in the process is to file a lawsuit against all potential at-fault parties. During initial litigation, parties involved still have the potential to settle the case out-of-court.

However, if the parties are still unable to agree on a settlement, then a trial will commence where evidence is presented, and a jury will issue a verdict. The jury will decide who is at fault for the accident and how much compensation is owed to the victim.

A Note On Partial Fault:

It is important to remember that a trucking accident victim can still present an injury claim even if they were partially at fault for the accident.

California has adopted a comparative liability system. This system is known as comparative negligence. What it means for semi-truck accident victims is that they can still recover damages even if they were partially responsible for causing the accident, but the damages they can recover will be reduced based on the degree to which they were responsible for causing the accident.

Contact an MKP Law Group, LLP San Bernardino Truck Accident Attorney Today

Do not allow someone else’s negligence to rob you of enjoying your life.

It costs nothing to discuss your case with a lawyer to make an educated decision on how to proceed.

So, if you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident, contact our law firm today at 310-285-5353 so that we can start fighting to get you the compensation you deserve.

At MKP Law Group, LLP, we have personal injury attorneys that are highly experienced in handling truck accidents and strives to make the process as easy and quick as possible for you. Our highly specialized attorneys are experienced, attentive, dependable, and tenacious, so call us today to schedule your 100% consultation. As always, if we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us a dime.

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