california truck rollover accident attorney

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A truck rollover accident occurs when an 18-wheeler, also called a semi-truck, rolls onto its side or top. Rollover accidents can happen anytime, though certain circumstances make them more likely than others. A truck’s massive size and weight make these kinds of accidents especially dangerous, no matter what circumstances cause them.

Victims have the right to seek damages when hurt in a crash caused by someone else’s negligence, and an experienced California truck accident lawyer from Ernst Law Group will fight for the highest compensation possible.

california truck rollover accident attorney

How can a California truck rollover accident lawyer help?

After receiving medical assistance for your injuries, your next call should be to a California truck rollover accident lawyer from Ernst Law Group. The injuries you sustain in the accident will probably keep you out of work for a while, if not permanently, and require considerable medical interventions. The at-fault party is responsible for compensating you for these losses under California law.

Potential at-fault parties include, but are not limited to:

  • The truck operator: The driver may have failed to practice safe driving behaviors or avoid risky ones, breaching their legal duty to preserve the safety of all others on the road.
  • The trucking company: The company may not have vetted or trained the driver properly. It may have pressured the driver to overload cargo, speed, or drive more consecutive hours than allowed by the FMCSA. It may also have failed in its duty to maintain safe vehicles.
  • Truck or truck-part manufacturers or installers: Drivers cannot control vehicles with defective or improperly installed parts and systems.
  • Other drivers: Truck operators can only control their vehicles. If others on the road are reckless or negligent, a rollover can be part of the collateral damage.
  • Government entities: Different government offices bear responsibility for maintaining safe roads, such as keeping them free of potholes and debris and ensuring traffic signals and street lighting work. When they fail to uphold these obligations, they can be held liable.

Your attorney will investigate your accident thoroughly to identify the at-fault party, gather evidence to prove that party’s negligence, and negotiate a fair settlement to cover your damages.

What are some common causes of truck rollover accidents?

Our California truck rollover accident attorneys will investigate the accident to determine the cause and identify the at-fault party. Below are common causes of truck rollovers in California:

  • Speeding – On-ramps and off-ramps, which require fast speed reductions, are common sites for these accidents.
  • Steering errors – If a driver over- or under-steers when trying to stay in lane,  they may attempt a fast counter-steer correction, which can set the truck off balance, sending it into a rollover.
  • Fatigue – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict regulations governing the consecutive hours and days a driver can work without rest.
  • Overweight cargo – Improperly loaded trucks or those with inadequately secured cargo can become unbalanced as materials shift during travel, leading to a risk of rolling over.
  • Impaired driving – Using alcohol or drugs results in impaired driving, which reduces reaction times, affects perception and coordination, and diminishes judgment.
  • Truck malfunctions – Malfunctions in steering, braking, loading, or coupling systems can lead to rollovers, and liability may lie with the component manufacturers, distributors, or mechanics who failed to ensure the systems were working properly.
  • Poor maintenance – Under-inflated or worn tires can cause blowouts, leading to loss of control and rollovers. Without regular inspection and repair, critical parts can come loose, break, or malfunction and cause the driver to lose control.
  • Negligent drivers – Careless drivers might cut a truck off, veer into the truck’s lane, and crash into other road obstacles or vehicles, leaving the driver with no option but to swerve and risk a rollover crash.

How does negligence work in California?

California follows a pure comparative fault system for injury cases. This means victims can sue at-fault parties for damages sustained in an accident, but if the victim bears a percentage of fault, the damages they receive are reduced proportionally. If assigned 10% of the blame for an accident, you can collect 90% (10% less) of the total calculated settlement amount.

The at-fault party’s representatives will do their best to blame you since their job is to protect their clients and themselves from a major payout. You need an attorney who protects your interests and compensation by negotiating fiercely on your behalf and protecting your settlement from an unwarranted reduction. If the at-fault party’s representatives refuse good-faith negotiation efforts, your attorney will fight for you at trial if you take your case to court.

What damages are available in a truck rollover accident?

Your attorney will consult with your medical team and other experts to assess your continuing needs and calculate coverage. You will lose wages during recovery, and if you cannot recover fully, may never return to employment. Your lawyer will calculate your lost wages, future earnings, and other job benefits and factor these amounts into the settlement demand.

If you were in your vehicle at the time of the accident, it will either need significant repairs or total replacement, and your case should include these costs for property damage. Your lawyer will likely advise you to seek non-economic damages, such as your physical pain and emotional suffering. These require specialized calculations to attach a fair dollar amount to your overall distress.

Some injuries are so severe they reduce the overall quality of life for your remaining years. Amputation, brain damage, chronic pain, and other conditions not only limit your physical capabilities, but they can impact your ability to engage socially or simply move through daily tasks independently. You may lose the ability to provide companionship, guidance, and comfort to your loved ones, and these significant losses warrant compensation.

(H3) How much is my case worth?

Your California truck rollover accident lawyer will evaluate your losses to get the highest settlement possible. Victims often do not recognize the extent of their losses and how the consequences of their injuries will affect their futures. An experienced attorney will not overlook any details or underestimate any future needs.

No two accidents or settlements are exactly alike, so there is no “average” settlement amount.

california truck accident rollover lawyer

Why are truck rollovers so serious?

Compared to most other vehicles on the road, a tractor-trailer’s massive weight and size make truck rollovers so serious. In addition, heavy or unbalanced cargo can increase Compared to most other vehicles on the road, the massive weight and size of a tractor-trailerjuries and fatalities, but with truck rollovers, the devastation is almost guaranteed.

The maximum legal weight for a fully loaded semi-truck in California is 80,000 pounds, and coupled cabs and trailers can reach 65-75 feet in length. According to Consumer Affairs, passenger vehicles average between 2,600 and 4,400 pounds. Whether small or large, none of these vehicles nor their occupants are likely to emerge unharmed if crushed in a truck rollover accident.

Rollovers that do not crush other cars are still dangerous. Semi-trucks often haul hazardous materials, such as gasoline or chemicals. Rollovers are violent, and metal friction on pavement can easily cause sparks, igniting the spilled materials and creating fires and the potential for explosion.

The disabled truck and those spills can lead to a chain reaction of crashes. Other vehicles may crash into the tractor and trailer or collide with each other as they swerve to avoid it. They can skid on spilled liquid cargo or crash into other materials or debris released during the rollover.

When and where do most truck rollover accidents occur?

Rollover accidents occur when trucks make sharp or quick turns or navigate deep curves. Yet, only 4% of single-vehicle rollovers result from roadway features or environmental factors, such as bad weather, according to the FMCSA. More than half of rollover accidents, 56%, occur on straight roads, two-thirds during daylight hours, and 93% on dry roadways.

That said, twisting roads, hairpin turns, and entrance and exit ramps still pose dangers, and the FMCSA supports equipping trucks with “electronic stability aids” that automatically slow a truck’s speed when it has entered a curve too quickly and alert drivers to upcoming sharp curves.

Have there been notable truck rollover accidents in California over the past five years?

The devastating consequences of rollover accidents often end up as shocking headlines. Notable incidents in California over the last five years include:

  • A tow truck in Los Angeles crashed into two cars, rolled to its roof, and then slid into nearly a dozen cars (eight parked and three moving), sending at least two people to the hospital.
  • A semi-truck on I-580 in Livermore overturned, caught fire, and blocked all eastbound lanes.
  • An overturned “big rig” caused additional crashes with three other trucks and multiple other vehicles, closing 210 Freeway in Monrovia for hours.
  • A pile-up resulted from an overturned semi-truck, killing two people and closing Highway 99 in Bakersfield.

A semi-truck carrying chickens overturned and caught fire on I-80 in San Pablo. The accident caused major traffic and driver injuries and required significant clean-up and chicken round-up.

What are rollover truck accident statistics for California and the United States?

California’s percentage of truck accident fatalities is lower than most states. However, the state’s large population still makes for a higher number of deaths than other states see. For a recent full year of data collection, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 5,788 deaths and 154,993 injuries from large truck accidents. The number of large trucks involved in reported accidents across the country is 523,796.

A second NHTSA report cites rollovers as the “first harmful event” in 4% of large-truck involved in fatal crashes and 2% of large-truck involved non-fatal crashes. Rollovers are listed as the “most harmful event” in:

  • 270 (5.6%) fatal accidents
  • 8,000 (7.2%) of injury-causing accidents
  • 8,000 (2.4%) of accidents with only property damage

According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), 52% of all large-truck occupant deaths occurred in rollover crashes. California ranked second for the highest number of large-truck-related fatalities nationwide, according to the National Safety Council (NSC), with 483 deaths.

We protect victims’ rights

Our case results show the team at Ernst Law Group fights tirelessly for our injured clients’ wellbeing. When we take a case, we do so with the confidence that we can secure fair compensation. To prove that, we take on all legal fees and accept no payments until the settlement is delivered.

At Ernst Law Group, we aim to protect victims’ rights. We will fight to secure your financial future and get you justice for the losses someone else’s negligence has caused. Trust a California truck rollover accident attorney from our team to manage your case from start to finish. Schedule a free consultation by calling (805) 541-0300 or sending us a message. Our compassionate, knowledgeable, resourceful team is ready to get to work for you.

The most important thing you can do after a truck accident is to seek medical attention immediately. After this, you should document the situation as much as possible and try to preserve evidence that could be used in your case.

You should not speak to the insurance company until you have hired a lawyer. Hiring an attorney early on is crucial because only after your California semi truck accident lawyer has reviewed the case will they determine if it is worth pursuing further.

Truck accidents are often caused by negligence on the part of the carrier. When the negligent party is likely to be insured, an attorney can ensure that you receive full compensation for your damages.

You can speak to the police officer at the scene of an accident. However, you are not required to say anything without first consulting with your attorney.

We recommend that you cooperate but be sure not to admit fault for anything.

Several parties can be held responsible for your accident. These include:

  • Trucking company
  • Truck driver
  • Manufacturer
  • Mechanic
  • Entity responsible for road maintenance

In California, you have two years to file a lawsuit from the time of the accident. However, filing as soon as possible is crucial because evidence can be altered or destroyed over time.

If the statute of limitations passes, you will not be able to seek compensation.

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How Can Ernst Law Group Help?

Ernst Law Group custom tailors our representation to you. Our San Luis Obispo personal injury attorneys have been named Super Lawyers and Top Trial Attorneys by numerous organizations including the highest possible rating for ethics and skill. We have developed our negotiation and litigation expertise by successfully taking on the tough cases and fighting against the biggest corporations and insurance companies. We will put our decades of collective expertise to work when representing you in court if you’ve been harmed or a loved one lost his life due to negligence.

Schedule your free consultation by calling 805-541-0300 or contact us online to learn about the legal services we can offer you.

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