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Big Rig Trucks vs. Cars Accidents – What You Need to Know

Big rig truck on the highway in a car's rear view mirror

Catastrophic injuries can occur when a big rig truck hits a car, motorcyclist or pedestrian. The attorneys at Bailey & Partners know how to collect and analyze the evidence necessary to prove your case. Our 30 years of experience in handling catastrophic accidents has allowed Bailey & Partners to help hundreds of families collect compensation for their injuries.

Whether you call them big rigs, semi trucks, 18 wheelers or commercial trucks, these large trucks are on our roads and highways every day of the year. Trucks are essential, because they move millions of products from food to furniture to construction materials, however, these large vehicles can cause a lot of damage to smaller cars, cyclists and pedestrians when an accident occurs. In 2020, California alone reported close to 9,000 accidents involving large trucks and buses which resulted in almost 300 deaths and thousands of injuries. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident with a large truck, you need an attorney who really knows how to properly handle your case.

Big Rig Truck Accidents – Questions to Ask:

  1. Who owns the truck? Unlike in a car accident, a truck driver may be an independent contractor, yet other times the driver may be an employee of a company, and that company may have significant insurance.
  2. The Driver – How experienced is the driver? How many years has the driver been operating the truck? Has he/she been properly trained? Does he/she have the proper license and certification to drive the particular truck? Was the driver fatigued? Was the driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
  3. The Truck – Was the truck properly maintained and inspected, for example, did it have adequate brakes, steering and tires?
  4. The Load – Was the load within weight limits? Was the load secured properly? Was the truck loaded properly to avoid shifting cargo?
  5. Truck Electronics – Did the truck have on-board systems that recorded speed or gps data on the drive?
  6. The Accident Site – Where did the accident occur? Was the road properly maintained? Were the traffic lights working properly? What were the weather conditions at the time?

These are just some of the many issues that need to be addressed when you are involved in an accident with a large truck.

Big rig truck on the highway in a car's rear view mirror

The California Vehicle Codes sets forth laws that limit some trucks to the speed of 55 miles per hour. This can also apply to trucks with 3 axels, buses carrying students, motor homes, trucks with a trailer, and u-hauls. The Vehicle Codes also set forth rules as to when large trucks are to drive in the right hand lanes of the freeway with the slower traffic. Semi trucks and trucks pulling a trailer should be driving in the right lane or outer lanes depending on how many lanes the highway has. If the road is a 4 lane highway, the big rig truck must drive in the right 2 lanes. If the road is a 3 lane highway, the big rig truck should drive in the far right lane, but they can pass in the second lane. Because of the truck size and for safety reasons, California has also created, in some areas, designated truck lanes. This is designed to help the flow of traffic and separate trucks to keep the roads safer.

Car accident with cops and cop cars surrounding the area

The California Highway Patrol is responsible to enforce these lane restrictions, and some patrols cars even have markings that identify them as commercial vehicle enforcement. Many out-of- state truck drivers do not know about the California rules of the road, but that does not excuse them. The truck drivers are responsible to know the laws of the state where they are driving. Drivers who violate these laws can be ticketed and fined.

It is important to know that if you are in an accident and an insurance company is involved, they will try to pay you the least amount of money possible. That is their job. That is why you need an aggressive personal injury law firm to represent you, so that you can collect the money you are entitled to for your recovery. Personal injuries such as a brain injury may require expensive life care planning that can be financially devasting. That is why Bailey & Partners is dedicated to fight for you!

Red semi truck driving on the highway

With proven results, the attorneys at Bailey & Partners are here to assist you and your loved ones get the compensation you deserve.

Contact us for a FREE complimentary case evaluation:

For more information about trucking regulations, read this article or review the California Vehicle Code.

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