Chula Vista Truck Accident Lawyer
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HHJ Trial Attorneys proudly serve victims who have suffered from serious injuries. HHJ is one of San Diego’s premiere personal injury law firms. We’ve obtained over ten million dollars for our clients within the last 4 years alone and have been voted the Best Litigation Firm for the last 3 years through the San Diego Union Tribune. All three partners have been voted as Super Lawyers and have received coverage from local and national news outlets.
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Truck accidents are among the most devastating and deadly types of motor vehicle accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 4,415 fatal crashes involving large trucks in the United States in 2018, resulting in 4,951 deaths. In California, there were 361 fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2018, resulting in 402 deaths.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident in Chula Vista, CA, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. However, pursuing a truck accident claim can be a complex and challenging process, as there are many factors and parties involved, such as the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, the insurance company, and the government agencies.
That’s why our Chula Vista truck accident attorneys are here to protect your rights and interests and guide you through the legal process. We specialize in representing truck accident victims in Chula Vista, CA, and have the knowledge, skills, and resources to handle any type of truck accident case.
Table of Contents
Truck accidents can be caused by various factors, such as human error, mechanical failure, environmental conditions, or road hazards. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents are:
- Driver fatigue: Truck drivers are often required to work long hours and drive long distances, which can impair their alertness, reaction time, and judgment. This can cause truck drivers to fall asleep, lose control, or make mistakes behind the wheel.
- Driver distraction: Truck drivers can be distracted by various things, such as cell phones, radios, GPS, food, drinks, or passengers. Driver distraction can cause truck drivers to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, or their mind off the driving task.
- Driver impairment: Truck drivers can be impaired by alcohol, drugs, or medications, which can affect their vision, coordination, and decision-making. Driver impairment often causes truck drivers to drive recklessly, swerve, or run red lights or stop signs.
- Driver error: Truck drivers can make errors due to lack of training, experience, or skill, or due to negligence, carelessness, or recklessness.
- Truck defects: Trucks can have defects or malfunctions in their parts or systems, such as brakes, tires, steering, or lights. Truck defects can cause trucks to break down, skid, or catch fire.
- Truck maintenance: Trucks require regular inspection, maintenance, and repair to ensure their safety and performance. Truck maintenance can therefore be neglected or performed improperly by the truck owners, operators, or mechanics, which can cause trucks to have worn-out, faulty, or mismatched parts or components.
- Truck loading: Trucks have to be loaded properly and securely, according to their weight, size, and balance specifications. This can be done incorrectly or excessively by the truck owners, operators, or loaders, causing trucks to have overloaded, unbalanced, or shifting cargo, which can affect their stability and maneuverability.
- Road conditions: Trucks can encounter various road conditions, such as potholes, cracks, debris, or construction zones. Road conditions can cause trucks to lose traction, swerve, or collide with other vehicles or objects.
Weather conditions can also play a role. Trucks can face various weather conditions, such as rain, snow, fog, or wind, which can reduce the visibility, traction, and control, increasing the risk of hydroplaning, skidding, or jackknifing.
Truck accidents can result in serious and catastrophic injuries and damages, due to the large size, weight, and speed of trucks, and the force and impact of the collisions. Some of the most common injuries and damages from truck accidents include the following.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): TBIs are injuries to the brain caused by a blow, jolt, or penetration to the head. TBIs can cause symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, memory loss, or coma.
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs): SCIs are injuries to the spinal cord caused by a fracture, dislocation, or compression of the vertebrae. SCIs can cause symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected areas.
- Neck and back injuries: Neck and back injuries are injuries to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs, or nerves in the neck and back regions. Neck and back injuries can cause symptoms such as pain, stiffness, swelling, or inflammation in the affected areas.
- Bone fractures: Bone fractures are breaks or cracks in the bones caused by excessive force or pressure. Bone fractures can cause symptoms such as pain, swelling, bruising, or deformity in the affected areas.
- Internal injuries: Internal injuries are injuries to the organs or tissues inside the body caused by blunt force trauma or penetration. Internal injuries can cause symptoms such as bleeding, shock, or organ failure.
- Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries are injuries to the skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, or nerves caused by cuts, scrapes, bruises, sprains, or strains. Soft tissue injuries can cause symptoms such as pain, swelling, redness, or infection in the affected areas.
- Burn injuries: Burn injuries are injuries to the skin and tissues caused by heat, fire, chemicals, or electricity. Burn injuries can cause symptoms such as pain, blistering, peeling, or charring in the affected areas.
- Amputation injuries: Amputation injuries are injuries that result in the partial or complete loss of a limb or extremity, such as an arm, leg, hand, or foot. Amputation injuries can cause symptoms such as bleeding, shock, or phantom pain in the affected areas.
Amputation injuries can also affect the physical, psychological, and social aspects of the amputee’s life, such as mobility, independence, self-esteem, or relationships.
Emotional & Economic Damages
In addition to the physical injuries and damages, truck accident victims may also suffer from emotional and economic damages, such as:
- Emotional distress: Emotional distress is the mental and emotional suffering caused by the truck accident and its aftermath. Emotional distress can cause symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fear, anger, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Emotional distress can also affect the psychological and emotional well-being of the truck accident victim and their family.
- Lost income: Lost income is the income that the truck accident victim loses or will lose due to the truck accident and its consequences. Lost income can include wages, salaries, tips, bonuses, commissions, or benefits that the truck accident victim would have earned if they had not been injured or killed in the truck accident.
- Lost earning capacity: Lost earning capacity is the income that the truck accident victim loses or will lose due to the reduced ability to work or earn income as a result of the truck accident and its effects. Lost earning capacity can include the difference between the income that the truck accident victim would have earned if they had not been injured or killed in the truck accident, and the income that they can actually earn after the truck accident.
- Medical expenses: Medical expenses are the costs that the truck accident victim incurs or will incur for the medical treatment and care related to the truck accident and its injuries. Medical expenses can include hospital bills, doctor fees, surgery costs, medication costs, rehabilitation costs, or assistive device costs that the truck accident victim needs to recover from the truck accident.
- Property damage: Property damage is the damage that the truck accident victim’s vehicle or other property suffers or will suffer due to the truck accident and its impact. Property damage can include repair costs, replacement costs, or depreciation costs that the truck accident victim needs to restore or replace their vehicle or other property after the truck accident.
Consulting with an experienced truck accident attorney is the best way to properly identify the economic and non-economic damages that you are entitled to.
Truck accidents are governed by various laws and regulations at the federal and state levels. These laws and regulations establish the rules and standards that apply to the trucking industry, such as the licensing, training, inspection, maintenance, operation, and safety of trucks and drivers, and the liability, compensation, and insurance of truck accidents.
Some of the most common laws and regulations that apply to truck accidents include the following.
#1 – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)
The FMCSRs are a set of rules and standards issued by the FMCSA, a federal agency that oversees the trucking industry.
The FMCSRs cover various aspects of the trucking industry, such as the qualifications, testing, licensing, and medical examination of truck drivers, the inspection, maintenance, and repair of trucks and trailers, the hours of service, rest breaks, and logbooks of truck drivers, the weight, size, and cargo limits of trucks and trailers, and the safety equipment, devices, and systems of trucks and trailers.
#2 – The California Vehicle Code (CVC)
The CVC is a set of laws and regulations that govern the operation and registration of vehicles in California, including trucks.
The CVC covers various aspects of the trucking industry, such as the licensing, registration, and taxation of trucks and trailers, the traffic rules and signals for trucks and trailers, the speed limits and lane restrictions for trucks and trailers, the equipment and lighting requirements for trucks and trailers, and the accident reporting and investigation procedures for trucks and trailers.
#3 – The California Tort Law
The California tort law is a set of laws and principles that govern the civil liability and compensation of personal injury and property damage cases in California, including truck accidents.
The California tort law covers various aspects of the trucking industry, such as the negligence, fault, and causation of truck accidents, the damages, losses, and expenses of truck accident victims, the comparative fault and contributory negligence of truck accident parties, the vicarious liability and respondeat superior of truck owners and employers, and the insurance coverage and claims of truck accidents.
To calculate and recover compensation in a truck accident case, you need to determine the value and extent of your damages, and the sources and limits of your recovery.
To calculate and recover compensation in a truck accident case, you need to consider the following factors:
- The type and severity of your injuries and damages: The type and severity of your injuries and damages will affect the amount and duration of your compensation. Generally, the more serious and permanent your injuries and damages are, the more compensation you can claim and recover. For example, if you suffered a spinal cord injury that resulted in paralysis, you can claim and recover more compensation than if you suffered a whiplash injury that resulted in temporary pain.
- The degree and proportion of your fault and negligence: The degree and proportion of your fault and negligence will affect the percentage and reduction of your compensation. Generally, the more fault and negligence you share in causing the truck accident, the less compensation you can claim and recover. For example, if you were 25% at fault for the truck accident, you can only claim and recover 75% of your compensation.
- The availability and adequacy of your insurance coverage and benefits: The availability and adequacy of your insurance coverage and benefits will affect the source and limit of your recovery. Generally, the more insurance coverage and benefits you have, the more recovery you can obtain. For example, if you have health insurance, auto insurance, or workers’ compensation, you can recover some or all of your medical expenses, lost income, or disability benefits from your insurance company or employer.
- The solvency and liability of the truck driver, the trucking company, or another party: The solvency and liability of the truck driver, the trucking company, or another party will affect the source and limit of your recovery.
Generally, the more solvent and liable the truck driver, the trucking company, or another party is, the more recovery you can obtain. For example, if the truck driver, the trucking company, or another party has insurance, assets, or income, you can recover some or all of your compensation from them.
Recovering the damages that you’re entitled to starts with acquiring professional legal guidance. We’ve recovered millions for our clients and continue to help those involved in truck accidents in Chula Vista and other California municipalities.
Contact our attorneys today for a free and confidential consultation.