HHJ Trial Attorneys

San Diego Car Accidents & Injury Lawyers

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San Diego Truck Accident Lawyers

  • Over 550 combined Google 5-Star Reviews
  • Tens of millions won every year for our clients
  • We won’t settle for less than the maximum value for your case
  • 30 combined years of legal experience 
San Diego personal injury lawyers near me

Trusted And Recommended

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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Khala BarkusKhala Barkus
19:33 25 Sep 22
Michael and his team were so great during this entire process. They helped me to get a pretty significant settlement from my case and they were never delayed in any of the processes. I am confident that had I not "fired" the first attorney that I started to work with and called HHJ trail attorneys, I would not have gotten the results that I got with HHJ. You can't go wrong with working with these guys to settle your case.
TylerTyler
21:09 25 Aug 22
Michael and the HHJ staff were extremely helpful from the start of my case less than a year ago. From the time I had my accident, to having doctor appointments set up to the final conclusion, it couldn’t have been a smoother process from beginning to end. Michael is very detailed and organized and always has your best interest at heart. He is very responsive and is always on top of it. I didn’t have to do much other than show up to my doctor appts and respond with info that was needed. I would without a beat use Michael and his team again if needed. HHJ is the best in Southern California!
Claudia LopezClaudia Lopez
21:41 08 Jul 22
Mr. Adam Hepburn and his firm, HHJ Trial Attorneys, took on our legal case. Mr. Adam Hepburn came recommended, luckily. We can't thank Mr. Adam Hepburn and his firm for their stellar work throughout our entire legal case. If I had any questions or concerns, Mr. Adam Hepburn would quickly address my concerns either via email, cell phone or even on text. Mr. Adam Hepburn was very truthful, thoughtful when explaining the facts of my case, and extremely professional. If you're on the fence with hiring Adam Hepburn and his firm, don't be, he's the best in the field. Adam won my case! Must hire him and his firm if you need his type of services.
FergalFergal
15:00 20 Apr 22
Michael and the team at HHJ Trial Attorneys have taken the best care of our Clients after they have being involved in road accidents. The care, attention and commitment they provide to all their clients is extraordinary as are their life enhancing results - HHJ Trial Attorneys = Best In Class.
Anne FranksAnne Franks
14:41 20 Apr 22
Michael at HHJ Trial Attorneys is a professional Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers group. This group is very is highly recommended! They are very professional compared to other firms. If you are looking for a quality group of attorneys that will get the job done, this is the one to call!
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San Diego Truck Accident Lawyers Fighting for Your Rights

If you’ve found yourself in the unfortunate and daunting situation of a truck accident in the vibrant city of San Diego, you need experienced and dedicated legal professionals by your side. Look no further than HHJ Trial Attorneys, the trusted advocates for those seeking justice and compensation in the aftermath of truck accidents. With a proven track record of success and a deep commitment to serving the San Diego community, our team of skilled truck accident lawyers is here to guide you through the complex legal process, providing unwavering support and expert representation. Your journey to recovery begins with us, HHJ Trial Attorneys.

Highlights: 

  • What you can expect by working with a San Diego truck accident lawyer 
  • Understanding trucking federal regulations 
  • What damages you can include in your truck accident claim

How Is Fault Established After a Truck Accident in San Diego?

Establishing fault after a truck accident is a complex process that involves various factors, including evidence gathering, witness statements, expert opinions, and legal analysis. The goal is to determine who was responsible for the accident and to what extent. Here are the key steps and factors involved in establishing fault after a truck accident:

  • Accident Scene Investigation: The first step is to secure the accident scene to prevent further damage or injuries. Law enforcement officers typically respond to the scene and conduct an initial investigation. They gather evidence, take photographs, and create accident reports.
  • Witness Statements: Eyewitness accounts can be crucial in determining fault. Statements from individuals who saw the accident happen can help establish the sequence of events and identify any negligent actions by either party.
  • Police Reports: Law enforcement officers at the scene often create accident reports that include details about the accident, witness statements, weather conditions, road conditions, and any citations issued to the drivers involved.
  • Truck’s Electronic Data: Many commercial trucks are equipped with electronic data recorders (EDRs) or event data recorders (EDRs) that capture data like speed, braking, and other performance metrics. This data can be used to reconstruct the events leading up to the accident.
  • Truck Inspection: A thorough inspection of the truck involved in the accident can reveal potential mechanical issues or equipment failures that may have contributed to the accident.
  • Driver Logs and Records: Truck drivers are required to maintain driver logs and records of their hours of service, rest breaks, and work history. These logs can be used to determine if the driver was in compliance with Hours of Service regulations.
  • Expert Opinions: Accident reconstruction experts, engineers, and other specialists may be called upon to analyze the evidence and provide expert opinions on the cause of the accident. These experts can offer insights into issues like vehicle dynamics, visibility, and road conditions.
  • Video Footage: Surveillance cameras, dashcams, and nearby security cameras may have captured the accident on video. This visual evidence can be valuable in determining fault.
  • Driver Statements: Statements made by the drivers involved in the accident can also be important. They may admit fault or describe their actions leading up to the collision.
  • State Traffic Laws: State traffic laws and regulations are important factors in determining fault. Violations of traffic laws, such as speeding, running red lights, or failure to yield, can establish negligence.
  • Comparative Fault: In some cases, fault may be shared between multiple parties. Comparative fault laws in the relevant jurisdiction determine how liability is allocated when both parties are partially responsible for the accident.
  • Legal Analysis: Attorneys for both parties involved in the accident will examine the evidence and relevant laws to build their cases. They may negotiate or, if necessary, take the case to court for a judge or jury to decide.

It’s important to note that establishing fault in a truck accident can be a contentious and lengthy process. Insurance companies, legal teams, and sometimes multiple parties may be involved, and disputes over liability can arise. If you’re involved in a truck accident, it’s advisable to seek legal representation to protect your rights and interests throughout the process. An experienced San Diego truck accident attorney can help gather evidence, analyze the case, and negotiate on your behalf if necessary.

What are Common Causes of Truck Accidents in San Diego?

Truck accidents can result from a variety of factors, and they are often more severe than accidents involving smaller vehicles due to the size and weight of commercial trucks. Common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Driver Fatigue: Fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents. Long hours on the road and tight delivery schedules can lead to exhausted truck drivers who may fall asleep at the wheel or experience reduced alertness and reaction times.
  • Speeding: Excessive speed, whether by the truck driver or other vehicles on the road, is a significant factor in many truck accidents. Trucks have longer stopping distances, and high speeds can make it difficult for drivers to respond to sudden obstacles or changes in traffic.
  • Distracted Driving: Like all drivers, truckers can be distracted by activities such as texting, using a smartphone, eating, or adjusting in-cab technology. Distractions take their attention away from the road and can lead to accidents.
  • Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications can impair a truck driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction times, making accidents more likely.
  • Inadequate Training: Some truck accidents result from inexperienced or inadequately trained drivers who may not have the necessary skills to handle a large commercial vehicle safely.
  • Equipment Failure: Mechanical failures, such as brake or tire failures, can cause accidents. Poorly maintained trucks are at a higher risk of equipment-related failures.
  • Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Cargo: Trucks that are overloaded or improperly loaded can become unstable or have difficulty maneuvering, leading to accidents.
  • Aggressive Driving: Aggressive behaviors like tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and road rage can contribute to truck accidents. These behaviors can escalate situations and lead to collisions.
  • Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions, such as rain, snow, ice, fog, and high winds, can make driving hazardous for all vehicles, including trucks. Reduced visibility and slippery roads increase the risk of accidents.
  • Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, uneven pavement, construction zones, and poorly marked roads can create hazards for truck drivers. Inadequate road maintenance or construction zone safety measures can contribute to accidents.
  • Blind Spots: Large trucks have significant blind spots, especially on the right side and directly behind the truck. Failure to account for blind spots when changing lanes or merging can lead to accidents.
  • Failure to Yield Right of Way: Accidents often occur when other drivers fail to yield the right of way to trucks, especially when trucks are making turns or merging onto highways.
  • Inadequate Rest Breaks: Violations of Hours of Service (HOS) regulations can lead to driver fatigue, impairing a truck driver’s ability to stay alert and react quickly to changing traffic conditions.
  • Medical Conditions: Health issues or medical conditions that affect a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely can contribute to accidents.

It’s important to note that truck accidents can result from a combination of these factors, and investigations are often needed to determine the primary causes. Preventing truck accidents requires a combination of proper training, adherence to regulations, maintenance of equipment, and safe driving practices by truck drivers and other road users.

Who Is Liable After a Truck Accident?

Determining liability after a truck accident can be a complex process, and liability may be assigned to multiple parties depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. The following parties are commonly considered for liability in truck accidents:

  • Truck Driver: The truck driver may be held liable if their negligent actions or behavior contributed to the accident. This could include actions like speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence, or violating traffic laws.
  • Trucking Company: The trucking company that employs the driver can be held liable if it is found to be negligent in areas such as hiring, training, supervision, or maintenance of its fleet. Additionally, if the driver was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident, the company may be vicariously liable for the driver’s actions.
  • Truck Owner: In cases where the truck is owned by a party separate from the trucking company, the truck owner may share liability if they were negligent in maintaining or servicing the vehicle.
  • Cargo Loading Company: If improper loading or securing of cargo led to the accident, the company responsible for the cargo loading may be held liable.
  • Vehicle Manufacturer: In some cases, the manufacturer of the truck or its components may be liable if a mechanical failure or defect in the vehicle played a role in the accident.
  • Maintenance and Repair Providers: Companies responsible for maintaining or repairing the truck may be liable if inadequate maintenance or faulty repairs contributed to the accident.
  • Government Entities: If poor road conditions, inadequate signage, or other issues related to the roadway were factors in the accident, the government entity responsible for maintaining the road may share liability.
  • Other Drivers: Sometimes, other drivers on the road can be partially or entirely responsible for a truck accident. For example, if a car driver cuts off a truck and causes a collision, they may be liable.
  • Cargo Owners/Shippers: In cases involving hazardous materials or improper cargo loading, the entity responsible for the cargo may be held liable for the accident.
  • Manufacturers of Hazardous Materials: In accidents involving the transportation of hazardous materials, the manufacturer or shipper of those materials may share liability if negligence is established.

Liability in truck accidents is often determined through a thorough investigation that includes examining accident reports, witness statements, driver logs, vehicle maintenance records, electronic data recorder (EDR) data, and other evidence. It’s not uncommon for multiple parties to share liability, and the degree of fault may vary.

In some cases, liability may be settled through negotiations between the parties involved and their insurance companies, while in other cases, it may lead to litigation. Truck accidents can result in serious injuries and significant damages, so it’s important for those involved to consult with legal professionals who specialize in personal injury or truck accident cases to protect their rights and pursue appropriate compensation.

How Can a San Diego Truck Accident Attorney Help Me?

A truck accident attorney can provide valuable assistance and support if you’ve been involved in a truck accident. Here are some ways in which a truck accident attorney can help you:

  • Investigation: Attorneys have experience in conducting thorough investigations of truck accidents. They can gather evidence, review accident reports, interview witnesses, and collect critical information to build a strong case on your behalf.
  • Determining Liability: Identifying who is at fault in a truck accident can be complex. Attorneys can assess the circumstances of the accident to determine liability, including potential multiple parties who may share responsibility.
  • Legal Expertise: Truck accident attorneys are knowledgeable about federal and state laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry, including Hours of Service (HOS) rules, weight limits, and maintenance requirements. This knowledge is crucial in establishing liability and pursuing claims.
  • Handling Insurance Companies: Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging. Attorneys can communicate with the trucking company’s insurance provider and negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation for medical bills, property damage, and other losses.
  • Calculating Damages: Attorneys can help you assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future costs related to your injuries. They can work with experts to ensure all potential damages are accounted for.
  • Filing Legal Claims: If negotiations with insurance companies do not result in a fair settlement, attorneys can help you file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible parties. They will guide you through the legal process, including filing court documents and meeting deadlines.
  • Representation in Court: If your case goes to court, your attorney will represent your interests during litigation. They will present evidence, question witnesses, and argue your case to the judge and jury.
  • Negotiating Settlements: Many truck accident cases are resolved through negotiated settlements. Attorneys can use their negotiation skills to secure the best possible outcome for you without the need for a lengthy court trial.
  • Handling Complex Cases: Truck accidents often involve complex issues, such as federal regulations, multiple liable parties, and severe injuries. Attorneys are equipped to handle these complexities and protect your rights.
  • Support and Guidance: Dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming. Attorneys can provide emotional support, answer your questions, and guide you through the legal process, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
  • Contingency Fees: Many truck accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you receive a settlement or win your case in court. This arrangement can help you access legal representation without upfront costs.
  • Maximizing Compensation: Experienced truck accident attorneys know how to build a strong case to maximize the compensation you receive, ensuring you are not shortchanged by insurance companies or at-fault parties.

In the aftermath of a truck accident, it’s essential to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation. An attorney can assess your case’s unique circumstances and provide tailored guidance throughout the legal process, advocating for your best interests every step of the way.

Insight into the Federal Regulations That Truckers Must Follow

Truckers in the United States must adhere to a comprehensive set of federal regulations to ensure safety, environmental compliance, and the efficient operation of commercial motor vehicles. These regulations are primarily administered and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Here are some of the key federal regulations that truckers must follow:

  • Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations: These regulations govern the maximum amount of time that commercial drivers can spend behind the wheel and require mandatory rest breaks to prevent driver fatigue. The specific HOS rules can vary depending on the type of cargo and the driver’s work schedule.
  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Requirements: Truck drivers must obtain a CDL to operate commercial motor vehicles. There are different classes of CDLs for various vehicle types, and drivers must pass written and skills tests to obtain one.
  • Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance: Truckers are required to perform pre-trip and post-trip inspections of their vehicles and document any defects or issues. Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the safe operation of the vehicle.
  • Weight Limits: Federal regulations establish maximum weight limits for commercial motor vehicles, including the gross vehicle weight, axle weight, and axle group weight. These limits are designed to prevent overloading and ensure road safety.
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing: Truck drivers are subject to mandatory drug and alcohol testing to ensure they are not impaired while operating a commercial vehicle. Employers are required to establish drug and alcohol testing programs.
  • Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs): ELDs are mandatory devices that record a driver’s hours of service electronically. They replace paper logbooks and help ensure compliance with HOS regulations.
  • Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) Regulations: Drivers transporting hazardous materials must adhere to specific regulations regarding packaging, labeling, placarding, and documentation.
  • Commercial Vehicle Inspections: Law enforcement agencies conduct roadside inspections of commercial vehicles to ensure compliance with safety standards. Vehicles found to be in violation may be taken out of service until the violations are corrected.
  • Size and Weight Regulations: Federal regulations dictate the maximum allowable dimensions (length, width, height) of commercial vehicles and the permissible weights on different types of roads and bridges.
  • Insurance Requirements: Trucking companies are required to maintain minimum levels of liability insurance to cover potential accidents and damages.
  • Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) Requirements: New commercial drivers must complete a prescribed training program that covers the essential knowledge and skills needed for safe operation.
  • Environmental Regulations: The Clean Air Act and other environmental regulations impose emissions standards on diesel trucks to reduce air pollution. This includes requirements for emissions control devices and the use of low-sulfur diesel fuel.

These federal regulations are in place to promote safety, protect the environment, and ensure fair competition within the trucking industry. It’s important for truckers and trucking companies to stay informed about these regulations and comply with them to avoid fines, penalties, and other legal consequences. 

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