Dealing with the aftermath of any accident can be overwhelming, but the stakes can be even higher when it comes to semi-truck accidents. These enormous commercial vehicles have been known to have catastrophic impacts when involved in collisions, leaving other vehicles crushed beneath tons of weight.
If you were involved in a semi-truck accident in West Covina, having the right legal representation by your side is crucial. Seeking the assistance of an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer in West Covina, CA, can help protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve. At Simmrin Law Group, we specialize in handling complex truck accident cases and are dedicated to providing effective legal representation to accident victims.
Semi-Truck Accidents Can Be Severe
Semi-truck accidents in West Covina can have devastating consequences due to these vehicles’ sheer size and weight. When a collision occurs between a large commercial truck and a smaller passenger vehicle, the smaller vehicle’s occupants are at a severe disadvantage. The impact of such accidents can result in debilitating injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures, loss of limbs, and even fatalities.
The medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and long-term care needs that arise from these collisions can be staggering, making it vital to pursue full and fair compensation for the damages incurred.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
Various factors and circumstances can lead to a semi-truck collision, and it’s important to be aware of the risks. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include:
- Driver fatigue. Truck drivers are often under pressure to meet tight delivery deadlines, leading to long hours on the road without adequate rest breaks, contributing to driver fatigue, impaired judgment, and slower reaction times.
- Distracted driving. Long hours also mean boredom, which may increase the temptation to engage in distractions such as texting or talking on the phone. This can divert the driver’s attention from the road, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Impaired driving. The rate of drug and alcohol use among commercial drivers is surprisingly high. These can impair a truck driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely.
- Speeding. Semi-trucks require a longer stopping distance due to their size and weight. When truck drivers exceed the speed limit or fail to brake when necessary, they may be unable to avoid a collision.
- Improper maintenance. Neglecting regular maintenance, including brake inspections, tire checks, and other essential upkeep, can lead to equipment failures. The implications can be deadly when these enormous vehicles experience brake malfunctions or tire blowouts.
Laws and Regulations Governing Semi-Truck Accidents in West Covina, CA
The trucking industry is heavily regulated to ensure the safety of both truck drivers and other road users. Federal laws, such as those established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), set forth specific rules that truck drivers and trucking companies must adhere to. These regulations cover areas such as driver qualifications, hours of service limitations, maintenance and inspection requirements, cargo securement, and drug and alcohol testing.
In addition to federal regulations, California has state laws that further govern semi-truck operations. For example, California requires commercial truck drivers to have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) and imposes additional restrictions on truck dimensions, weight limits, and regular inspections. The liable party must be held accountable if any local or federal regulations are neglected and lead to an accident.
Determining Liability in West Covina Semi-Truck Accidents
Establishing liability in a semi-truck accident can be a complex process. Multiple parties may share responsibility, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the vehicle manufacturer, maintenance contractors, and even other motorists involved in the accident.
Liability may be attributed to the truck driver if they were engaging in negligent behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The trucking company may also be liable if they fail to properly screen, train, or supervise their drivers or to maintain their fleet in compliance with safety standards. To establish liability, it’s important to work with a trusted semi-truck accident attorney in West Covina, CA, who can ensure your story is heard.
Investigating and Gathering Evidence in Semi-Truck Accident Cases
You may be entitled to compensation if you were involved in a semi-truck accident. Investigating and gathering evidence in a semi-truck accident case is crucial for building a strong legal claim. A respectable West Covina semi-truck accident attorney will employ various strategies to ensure a thorough investigation and maximum payout.
While you focus on your recovery, the experienced West Covina semi-truck accident lawyers at Simmrin Law Group will work diligently to gather evidence, such as accident reports, photographs, witness statements, surveillance footage, and any other data that could benefit your case. We may also consult accident reconstruction professionals and other experts to analyze the scene, vehicle damage, and other relevant factors to determine how the accident occurred and prove the source of the collision.
Analyzing Black Box Data in Semi-Truck Accidents
In modern semi-trucks, there are often electronic control modules (ECMs) or event data recorders (EDRs), commonly referred to as “black boxes.” These devices record valuable data about the truck’s operation leading up to and during an accident. Black box data can provide critical insights into a semi-truck accident’s circumstances and help determine liability.
Black boxes in semi-trucks typically capture data such as:
- The vehicle’s speed before and at the time of the accident
- Information on how the driver accelerated or decelerated leading up to the accident
- The revolutions per minute (RPM) of the truck’s engine
- Details about the application of brakes, including brake pressure and duration
- Data related to steering wheel movements and inputs
- Whether the driver was wearing a seat belt during the accident
- Information about the truck’s systems, including any malfunctions or faults
Contact the Struckat Simmrin Law Group
At Simmrin Law Group, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll a semi-truck accident can have on your life. That’s why we are committed to providing compassionate and personalized legal representation to ensure you receive the maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.