If you were the victim of a car accident caused by a speeding truck driver, contact our Carlsbad truck accident lawyers at Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers immediately. Speeding is always dangerous and irresponsible, but when the driver of an 80,000-pound truck is speeding, the danger is compounded many times over.
Large trucks already require more time than other vehicles to slow down, so when they’re speeding, they give themselves little to no opportunity to slow down to avoid an accident. What’s more, a speeding truck is going to hit another vehicle with even more force than they would at normal speeds.
The fallout is that a speeding truck driver can cause severe injuries and even fatalities when they crash into other vehicles. It’s careless behavior, and they should be held liable for the injured party’s losses.
Our Carlsbad speeding truck accident lawyers know the trauma you’re experiencing. It’s devastating to get hurt in a crash that could have been avoided. We have the experience and resources to help you pursue the financial compensation you need to heal and move forward with your life.
Our solid track record speaks to the zealous and effective representation we bring to every case. You can depend on us to fight for your rights. Call Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers at (619) 349-1682 to schedule your free consultation.
Why Speeding Is Dangerous
Driving at excessive speeds increases the risk of an accident. Any injuries that occur are likely to be severe or life-threatening. Truck drivers have a schedule they must follow and can’t fall behind. Despite the dangers of speeding, they do it so they can transport all their cargo to the destination and get paid fully for their shift.
Unfortunately, commercial trucks cause significant force when they crash into other vehicles. That can create devastating harm to the occupants.
When a large truck weighing 80,000 pounds collides with a passenger car, the smaller vehicle typically suffers the most damage. It can crumple like a piece of paper, crushing anyone inside. Most victims of this type of accident need the jaws of life to get out because they become trapped.
Different factors combined with speeding can cause an accident, such as:
- Blind spots: Commercial vehicles have large blind spots. It’s difficult for the driver to see smaller cars around them. If they’re driving at a high rate of speed, they won’t notice a vehicle traveling alongside and could end up sideswiping them.
- Distance required to stop: The faster someone drives, the more distance they need to come to a complete stop. Heavy and large commercial trucks need even more distance and take longer to stop. It becomes a greater challenge when there’s slower traffic ahead or a hazard in the road.
- Sharp curves and turns: Small cars have a difficult time handling curves in the road if they’re not traveling at a reduced speed. Since maneuvering a large truck is complicated, the driver could lose control if they’re speeding and wind up rolling over or crashing into another vehicle.
- Cargo load: Cargo can shift during transport, causing uneven weight distribution. Speeding prevents the truck driver from controlling their vehicle’s two moving parts, the front cab and back trailer. When cargo is moving around or falls off the truck, it can create dangerous conditions.
Any of these situations could lead to injuries. The impact between a small car and a speeding truck causes devastating physical harm and property damage. These injuries often result in expensive medical bills and can lead to physical or mental impairments and disabilities.
The most common injuries suffered in speeding truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury or skull damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limb
- Crush injuries
- Broken bones
- Facial disfigurement
- Lacerations and wounds
- Permanent disability
Injuries like these can cause lifelong pain and ongoing medical problems. If you end up with a disability, you might require assistance with routine tasks and consistent medical treatment. Bills can add up over time and become expensive, causing significant financial strain. You shouldn’t have to pay for any costs associated with the accident. Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers will make sure the at-fault truck driver is held liable.
Determining Liability After a Speeding Truck Driver Accident
Truck drivers and their employers must comply with regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Failure to follow these rules can result in liability if an accident occurs. Even though the truck driver was involved in the crash, the trucking company could also face blame if they didn’t check for the proper licensing or qualifications when they hired the driver.
FMCSA regulations for truck drivers include:
- Hold a valid commercial driver’s license.
- Be at least 18 years old to drive within California and at least 21 years old to drive to other states.
- Obey the posted speed limit where the vehicle is being operated.
- Regularly inspect the truck for damage or mechanical issues.
- Drive no more than 11 consecutive hours after being off-duty for 10 hours.
- Take a 30-minute break after eight consecutive hours of driving.
- Remain alcohol and drug-free before and during shifts.
- Refrain from using hand-held mobile devices when behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle.
- Have the ability to understand English at a level required to maintain driver logs, communicate with others, and read traffic signs.
FMCSA regulations for trucking companies include:
- Perform thorough background checks before hiring new employees.
- Provide ongoing training programs.
- Ensure routine maintenance and repairs on the entire vehicle fleet.
- Instruct workers to load cargo within size and weight limits and use proper securement systems.
- Require all drivers to undergo random drug and alcohol testing.
- Investigate accidents occurring during truck driver shifts.
- Review driver logs to confirm they’re following FMCSA regulations regarding inspections, driving hours, and other requirements.
- Ensure every truck doesn’t have a gross weight over 80,000 pounds.
If you get hurt in a speeding truck accident, you could hold the driver or their employer liable for your resulting losses. Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers will build a strong case and establish the legal theory of negligence. This is a common theory accident victims can base their claim on when filing an insurance claim or lawsuit. Negligence is the failure of one party to act or not act in a way to prevent another person from harm.
To prove negligence, you must prove the following five elements existed at the time of the crash:
- Duty: The at-fault party owed you a duty of care to act or not act in a certain way;
- Breach of duty: The at-fault party breached its duty;
- Cause in fact: If it weren’t for their actions or inaction, you wouldn’t have suffered harm;
- Proximate cause: Their breach was the direct cause of your injury; and
- Damages: The accident resulted in damages.
How to Recover Compensation for Damages
When it comes to determining liability after a motor vehicle accident, California follows a fault system. That means the person who caused the crash is automatically financially responsible for the injured party’s damages. Damages are the total losses suffered from an accident or injury. They come in two different subcategories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are expenses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Out of pocket expenses
Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Compensation typically comes from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. Everyone has a legal obligation to carry liability insurance with minimum limits. Standard coverage for someone driving a passenger car is $15,000. However, commercial trucks can cause more severe damage and therefore require higher liability limits. The FMCSA requires truck drivers to carry policies with a minimum of $750,000 in coverage.
Trucking companies also carry liability insurance. Even though the truck driver was speeding, you could hold their employer liable for their negligence, such as hiring an unqualified driver. You would have to file a claim with their insurance company for compensation of your economic and non-economic damages.
Wrongful Death Laws in California
Unfortunately, commercial vehicles cause a large percentage of the fatalities of passenger vehicle occupants. In 2018, 4,136 people died in crashes involving large trucks. Of those deaths, 16% were in a truck, and 67% were in a smaller car.
If your loved one died in a speeding truck accident in Carlsbad, you might be entitled to compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit. According to California laws, wrongful death is a person’s death that someone else caused by neglect or a wrongful act.
Only a limited number of family members are allowed to pursue a wrongful death case in the following order:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving domestic partner
- Surviving children
- Surviving parent, sibling, or another party who would be entitled to the deceased’s property
There’s a strict deadline known as a statute of limitations you must follow if you want to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault truck driver or trucking company. The statute is two years. That means you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to sue, or you’ll lose your right.
Various damages are available to compensate the estate and any suffering or losses the surviving family had to endure, such as:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost income and future earnings the deceased would have received if they survived
- Hospital and medical bills associated with the fatal injury
- The estimated value of household services
- Loss of financial support if the accident victim lived an average lifespan
- Loss of attention, love, affection, guidance, and moral support
Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers Will Help You Fight for Justice
Our Carlsbad speeding truck accident lawyers have been helping injury victims like you since opening our firm in 2007. We’ve established a stellar reputation for our legal services and case results. We received recognition from The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We’ve also been featured in Time Magazine and a CNN campaign.
We use our experience, knowledge, and resources to recover the maximum financial compensation our clients rightfully deserve. So far, the attorneys at Jurewitz Law Group | Injury & Accident Lawyers have won over $1 million for personal injury victims in Carlsbad and throughout California. You can depend on our legal team to go above and beyond to fulfill your needs and reach a favorable outcome in your case.
If you or someone you know suffered injuries due to a speeding truck driver, call (619) 349-1682 today to schedule your free consultation with one of our Carlsbad speeding truck accident lawyers.