In the United States, there are over 2.6 million workers who drive large trucks for their job. This includes tractor-trailers, fire and emergency trucks, delivery box trucks, moving trucks, construction-related trucks and other large commercial vehicles. In a recent survey, 35 percent of drivers of large trucks reported they had been involved in one or more serious truck crashes over the span of their careers. In order to prevent truck crashes and resulting injuries and deaths on the roads, the US and California governments have passed laws requiring truck drivers to use seat belts, limited their on-duty driving hours for a given day and banned them from texting and using a hand-held phone while driving. It’s clear not all truck drivers follow these requirements. If you are hit by a truck, you may be entitled to compensation.
Fresno: When You’re Hit by a Truck
When movie characters are asked how they feel, they sometimes respond with, “Like I was hit by a truck.” We assume this means they feel pretty bad, but imagine having your car hit by a larger truck which requires a longer brake time to fully stop, carries inertia into its impact of your vehicle, and is simply larger and heavier. Truck impact can do devastating damage to smaller vehicles and their occupants. Fresno is one of several high-populated towns lining a series of highways used for industrial and agricultural transport routes. If your vehicle is hit by a truck around Fresno, take these important steps immediately afterward:
- Call 911 Two reasons for this. First, you need to seek medical attention. Even if at first you don’t feel you are injured, you may have undetected injuries that can surface later, leaving you at risk for worse injury or even death. Second, it’s critical to get a police report on record as soon as possible. As time passes, details and circumstances of the accident are harder to prove or document.
- Get photos Take photos of your vehicle’s damage, the surrounding areas and any other markers related to the accident. Get photos of the truck and its license plate with any company information printed on the side of the truck.
- Collect information Make sure you have copies of whatever paperwork is done by the police either at the scene or later, as they Get contact information for any witnesses.
- Call your insurance company Report the accident to your insurance company, but don’t speak with the trucker’s insurance. Don’t sign anything from either insurance company and don’t allow yourself to be recorded until you speak with your attorney.
- Call your attorney The sooner you have a trusted and knowledgeable attorney at your side, the better. Investigations need to start as soon after the accident as possible. Because federal and California law applies to the liability of the truck owner or operator, your attorney needs to know how to determine and prove liability, so your rights are protected.
You certainly don’t want to go into filing a claim against a truck owner, operator or company by yourself. The Maison Law Firm can help you sort out the complexities of Fresno personal injury and trucking accident claims. It?s important to make sure all your damages are considered, including some you may not have thought of, in order to protect your rights and receive the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us as soon as possible if you are involved in an accident with a truck.