The majority of our Fresno Big Rig Accident Clients come from previous or current clients, their family members and frequently, from other California lawyers. There are more than three accidents a minute where a person in the United States is killed in a truck accident. Click Here for CHP statistics on the numerous accidents in California each year per month and the ramifications.
Thousands of people in this country every year are injured or lose their lives in accidents involving tractor-trailers, 18 wheelers, big rigs, fire engines, semi-trucks, and other large commercial vehicles. Many of these accidents in California occur on the most frequently used highways. A Fresno Big Rig Accident Lawyer can help you through the process and assure your rights are protected.
Big rig accident victims from Fresno California should not be surprised to know that 50 percent of the the most dangerous highways in the United States are highways in California. These statistics are tracked by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) through the SWITRS statistics catalog. The number one spot on the list is taken by I-15 in San Bernardino, California which recorded a total of 834 automobile accidents during the study period. These motor vehicle crashes accounted for 1,069 deaths. I-15 is the only highway on the list with more than 1,000 fatalities and has a gap of more than 500 fatalities with the next highway on the list. At second place on the list is I-10 in Riverside County, with a total of 440 accidents leading to 515 fatalities.
At number 3 is I-5 in Los Angeles County, accounting for 434 auto accidents during the study period, and contributing to 494 deaths. I-5 in San Diego County occupies 6th place on the list with 348 accidents contributing to 382 deaths. I-10 in Los Angeles is at 8th place on the list with 299 accidents which contributed to 327 deaths. I-8 in San Diego is at 12th place on the list with 257 accidents leading to 297 fatalities. I-5 in Kern County is at number 14.
Jackknifing where a large truck such as a semi or an eighteen-wheeler comes to a sudden stop and the load shifts. This sudden shift causes the trailer to come around and go sideways. This can lead to the trailer actually flipping and rolling. Jackknifing can occur at speeds as low as five miles per hour. Some trucks are more likely to jackknife. For example, a half-empty tanker is more than twice as likely to be involved in a jackknifing truck accident than a fully loaded semi (which is also at great risk for jackknifing).
The Federal Highway Administration’s Driver Fatigue and Alertness Study underscored how fatigue exacerbates these problems that cause truck accidents. The study showed that while most people require 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep a day, the average truck driver gets 4.8 hours of sleep, hardly enough to remain alert to avoid a truck accident.
On top of this, the National Transportation Safety Board and The National Institute on Drug Abuse found in a study that of 168 fatally injured truck drivers, one or more drugs was detected in 67% of these fatally injured truck drivers and 33% of these truck drivers had detectable blood concentrations of psychoactive drugs or alcohol. When you combine the difficulties of driving a big truck with the incidence of fatigue and substance abuse, it is amazing that we do not have more fatal truck accidents in this country.
Trucking cases are a specialty area and all mistakes matter. Many times, lawyers approach Fresno Big Rig Accident Injury Cases like any other motor vehicle accident case. This may be appropriate for a minivan, pickup truck, or sport utility vehicles (SUV), but commercial big rig, 18 wheel trucks accidents are very different. Not only are the vehicles different but California has specific laws designed largely to help accident victims of truck accidents.
In addition to these legal considerations, when we investigate truck accident cases in Fresno, the Central Valley and throughout California, we consider these factors and other details specific to truck accidents because there are always additional things lawyers must consider in truck accident cases.
For example, most big rig trucks maintain “black boxes” that measure various parameters that can assist the truck accident lawyer and/or truck accident reconstruction expert in determining how the truck accident occurred. Also, because there is extensive federal regulation applicable to the trucking industry, there are also intricate regulations covering the use and maintenance of commercial trucks. This gives us a treasure trove of information about the truck driver and his vehicle that is typically not available in passenger car accident cases.
This is a real advantage in truck accident cases when representing injured victims. Another important consideration for semi-truck accident injury lawyers in Fresno and California, is the preservation of critical evidence, such as the black box information discussed above. Obviously, truck drivers and trucking companies have incentive to destroy evidence that does not support their version of how the accident occurred.
Parties in a truck accident case have a duty to retain evidence that could be relevant to the accident if they believe the accident could be a subject of litigation. In order to assure that this evidence is preserved, the first thing we do after you retain our firm is send a Demand for Preservation of Evidence Letter to the potential defendants as soon as possible to put the defendants on notice of a potential claim. In California, the destruction or alteration of evidence by a party gives rise to inferences or presumptions unfavorable to the spoliator. In other words, if a trucking company destroys evidence, the accident victim might seek and receive from the judge a spoliation instruction which essentially says assume that the destroyed evidence contained information most favorable to the Plaintiff.
In these truck accidents, 97% of fatal truck accidents are victims in passenger cars or trucks, not the driver of the commercial truck that caused the collision. But the trucking industry is a $600+ billion dollar business and large trucking companies have many qualified and savvy defense law firm in Fresno and throughout California that take up the defense. Our Fresno Big Rig Accident Lawyer and the firm’s accident injury team has the experience and reputation that allows us to stand up to trucking companies and corporations responsible for causing your serious injuries or death of a loved one. Our Fresno truck accident lawyers have learned what logbooks, receipts and other crucial evidence we must uncover to achieve justice on your behalf.