A Sacramento California personal injury attorney can assist you with your injury claims. This will help pay you for your pain and suffering, lost pay and wages and medical bills and other costs.
Accidents involving commercial trucks have decreased over the last decade but are still among the most deadly types of accidents on California's roads and highways. In 2010, around 3,500 large trucks across the nation were involved in accidents that resulted in fatalities, according to a report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Around 80,000 Americans suffered injuries from accidents related to large trucks the same year. In around 35 percent of the fatal accidents that occurred in 2010, driver negligence was cited as the leading contributing factor for the crashes and collisions. These statistics show the need for a Sacramento truck accident attorney after you are involved in a truck accident.
In 2011, five people died and 237 people were injured in truck collisions in Sacramento County alone, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Nationwide, the fatality rate for large truck accidents is double that for accidents involving passenger cars, according to studies conducted by leading safety and insurance groups. If you or a loved one has suffered injury, damages or loss due to an accident with a large truck, a qualified Sacramento personal injury attorney can help you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Contributing Factors to Truck-Related Accidents
In a joint study conducted by the FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), hundreds of factors were found to contribute to accidents involving large trucks, including traffic conditions, equipment malfunctions, failures to maintain the vehicle and improper loading practices. Inexperienced drivers were high on the list of contributing factors as were truck operators who drive under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs or prescribed medications. Your Sacramento injury attorney will assist you in finding the cause of your accident and guide you through your recovery from injuries.
A Changing Industry
A global marketplace has transformed the trucking industry over the last decade, with more than eight million trucks now on American roads delivering goods from around the world. Deregulation may allow trucking companies to demand that their drivers work longer hours. In 2003, the FMCSA increased the maximum weekly shift to 77 hours over seven days. That is too much driving on too little sleep. Driving without sleep can cause accidents. Drivers can work as many as 14 hours a day loading their trucks, driving them and unloading them. Personal injury claims for truck accidents require a personal injury attorney who can handle these complex cases and ensure that every negligent party involved is held responsible for their actions. This is done by insuring that you recover from your injuries and get paid for your pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills.
Under the Influence
Under pressure to meet strict deadlines, truck drivers are pressured to drive long hours and to sleep in the cabs of their trucks. Because fines for cheating are sometimes nominal, the practice of falsifying time records appears to be widespread. To cope with the grueling schedule, truck drivers may resort to using drugs or medications to cope with fatigue. While the use of stimulants may help prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel, their levels of concentration and reaction times are severely impaired. Whenever a Sacramento injury lawyer is contacted to consult in a truck-related injury or fatality case, driver impairment needs to be considered as a potential cause.
Driving while drowsy is an underreported cause of all types of motor vehicle accidents. In fact, the NHTSA estimates that the percentage of accidents that result from drowsy driving is around the same as the percentage of crashes and collisions that end in fatalities. In a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than four percent of the drivers queried admitted to falling asleep at the wheel within the last 30 days. A reputable personal injury attorney in Sacramento understands that no one should suffer harm due to someone else's reckless decision to drive while drowsy and will fight to see that injured parties receive the compensation that they deserve.
While lack of sleep remains the primary cause of drowsy driving, other factors come into play as well. A study by the FMCSA found that more than a quarter of commercial truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder in which breathing stops for short intervals while the person is sleeping. Truck drivers with untreated sleep apnea scored worse on performance examinations than drivers with blood alcohol levels above legal limits.
Whatever the cause, driving while drowsy contributes to an increase in fatal accidents. The NHTSA found that truck drivers who fall asleep at the wheel tend to crash at high rates of speed. Falling asleep while driving results in off-road accidents as well. In around 25 percent of drowsy driving accidents, the vehicle veers off the road.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Sacramento
If you or a loved one has been involved with a crash or collision with a large truck, you may be eligible to get paid money for your injuries, property loss and medical expenses. You may be able to claim damages resulting from lost work and emotional distress as well. Because commercial trucking accidents can involve several negligent parties, including the driver, the employer and the truck manufacturer, you'll want to ensure that you engage an experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyer to investigate and present your case.
Your first step is to contact a quality personal injury attorney to schedule a consultation. Your lawyer will listen to your story attentively, examine the evidence and if warranted, file a lawsuit on your behalf to ensure that you receive the compensation and justice that you deserve.
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Ray Wood is a Sacramento personal injury attorney. He does NOT wear over sized boxing gloves, carry a baseball bat or make gory accident videos. Instead, he helps you by getting the best personal injury settlements for your pain, suffering, lost pay and medical bills. His blog gives useful information to assist you in your injury case and your recovery to good health. You can check out his blog by clicking here.
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