If you have been in a truck accident in the San Diego area, you need someone to look after your interests. Harker Injury Law will look out for you. We have known friends, family members and clients who have suffered devastating injuries. We know what you are going through, and want to do all that California law allows to make things right for you.
Bronson Harker and his team will build a strong case to hold the negligent trucker, trucking company and others accountable for the accident that hurt you, and seek maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
Let Harker Injury Law look out for you and your financial future after a truck accident in the San Diego area. Contact us today for a free consultation and get your legal claim underway. Then you can focus on your health and your family, and let us fight for you.
We Investigate More Than the Truck Driver in a Truck Accident
It’s likely that the truck driver, or trucker, behind the wheel of the tractor-trailer or semi-truck involved in your accident is primarily responsible for the crash. Truck drivers cause accidents through the same negligence as other drivers, such as:
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving, particularly illegal use of hand-held cell phones
- Driving while impaired, particularly drugged driving
- Recklessness, such as unsafe or illegal maneuvers.
However, most truckers are employed by a trucking company, known as a “motor carrier.” The motor carrier has legal responsibility for the truck driver’s activities, and for the operation and maintenance of the truck.
For example, fatigued driving is a big concern among long-distance truckers. Many truck accidents are attributed to drowsy drivers or truckers who have fallen asleep behind the wheel of their big rigs.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates the U.S. trucking industry, has established detailed Hours of Service (HOS) rules prescribing how long a trucker may drive without a break, and when and for how long breaks must be taken.
Still, it is well understood that truckers routinely violate HOS regulations. But violations are often at the instruction of employers to whom time, and on-time delivery, is money — and more important than safe driving.
Motor carriers are also responsible for ensuring that drivers are properly licensed and trained, and have safe driving records. However, it costs less to hire without background checks or to employ drivers who can’t be hired elsewhere because of their records.
Similarly, truckers and trucking companies share responsibility for the:
- Commercial truck, including its maintenance of components like brakes, tires, couplings, steering systems, etc., to make sure a failure doesn’t contribute to a crash.
- Truck cargo, which must be loaded correctly and securely to avoid a cargo shift or spill, which can tip a truck into a rollover crash or a jackknife accident.
Additional parties may have responsibility for a truck accident as well, such as a:
- Cargo owner, shipper or loader contracted to load contents into trailers or onto trucks.
- Manufacturer or distributor of a faulty truck and/or its parts.
- Contractors and/or local governments responsible or poorly maintained or designed roads or highway work zones, which may contribute to a truck crash.
Almost every operation of a truck classified as a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as well as its cargo, driver and the company that puts it on the road, is regulated by the FMCSA and California Department of Transportation. When violations of these detailed regulations lead to truck accidents, it constitutes negligence, which entitles anyone injured in the accident to be compensated.
After a truck accident, it is crucial to investigate to determine what has happened and who or what party or parties have responsibility for the crash. Then we can seek compensation for you, the innocent party injured by the negligence that caused the accident.
Harker Injury Law has the knowledge, experience and dedication necessary to help you identify every person or entity that should compensate you after a truck accident, and to seek that compensation in full from them.
We have extensive experience holding large companies accountable when their negligence has contributed to a tragic tractor-trailer crash. We are neither impressed nor intimidated by their deep pockets and teams of lawyers. We’ll fight for you without backing down.
Your Quick Decision Benefits Your Truck Accident Claim
The motor carrier responsible for the truck and truck driver involved in your accident will act quickly to protect itself from liability for the accident. You, too, should act quickly.
By contacting Harker Injury Law promptly after an accident, you can engage us to begin to gather evidence related to the truck, truck driver, motor carrier and others, which could prove crucial to your claim.
In addition to a variety of records required by the FMCSA, which we can quickly have preserved through court order, we want access to the truck itself. Commercial trucks are equipped with event data recorders (EDRs), which are “black box” devices that contain a variety of data about the truck’s operations just before a crash.
An EDR download can tell us about the truck’s:
- Vehicle speed
- Engine speed
- Throttle (gas pedal) position
- Brake status
- Clutch status
- Cruise control status
- Steering angle
- Forward collision warnings
- Lane departure warnings
- Sudden deceleration/ acceleration
- Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) warnings from truck system sensors that report data outside normal values
- GPS-based positional data
- And more
Additional crash evidence we would seek may include, but is not limited to:
- Accident scene evidence, such as skid marks and other debris, damage to infrastructure, etc.
- Your damaged vehicle
- Footage from in-truck video cameras, which some safety-minded motor carriers use
- Hours of Service (HOS) logs of the truck driver’s drive and rest times, which every trucker is required to maintain
- Truck maintenance logs, which may show neglected work or suggest a potential mechanical problem that bears closer scrutiny
- Witness statements from the trucker, other motor carrier employees, and third-party employees, such as cargo handlers
- Truck driver’s cell phone records, which may show activity at the time of the crash
- Surveillance video from other sources, which may help establish when the truck was on the road
- Truck and truck component recall notices, which we regularly stay abreast of and which could indicate that a company negligently put an unsafe truck on the road.
Truck accident investigations can be complex, given the multiple parties potentially involved and the complexity of the CMV itself. In some cases, we hire accident reconstruction specialists to augment our investigation with their advanced forensic capabilities.
This evidence can help us develop a solid case that shows which parties should be held accountable to you. With this information, and a full accounting of your costs and losses, we can file insurance claims and press for compensation for your:
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
But sooner is better for starting a truck accident inquiry. Contact Harker Injury Law today to put a dedicated legal team on your side and stop any trucking company steps that may cause the loss or degradation of crash evidence.
Contact Harker Injury Law — We’re In It for You
Bronson Harker is a compassionate personal injury attorney who fights aggressively to seek the compensation each client deserves and needs to move forward after an accident. We have the skills and the resources needed to take on deep-pocketed motor carriers and their insurers, and we’ll always put your best interests first.
Let Harker Injury Law take on the burden of making things right for you and your family financially after a truck accident in the San Diego, El Cajon, Escondido, and Riverside areas of Southern California.
All of our legal work is on a contingency-fee basis. We’ll investigate your truck accident, file claims and lawsuits, and negotiate with insurers at no cost to you unless and until we recover either a settlement offer acceptable to you or a court judgment in your favor.
Contact us now for a prompt response to set up your free initial legal consultation.