There are large trucks on Sacramento County highways and roads such as Capital City freeway (I-80) and State Route 99. Any car accident can be destructive, but truck accidents cause more damage due to their immense size and weight. According to Truck Accident Support, around 500,000 trucking accidents occur annually, resulting in approximately 5000 fatalities in the United States. The U.S. Department of Transportation found that 34% of most fatal truck accidents happened at night. It also reported that fatal truck accidents that occur during daytime were even higher at 66%.
Sacramento truck accident lawyers can help you if you are involved in a truck accident in Sacramento.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are Truck Accidents More Dangerous Than Other Vehicle Accidents?
Commercial truck accidents are often far more deadly than incidents involving smaller cars. This is because trucks are big, heavy, and sometimes clumsy, which is why truck accidents are more dangerous. For this, you need a truck accident lawyer in Sacramento to help you solve your litigation issues when truck accidents occur.
- Most Common Causes of Sacramento Truck Accidents
Numerous reasons cause truck accidents. The following are the main causes of truck accidents in Sacramento:
- Driver recklessness.
- Cargo overload.
- Driver fatigue.
- Driving under the influence of drugs.
- Driving in bad weather.
- Uninspected trucks.
- Mechanical errors on the truck.
Most Common Types of Truck Accidents
Here are the most frequent types of truck accidents and their causes. Contact us for legal consultation if you are involved in a truck accident in Sacramento.
- Head-On Collisions
Some drivers are irresponsible, while others completely lose control of their vehicles and drift out of their lane and into oncoming traffic. A head-on collision occurs when truck drivers ram oncoming cars. These accidents may also happen when drivers fail to obey the correct right-of-way at red lights, signs, or other intersections.
Truck rollover accidents are among the most devastating and horrifying accidents. This is because the center of gravity of tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks is substantially higher than that of typical passenger cars. Truck drivers should exercise extreme caution when navigating sharp corners or making unexpected swerves.
A truck may roll over if the driver makes abrupt bends or drives faster than a truck can handle. The truck can turn and roll the entire vehicle onto any side, posing a dangerous hazard to those around the area.
Overloaded or inadequately laden trailers can also roll over when drivers make turns without caution. Truck rollover accidents mainly occur because of tire blowouts, which faulty tire care, design, or manufacturing flaws can cause.
- Rear-End Collisions
The size and weight difference between large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles easily lead to the crushing of passenger vehicles on impact in rear-end truck accidents. In addition, truck drivers require substantial time and distance to slow down, avoid road hazards, or come to a safe halt behind other cars because tractor-trailers are heavy and sluggish to manage.
Rear-end collisions may occur when truck drivers become fatigued, distracted, or speed or race with other cars. Additionally, some inexperienced or hurried truck drivers fail to obey the recommended FMCSA following distances, thus posing a risk to themselves and other road users.
- Jackknife Accidents
Jackknife accidents are particularly hazardous because a skidding trailer is unpredictable and can collide with nearby vehicles, dragging them along through traffic. Improper braking by drivers is the most common cause of jackknife incidents. Truck drivers should avoid braking too quickly or hard in bad weather. This is because it causes a fishtail, making the truck’s back end roll, resulting in a jackknife.
- Wide Turn Accidents
Truck drivers must be careful when making turns since right-hand turns are tighter than left-hand turns. As a result, drivers often veer from the right turn to the left and then circle through a right-hand turn. This can have a dangerous impact on vehicles in the opposite lane since they may collide with the truck and be trapped below it during a left swing. Therefore, traffic regulations recommend proper turning strategies to reduce wide turn accidents.
- Sideswipe Accidents
A sideswipe truck accident is like a T-bone accident, only that in sideswipe accidents, the cars involved are usually moving in the same direction during a collision. Sideswipe collisions between trucks and passenger vehicles, which commercial drivers cause when they fail to thoroughly inspect any blind zones before joining traffic or switching lanes are common.
Truck drivers may also lose control of the truck due to tire blowouts, adverse weather, road impediments, fatigue, or other reasons leading to a sideswipe truck collision. In addition, these collisions are very dangerous since a sideswiped car may be pushed sideways into other parallel traffic lanes, causing more damage in these lanes.
- T-Bone Accidents
T-bone collisions (broadside or side-impact collisions) are most common near junctions. Tractor-trailers and other heavy trucks driving through intersections at parallel sides may run red lights, disregard stop signs, or disobey the recommended right-of-way, resulting in a “T” shape collision with other cars.
Such accidents pose dangerous threats to nearby drivers and passengers. Speeding, inattentive, tired, or drunk truck drivers may dash through intersections unlawfully, resulting in T-bone collisions. A T-bone collision can also occur when a truck driver takes a wrong turn over one or more traffic lanes, resulting in a crash.
The Most Dangerous Roads in Sacramento
In Sacramento, driving on some roads is more dangerous than on others. Although it is impossible to avoid using dangerous roads, it is better to understand the risks involved when using them. So which routes are the most dangerous in Sacramento, and why are these roads more dangerous than others?
- Highway 99
Truck accidents mainly occur along highways. For example, U.S. Route 99 became popular after being dubbed the “Highway to Hell.” The nickname was because this road, also known as the Golden State Highway, is considered the most dangerous road in Sacramento. It is considered dangerous for reasons such as poor design, inefficient lighting, continuous speeding by drivers, and other reasons that result in fatal accidents.
Highway sections that ran from Calexico to Blaine, Washington, between 1926 and 1972 got renamed and remain part of California State Route 99. Overall, Highway 99 has had the most serious accidents per 100 miles in the country.
- Interstate 80
Interstate 80 is a cross-country roadway from San Francisco to New Jersey. The road passes through the Sacramento Valley, with a speed limit of about 65 mph. This road was a replacement for U.S. Route 40. It is a very busy road that many drivers use daily, resulting in numerous accidents every year. Commuter time accidents are the most common on I-80 Business in particular.
- Interstate 5
Interstate 5 passes through Sacramento while stretching north and south from the coast of San Diego to the Canadian border. This road is the fourth most dangerous in the United States. Around 680 deaths occurred through accidents on this road between 2010 and 2016.
One of the main causes of collisions on Interstate 5 is traffic congestion since the road serves as the main truck route in and out of Sacramento. This increases traffic congestion leading to many accidents.
- Interstate 505
This road was a truck route to prevent trucks from connecting with I-80 through Sacramento. The highway connects I-80 in Vacaville. It is a double-sided rural road highly used by large trucks, making it prone to accidents.
Most Common Types of Injuries Truck Accidents Cause
Most truck accidents have fatalities, so when hiring a truck accident lawyer Sacramento survivors need professional help in their legal battles. The major injuries truck accidents cause include:
- Fractured Bones
Due to the force of a truck crash, broken or crushed bones and fractures are common injuries. In addition, the muscles and nerves around the shattered bone can be damaged in some circumstances.
- Head and Neck Trauma
Head and neck trauma are common when you are involved in a truck accident. Any slight head trauma, even a concussion, can cause a brain injury, while neck injuries can cause extreme conditions such as dislocations and spinal fractures. Victims of such injuries may experience terrible pain and spend large amounts on medical treatment.
- Lacerations, Burns, and Cuts
A fire can erupt during a truck accident due to ruptured gasoline lines, resulting in serious burns and other injuries. Accident fires can also cause limb loss, scarring, nerve damage, and other ailments, which are expensive to treat.
- Internal Hemorrhage
You can experience internal bleeding due to blunt force trauma during the accident. Internal bleeding can cause permanent damage to ribs and organs, cardiac arrest, or death.
- Injuries to the Spinal Cord
It is advisable to undergo intense medical review after an accident because some injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, may not be visible immediately. These injuries occur mainly in the lower back and neck area. Spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis or death.
Special Rules Sacramento Truck Drivers Must Follow
Every jurisdiction has its traffic regulations, and truck drivers in Sacramento must follow the these rules:
- Passenger-carrying Trucks
To reduce fatigue and fatal accidents, FMCSA requires all passenger-carrying truck drivers to operate in shifts that allow them to rest enough. Passenger-carrying truck drivers should have a 10-hour maximum shift to allow eight consecutive hours of a break.
- Property-carrying Trucks
Resting frequently can help the human body regain its energy, and that is why FMCSA requires property-carrying truck drivers to operate for an 11-hour maximum shift and break for 10 consecutive hours.
- Federal Trucking Regulations
In Sacramento, trucks must have 8000 pounds maximum weight and be at most 40 feet long. The trucks are also limited to carrying manageable weight, with operation restrictions imposed per shift.
What Parties Are Liable in a Sacramento Truck Accident?
If a truck accident causes harm to you or your loved one in any way, it is your right to seek compensation and justice. You can use the following methods to prove that fault or negligence caused the accident.
- Dashcam security video.
- Accident or police reports.
- Any credible data from mobile devices.
- A black box recording.
- Eyewitness statements.
- Statements from other affected drivers and passengers.
- Images obtained at the crash site.
- Security camera footage captured by adjacent cameras.
What Types of Paperwork Are Necessary to Support a Truck Accident Claim?
You need the following documents for your truck accident claims:
- Police report.
- Your medical history.
- Relevant diagnostic images such as X-rays and MRI.
- Images of visible injuries.
- Bills for hospitalization/ambulance services.
- Receipts from pharmacies.
- Invoices for home care services.
- Names and contacts of eyewitnesses.
- Pay stubs, tax returns, and other financial documentation to assess lost income.
- Automobile repair invoices or quotes.
- Alternative transportation receipts.
- Name, phone number, and employment information for the trucker.
- Driver’s details (biodata).
What Kinds of Compensation Are Available in a Sacramento Truck Accident Case?
Our Sacramento truck accident lawyers work with diligence to ensure our clients get the justice they deserve. They can help you to get some of the following types of compensation in a truck accident case:
- Direct costs and expenses, mainly to pay for treatment and recovery needs.
- Long-term damages compensation, if the accident incapacitated you for a while or life.
- Compensation for reduction of earning capacity when the accident has affected your means of earning a living.
- Lost wages compensation, if the accident made it impossible for you to work normally.
- Punitive damages for wrongdoing.
- Life care and lifestyle damages to help you pick up from the accident and move on.
Dealing with Insurance Companies in a Truck Accident Case
Like other companies, insurance companies are for-profit, and you must deal with them calmly and intelligently during a truck accident case. Sacramento truck accident lawyers advise you not to admit any fault in an accident. Your statement-denying responsibility should remain firm and unchanged throughout the process. You must also hire a professional attorney to help you protect your rights and avoid having recorded statements.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer, Sacramento Today
Truck accidents can be fatal, and taking up a legal battle requires a professional attorney. Don’t hesitate to contact the Berg Injury Lawyers for a free case assessment and the best offer for your case.