An accident with any large truck can result in serious injuries, especially if the truck crashes into a smaller passenger motor vehicle or motorcycle. Commercial or big rig trucks can weigh as much as 20 to 30 times that of other vehicles on the road. This much larger size and weight can make even the slightest collision with a car or motorcycle catastrophic. Trucks also have a greater blind spot than other vehicles. This makes cars and motorcycles more susceptible to collisions when sharing the road with a commercial or 18-wheeler.
If you or a loved has been injured in a collision with a truck, it is imperative that you immediately consult with an experienced California truck accident lawyer to protect your legal rights and help you get the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Where Are a Truck’s Blind Spots?
Commercial and 18-wheeler trucks have blind spots on all sides of the vehicle. These blind spots are located:
- Directly behind the trailer – approximately 25 to 30 feet behind the truck
- Driver’s side – all along the driver’s side including the truck’s side-view mirror, across the length of the lane and the trailer
- Passenger side – along the passenger’s side-view mirror, across the width of two lanes and about 10 feet beyond the width of the trailer
- Ahead of the cab – approximately 20 to 25 feet directly in front of the truck on the passenger side
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates the trucking industry to equip their commercial trucks with two rear-vision mirrors, one at each side of the truck’s cab. Each of these mirrors is required to be positioned in a way so that the driver is able to see a reflection of the road to the rear, and the area along each side of the vehicle.
Trucking companies can go beyond this minimum mirror requirement by equipping their vehicles with additional styles of mirrors to provide better views of other vehicles on the road. Additionally, electronic blind-sport monitoring systems are now available for trucks.
These digital cameras are mounted on the exterior of the truck, sending images to in-cab monitors. New models even have crash-avoidance technology that monitor the surrounding vehicles, especially those in a truck’s blind spot, and warn the driver when it detects a potential crash.
Important Steps to Help Avoid Being in the Blind Spots of Trucks
The best advice is to try to steer clear of large trucks on the road to the best of your ability. If you are sharing the road with a truck in traffic conditions, keep in mind all the possible blind spots of the truck driver. Especially stay clear of a truck that is attempting to change lanes, turning or backing up. If you need to pass a commercial or 18-wheeler truck, do so quickly and do not linger behind, next to or ahead of the truck.
However, sometimes you can take all the right steps and may still not be able to avoid being in the blind spot of a truck driver. If this happens and the truck driver crashes into your vehicle or motorcycle, you need to immediately consult with a California truck accident attorney to protect your legal rights.
Getting the Right Evidence to Prove Your Truck Accident Claim
If you were injured in a collision with a truck, you and your attorney will need to prove your case to successfully seek the compensation you deserve. Examples of the most common types of evidence you should gather to demonstrate truck driver negligence include:
- Traffic Collision Reports
- Statements from eye witnesses to the crash
- Photos of the scene of the crash
- Physical evidence from the scene, including tire marks on the road
- The trucker’s driving record and history of traffic violations
- Records of the trucker’s training and experience
- Trucker’s medical history
- Event date recorder (commonly referred to as a “black box” or “EDR”) that can contain important information about the truck’s operations just prior to the crash
- Dash cameras from all vehicles involved in the crash
Some of the evidence is time sensitive, meaning your California truck accident lawyer needs to immediately submit a letter to the trucking company and driver to preserve the data. This preservation of evidence can be crucial in properly investigating your claim and making sure you can successfully hold the truck driver and trucking company accountable for the crash and your resulting injuries.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact the Law Offices of Samer Habbas. Our California truck accident attorneys specialize in handling truck accident cases and have the experience to help you recover your lost wages, medical expenses and any other costs associated with your accident. We will aggressively pursue your claim to ensure that you are rightfully compensated for your injuries.
Please call us at 1-949-873-0755 to discuss your case with an expert truck accident attorney or you can fill out our free consultation form.