Knowledgeable Santa Barbara Truck Accident Attorney Fights for Victims
Understanding the trucking industry is essential to winning compensation
Some of the most disastrous accidents on California roads involve commercial trucks. In a collision, an 80,000-pound 18-wheeler can destroy a 2,000-pound family car, causing catastrophic injury or death. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a commercial truck crash, you deserve full compensation for your losses. At Patterson Law, we have 35 years of experience helping truck accident victims in Santa Barbara and vicinity. We understand the trucking industry and the tactics insurers use to deny liability. We have the legal skills needed to assert your rights and deliver the results you deserve.
Common causes of accidents in Santa Barbara
Trucking companies and their insurers can mount fierce defenses to accident claims. When they try to deny fault for an accident or to shift the blame, you need a knowledgeable attorney who is prepared to fight back. Through meticulous investigation and research, we strive to determine the often-complex causes of an accident. These include actions and omissions by:
- Truck drivers — Operator error is the leading cause of truck accidents. Drivers may be fatigued, under the influence of drugs or alcohol or distracted by cellphones or other devices. Often, a driver is too aggressive, rushing to meet a deadline and engaging in unsafe driving behaviors such as speeding and tailgating.
- Truck owners and operators — A trucking company may hire poorly trained drivers and those with poor safety records without conducting proper background checks. The company may have violated federal regulations by imposing overly demanding schedules on drivers, resulting in fatigue behind the wheel. Some companies even falsify logs to cover up hours-of-service violations and failed vehicle inspections.
- Shippers and loaders — Parties who load cargo can adversely affect the balance of the vehicle or even cause a load to break loose.
- Maintenance providers — Accidents can be caused by faulty brakes, worn tires and other conditions resulting from improper maintenance. A mechanic’s error in performing repairs can further increase the possibility of a malfunction leading to a crash.
- Truck and parts manufacturers — When faulty equipment is the cause of an accident, manufacturers can be held liable for defects in design or construction.
If you have been in a truck accident, it is essential that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Investigation of the crash must begin before evidence is lost. Federal regulations allow trucking companies to destroy driver logs and other vital records just six months after their entry.
Injuries from trucking accidents in Santa Barbara
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities due to large truck crashes have increased in recent years. Even when a truck crash is not fatal, victims tend to suffer more severe harm than those in auto accidents. Common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal injury and paralysis
- Crush injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
As an experienced personal injury attorney, I work to negotiate settlements or win court awards sufficient to compensate our clients fairly for their losses.
Who shares in liability for a truck accident?
All parties whose negligence or other conduct contributed to a truck accident may be held responsible in proportion to their fault. In addition, under the legal rule known as respondeat superior, a company is liable for harm caused by its employees’ negligence during the course of their duties. Therefore, a driver’s mistake behind the wheel implicates the trucking company that employs the driver.
Commercial truck accidents are often complex events involving multiple vehicles. It is possible, for example, that a trucker was driving aggressively but a negligent driver in a passenger car cut the truck off, triggering a jackknife accident. In this scenario, both drivers could be at fault and it would be up to the court to decide the proportion of their liability.
As a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer, I will assert your right to recover money damages from any and all potentially responsible parties.
Experienced Santa Barbara truck accident lawyer
Patterson Law combines the experience of a large firm with the personal attention of a small firm. We primarily serve Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties, though we work with clients from Los Angeles and San Francisco as well. Initial consultations are free. Call us at 888-479-4589 or contact us online.