There are vast numbers of commercial trucks carrying goods on our congested freeways and city streets. It’s a deadly mix, especially when the truck drivers who share the road with passenger cars are fatigued, in a hurry or driving a poorly maintained 18-wheeler big rig. If you, your husband, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister or any other family member was seriously injured in a truck accident, contact one of our San Mateo truck accident attorneys by calling (650) 345-8484 or email us today.
Assisting Truck Accident Victims
The law firm of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos is a powerful advocate if you were injured or a family member was killed in a trucking accident in San Mateo. We have the experience and resources to hold trucking companies and their insurance carriers accountable for the devastation.
Accidents on Major Highways & Freeways
Our San Mateo truck accident lawyers not only represent clients that have been seriously injured in a trucking accident on regular streets and roads, our attorneys also help victims that have been in a truck accident on any major highway, freeway, tunnel or bridge in the Bay Area such as:
- 101 – North & South (Bay Shore Freeway)
- 280 – North & South (Junipero Serra Freeway)
- 82 – El Camino Real North & South
- 80 – East & West
- Including the Bay Bridge
- 92 – East & West
- Including San Mateo Bridge Car Accidents
- 84 – East & West
- Including Dumbarton Bridge Car Accidents
- 880 – North & South (Nimitz Freeway)
- 24 – East & West (Grove Shafter Freeway)
- Including the Caldecott Tunnel
- The MacArthur Maze
- 580, 85, 237 and more
Fast Action to Prove the Negligence of Truck Drivers
At Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, we pride ourselves on prompt, thorough investigation of a trucking accident. We get investigators and experts to the site to take photos of the wreckage, measurements and witness statements, and to examine the vehicles for clues to what caused the crash:
- Driver fatigue or inattention
- Speeding or unsafe lane changes
- Wide or illegal turns
- Overloaded or poorly secured freight
- Bad brakes, tires, mirrors or lights
We obtain the driver’s logs to determine if they violated federal regulations on driving without rest. In one case, we showed that a trucker who started his day at 5 a.m. and had no lunch break was fatigued (or fell asleep) when he caused a crash at 6 p.m. If we suspect mechanical problems, we obtain the company’s maintenance records and have the truck inspected before the evidence is scrapped or repaired.
Truck Accidents, Serious Injuries & Fatalities
Our firm is familiar with the fatal truck accidents and catastrophic injuries common to those who survive a semi truck crash — mangled limbs, disfiguring facial injuries, head or spinal injuries. Our San Mateo personal injury lawyers connect clients with the doctors who can offer hope for recovery, and work closely to document the treatment and prognosis so that victims are fully compensated for the long-term economic and personal impact of the crash.
These cases require a stable of truck crash professionals — accident reconstructionists and human error/biomechanical experts to prove liability, and doctors, surgeons, vocational rehabilitation specialists, economists and others to calculate rightful damages. Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos takes tractor trailer cases on a contingency fee — we absorb the substantial costs of hiring these experts and we recover those expenses only if we secure compensation for the client.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Many factors may contribute to an accident involving a big commercial truck. Some of these factors include:
- Driver Fatigue. Although both federal and state laws require that truck drivers must get rest for a specified number of hours for each long haul, unscrupulous and greedy trucking companies often put pressure on their drivers to drive on even though they know the drivers are drowsy. Driver fatigue is a leading cause of accidents because a fatigued driver has poor decision-making ability and other diminished capacities.
- Excessive Speed. Truck drivers can fly just as fast as any ordinary car on the road, and those doing so are often going way past the speed limit. When a truck driver fails to comply with the posted speed limits or when they drive too fast for existing road conditions, chances for a devastating accident are very high.
- Overloading. Trucks are required under both federal and state law to adhere strictly to specified load capacities. If a truck is carrying too much weight and above what FMCSA regulations allow, braking time may increase, leading to extremely devastating truck accidents.
Truck companies and their drivers across the United States are subject to strict safety regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rules and regulations provide strict and detailed guidelines on the maintenance of the trucks and how drivers operate them on the roads to ensure maximum safety for other drivers. Unfortunately, even the most experienced commercial truck drivers or established trucking companies can make mistakes and lead to crashes.
Because of the sheer size of some of these commercial trucks, especially the 18-wheelers, a loss of control caused by speeding or tired drivers can turn these trucks into masses of destruction and even lethal machines. If you suffered injuries in a truck crash, speak with a San Mateo truck accident attorney at Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos today.
How Do You Determine Fault in a San Mateo Truck Accident?
Who is to blame and should therefore be liable for a truck accident depends on identifying who was negligent or to what extent. Generally, a party is negligent if they fail to use the level of care that a reasonable person would use in a similar situation, and they cause injuries and losses to someone else. With a commercial truck accident, both the driver and the trucking company might be negligent, and the trucking company might also have vicarious liability for the driver’s negligence.
A party who is negligent in California is financially liable for any injuries he or she causes to another person.
To establish negligence in a truck accident, one must prove four elements before the truck driver or company is liable:
- Duty: the truck driver owed the injured person a duty of care to drive the truck safely;
- Breach: the truck driver failed to meet that duty of care;
- Causation: the driver’s failure to meet the duty caused an accident; and
- Damages: the victim sustained injuries as a result.
In California, if a truck driver violated federal or California law and that violation was the cause of the accident, then the truck driver could be liable under the “negligence per se” doctrine, meaning that fact alone - the violation - establishes the truck driver’s negligence without the need for additional evidence.
Trucking companies may also be liable for anything they did or did not do that contributed to the accident happening. This can occur in a variety of ways, including setting unreasonable goals that entice truck drivers to violate safety rules or intentionally violating federal and state transportation safety regulations. When any of these violations play any role or directly cause a trucking accident, the company may be liable for any injury or losses that occur as a result. Trucking companies can also be liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
What We Can Do for You as Your Truck Accident Lawyer
We can help you get the most compensation you deserve given the nature and circumstances of your accident, injuries, and losses, which includes helping you file claims to get compensation for medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
You are likely to receive a phone call from a claims adjuster from the trucker’s insurance company soon after an accident occurs. It is never a good idea to speak to a claims adjuster without first consulting with a lawyer. A claims adjuster may come across as friendly, but he or she is just implementing their training to settle your injury claim for as little money as possible.
The right thing to do is to politely decline to discuss the accident in detail and call a lawyer. If you call us, we will advise you on what your options are while we dive into your case, including gathering evidence, working with relevant expert witnesses, and strongly establishing that the commercial truck driver is liable for the accident.
We will keep you informed about these investigations, and after we have thoroughly evaluated all the evidence, we will embark on negotiations with the insurance company to reach an acceptable settlement. We will also advise you whether pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is the right option for you instead of accepting the best and final offer from the insurance company.
Ideally, one should negotiate and settle with the trucker’s insurer, but this is not always possible. A decision whether to accept the best offer from the insurance company or to take the case to court is ultimately yours as the client, but we are here to make sure we provide you with all the information you need to make the right call.
Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLPAddress: 411 Borel Ave. #500,
San Mateo, CA 94402
Phone: (650) 419-0473
Fax: (650) 345-9875