FAQs About Truck Accidents

Answers from Our San Jose Truck Accident Attorney


Whenever an injury occurs as a result of a trucking accident, the first objective is to seek medical attention. The next step to consider is whether or not to file a personal injury claim for your damages. The purpose of this page is to help you answer some of the questions that come up after these types of accidents.

Should you have a question not answered on this page, call our San Jose personal injury lawyers at (800) 900-0863 to schedule your free case review today.

Q: Are the legal procedures different if I am in a collision involving a truck?

A: Although there is no difference in the way that negligence is determined, there are many regulations, both state and federal, that trucking companies must follow.

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Q: What are the state and federal regulations that govern trucking companies and their drivers?

A: Some of the laws include:

  • Hours of service - governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ( FMCSA).
  • Truck drivers are required to maintain a log book.
  • Trucking companies are required to carry certain levels of insurance coverage, depending on what type of materials are being hauled.
  • Truck drivers are required to obtain a commercial motor vehicle driver's license.
  • Both California state law and federal law may govern truck accidents, depending on whether the truck was involved in intrastate or interstate transport when the accident occurred.

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Q: What are some of the causes of truck accidents?

A: There are many reasons for truck accidents; oftentimes, the accident is due to driver negligence. Some common unsafe acts committed by truck drivers include:

  • Reckless or aggressive driving
  • Unrealistic schedules
  • Fatigue
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Tailgating
  • Cell phone use
  • Jackknifing
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Failure to use blind spot mirrors
  • Speeding
  • Ignoring traffic signals or signs
  • Inadequate training
  • Failure to inspect or repair equipment

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Q: What should I do if I have been involved in an accident with a truck?

A: There are some things that you can do that will help if you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Call law enforcement and stay at the scene of the accident until an incident report is filed and the officer dismisses you.
  • Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident.
  • If there are any witnesses, get their contact information.
  • Take pictures of the scene of the accident and the vehicles involved.
  • Write down everything that you remember about the accident.
  • Do not admit fault or speak with anyone about the accident except your doctor and your lawyer.
  • Contact our skilled San Jose truck accident attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP so that you will be able to make an informed decision after you know your legal rights.

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Q: Why do I need a lawyer?

A: Truck accidents are very different from car accidents in many ways. One way is the serious nature of injuries and property damage sustained when a car collides with a huge 18-wheel truck weighing 80,000 pounds. Major trucking companies have lawyers and insurance companies who work for them. Their investigators and adjustors will begin to gather evidence from your accident within minutes and important documents could be lost or misplaced. Additionally, insurance companies are in the business of making money, not paying out large settlements. The insurance adjustors will offer you as little as possible to settle your claim quickly. You may not know the extent of your damages until months down the road. An experienced truck accident lawyer will navigate the complex maze of personal injury law and aggressively fight for your rights. These cases require a law firm with knowledge and success in this specialized area of the law. Our attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP are recognized as leaders in personal injury litigation because we are committed to seeking the maximum compensation package possible for our clients.

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Q: For what can I expect to receive compensation?

A: Depending on your injuries, as a victim of a truck accident, you can expect to be compensated for:

  • Medical bills - present and future
  • Medical treatment
  • Medication
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Disability
  • Replacement of your vehicle
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Funeral expenses in the event of a death

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a truck accident, make sure that you contact our San Jose truck accident attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP for a free case evaluation today at (800) 900-0863.

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