Rear-End Trucking Accidents

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, nearly 400,000 trucks are involved in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. each year. Of those crashes, 18 percent were rear-end collisions.

Why do rear-end truck accidents occur? Large commercial trucks are difficult to maneuver and take longer to stop than other motor vehicles. As a result, if truck drivers do not maintain adequate distance behind other vehicles, disastrous rear-end accidents can occur. Even worse, if a truck driver is driving distracted, they may not have time to react quickly in emergencies or as traffic patterns change.

At Cerri, Boskovich & Allard, LLP, our California trucking accident lawyers are dedicated to our clients and their families. After a trucking accident, we will aggressively pursue the maximum compensation you can collect because we understand the severity of trucking accident injuries. We know that you need money to recover and rebuild your life. We can help you get what you need.

Rear-End Trucking Accidents Often Involve Multiple Vehicles

An examination of data on rear-end collisions indicates that in instances where a large commercial truck is the initiating vehicle in the crash, 18 percent of these accidents involve three or more vehicles. Furthermore, 46 percent of such accidents result in fatalities.

This is likely due to the sheer mass and weight of the truck compared to the other vehicles. When an 80,000-pound big rig comes barreling down the freeway and strikes a 3,000-pound car, the forces often push that smaller car into other cars, side rails, and other obstacles.

How Do Rear-End Trucking Accidents Occur?

Rear-end trucking accidents occur when a truck collides with the vehicle in front of it. These accidents can happen for various reasons, often combining factors related to the truck driver, the truck's condition, environmental conditions, and the actions of other road users. Some of the primary causes include:

  • Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers often operate under tight schedules, leading to long hours on the road without adequate rest, resulting in decreased reaction times and attention.
  • Distracted Driving: Activities that divert the driver's attention from the road, such as using a cell phone, eating, or adjusting the radio, can lead to a delayed response to traffic conditions and result in a rear-end collision.
  • Speeding: Higher speeds increase the distance required for a truck to come to a complete stop. If a truck is moving too fast for road conditions, stopping in time to avoid a collision with a slower or stopped vehicle ahead may not be possible.
  • Following Too Closely: Trucks require more distance to stop than smaller vehicles. Following too closely does not provide adequate space to stop without colliding with the vehicle in front.
  • Poor Weather Conditions: Rain, snow, fog, and other adverse weather conditions can reduce visibility and increase stopping distances, making rear-end collisions more likely.
  • Mechanical Failures: Brake failures or other mechanical issues can prevent a truck from stopping quickly, leading to rear-end accidents.
  • Road Conditions: Slippery roads, road construction, or unexpected traffic congestion can contribute to rear-end trucking accidents if the driver fails to adjust speed and distance accordingly. 

Investigating Your Rear-End Truck Accident

After your trucking accident, hiring an experienced trucking accident lawyer to represent you is important. Your attorney must examine your case and investigate the crash closely to build your case and identify all liable parties. 

Investigating a rear-end truck accident is a complex process. Your lawyer will start by collecting all available evidence related to the truck accident. This includes police reports, accident scene photos, witness statements, and any available video footage. They will also look for any road marks, signs of vehicle damage, and environmental factors that could have contributed to the accident.

Your attorney may arrange for a professional inspection of the involved vehicles to assess the damage and understand the dynamics of the crash. This can provide insights into the speed at the time of impact and the collision's severity.

For commercial trucks, lawyers will examine the driver’s logbooks, the trucking company’s records, and the electronic logging devices (ELDs). This includes hours of service logs to check for compliance with regulations, maintenance records of the truck, and the driver's employment history and training records. Electronic logging devices (ELDs) or event data recorders (EDRs) record data about the truck's operation before, during, and after a crash. This data can be crucial in understanding the truck's speed, brake usage, and other factors during the accident.

In severe accident cases, your lawyer may need to consult with accident reconstruction experts, mechanical engineers, and medical professionals. These experts can help reconstruct the accident, determine the cause of the crash, and assess the injuries sustained.

Factors to Consider in Rear-End Trucking Accidents

When investigating a rear-end trucking accident, your attorney will consider many factors, including; 

  • Was the truck driver distracted at the time of the crash?
  • Was the driver texting or talking on a cell phone?
  • Was the trucker impaired or fatigued?
  • Did they fall asleep behind the wheel?
  • Was the trucker driving too fast?
  • Was the truck driver driving recklessly or following too closely?
  • Did brake failure contribute to the crash?
  • Was the truck inadequately maintained?
  • Did a defective tire lead to the crash?

How Much Is My Rear-end Trucking Accident Case Worth?

In rear-end truck accident cases, determining the amount of compensation involves a detailed assessment of your losses and the impact of the accident on your life. Your attorney will build a case to help you collect the money you need to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. When calculating how much compensation you need - and deserve - your attorney will examine many factors, including:

  • Severity of Injuries: The nature and severity of the injuries sustained play a crucial role in calculating compensation. More severe injuries typically lead to higher medical bills and may require long-term care, thereby increasing compensation.
  • Medical Expenses: All medical costs related to the accident are considered, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any future medical treatments required due to the accident. If the injuries lead to long-term or permanent disability, compensation can include the cost of future medical care.
  • Lost Earnings: If your injuries prevent you from working, compensation can include lost wages for the time already missed and potential future earnings lost due to the accident's impact on your ability to work.
  • Non-Economic Damages: These compensate for intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship (in wrongful death cases), and diminished quality of life.

 Fighting Trucking Companies After Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions may seem cut and dry at first glance—after all, surely the truck driver who rear-ended you is "at fault." Yet trucking companies often try to put the blame on you--the motorist--claiming you stopped short, slammed on your brakes, or cut in front of the truck driver. When this happens, you need an experienced trucking accident attorney in your corner who’s ready to fight the large trucking companies and their legal teams.

At Cerri, Boskovich & Allard, we believe in helping injured trucking accident victims pursue justice and are not afraid of fighting trucking companies. If your accident was caused by truck driver or trucking company negligence, they can—and SHOULD—be held responsible.

Armed with the evidence and expert opinions, our attorneys will negotiate with the trucking company’s insurers to secure a fair settlement. If the insurance company is unwilling to offer a reasonable settlement, we will be prepared to take the case to trial. We are experienced litigators who know how to go head-to-head with large trucking companies and win for our clients.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

If you or someone you love has been killed or injured in a commercial trucking accident, contact the trucking accident lawyers at Cerri, Boskovich & Allard at (408) 289-1417.

The trucking accident lawyers at Cerri, Boskovich & Allard have successfully handled truck accident cases throughout Northern California, including accidents on Highways 1, 5, 17, 33, 101, 152, 580, and 680.

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