Truck and Commercial Vehicle Accident Claims

San Francisco | San Jose | Oakland | San Rafael, CA

The personal injury lawyers of Weber & Nierenberg represent motorcyclists and bicycle riders who have suffered serious injuries when struck by a truck or other commercial vehicle in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our understanding of the important differences between accident litigation involving commercial insurance and those cases involving private auto policies can make a significant difference in the outcome of a severe injury case.

In bike collisions with private passenger vehicles, the policy limits of the driver that hit you represent an important factor in the case’s resolution. In catastrophic injury accidents, an auto driver’s liability coverage limits of $50,000, $100,000 or even $200,000 will come nowhere close to what you need to cover a permanent disability, years of lost income or complex medical and rehabilitative treatment.

As a result, our attorneys can often reasonably expect to settle these cases at the policy limits once we establish the other driver’s liability and the extent of the accident victim’s injuries. We then pursue any and all other potential defendants to maximize the value of your overall financial recovery.

Commercial Vehicle Accidents Mean Commercial Insurance Coverage

When the driver who hit you is covered under a commercial vehicle or fleet liability policy, however, it is unrealistic to expect a prompt settlement at the policy limits. Coverage typically begins at $1 million per accident, with much larger policy limits common. What this means for the injured motorcyclist in practical terms is that the victim needs to prove every element of his or her loss in detail, often with expert support.

Unlike a severe injury case that would likely settle at low liability coverage limits, the claims adjusters and defense lawyers in a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle case have every incentive to demand strict proof of injury claims.

If you need $700,000, they will try to settle for $400,000. If you need $1.6 million, they will attack the evidence supporting the damages demand in an attempt to settle the case for $800,000. Truck accident litigation often develops into a contest between opposing teams of experts, with each side presenting a thoroughly reasoned analysis of its position.

Call a San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Attorney: 866-288-6010

Weber & Nierenberg has the experience and sophisticated approach to complex accident litigation necessary to give an injured motorcycle or bicycle rider a strong chance of recovering fair compensation for severe or disabling injuries. Our familiarity with the legal strategies used by commercial vehicle insurance defense lawyers represents an important advantage for our clients. Contact us at any of our four Bay Area locations to learn more about our experience with northern California truck and commercial vehicle litigation.

With offices in San Francisco, San Rafael, Oakland and San Jose, our attorneys represent clients throughout the East Bay, North Bay, South Bay and other northern California communities, including Sacramento, Napa, Santa Rosa, Berkeley, Richmond, Fremont, Hayward, Modesto, Stockton, San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Walnut Creek.

Blind Spots and Truck Accidents

Truck Accidents and Blind Spots — Bay Area Personal Injury Attorneys

There are four major blind spots on trucks and 18-wheelers that are commonly involved in truck accidents:

  • The rear of a truck, outside the purview of the truck’s side mirrors
  • Near the front of the truck’s left side, just behind the cabin
  • Near the front of the truck’s right side, outside the purview of the truck’s right-side mirror
  • The very front end of a truck and just off to the right

When car drivers are hit by trucks changing lanes it’s not uncommon for insurance companies and their lawyers to argue that the car driver bears some of the fault for driving in a truck’s blind spot. In rear-end collisions, similar arguments are made, including the claim that if a car driver hadn’t been following too closely in the first place, the accident would not have likely happened.

Insurance Claims, Truck Accidents and Blind Spots

California follows the principle of pure comparative negligence in car accident cases. This means that a car driver can recover damages even if he or she is 99 percent at fault in an accident. However, under the principle of pure comparative negligence, recovery of losses is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to a driver. For example, if you suffer $100,000 in damages in a truck accident but are found to be 70 percent at fault, you’d be eligible to recover only $30,000.

Now you can see why the issue of whether or not you were driving in a truck’s blind spot might be important for an insurance agent to determine. In fact, it’s not uncommon for insurers to call you shortly after a car or truck accident and ask you questions about what you remember. Here, while the insurance agent may pretend to be concerned about how you’re doing, the real purpose of the call is to gather any information to shift more blame onto you and reduce the amount the insurance company has to pay you in an injury claim.

Driving in a Truck’s Blind Spot Does Not Automatically Make You at Fault

Just because you were hit or sideswiped while driving in a truck’s blind spot does not necessarily make you at fault in an accident with a truck. Truck drivers have a responsibility to change lanes safely, to drive the speed limit and to take precautions in case someone is driving in a blind spot. In cases involving rear-end collisions, trucks can’t make sudden stops or swerve in front of a driver to slow down or merge into traffic. Trucks should also have a “Mansfield Bar” installed on the back of their vehicle to prevent under-riding in rear-end collisions.

Investigate the Cause of a Truck Accident — Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At the San Francisco personal injury law office of Weber & Nierenberg, our car accident attorneys understand how to investigate and reconstruct car accidents with trucks. Working with experienced accident investigators and eyewitness testimony, we can often determine how a truck accident happened and expose negligence on the part of a truck driver.

To schedule an appointment to discuss your case, contact San Francisco truck accident attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg today.

 
 
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Locations

1 Sansome Street, Suite 3500 San Francisco, CA 94104
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P. 415-788-3900

1999 Harrison Street, Suite 600 Oakland, CA 94612
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P. 510-663-6000

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