Monthly Archives: October 2016

Can Dash Cam Videos Help Resolve Semi Truck Accidents?

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According to the Arizona 2015 motor vehicle crash facts, about 5 percent of trucks (with and without semi trailers) were involved in fatal and injury crashes of that year. Road accidents alone are a scary thought: with at least ONE person injured every 10 minutes. But adding massive, semi trucks into the mix and you’ve got yourself a huge problem.

Semi truck accidents are fatal for everyone sharing the road with them. However, as these types of accidents have unique complications compared to auto accidents, victims involved may find themselves in a tight spot. Questions about compensation, evidence, and proving fault, may not so easily be answered.

But what if one – or both – parties had a dash cam video of the incident? Would that help hasten the case? Can dash cam videos help resolve semi truck accidents?


What You Need To Know about Dash Cams and Semi Truck Accidents

Videos and photos are important evidence in every road accident. But just because you had a dash cam during the event, won’t automatically put the odds in your favor. Depending on the circumstances, it may or may not help you.

Take the 2013 truck accident as a good example. Arizona Department of Public Safety officer Tim Huffman was killed after an empty fuel tanker crashed into their cars. The dual dash cam video caught the truck driver on his phone while driving. Together with other evidence during the investigation, he was ultimately charged with second-degree murder and other crimes.

As you have read, a dash cam video can be a double-edged sword: it can incriminate you if you were driving recklessly or distractedly; but at the same time, it can also show if a semi truck driver was at fault during a crash. This insight into semi truck accidents can prove invaluable, especially if you’re not to blame.

Another benefit to owning a dash cam is that it can help show the extent of damages during the incident. Often, insurance agencies can deny your claim, using damages to your car as basis instead of the injuries you sustained. With a dash cam video, you can prove how injured you were after the wreck.

But please be advised: dash cam videos are NOT always a guarantee.


Points To Consider BEFORE Investing on a Dash Cam

In the case of semi truck accidents though, having more evidence than less is always good. Just don’t bet all your cards on a dash cam video.

Here’s why:

  • Dash cam videos, even dual ones, don’t provide the ‘WHY’ of the case (this is most important)
  • Some insurance agencies (or courts) may not acknowledge dash cam videos as strong evidence
  • Dash cam videos can still leave out crucial evidence (e.g. flat tire, malfunctioning equipment, etc.)

If you want to get a dash cam for your own protection (not just for semi truck accidents, but for everyday use), then it can be a good investment. After all, human memories are infallible.

Should you buy one, think about getting a dual cam, which has both a front (facing the road) and rear (facing the driver) camera. Experts advise one with full HD 1080p resolution for both cams. Look for other helpful features as well, such as: GPS, G-Force sensors, and ability to record when the engine is turned off. Pay attention to the size of the camera, too. Anything that is bigger than 5” x 5” may obstruct view of your windshield, breaking the law.

Most commercial trucks on the other hand, are required by their employers to have a dash cam. But as this type of technology is still fairly new, there’s no federal rule governing them yet.

In the event of semi truck accidents – with or without a dash cam video – it’s best to consult a semi truck accident lawyer. A legal expert is your best defense to help you understand the next best steps to take. Don’t delay: contact a professional Arizona truck accident lawyer today for assistance.

Truck Accidents Today: How Dangerous Is Distracted Driving?

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California is among the states with the highest recorded truck accidents in the past 10 years.

Aside from speeding and driving under the influence of drugs (prescription or not), one of its main causes involve distraction. Distracted driving is in fact, broader than most people think. It’s more than simply playing with your phone or talking to passengers.

Learn how to avoid truck accidents today by becoming familiar with distracted driving and its dangers.


Types of Distracted Driving

Texting while driving may be a popular example of distraction – but it’s not the only one. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV, there are three types of distracted driving:

  • Visual – activities that keep your eyes away from the road
  • Manual – tasks that take your hands off of the steering wheel
  • Cognitive – disruptions that take your concentration off while driving

Let’s take a look at each.

Visual distractions include looking for stuff inside the vehicle, checking or adjusting the GPS, and taking in the surrounding views.

Manual distractions on the other hand, consist of smoking, eating and/or drinking, adjusting your passenger’s seatbelt. Even if you’re not engaging in these tasks, if your mind isn’t alert, you’re still driving distracted.

Cognitive distractions include daydreaming, road rage, driving under the influence (illegal substances and/or prescription medication), and talking to passengers.

Some tasks can fall under two or more categories. Texting for instance, is particularly dangerous because it falls under all THREE types. When you text, you look at phone’s screen (visual), type a message (manual), and your mind is now focused on the conversation – NOT on the road (cognitive). Other activities that could fall under different kinds of driving distractions include applying makeup and changing the radio (visual and manual).


Preventing Truck Accidents Today

All drivers are susceptible to distractions, especially if you’re pressured by tight schedules and strict working conditions.

Truck drivers for example, have been known to cause truck accidents due to fatigue. When you’re exhausted, your mind can wander elsewhere. Soon, your eyes start to droop heavily. Before you know it, your hands are slipping off the wheel. These instances, particularly at night, are all too common.

Drug use is another cause for recent truck accidents. Whether the drugs are illegal or prescribed by a physician, driving while under their influence can have serious consequences. Depending on the drug taken, it can:

  • Cause initial alertness, later leading to confusion and disoriented behavior
  • Poor muscle control and/or increased blood pressure
  • Hallucinations, altered mental state, impaired perception of space and time

These are just some its effects. When driving, your best bet is to CONCENTRATE. This goes for both truck drivers and other motorists.

Observe proper road etiquette when sharing the road with big rigs. Avoid tailgating, keep off of their blind spots, and maintain a distance of at least two cars apart. This should help you mitigate any damages should the truck lose control.

But if you or a loved one has suffered from a truck accident today, contact a trusted truck accident lawyer immediately. Make sure he or she specializes in such cases so that your concern can be handled effectively.

Act quickly and don’t delay! Truck accidents today are complex. The earlier your case is handled, the sooner you’ll know of the next logical steps to take.

Top 3 Complications in a Commercial Truck Accident Case

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Cases involving injury from a truck accident will face unique concerns as opposed to other vehicular incidents. That’s because unlike regular vehicles, semi truck drivers are required to follow complicated state and federal rules, as well as regulations from their own companies. The trucks also usually carry higher insurance premiums, making settlements more taxing than they should be.

This is on top of severe injuries that the plaintiff has suffered. While there could be several complications that would arise in commercial truck accident settlement cases, here are the top three:


1. Proving fault in a truck accident case.

Just because you were injured in a semi truck accident doesn’t mean the driver was at fault OR that you will receive a huge settlement amount.

As previously mentioned, there are many factors involved – including a (perhaps) long and arduous factual background investigation. If you feel that you were NOT at fault, there needs to be evidence that shows the defendant had violated the rules or regulations, leading to the incident. Chances of winning a trial might increase once proof is established.

After an accident, involved vehicles and their contents would be impounded for investigation. The important thing is to ACT quickly so that crucial evidence is preserved. It’s also wise to seek expert legal help so that you’ll know the next steps to take.


2. There might be multiple defendants.

During the investigation, it might be presumed that multiple parties (e.g. the trucking company, vehicle and/or parts manufacturers, etc.) are accountable. This would make the case more difficult because it would take a while to establish the proportions of fault. This is important in determining the settlement amount for the plaintiff.

For example: in a commercial truck accident where you suffered multiple fractures, it was found that both the driver and the trucking company were at fault: the driver for forcing himself to drive while exhausted, and the company for pressuring the driver to work longer hours.

If proportions of fault are unclear, the case might go to trial. This is where it becomes lengthy and demanding. There’s also a likelihood that the defendants would only pay for the damages they caused – NOT damages to the plaintiff.


3. Amount of settlement to be claimed.

A truck accident can be a real nightmare not only because of the legal procedures involved, but mostly due to the severity of injuries one can suffer. As trucks are bigger and heavier, incidents often lead to serious injury or even death. Large amounts would be needed for hospitalization, rehabilitation, and reimbursement (e.g. lost wages).

Even though semi trucks carry higher policy limits in terms of coverage, certain policies, language, and restrictions make it tough to quickly arrive at a settlement. If cases are not settled, it could go to trial – making the entire incident difficult for everyone.


If you or someone you know has been severely injured in a commercial truck accident, seek help from a legal representative who specializes in big rig cases immediately. A commercial truck accident lawyer can properly advise you on the next steps to take following the event. Make sure you get the important details, such as truck driver information and the name of the trucking company (if applicable).

Last, communicate during the entire process and keep an open mind. Commercial vehicle accident settlement cases are NOT easy – but with a skilled professional by your side, you can win.

5 of the Deadliest Truck Accidents to Watch Out for

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According to the 2014 Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts (LTBCF) annual report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes rose by 21 percent. About 61 percent of those fatal crashes happened on rural roads, with only 26 percent coming from interstate highways. This indicates that just because a road has less cars or traffic, doesn’t mean you’ll be safe. Truck accidents can occur at anytime, to anyone.

Becoming aware of what can happen on the road, particularly when a truck is involved, could save your life.

In driving, anticipation is key. You don’t know what could go wrong, so you need to watch out for signs and have your senses in full alert. Aside from driver fatigue (which is a common cause of road accidents), other elements that contribute to accidents include popping a tire, strong winds, and ill-maintained equipment.


Here are five of the most common truck accidents today, and how to avoid them.

1. Truck Rollovers

Rollovers are caused by several factors, such as: improper loading, driver losing control of the vehicle, speeding, the weather, or a combination of these. This happens when the center of gravity shifts, and the truck is forced to roll to its side. If you are driving behind a semi or cargo truck, observe it closely for any signs of swaying. Maintain a good distance so you have time to stop, in case of emergency.

2. Jackknife

This is a term that refers to the position of large semi trucks or 18-wheelers when their trailers swing out to form a 90-degree angle. This is highly dangerous as it can also lead to a rollover. This usually happens when roads become slippery, if the truck attempts to turn too quickly, or when a driver tries to swerve to avoid other vehicles. When driving with trucks on the road, always maintain a safe distance of at least two cars apart.

3. Tire Blowout

Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, depending on the load. This puts a lot of pressure on their tires. When tires do blow out, they spread dangerous debris all over the highway. The sudden incident can make the driver lose control of the truck, and make it crash with other vehicles. The tire shreds can also be a hazard as it can cause cars to slam on their brakes or affect their steering.

When driving with a truck, stay alert and stick to the speed limit. In case of tire blowouts, slow down and watch out for debris.

4. Lost Load

Truck accidents caused by lost load can be fatal. Sometimes, cargo is not properly secured or distributed in the trailer. This can make the articles shift and fall off when the truck makes sudden turns. There are also cases when cargo (such as gravel or sand) that became loose could smash windshields of other cars. Keep your eyes on the cargo when driving with a loaded truck on the road. Avoid tailgating at all costs.

5. Wide Turn

This happens when trucks try to make tight turns and end up squeezing cars between them and the sidewalk. Also known as “swinging turn” or “squeeze play” crashes, this type of truck accident is one of the most fatal, because it also leaves vehicles on the other side of the lane vulnerable to side impact collisions.

To avoid wide turn crashes, pay attention when you see trucks going on the left side of the road. This is usually in preparation before they turn right. Once the semi takes its turn, you could get squeezed if you attempt to drive forward. Slow down and look at the turn signal lights instead.


Were You Involved In a Truck Accident?

If you or your loved one has been in a truck accident, don’t hesitate to contact a truck accident attorney immediately. Truck accident cases are often complicated; so you will need someone with enough skills and experience to guide you through the legal procedures.

Ledger Law at will make sure you receive proper assistance for your unique situation. Let our expert investigators get to the bottom of the incident and collect all necessary evidence. Together, we can get the best possible outcome.

5160 Birch Street Suite 200 Newport Beach CA 92660