Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP
Treating California’s Injured With Dignity And Respect
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Truck Accidents result in significant injuries

When a large truck collides with a passenger vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian, lives change. Passenger vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians are simply outmatched by the size, length, and weight of trucks. As a result, these crashes often cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities.

The immediate aftermath of a truck collision can be frightening, stressful and chaotic. It can include medical treatment, lost income, and financial strains. During these difficult ties, even though consulting with a personal injury lawyer may not be your first thought, it can be crucial to protecting your rights.

In San Francisco and throughout Northern California, a call to Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP, can help ease this challenging time. Our team has the experience and resources to help you advance a successful claim against the trucking companies and their insurance carriers.

Protecting your interests

Following a collision, trucking companies and their insurance carriers immediately work to minimize their culpability and your damages. This is often accomplished by obtaining written or recorded statements immediately, before victims consult with an attorney of their own. Before speaking with the trucking company or its representative, and before signing any declarations or settlement agreements, you need a full appreciation of the impact of the collision. The attorneys of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP, move quickly to find and preserve evidence, and to evaluate personal injury or wrongful death actions arising from trucking collision.

Truck companies and their insurers will have attorneys and representatives protecting their interests, it is important to have a representative protecting yours.

The truck accident lawyer you choose can make a significant difference in the handling and success of cases involving any type of truck, including tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, dump trucks, and garbage truck. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a lawyer.

See the other types of motor vehicle accident cases our personal injury attorneys represent.

Causes Of Truck Accidents

The attorneys of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP have experience successfully resolving cases involving truck collisions and are familiar with their causes. Truck collision can arise from driver fatigue (driving in excess of what is allowed under federal regulations), travelling too fast for the roadway or weather conditions, or improperly loaded or balanced freight.

Other causes include:

  • Truck problems — Was the semitruck or tractor-trailer properly maintained? Was it overweight or was the load poorly balanced, causing weight in the truck bed to shift dangerously? Were materials properly strapped down? Were the brakes, tires, steering or other parts of the truck defectively manufactured or designed?
  • Trucking company negligence — Did trucking company practices contribute to the truck collision?  Were driving schedules such that drivers had no choice but to drive faster or for more hours than allowed by law? Did the trucking company negligent hire or train its drivers? Did the trucking company fail to properly maintain its vehicles?
  • Dangerous roads — Truck crashes can result of poorly maintained or defectively designed roads.
  • Back-up accidents — Trucks have large rear blind spots (in effect, a cone of blindness that is dependent on truck size). Reversing a truck safely often requires a lookout, back up camera, and back-up alarm. The failure to have such can result in a collision with serious person injuries.

The attorneys at Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP select cases carefully to provide the full benefit of our experience, attention and resources. We work with forensic, engineering and accident reconstruction experts to establish fault in truck crashes. We help our clients access top medical experts for their type of injury to gain a comprehensive understanding of medical care and rehabilitation needs.

If a loved one died in a fatal big rig crash, we can help your family bring a wrongful death claim. The sooner you seek competent legal representation, the better your chances for a positive outcome. Call us at 415-421-7995 or toll-free at 866-399-3548, or send a message online to schedule a free initial appointment with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.

Examples of some of the trucking cases handled by ASW include:

Trucking Accidents

Our Client v. Delivery Truck Driver

Woman crushed under load of glass that fell off glass delivery truck, causing multiple fractures

Our client worked at Sunset Glass Company when a truck arrived with a load of large sheets of glass. As she stood on the sidewalk next to the truck while the driver untied the load, several large sheets of glass fell off the truck onto our client, crushing her under the significant weight against the sidewalk.  She sustained multiple fractures and other serious injuries.

Family v. Trucking Company – $1,050,000

Large truck made wide turn into opposing traffic and drove up and onto car, crushing driver

Our firm represented the family of a 77-year-old man who perished in a head-on collision on a San Francisco street when the large semi-truck made too wide of a turn into oncoming traffic and drove up the hood of the car, over the windshield and onto the roof, crushing the decedent.

Surveyor v. Utility Truck – $3,000,000

Surveyor suffered serious leg injuries when a utility truck backed over him.

$3,000,000 for a surveyor and an internationally renowned rock climber from Germany, who was kneeling down while setting up his equipment on a job site in a residential cul-de-sac when an Amerigas utility truck backed out of a driveway over him, causing serious leg injuries.

Truck Driver v. Construction Company – $5,375,000

Truck driver seriously injured when cargo load fell on him after construction company workers unsafely loaded flatbed.

Our client, an independent truck driver who hauled a variety of commercial parts and products, sustained serious crush injuries when a load of concrete wall forms fell on him during the construction of a building in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The project manager hired our client to drive a load of its concrete wall forms from the Chinatown job site to one of its storage yards in Oakland. Its employees loaded the concrete forms onto the flatbed with a crane in the truck staging area along Washington Street. When he delivered the load to the yard and began to unstrap it, five concrete wall forms weighing more than 300 pounds each suddenly fell on top of him. The construction company’s employees negligently built the load which slanted and was not level, failed to use long enough dunnage which added to the instability, and failed to band flat forms which would have prevented them from sliding off the flatbed and onto the truck driver. Our client sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI), multiple facial fractures with residual deformities, loss of vision, multiple rib fractures, L1 vertebral fracture with a sciatic nerve injury, pelvic fractures, and multiple fractures of his lower legs that required multiple surgeries to repair, among many other injuries.

Pedestrian v. Truck Driver

 Customs broker killed by truck making U-turn at Port of Oakland

Our client’s father worked at the Port of Oakland as a customs broker reviewing cargo manifest lists, which included retrieving paperwork from ships and taking it to the Customs Office.  A tractor-trailer truck swung wide to the right outside the travel lane in order to make an illegal U-turn at the Port of Oakland and in the process fatally struck our customs broker as he was about to board a ship.  Our firm represented decedent’s daughter in a wrongful death case against Marine Terminals Corporation and Total Terminal International.

Family v. City and County of San Francisco – $15,130,000

Woman run over and killed by city park worker in park

$15,130,000 settlement for the family of a woman who was lying on a blanket with her 11-month-old daughter sitting between her feet at Holly Park in San Francisco when she was struck by a City and County of San Francisco truck. Thomas Burnoski, an employee of the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF), drove a CCSF Recreation and Park Department truck off a paved path in the park to take a short cut to the street and ran over decedent’s head and upper torso, causing her death. Burnoski fled the scene while bystanders attempted to stop him before the police detained him. The GPS on the city truck showed that Burnoski had persistently driven off the path that day. A similar incident occurred in another San Francisco park years before when a Recreation and Park Department vehicle ran over another person, and the Department failed to clearly communicate a policy to its employees the importance of keeping park vehicles on paved paths, using spotters if it was necessary to leave the paths, and establishing a safe speed limit for city vehicles driving in parks. The City and County of San Francisco paid $15,130,000 to settle the case.

Pedestrian v. Truck Driver

Pedestrian suffered multiple fractures to his leg when a truck struck him

While working as a security guard at the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, our client suffered multiple fractures to his leg when Peterbilt 379 tractor-trailer truck driven by Gabino Bernal Morales struck him as he walked in the parking lot. Gilberto Estrada, dba Huetamo Trucking, owned the truck and employed Morales to deliver produce to the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, owned by the San Francisco Market Corporation and managed by the San Francisco Produce Association. The San Francisco Produce Market, a wholesale market and distribution point for produce where farmers deliver produce to the Market where it is sold to bulk consumers.

Bicyclist v. Truck

Bicyclist struck by large truck in Presidio and suffered serious injuries

While riding his bike in the Presidio in San Francisco, a large tractor trailer truck operated by an employee of S&S Trucking made a left turn and struck our client, causing him serious injuries. The collision occurred at the Doyle Drive Construction Project, and no flagger controlled the intersection where the collision occurred, as was required.

Elderly Scooter Rider v. Truck – $1,800,000

Truck reverses into elder man on scooter, causing fatal injuries

Our firm represented the surviving family of a 95-year-old man on a mobility scooter who suffered fatal injuries when struck by a backing up truck.

Our Clients v. Confidential Timber Company – $900,000

Driver crushed under large log stacker

$900,000 settlement to the family of a 56-year-old man who was crushed in his car on his way to work by a LeTourneau, a 90,000-lb. four wheeled log stacker, in a Humboldt County timber mill. The settlement was reached even though all of the official investigative reports blamed the decedent for the incident and placed no blame at all on the operator of the log stacker.

Family v. Trucking Company – $1,500,000

While driving to school, a mother and her three kids suffered serious injuries in a head-on collision by a speeding truck.

Our clients, a mother and her three children, were commuting to school near Placerville in El Dorado County when a large tractor-trailer dump truck driver ignored a school zone speed limit of 25 miles per hour and entered an intersection adjacent to a school at a speed of greater than 60 miles per hour. The truck collided with another car in the intersection, lost control, crossed into the oncoming lane and struck the plaintiffs’ car, crushed it and set it on fire. The mother and her three children suffered multiple serious injuries, including a severe TBI, cervical fractures, and facial injuries with scaring.