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Truck Accident in Cali

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Matt 's Comment
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I see this argument going on for a good while so I'm just going to throw in a question maybe I will learn something from someone else's mistakes regardless of whoes they were. What is the best way to find your blind spot and to check them in a tractor trailer as you can't just look around the window or in a rearview.?

Errol V.'s Comment
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I see this argument going on for a good while so I'm just going to throw in a question maybe I will learn something from someone else's mistakes regardless of whoes they were. What is the best way to find your blind spot and to check them in a tractor trailer as you can't just look around the window or in a rearview.?

I see this argument going on for a good while so I'm just going to throw in a question maybe I will learn something from someone else's mistakes regardless of whoes they were. What is the best way to find your blind spot and to check them in a tractor trailer as you can't just look around the window or in a rearview.?

So you're hijacking? Each side has three mirrors: the big flat one, a convex (Objects are close than they appear) with the first one and another convex out on the front fender. The convex ones make for tiny objects, but all you need to know if it something's there. There's always a blind spot but enough to hide a car, but if you're always checking your mirrors, you'll know when a car goes into one.

Matt 's Comment
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Thanks and yes I was "hijacking" because while I was reading presented this question. I will refrain from interrupting any further.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

OK, Lionheart, apparently you were unable to digest my earlier post. Like I said earlier, I am all about the law when it comes to liability. You're not going to win regardless of what the other guy did since I've already proven, using words from your own mouth, that even if he did something stupid by swinging over two lanes and hitting the gas, he was established in the lane you were turning into for a minimum of 1.44 seconds.

This is where I got in trouble with the others in the earlier thread that I mentioned before, but regardless, no jury or judge is going to find in your favor when you leave one lane and run into another vehicle in the lane you are turning into. It doesn't matter much what happened before that, you could have and should have stopped your rightward movement and gone back to the left to avoid the collision. Full stop.

I was a paralegal for ten years. I worked for a lawyer who defended trucking companies in cases like this. (Among other things -- he does a lot of construction and insurance cases too.) He tries a lot of cases, but only those he thinks he can win. I spent a lot of time in court rooms. I was also a licensed insurance agent for ten years after that - licensed in 32 states, including California.

In other words, I'm not just making stuff up here. This is based on experience. The odds of you winning this case in front of a California (even one in a "conservative" California jurisdiction, such as they are) are pretty much nil. Good luck convincing Stevens' insurance company to pay for your defense. They've already decided not to, which is why you're getting billed.

You could pay a lawyer a couple hundred bucks an hour to try to recover the money from Stevens, but you're probably going to run into a problem when Stevens produces a document with your signature on it that allows them to settle any claims arising our of your conduct and then bill you for it. And by that point, you most likely will have spent more than $2,000 on the lawyer.

But that's OK. I say go for it. Spend a few hours or more talking to lawyers about how you want to take the gloves off and try to recover your money. Make sure to mention what buffoons Stevens employs as managers. That'll be sure to get the lawyers riled up!

I'm sure you already know enough about the law to understand that you have no remedy against the guy driving the rental car since you don't own the truck and therefore suffered no direct damages, right? That there are already settlement documents that have been fully executed that have put the claim against that driver and the rental company to bed legally? That the only possible suit you have is against Stevens for the money they're taking out of your check? That the odds of getting the testimony of the rental car driver and the truck driver into evidence depends entirely on paying a lawyer to take their depositions before trial, at which point you will have expended more in fees for the lawyer and court reporter than the case is worth, right? And that the judge might still decide that that evidence is irrelevant to the case, since it all hinges on whether Stevens can take money out of your pay to recover their losses arising our of your conduct (to wit, running a car into a jersey barrier)?

But please, go for it and then send us a link to the article in the plaintiffs' bar case review publication that tells us about how much you recovered. (I guarantee this case would make those publications, even though it's very small potatoes, just because it's so improbable on its face.) (You did know that lawyers publish case summaries of cases they win, right?)

Get mad when they laugh at you or worse, push a piece of paper in front of you that says "Fee Agreement" at the top, waiting for your signature before providing any additional advice or time. Get madder still when you end up with at least twice the initial debt, no job, and no prospects at other big companies with nice equipment and good pay and benefits. Go on the internet and trash them all and the whole industry and this website while you're at it. (In fact, I'll be a little upset if I don't get called out by name.)

Or....you could still just walk away, admit you don't know your head from your ass, and learn from the whole experience. Especially when the one guy here most likely to back you up on a legal liability question against a four-wheeler is telling you you're full of it.

Trust me, no one will hold it against you. Well, they might, but they'll drop it eventually. They still let me post here.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

By the way, in reference to the thread about socializing at truck stops, this is the kind of thing you'll hear about at the trucker counter. Always better when it's the first day of a 34 so you have time to enjoy a frosty beer while listening to such tales of woe.

Jason G.'s Comment
member avatar

It looks like what everyone is saying is that as a trucker you are held to a higher standard. Sucks that this happened. You're human, and humans make mistakes. So my empathy is with you in that. But your attitude, you need to chill. And I'm not saying that as a trucker obviously because I haven't started yet, but as a former Marine, dude, chill out. The laws the laws the laws you keep saying. What, is it all about the money to you? So it's 50 dollars they take out in increments? So each time they take out 50 dollars let that be your reminder that you are held to that higher standard. Let it be the reminder to you that you are so blessed to not have it weigh on your conscience for the rest of your life that someone you hit got killed, because this time they didnt. Because what's amazing to me is that you didn't mention feeling thrilled to death that those people survived getting hit. I'll tell you a non trucker story. We are in Afghanistan and a rocket was just fired at some of our guys, and so then we see this vehicle driving from where we "think" the rocket came from. So we open up on this vehicle with our 25 millimeter guns and 2 TOW missiles. Rip the roof off this thing. Well then we drive up to the car and there's a dead kid inside. We assumed, we didn't know, but guess what, I get to be reminded of that a lot. Maybe play it off sometimes that I wasn't the only one shooting, maybe it wasn't my rounds that killed him. But hey that's war.

You on the other hand, live in a crazy civilian society where people.drive crazy. We all know that and see that on the road.what everyone has tried to tell you is that you need to be humble. Just drop the excuses, forget about fighting this thing. Move on and let those 50$ installments be your reminder each time that you are incredibly blessed to not have it on your conscience that two people died by your truck. Take it from me, I mean think about it, if they died, you'd not be on here telling us how stupid they were and how stupid your company is for punishing you. but hey they didn't die, so just chill man.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

All I can say is WOW!

By the time you actually crossed the lane dividing line he was already there. You think he was passing you on the shoulder when in reality you forced him onto the shoulder. You looked back (maybe) or assumed the lane was clear because it was a new lane. If you looked back, you then looked forward and the time it took to do that and starting your lane change is when he occupied that lane.

When I come upon an added lane like that and I am going to use that lane, I never let my trailer tires get more than 6" from the fog line because people do this. I almost had this happen a couple of months ago changing lanes. Nothing happened because I spotted the car in the mirror. Now I. Could blame it on the fact that the spot mirror decided that day to come lose and wobble out of adjustment but I got mad at myself for not knowing they were there. The next truckstop I got out and bought a new mirror and installed it. I cannot tell you how many times that I have aborted a lane change because of someone behind me. Most of the time i can tell you how many cars are within 1/4 mile behind me. If I know there are 5 cars behind me but only 4 pass, I search for that 5th car before making a move.

It happens but that does not relieve you of fault. It does not matter what he did or did not do, the fact remains that he was in the lane when you forced him into the wall.

So take off your gloves and put on your apron because with your attitude you do not belong in a truck.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Miss Rose's Comment
member avatar

There is no end to the lessons and learning available on this forum; you guys are awesome! Thank you Mr. M, Pat, Old School, Brett, and Isaac.

Absolutely! And thanks to everyone who offered their insight.

My experience in a truck has been, so far, limited to being boosted up into the seat by my dad as a kid, and being able to help hand wash the outside of the truck. One of my brothers is a trucker. He was involved in an accident with a 4-wheeler who made the tragic mistake of running a red light at an intersection. Each day since, my brother has to live with the death of that driver and the questions about what he may have been able to do to prevent it from happening. Being married to a trucker has also made me very aware of the mistakes that are made by 4-wheelers. I learned years ago to give a wide berth to big trucks when I'm on the road in my little Nissan. And I've taught both of my teen drivers to do the same. There have been many occasions of seeing a car cut off a trucker and I'm outraged that they could do something so reckless and stupid. One day on the way to work, I saw a car merge into a lane just feet....yup, feet in front of the truck. Fortunately, the trucker avoided hitting the driver. Icing on the cake was that a State Trooper also saw this and immediately pulled the car over.

Lionheart13, please heed the advice of the others and accept this as a very inexpensive lesson learned. It's miraculous that little damage was done to the vehicles, you kept your job, and most importantly, no lives were lost.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Farmerbob1's Comment
member avatar

I want to say one more thing about Stevens. Some of those people who might seem a bit buffoonish and not be as good in office jobs as we drivers would prefer are ex-drivers who came off the road after accidents traumatized them to the point that they couldn't drive any longer.

Most of them won't talk about it, and you only hear about it second-hand from other employees. Some of them work in Safety, others work as DM's. I'm sure there are other departments represented as well.

This is one reason why I will forgive Stevens for a lot of buffoonery and inefficiency. They do protect their drivers and even offer them non-driving work if the drivers own up to their mistakes. They can do this, in large part, because they are a privately owned company and the man at the top makes the rules.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

I know ew this thread was going to get like this and I doubt op will come back now, all I want to say is you are at fault. Cry all you want, but we are professionals. It is always our fault. You should be watching the mirror as you change lanes because people will always try to pass on the right. If anything you should be grateful your not in the San Bernandino County jail right now awaiting trial for vehicular manslaughter. Please get out of the truck. With an attitude like yours, you are going to end up hurting yourself or someone else.

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