49-Year-Old Man Killed In Selma Truck Accident On Highway 99
FRESNO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA (June 28, 2020) – A 49-year-old male pedestrian has tragically died in a semi-truck accident on Highway 99 near Selma.
California Highway Patrol are saying that the accident took place around 11:15 p.m. A big rig truck driven by a Merced man hit the unidentified pedestrian and knocked them to the ground.
Paramedics were called to the scene of the accident in order to help the victim. Despite life-saving measures the victim later died due to his injuries.
Neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to have been factors in the crash. An investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Selma Semi-Truck Accidents
Car accident deaths remain one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. A substantial portion of the nearly 35,000 fatal accidents every year involve commercial trucks. According to the IIHS, “A total of 4,136 people died in large truck crashes in 2018. Sixteen percent of these deaths were truck occupants, 67 percent were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, and 15 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. The number of people who died in large truck crashes was 31 percent higher in 2018 than in 2009.” There are a number of factors that make commercial trucks much more dangerous than passenger vehicles:
- A fully loaded commercial truck can weigh as much as 80,000 lbs
- Commercial trucks take 20 – 40% longer than passenger vehicles to stop
- Given their large size, commercial trucks do not “give” when they are hit. Striking one is like hitting a brick wall.
- Cars often unerride the back and side of semi-trucks
- commercial trucks have much larger blind spots than smaller vehicles
- Truck drivers spend all day on the road and are likely to be fatigued over time
Pedestrians have a naturally small profile and are therefore likely to be overlooked by other drivers. Cities like San Francisco have taken steps to help reduce fatal pedestrian accidents. Far from being random, most pedestrian accidents are preventable when the right safety measures are implemented. Here are just a few ways that cities can reduce pedestrian accidents:
- Reduced speed zones in heavily trafficked pedestrian areas
- Intersections and roads should be well lit to avoid accidents
- Police should enforce traffic violations likely to lead to accidents
- Cities should conduct studies on roads and intersections that have a high occurrence of accidents
All drivers have a legal obligation to exercise due care in order to avoid hitting pedestrians even when they are outside of lawfully marked crosswalks. According to California Vehicle Code 21950, “The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.” It’s important that evidence is properly preserved after an accident.
Many truck companies are considered “common carriers” under the law and are held to a high standard in terms of safety. According to Acosta v. Southern California Rapid Transit Dist, “Common carriers bind themselves to carry safely those whom they take into their vehicles, and owe both a duty of utmost care and the vigilance of a very cautious person towards their passengers. Such carriers are responsible for any,even the slightest, negligence and are required to do all that human care,vigilance, and foresight reasonably can do under all the circumstances.” Victims of truck accidents are protected by a number of laws.
The family of any victim that died in a truck accident may have legal recourse through wrongful death claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and funereal costs. In order to win a civil claim plaintiffs must demonstrate negligence:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care
- That duty was breached
- The breach was the proximate cause of the accident
- The plaintiff sustained damages
Unfortunately, truck companies will often fight hard to deny any liability for a truck accident. A truck accident attorney can examine all of the facts of your case and get to the bottom of what may have caused an accident. However, there are statute of limitations associated with pursuing civil claims.
Investigating A Selma Big Rig Truck Accident
We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of the victim that died in this accident. Any person that may have seen what happened should reach out to police as they continue their investigation. It is our sincere hope that steps will be taken to prevent additional accidents like this. Drivers should be doing their part and slowing down as they approach pedestrians.
Do you need more information about a truck accident that took place in Selma? Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We are committed to making sure that accident victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have questions about the law or need a free, independent investigation into an accident we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.