Honolulu Truck Accident Attorneys
Protecting the Rights of Injured Men & Women in Hawaii
Our Honolulu personal injury attorneys at Leavitt Yamane & Soldner
know from experience that accidents involving heavy commercial trucks
or tractor trailers can result in serious or fatal injuries to people
in passenger cars or riding motorcycles, motor scooters, or bicycles on
our Hawaii roads.
Big trucks weigh tens of thousands of pounds. That weight makes these trucks
hard to stop and harder to control. It also creates a severe impact in
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a commercial truck driver
or if you have lost a family member in of one these horrific crashes,
you should seek help from a firm that knows the unique ins and outs of
these cases. Truck accident cases are generally more complicated than
car accident cases. They involve extensive investigation that should begin
immediately after the crash, involving review of commercial driver logs
and truck maintenance records. They often require dealing with multiple
insurance companies to seek compensation. This is why it takes the kind
of skill, experience, and resources that a firm like Leavitt Yamane &
Soldner can provide to recover the full amount you deserve.
To schedule a free consultation
about a truck accident, call (808) 518-2120.
We're available to review your case and establish a recovery plan that
will help to secure your future.
Commercial Truck Crashes in Hawaii
There were six commercial truck accident fatalities in Hawaii in 2012,
according to the latest data available from the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- An accident in which a utility truck, driven with the boom in the "up"
position, snagged a utility line, which caused the truck to fall over
and slide into a Big Island woman's vehicle. She died and two of her
passengers were injured.
- A Hawaii Island teen, who died in a pedestrian accident, when he was struck
in a crosswalk by a semi-trailer truck while crossing the intersection
of Highway 19 and Paauilo Makai Road.
More recently, a 55-year-old county worker was killed in June 2014 as he
stood next to a trailer attached to a county pickup truck and a semi-truck
heading west on Kaumualii Highway struck the trailer. Serious truck accidents
occur in many different ways.
The six fatal truck accidents in 2012 constituted 3.4 percent of all fatal
vehicle accidents in the islands that year. Nationwide, crashes involving
large trucks resulted in 3,964 deaths and 95,000 people injured in 2013.
Of those who died or were injured in truck crashes in 2013, most were
occupants of other vehicles - not the truck. Another 10 percent of people
killed and three percent of people injured were either pedestrians, cyclists,
or otherwise not in any vehicle.
Typical Causes of Large Truck Crashes
Among the common factors cited in tractor trailer accidents are:
Aggressive driving, which includes such unsafe driving behaviors as speeding, tailgating
(following too closely), cutting other vehicles off, and unsafe lane changes.
Any of these actions may result in loss of control of the truck and a
crash. Too often, truckers put meeting deadlines ahead of safety and drive
aggressively, disregarding reduced speed limits for trucks.
Distracted driving, particularly texting while driving and other use of cellphones. Research
commissioned by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
shows the odds of being involved in a crash, near crash, or unintentional
lane deviation are 23 times greater for truck drivers who text while driving
than for those who do not. The FMCSA has published rules that restrict
texting and the use of handheld mobile phones by truck drivers while operating
a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).
Fatigued or drowsy driving. Truck drivers' long work hours cause sleep deprivation, disruption
of normal sleep/rest cycles, and fatigue, the Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety (IIHS) says. Institute research has found that truck drivers
behind the wheel for more than eight hours are twice as likely to crash.
Truckers also work under federal Hours of Service regulations that limit
how long they may drive without mandated rest periods. Still, some companies
pressure their drivers to ignore these regulations to meet unreasonable
Impaired driving, involves both drunk driving and drugged driving. Because truckers are
subject to testing and may lose their commercial license, drunk driving
accidents among truck drivers are relatively rare compared to drunk driving
among passenger vehicle drivers.
Improper maintenance. The IIHS says tractor trailers with defective equipment were twice as
likely to be involved in crashes as trucks without defects. Brake defects
were the most common problem, followed by faulty steering equipment. A
2010 study found that almost 55 percent of trucks in post-crash inspections
had at least one mechanical violation and almost 30 percent had at least
one condition serious enough to have taken the vehicle immediately out
Another problem with truck crashes is the danger of underride, which is
caused by the height of commercial trucks. In an underride crash, a passenger
vehicle slides partially or wholly under a truck or trailer, increasing
the likelihood of death or serious injury to the shorter vehicle's
occupants. Rear underride guards, which are required on trucks of appropriate
size, are supposed to stop this from happening, but IIHS research indicates
that even guards that meet federal safety standards can fail in relatively
low speed crashes.
Investigating Truck Crashes in Hawaii
When Leavitt Yamane & Soldner investigates your truck accident case,
we will review the police report for information about the crash. But
that report alone won't provide all of the answers. We also will likely
need to hire investigators and consult with accident reconstruction experts
to get to the true cause of your crash.
We look at all possibilities in a truck accident. If you have been injured
in such a wreck, you are not limited to sue only the trucker who hit you.
The trucking company may also be legally responsible for its driver's
negligence. In some cases, the company may be directly to blame for the
crash, such as for overworking drivers or being negligent in hiring, training,
or supervising drivers and other personnel. The manufacturer of the truck
and its parts may also be held responsible if an accident was caused by
faulty brakes or steering, a tire blowout, or another defective part or
Truck accident cases can be extremely complex and may involve taking action
against companies that are based on the mainland or in different countries.
Keep in mind: Within hours of the accident, the trucking company will have
a team of insurance adjusters and lawyers working to protect their financial
interests. In fact, a trucking company representative may arrive at the
accident scene while the police are still collecting information. That
is why it is crucial to have an experienced legal team working on your
case as soon as possible to protect your rights.
Seeking Compensation for Hawaii Truck Accident Victims
The injuries that a victim suffers in a truck accident tend to be severe
or catastrophic. This is especially true if you were a motorcycle, moped,
or bicycle rider who was struck on one of our roads.
At Leavitt Yamane & Soldner, we have experience handling even the most
complex injuries, including those involving traumatic brain injury and
spinal cord injury. We consult with highly qualified medical experts.
By working closely with these professionals, we can assess the full extent
of compensation you will need to provide for care and treatment in the future.
We Are Committed to Helping Truck Accident Victims
The law firm of Leavitt Yamane & Soldner employs a team approach to
handling truck accident cases. This means that a partner from our firm
will be directly involved in your case and we will draw upon the skills
and resources available throughout our firm. We are committed to one goal:
Securing compensation that will allow you to move forward with your life.
We offer a free review of your case and we won't charge for our legal
services unless we obtain compensation for you.
To schedule a free and confidential review of your case, contact our Honolulu office today. We can also meet you at your home or in the hospital if that is more