© 1987 -2020 The Law Offices of Barry J. Simon. A  Personal Injury Law Firm Serving California and the United States. 

Disclaimer:   The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship.   Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case.   The Law Offices of Barry J. Simon serves all of California.   In addition, we represent clients in various other states through our affiliations with local law firms.   Through the local firm, we will be admitted to practice law in their state, pro hac vice. Cookies & Privacy Policy  Copyright © 1987-2021 The Law Offices of Barry J. Simon Personal Injury Attorney - All rights reserved.  Location: California  Tel: (877) 733--4393    Email: bsimon4370@aol.com.

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Truck Accidents and Injury

What to do if you are involved in a Truck Accident:
 
Protect Your Rights!  

Immediately after a truck accident, a claims adjuster from the truck driver’s commercial insurance company may contact you. You should never speak to a claims adjuster without consulting with a lawyer first. A claims adjuster might come across as friendly, but it’s important to remember that this person’s goal is to settle your claim for as little money as possible. The agent might try to get you to say things that ultimately hurt your claim.  To protect your rights, there are many reasons it is wise to never try to negotiate or settle a truck accident injury claim on your own. 

 

It is essential to obtain the following information.  
  • Police report

  • Photos of the crash scene 

  • Toxicology reports

  • Eyewitness testimony

  • Dashcam footage

  • Black box data

  • Bills of lading

  • Hours of Service logbook

  • Weigh station receipts

Often lawyers for Trucking companies may be dispatched to the scene of an accident immediately after learning of it. These attorneys are determined to protect the trucking companies from lawsuits.  To avoid the destruction of evidence, such as a cover-up of any inconsistencies in a driver's log, etc. your best bet is to hire a truck accident lawyer of your own. Please feel free to contact the Law Offices of Barry J. Simon to investigate your accident and pursue litigation if necessary.

 

Consider these factors:  

  • In an instant, you can suffer devastating injuries that may require an extended hospital stay and long-term care.

 

  • In addition to your physical injuries, you may be experiencing PTSD (post-traumatic stress) due to the severity of your accident. Combined with the unexpected financial burden of your medical treatment, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take next.  A trucking accident lawyer can help you navigate the road to recovery. 

What Factors Contribute to Truck Accidents in California and across the United States?

Recognize the fact there are many factors contributing to semi-trucks, large Commercial Vehicles (CMV's), big rigs or 18 Wheelers involvement in collisions today.  Unfortunately, even the most experienced drivers on the road today are Commercial truckers and they are not immune to crashes.  

Causes of Truck Accidents and Why Commercial Trucks are So Dangerous

Almost all of the common causes of trucking accidents are preventable and/or can be controlled with proper safety measures. There are many causes of commercial truck accidents.  

 

Large trucks, also called semis, tractor-trailers, 18 wheelers, big rigs or CMV's (Commercial Vehicles), are involved in a disproportionate number of auto accidents compared with other motor vehicles. The occupants of large trucks are often overworked and under-rested, however, they are less frequently injured or killed in these crashes than other vehicle occupants.  

  • About 23 percent of the fatal crashes involved an erratic movement of the truck or some loss of control not caused by the presence of any other vehicles or pedestrians. 

 

  • About 74 percent of the fatal truck accidents and 76 percent of the non-fatal crashes involved a collision between the moving truck and another moving vehicle. 

 

  • In about 5 percent of the fatal commercial truck crashes and 3 percent of the non-fatal crashes, problems with the truck were the main cause of the accident.

In an instant, you can suffer devastating injuries that may require an extended hospital stay and long-term care.

 

  • In addition to your physical injuries, you may be experiencing PTSD (post-traumatic stress) due to the severity of your accident. Combined with the unexpected financial burden of your medical treatment, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take next.  A trucking accident lawyer can help you navigate the road to recovery. 

  • Accidents involving large trucks are very common often causing serious even fatal injuries involving pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers of passenger vehicles, and motorcyclists.  In 2014 alone, close to 4,000 large trucks, Commercial Vehicles and buses were involved in fatal crashes in the United States. In 2015, there were nearly 300 fatal accidents in California involving large trucks. With commercial trucks weighing as much as 80,000 pounds (or 40 tons), these devastating consequences of truck accidents come as no surprise.  

Find an Experienced Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer

 

The reason In California it is so important to work with an experienced Commercial Vehicle, 18 Wheeler or semi-truck Accident Lawyer is because these accidents can be highly complex and almost always involve one or more commercial insurance policies. To protect your rights, you should never try to negotiate or settle a truck accident injury claim on your own.

The following are contributing factors involving a semi-truck, 18 wheeler or other large commercial vehicle causing accidents.  

 

 
  • Truck Rollover:

One of the most frequent causes of trucking accidents is rollovers. Large trucks are much more likely to roll over than other vehicles. Big rigs have a high center of gravity, particularly when carrying a payload. Partially filled tankers and uneven loads that shift during turns can cause a truck rollover accident, even at slow speeds.   A truck accident lawyer can often determine if negligent trailer loading caused a truck rollover. 

 

  • Driver Fatigue:

Although state and federal laws require drivers to get rest for certain amounts of time during every long shift, unscrupulous trucking companies sometimes put pressure on their drivers to drive even though they are fatigued or exhausted. Driver fatigue leads to poor decision-making and slowed response times, and is a major cause of trucking accidents in California.  Truck drivers are often overworked. Their long hours on the road may result in fatigue. A tired driver is an unsafe driver.   Learn more

 
  • Tripping:

Tripping can occur when the wheels of a large truck strike something (e.g. a curb) while turning. Large trucks can also be "tripped" by the slope when turning while descending a decline. When a large truck puts a tire off of the pavement, it can cause the tire to rut into the ground, resulting in tripping and subsequent truck rollover.

 

  • Sharp turn or Maneuver:

Of course, truck accidents can occur simply from making a sharp turn or maneuver, especially if it is pulling two or three trailers.  The "g" forces required for large truck rollovers are much less than for an automobile. 

 

 

 

  • Highway Hypnosis:

Truck accidents can also be caused by truckers suffering "highway hypnosis" defined as fatigue brought on by stretching federally mandated limits on consecutive hours behind the wheel. 

 
  • Truck Accidents Due to Spilled Cargo:

Commercial trucks may carry hazardous materials. About 4 percent of the commercial trucks involved in fatal accidents and 2 percent of those in non-fatal accidents in 2016 carried hazardous materials. In 16 percent of all commercial truck crashes involving an injury or fatality, hazardous materials were released from the truck. In more than 60 percent of those cases, the hazardous material released was gasoline, diesel fuel or oil. These materials are flammable. The release of flammable materials and other hazardous materials puts the lives of other drivers, first responders and the community at risk.

 

  • Truck Accidents Involving Wide Turns:

          Commercial trucks also require more space to make a turn. They are not as maneuverable as passenger vehicles.

 
  • Blind Spot Truck Accidents: 

The length of the trailer creates a large blind spot around the vehicle, which also causes safety problems. 

 

  • Truck Accidents Due to Inadequate Driver Training:

 

  • Excessive Speed: 

Truck drivers are often required to drive at a slower speed than drivers of passenger vehicles. When truck drivers fail to abide by posted speed limits or drive too fast for road conditions, the consequences can be devastating.

 

  • Equipment Failure: 

Modern commercial trucks are highly sophisticated machines with advanced equipment on board.  Despite technological advances in the trucking industry crashes involved equipment failures such as brake failure, the most common tire blowouts factor in truck crashes.  Some trucking companies may be lax on the maintenance and upkeep of their vehicles. Maintaining a fleet of commercial trucks is a costly endeavor, and attempts to cut costs might result in vehicles that are unfit to be on the road.

 

  • Overloading:

State and federal regulations require commercial trucking companies to adhere to specified load sizes. When a truck carrying too much weight, braking time can be affected and this can lead to devastating accidents. Commercial trucks much more than a passenger car, even when the trailer is not at capacity. A typical box truck or city delivery truck weighs 10,000 to 19,500 pounds. A furniture truck, city refuse collection truck or truck tractor weighs between 26,000 minivan weighs less than 6,000 pounds. This means that commercial trucks weigh two to five times as much as the heaviest and 33,000 pounds. Cement trucks and trucks with a sleeper cab weigh at least 33,001 pounds more than a pickup truck, SUV or passenger vehicles.

 

  • Drug or Alcohol Use:

Commercial truck drivers and their employers follow strict alcohol and drug testing rules that are required by federal law. Nevertheless, drug and alcohol abuse among truck drivers remains a major problem and is often a contributing factor in serious truck accidents.

 

  • Aggressive Driving: 

Anyone who has driven on California’s highways has probably witnessed aggressive driving.  When a commercial truck driver engages in aggressive or reckless driving, the results can be catastrophic.

 

  • Size of Truck: 

The size of commercial trucks also makes them less safe when compared to other vehicles.  They need more time to a complete stop.  If the truck has a full load in the trailer, it needs more time to stop.  distance to come

Other vehicle-related problems identified as the causes of commercial truck crashes include shifting cargo, spilled cargo and brake problems. Issues such as debris in the road, an animal in the road or a problem with the road itself are also causes of commercial truck accidents.

 

The reason In California it is so important to work with an experienced Commercial Vehicle, 18 Wheeler or Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer is because these accidents can be highly complex and almost always involve one or more commercial insurance policies. 

 

​How Can an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Help?

Determining who the potential defendants responsible in a commercial trucking accident case can be difficult.  Especially,  when the Commercial Vehicle or truck involved in the accident may be underinsured.  Considering the injuries and damages all Plaintiffs may have suffered, identifying all responsible defendants is of the utmost importance.

 

Long haul truck companies have to carry at least $750,000.00 in insurance which is necessary because of the serious nature of truck accidents.  A tractor-trailer accident is a life-altering event for which nobody prepares.

 

An attorney can help you understand whether filing a personal injury lawsuit after a truck accident is the right course of action for you. Sometimes, it’s not possible to negotiate a fair insurance claim settlement and you need to pursue legal action against the truck driver and his or her trucking company. An experienced truck accident lawyer will be familiar with what it takes to win your case, including gathering the right types of evidence, working with expert witnesses from the commercial trucking industry, and establishing that the truck driver is legally at fault for the accident.

 

What Types of Damages Can a Truck Accident Victim Receive

 

If you are successful in a truck accident lawsuit, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the following types of damages:
 
  • Costs of Medical Treatment:

If the truck driver was totally at fault, you should receive full compensation for the costs of your medical treatment. This includes costs for time spent in a hospital, copayments for visits to your doctor, prescription drug costs, and the cost of any ongoing physical therapy or other care you had to undergo as a result of the accident.

 

  • Compensation for Pain and Suffering: 

If your injuries were severe and caused you to experience extreme pain and emotional suffering, you may be entitled to

compensation.

 

  • Lost Wages:

If you had to take time away from your job to recover from the injuries you sustained in the accident, you may receive an amount equal to what you would have earned during that time. Some truck accident victims are permanently disabled or have a reduced capacity to work in the future. In this case, you may be entitled to money damages for lost future earnings.

 

  • Damage to Property:

If your vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident, you may receive compensation for the fair market value of your the property at the time of the truck accident.

       

Truck accidents usually result in serious injuries.   If you are seriously injured by the negligence of a truck driver the importance of hiring an experienced aggressive and competent California Personal Injury Attorney specializing in semis, tractor-trailers, 18 wheelers, big rigs or CMV's Commercial Vehicles-trucks critical.  Barry J. Simon has handled truck accidents all over the country and keeps a small load allowing him to put 200% into your case. 

 

For a free consultation and evaluation of your case contact us toll-free: 877-733-4393  by email at bsimon4370@aol.com or complete the contact information form