• JC Serrano

Were You in a Truck Accident in California?

Updated: Jun 5

Find a Truck Accident Lawyer for Personal Injury Claims


The trucking trade, which generates over $676 billion annually, necessitates strict deadlines, logistical organization, and willing drivers to transport products throughout the country. The trucking industry transported over 10.4 tons of freight last year (according to the US Department of Commerce). Consider one of our prescreened California Lawyers in your California Attorney Search.


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Despite the fact that the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety has mandated service hours, preventable accidents continue to occur throughout California.


The Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents


Distracted driving, driver sleepiness or exhaustion, and alcohol or drug impairment are only a few of the factors that contribute to truck accidents.


When you add in the following facts, you may have a catastrophe on your hands:

  • Concerned with their profit margins, trucking companies keep their vehicles on the road for as long as possible and can fail to maintain them properly. Despite stringent safety laws governing how often trucks should be inspected and maintained, some businesses fail to inspect motors, lights, and brakes as regularly or thoroughly as they should.

  • Truck drivers, particularly tractor-trailer drivers, need specialized training, and they can be sent out on the road without adequate planning. Trucks are more challenging to navigate due to their enormous size and weight and can quickly tip over on sharp turns. They still take much longer to stop than automobiles. Unfortunately, because inexperienced truck drivers are paid less than their more experienced coworkers, trucking companies may prefer to place them on the road in order to save money.

  • Many truck accidents are the result of carelessness on the part of the freight operator or warehouse employee loading the vehicle. Truckloads of freight must be balanced correctly, or the risk of the truck tipping over or spilling materials increases.

  • Despite the fact that truck drivers are consistently tested for alcohol and drug impairment, the temptation to use stimulants to stay awake on overnight hauls can be daunting, leading to other substance abuse.


Truck Accidents: The Most Common Types


The following are some of the most common forms of truck accidents:


Blind Spots (or "No-Zones"). Commercial vehicles have blind spots (or "No-Zones") on their sides and backs. When a truck driver switches lanes or makes a right, some vehicles struggle to avoid these dangerous points.


Accidents triggered by brake failure. Brake failure may be caused by excessive usage, sudden stops that cause overheating, and inadequate maintenance or installation.


Rear-end collisions. Truckers who tailgate risk colliding with the vehicle in front of them, particularly because trucks need more time to use the brakes than cars. The occupants of the smaller vehicle may suffer catastrophic injuries or even die as a result of rear-end collisions.


Runaway truck accidents. At a railroad crossing, toll booth, off-ramp, or intersection, a truck's sudden, improper braking can cause a "runaway" crash.


Rollover collisions. Speeding and excessive loading are two of the most common causes of rollover collisions. Rollovers are most common when a truck driver speeds up a steep slope, a sharp curve, or hits a curb.


Under-ride collisions. Due to the large size difference between small cars and trucks, a sudden stop by a truck or trailer will smash the car behind it.


Wide-Turn Collisions. When a truck driver underestimates the amount of space required to complete a turn or if the driver fails to see a smaller vehicle in a "No-Zone," the smaller vehicle is inadvertently pinned against another vehicle or a road divider.


What Contributes to Personal Injury in a Truck Accidents:


Many factors can influence the type of injuries sustained, including:

  • The vehicles' top speeds

  • The weather circumstances

  • Rollover, jackknife, rollover, under-ride, and other forms of truck accidents

  • What part of your vehicle was damaged in the collision?

  • What was your location or place in the car at the time of the collision? (e.g., driver or passenger seat, sitting up or bending over)

Whatever the circumstances of your truck crash, you can depend on an experienced truck accident lawyer to determine who is to blame for your injury and keep the party accountable. You should be mindful that you might be entitled to punitive damages in California even if you are partly (or even entirely) to blame for the accident. However, the proportion of your responsibility will be deducted from the settlement amount.


Truck Accident Victims' Most Common Injuries


Truck accident victims may sustain severe injuries to any part of their bodies, including:

  • Lacerations that need to be stitched or that require invasive surgery

  • Whiplash and herniated discs cause neck and back injuries.

  • Easy to compound fractures are all types of broken bones (the bone breaks through the skin, greatly increasing the risk of infection)

  • Burns that can necessitate many skin grafts and leave a permanent scar

  • Crush injuries occur when the body is crushed between two hard surfaces, as often occurs when a small car is caught under a truck in an under-ride crash.

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can cause loss of consciousness, vision, hearing, and speech disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, and cognitive impairment.

  • Broken ribs and other thoracic injuries, such as lungs that have collapsed or have been punctured, are common.

  • Internal bleeding that, if not treated promptly, may result in death.

  • Internal organ injury or loss, such as spleen loss or damage to the liver, uterus, intestine, kidney, bladder, or pancreas, may cause reparable or irreversible damage to the digestive tract, reproductive organs, endocrine system, and other organs.

  • Spinal cord injuries can cause discomfort, tingling, numbness, or partial or total paralysis, depending on whether they affect sensory or motor nerves.

  • wrongful death


Negligence in Vehicle-related Personal Injury


About 90% of car accidents are caused by human error. To the extent that they were unintended, these events may have been unintentional. However, we all cause mishaps from time to time. We must all take responsibility for the injuries that we cause.


For liability purposes, California health insurance providers often reject injury-related claims. The stingy insurance provider will not cover these costs if there is any possibility that anyone else will.

In-car collisions, several people are seriously injured. They simply aren't aware of it. The crash's adrenaline also hides a variety of serious injuries. Of course, this is just a temporary result. Similarly, the brain excels at concealing its own harm. Concussed football players are not lying when they say they will return to the game because they "feel good." In most cases, they are absolutely fine. Head injuries, especially whiplash, are common in car accidents.


Case of Negligence


A typical California negligence case, such as a car accident, has these key components:


Care of Duty. Over time, the neighbor theory has evolved. Noncommercial drivers are normally required to exercise fair caution. They must obey all traffic laws and drive defensively. In California, many commercial operators are common carriers. These operators are kept to a higher standard of treatment. They aren't yet insurance companies for their passengers' safety, but they're getting there.


Drivers are in violation of their obligation if their acts fall below the applicable level of treatment. Since not all bad conduct is a violation of duty, the jury generally answers this fact-based issue. Talking to passengers, for example, is legally distracted driving since it takes the driver's mind and eyes off the road. However, most people would not consider such behavior to be a violation of duty.


Causation. This is referred to as "but-for" causation by most truck accident lawyers. In other words, the accident would not have happened if the tortfeasor (negligent actor) had not acted negligently.


Proximate Cause. Another lawyer term that refers to foreseeability. After a collision, a truck is likely to careen off the road and strike a pedestrian. However, it is impossible to predict whether or not a doctor will make a medical error during surgery. Even if the tortfeasor did not personally trigger either act, the tortfeasor is responsible for the first but not the second.


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Damages. In California, plaintiffs must be physically injured in order to receive compensation. It may be a personal injury or a loss of property. Typically, trucking accident victims are entitled to compensation for both their economic and noneconomic damages, such as medical costs and pain and suffering. In certain serious circumstances, additional punitive damages may be eligible.


Premises liability cases, such as slip-and-fall accidents or dog bites, are handled somewhat differently, but they are still negligence cases. The following are the elements in these cases:

  • The premises were owned, occupied, rented, or managed by the defendant.

  • The defendant was careless.

  • An injury was sustained by the victim.

  • The defendant's negligence is a significant contributor to causing the damage.

The victim/plaintiff must usually show that he or she had real or constructive knowledge (knowledge or should have known) of the slick floor, burned-out security light, or other property defects. In California, proving premises liability is a fact-intensive method. If the victim was injured in a rented home, for example, the landlord would not be responsible because he or she has no direct control over the property.


In California, who is responsible for a truck accident?


In a truck accident case, a violation of federal or state laws is not the sole reason for assessing liability. Furthermore, several parties can be held responsible for a single truck crash. Truck drivers, trucking firms, truck suppliers, and shipping companies are examples of these groups.


Drivers of Commercial Trucks


Commercial truckers are often found to be at fault in accidents. For example, drivers under the influence of alcohol or in violation of hours of service rules can cause accidents. Hours of service rules were placed in place to discourage truckers from causing accidents due to fatigued driving.


Commercial Trucking Firms


Commercial trucking firms, including truck drivers, are required to meet federal and state legislation. Companies, for example, can be held responsible for a collision if they employ or maintain unqualified drivers.


Manufacturers


Trucks can have flaws that result in an accident. In such circumstances, it might be necessary to keep the truck or car component maker liable for damages.


Companies involved in shipping


Shipping and loading firms could be held responsible in the event of a catastrophe. When cargo is not properly loaded or secured, commercial trucks may crash. If cargo shifts during a sharp turn, for example, a truck can crash.


Which Evidence to Collect in a Truck Accident Case in California?


To figure out who is to blame for your truck