Trucking Accidents

Trucking Accident Lawyers

The state of California has hundreds of thousands of miles of road throughout the state. Many of these roads are interstates such as the I-5, I-405 and the I-10. Others are major arteries such as Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) while others are neighborhood surface streets. All of these roads have the capacity to become congested due to heavy traffic throughout the state. They also all have the capacity to inflict serious injury and sometimes death if you are involved in a commercial vehicle or trucking accident. The trucking accident lawyers on our team handle all types of automobile accidents, including trucking accidents occurring on all California roads, highways and interstates. With all of their many years experience handling tractor trailer accidents in California they have the skill, knowledge and resources to obtain you the fair and just compensation you are entitled to based on the severity of your injuries.

If you, a family member or loved one have been hurt, injured or killed in a trucking accident it is in your best interest to contact our team or trucking accident lawyers. They offer free consultations to truck accident victims and their families. In addition, they charge no fee unless they win on your behalf.

Focused On Serious Trucking Accidents

The tractor trailer injury attorneys we work with handle trucking accidents, 18-wheeler accidents, semi-truck accidents and other types of commercial vehicle accidents throughout the entire county and Puerto Rico. This includes CA, TX, PA, IL, MI, OH, NY, NJ, FL and TN among others. Our trucking accident lawyers devote their entire practice to auto accident , commercial vehicle and personal injury litigation. They are very well versed in the details and nuances surrounding large truck accidents, types of trucking accidents as well as injuries sustained in a tractor trailer accident. In addition, they are also very aware of the physical, emotional and financial devastation that can result from a California trucking accident.

The trucking accident lawyers in our network competently handle all types of tractor trailer accidents including:

Blind Spots Accidents: On California roads, highways and interstates a car or passenger vehicle can easily spot a commercial vehicle, delivery vehicle or tractor trailer. Conversely, tractor trailer and truck drivers often miss cars, smaller trucks and motorcycles while on the road. Large commercial trucks such as semi-trucks and 18-wheelers have deep, extensive blind spots on all sides making it easy to overlook or miss cars and motorcycles they share the road with. Often times during a lane shift an accident can result due to the trucker not seeing the vehicle in his blind spot. Trucking accidents caused by blind spots can often inflict catastrophic or even fatal injuries to the driver and passengers inside the car that was hit.

When driving, a good rule of thumb regarding sharing the road with truckers is that if you cannot see the truck drivers face in their side mirror they cannot see you. Also, a tractor trailer or 18-wheeler has 3 blind spots to contend with when operating their vehicle:

  • Side Blind Spots A tractor trailer’s blind spot on the right runs the length of the trailer and extends out three lanes. Generally speaking, the larger the truck, the larger the blind spot. Because of that, it’s important for motorists to pass trucks on the left side. The blind spot on the left side extends from immediately behind the cab the length of the trailer. The left side is where truckers are expecting cars to pass. A car driver may think a trucker sees him until the truck tries to merge into the lane where the car is located and it’s too late. In crashes involving cars and large trucks, the occupants of passenger vehicles are more than 15 times more likely to be killed than truck occupants.
  • Front Blind Spots Tractor trailers have elevated cabs and this places the truck driver in a seat much higher than other vehicles. Many drivers unknowingly assume that a truck driver has a better view of the road since they sit higher. That’s incorrect. The truck driver’s position creates a blind spot in front of the truck. If a car is too close to the front of a truck, the truck’s hood may block the view of the car, and a tractor trailer driver may look right over the car.
  • Rear Blind Spots—The trailer of a tractor trailer blocks the rearview mirror and prevents truck drivers from seeing directly behind the truck. If a motorist is following behind a truck too closely, it’s in a blind spot and the truck driver cannot see the vehicle. It’s important to stay far enough back so the truck driver can see your vehicle in their side-view mirrors.

Tanker Truck Accidents: Accidents involving trucks, tractor trailers or semi-trucks are nearly always disastrous due to their size and weight. Tanker trucks that carry fuel, oil and other flammable liquids have the ability to catch fire and explode on impact. Accidents involving a tanker truck with flammable liquids pose another threat as they can burn at extreme temperatures that can melt, destroy or compromise the structural integrity of roadway structures, bridges and overpasses. Another issue with a tanker truck is if they are not a certain amount full, they are at risk of turning over or jack-knifing. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a California tanker truck accident, it is in your best interest to contact a Tanker Truck Accident Attorney regarding your case.

Liquid Cargo and its Capacity for Causing an Accident

Due to the fact that liquid cargo cannot be secured or tied down like other types of cargo can, there are other various risks that may attribute to an accident. If the tanker is under-filled, the liquid is splashing around inside and it makes for a constant weight shift of the large vehicle. This is one way an accident can happen because the vehicle is unstable while being driven. This occurrence has been studied and has come to be known as “the slosh factor”.

Unsecured Cargo Accidents: A trucking accident can often be caused by a tractor trailer not having its cargo secured or by being overloaded. The driver could lose control of the truck if its cargo load is not balanced correctly as the load may shift during transport. Debris could fall onto the roadway to cause an accident of many different levels. Improper loading of a truck or trailer could also lead to serious trucking accidents. Falling objects from a truck such as wood, trash, rocks or any other cargo is typically the result of poor loading procedures. Loading cargo improperly can cause risks on the roads and freeways if debris is falling off into other traffic lanes. Inadequate use of tie-downs is a common cause of unsecured cargo accidents. Leaving unsecured objects, cargo or equipment in the bed of a truck can also cause an accident as it can fall out onto the road. Suitable load weight and balance distribution of freight are crucial for a truck driver to safely haul its cargo in order to prevent an accident or accidents.

Override Accidents: Override accidents occur when a vehicle is somehow forced underneath the trailer of an 18 wheeler. The truck literally rides over the car in front of it and without the front end of the car to absorb any impact from collision; these accidents are often catastrophic for the vehicle’s occupants. Several factors can cause a tractor trailer override accident in California. Some contributors for these types of accidents can be bad weather and slippery or hazardous roads. Other possible causes can be inattentive drivers, driving recklessly or poorly maintained vehicles. Drivers who drive longer than they are supposed to in an effort to log more hours or arrive at a destination on time are also at risk for causing an override truck accident.

Under-ride Accidents: A truck under-ride occurs when a passenger vehicle crashes into and penetrates beneath, or “under-rides” the taller rear or side of a large truck or trailer. The top of the car is crushed or ripped off and the occupants suffer severe head trauma or may be decapitated. These types of accidents have an extremely high fatality rate, even at relatively low speeds. Permanent and life altering injuries can result even if the driver and passengers survive this type of crash. In all states under-ride accidents can be caused by many factors. Most can be avoided by paying attention to the road while driving and not following too close behind a truck. It is vital to allow for a significant brake distance and to also have a properly maintained vehicle. The huge majority of rear-end accidents are caused by inattentive driving, improper speed or driving an unsafe distance from the vehicle in front of drivers. Sometimes, though, the driver in front may cause an accident by making an unsafe lane change that causes the collision.

Jack-Knife Accidents:  The state of California has many thousands of miles of highways, roads and interstates. These roadways allow travelers and vehicles access all over the entire state. Some of these vehicles are tractor trailers, also known as semi-trucks, big rigs and 18 wheelers. Due to their sheer size they can cause an extraordinary amount of damage and destruction if they are involved in an accident. One type of trucking accident is a ‘jack-knife’ accident. A jack-knife accident occurs once a tractor trailer has folded during a skid. As the name implies it ultimately resembles a folding pocketknife. A jack-knife accident is a direct result of the cab portion of the vehicle skidding while towing a trailer causing the trailer to push from behind forcing it to spin around and face backwards.

Intoxicated Truck Driver Accidents:  With states such as California being such transient areas there is a lot of traffic on almost all states roads, highways and interstates. Interstates such as I-5, I-405, I-95, I-495, I-80, I-10, I-40 and I-70 and other major arteries run through the entire country. It is not out of the realm of possibility that some of the truck drivers can be under intense pressure to meet deadlines and have their cargo arrive on time to its destination. To meet these deadlines and deal with this pressure some drivers may sometimes rely on drugs and or alcohol to help them meet their agendas. Operating a car while drunk is illegal and extremely dangerous. It is exponentially more dangerous and deadly if an 18 wheeler or commercial vehicle is being operated while the driver is intoxicated, buzzed or drunk compared to a car being driven by a drunk driver.

In a trucking accident where the driver was intoxicated there are a variety of different drugs they may have taken. Of course, they can be drunk due to alcohol consumption. They can also be intoxicated due to having taken prescription pills such as painkillers, opiates or anti-anxiety medications. Often times they buy these narcotics via the black market and do not have a legal prescription for them. If they do have a prescription for them it is important to determine if the drug was taken at or above the prescribed dosage. The use of street drugs among truck drivers is also common today. Typical street drugs involved in a tractor trailer or commercial vehicle accident are marijuana, speed, amphetamines, cocaine and crack cocaine. Speed, methamphetamines and even over the counter stimulants are also commonly involved in trucking accidents due to the driver trying to arrive at his or her destination in the allotted amount of time.

Driver Fatigue Related Truck Accidents:  With the many miles of roadways in the state of California, it is common that accidents occur each year. Stress, lack of sleep and pure exhaustion are some reasons that may cause Tractor Trailer Accidents. Some drivers are under extreme pressure to meet deadlines for delivering cargo to their destinations on time. Sometimes drivers will rely on drugs or alcohol to help them maintain the pressures and meet required deadlines. Drivers under this pressure to meet deadlines may drive faster, but may also be fatigued. That in itself is a deadly combination. It is illegal and extremely dangerous to drive a vehicle while intoxicated. More dangerous and deadly is driving an 18-wheeler or commercial vehicle while intoxicated, buzzed or drunk.

Driver fatigue is responsible for several fatal trucking accidents each year.  Driver fatigue is normally defined as the driver feeling sleepy and or exhausted while driving a vehicle. Most commercial vehicle drivers work extremely long hours, have deadlines to meet and must adhere to very rushed schedules. All of these factors combined help to explain why driver fatigue contributes heavily to trucking and commercial vehicle accidents. Driver fatigue can also weaken the judgment and reaction time of a truck driver. This can further compound the dangers of driving while fatigued.

Common symptoms of driver fatigue cay include yawning,  feelings of Irritability, an inability to concentrate, swerving, tired eyes, decreased reaction time, drowsiness, restlessness, speeding and feeling the need to take stimulants to stay awake.

Poorly Maintained Vehicle Accidents: These accidents can be caused by tire blowouts, brake failure and broken speedometers. If a commercial vehicle, especially one as large as a tractor trailer, is not properly maintained by any and all responsible parties serious injury, and in many cases death, can occur in the event of an accident.

When a tire blows out while the vehicle is driving down the road, an accident can be the result. Sometimes a manufacturing defect is the reason for the tire to blow out on the road. Another reason could be the driver failing to properly maintain their vehicle and its tires. Determining the cause will allow for benefits and compensation to those injured and who are entitled.

Possible causes of tire blowout accident in California are running over objects or debris in the road, driving on balding tires, poorly maintained having a poorly maintained truck, manufacturer design flaws, defective and hazardous roadways.

A tire blow out accident can cause injuries of various levels of severity. These injuries can be emotional, physical and devastating. It’s possible the car with the exploding tire can easily lose control and crash into another vehicle or vehicles. Also, other vehicles on the road may react quickly and swerve or abruptly change lanes in order to avoid contact with any other vehicle. It is common for a tire blowout to cause multiple car accidents.

The Importance Of An Investigation After A Truck Accident

Should you ever be involved in a truck accident it is very important that a thorough and complete investigation be conducted immediately following the accident. No matter who or what caused the accident an investigation is absolutely necessary from a legal standpoint as that will uncover any and all liable parties. As your case progresses, this will help to ensure that you get any and all medical benefits and means of compensation to which you are entitled per that states personal injury laws.

For the most part, trucking companies as well as their insurance carriers, send investigation teams out to the accident site immediately following the accident. Their sole purpose is to locate and secure evidence on behalf of the trucking company. This is done almost immediately as they will need to support the truck driver’s side of the story regarding how the accident occurred. Your version of the story may differ greatly from the trucker’s story. An investigator hired by your attorney should go out and find evidence to support your version of the story regarding the accident and how it happened.

Do not offer or give any oral or written statements regarding your accident to anyone representing the trucking company or their interests following the accident. Doing so can compromise the outcome of your trucking accident lawsuit claim. If your claim is jeopardized in any way it can impact the benefits and compensation you may ultimately receive. If you are approached by anyone representing the trucking company, their interests or their insurance company do not speak with them under any circumstances.

Experience Matters In Trucking Accident Claims

When handling a truck accident case, as well as the accidents investigation, our tractor trailer accident injury attorneys work closely with subject matter experts. They will do everything in their power to determine who is at fault and make that person, or corporate entity liable in the courtroom. Once retained our trucking accident lawyers will recreate the accident scene if necessary, he will determine not only who caused the accident but what may have caused the accident such as the driver being intoxicated or debris flying from the truck. All of this will be done in an effort to determine the full amount of your claim and get you the compensation and benefits you are entitled to.

Contact Our Trucking Accident Lawyers

Injuries commonly sustained in a trucking accident can range from soft tissue injuries to broken bones to wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a California trucking accident please call our trucking accident lawyers for a free consultation. With our attorneys as your counsel you will know that your rights are protected and that you are getting all benefits you are entitled to. This will allow you to focus on recovering and moving on from the accident.