Accidents caused by negligent truck drivers usually have more catastrophic results than accidents caused by drivers of lighter vehicles. Even at slow speeds, a large truck collides with enormous force.
Crashes involving large trucks often create more damage than a collision caused by a passenger car moving at a higher speed. Large trucks (those that weigh more than 10,000 pounds) were involved in 333,000 collisions nationwide during 2012.
About 3,800 of those crashes resulted in a death. Since large trucks provide substantial protection for the truck driver, it is usually the drivers of the other vehicles involved in the crash who suffer a serious injury or death. Of the 3,800 fatal accidents involving large trucks, 244 occurred in California. Only Texas (which has a large amount of truck traffic related to the oil industry) had more fatal accidents involving large trucks.
If you were injured in a collision with a large truck, or if a member of your family died in a truck crash, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Timothy J. Ryan & Associates at (800) 838-6644 to learn how our truck accident lawyers in California can help you.
The Federal Highway Administration reports that Southern California is “home to the nation’s largest container port complex, a major air cargo center, a West Coast rail hub, and numerous regional distribution centers.” That makes Southern California one of the nation’s largest markets for freight haulers.
Southern California Truck Traffic
More than 223 million tons of freight are moved every year in the Los Angeles metropolitan region. More than 7,000 trucking companies are headquartered in that region alone. Trucking companies from around the country send large trucks to Southern California’s crowded highways to pick up freight in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
Three major three interstate highway corridors in Southern California are ranked among those having the highest truck volume in the United States: I-5 links the region to the rest of the West Coast and Mexico; I-15/I-40 connects the region to the nation’s interior; and I-10 (the “Southwest Passage”) is the primary path to the Sun Belt.
All of those freeways are significant contributors to large truck accidents, but collisions involving trucks occur on nearly all of Southern California’s roads and highways.
Nearly half of all crashes involving large trucks are rear-end collisions. About a third of accidents involving a large truck and one other vehicle are head-on collisions. Many head-on collisions occur when the truck driver strays into a lane of oncoming traffic.
Truck Accident Facts
Truck drivers are required to limit the number of hours they drive each day, but some drivers ignore those regulations. Even when they obey the law, their long hours of driving tend to lull them to sleep. Truckers who stay awake may become less vigilant about watching the road as they tire after many house of driving.
Driver fatigue has been estimated to be a contributing cause of 30% to 40% of trucking accidents. Large trucks are more likely to be involved in multiple-vehicle collisions than ordinary passenger vehicles. When a small car rear-ends another car, those are likely to be only two vehicles involved in the accident.
A large truck that rear-ends a car is likely to push the car forward a substantial distance, starting a chain reaction that ends with a multiple car pileup. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 81% of fatal accidents involving large trucks are multiple vehicle collisions.
The injuries caused by a truck driver’s negligence are usually more serious than those caused by collisions between passenger cars. The size and weight of a speeding truck typically overcomes the safety features that protect vehicle occupants, including airbags and crumple zones.
Compensation for Victims of Truck Accidents
Fortunately, trucking companies tend to protect their assets by carrying substantial liability insurance. That usually makes it possible to recover fair compensation in claims against trucking companies. We help individuals recover compensation for serious injuries caused by negligent truck drivers in Orange County and across Southern California.
We work with accident victims to recover their lost earnings, including wages they will be unable to earn in the future due to their injuries. We also help victims obtain the funds they will need to pay for physical therapy and vocational rehabilitation so they can begin to get their lives back on track. When a truck accident leaves a victim with a permanent disability, we help the victim obtain compensation that they can use to regain as much independence as their circumstances permit.
That might include funds to remodel a home to make it wheelchair accessible, to purchase a van that accommodates the disability, or to engage in long-term therapy that will maximize recovery from a brain injury or other physical disability. We recognize that truck accident victims often endure significant, long-term pain, as well as emotional distress. We help them obtain compensation they can use to promote emotional healing, to pay for pain medication, and to improve the quality of their lives.
We also help family members recover compensation for the wrongful death of drivers who are killed in trucking accidents, including the lost financial contributions that those drivers would have made to support their families. Serious truck accidents require the attention of a dedicated Southern California truck accident lawyer.
To talk to a personal injury attorney who has years of experience fighting successfully to obtain compensation for victims of truck accidents, contact our truck accident lawyers at (800) 838-6644 today.