WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF TRUCK COLLISIONS IN CALIFORNIA?
The most common cause of truck accidents is driver error. Far and away, the most important reason for these big rig accidents is driver fatigue. Driver fatigue and driver error account for most collisions with other vehicles, with driver fatigue being mostly responsible for negligent truck collisions. Although state and federal regulations mandate that truckers take long rests every so often and limit the number of days in row truckers can work, many trucking companies unofficially enforce or encourage unsafe practices that lead to drivers working long hours several days in a row, often without a proper rest stop. These lax safety standards exacerbate driver fatigue and encourage other unsafe behavior such as the use of stimulants to stay awake.
A smaller number of collisions are also the fault of either equipment failure in the truck, visibility, or inattention of drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) compiles collision data from commercial truck accidents. The FMCSA concluded brake system and tire issues were documented as the most common factors involved in commercial trucking accidents caused by vehicle-related factors. The FMCSA data shows, however, that of fatal accidents, nearly 95% recorded no vehicle-related factor as the cause. Instead, the vast majority of truck accidents are due to driver-related factors.
TRUCK ACCIDENTS ARE A MAJOR DANGER TO DRIVERS IN CALIFORNIA AND NATIONWIDE
At the best of times, semi-trucks pose a significant danger to other drivers on the road. Because of their sheer size, accidents involving trucks are more likely to lead to serious injury or death. Truck cargo also poses an additional danger: In an accident, debris from trucks such as lumber or manufacturing equipment can go flying, creating additional hazards. In addition, many trucks are hauling dangerous or flammable chemicals, increasing the risk to others on the road and increasing the likelihood of a multi-car pileup.
According to FMCSA data, in 2016 there were 119,000 injury crashes involving large trucks or buses, leading to 180,000 injuries. The FMCSA data currently available do not include the injury crash data for 2017 but does include the fatal crash data for 2017, and the numbers are staggering. There were 4,455 fatal truck crashes nationwide in 2017, leading to 5,005 total deaths. In California alone, there were 27,982 truck accidents in 2017, resulting in 9,694 injuries and 361 deaths.
The vast majority of people injured and killed in truck accidents are other drivers, as well as pedestrians and cyclists. Only 17.6% of people killed in truck accidents in 2017 were occupants of the trucks themselves. Truck drivers and trucking companies are not the victims of accidents caused by truck driver negligence and lax safety standards–the other people on the road are. Negligent drivers and trucking companies with unsafe practices must be held accountable for the damages they cause.
WHAT TYPE OF COMPENSATION IS AVAILABLE FROM AN 18 WHEELER ACCIDENT CLAIM IN CALIFORNIA?
The victim of a truck accident may have multiple claims against multiple defendants. It is customary for the driver to have his own personal insurance policy along with the company’s insurance policy that the driver may be working for at the time of the collision. Many times drivers lease vehicles from a company, and so determining the appropriate and applicable insurance is paramount.
There are several potentially responsible parties in a truck collision. Potentially liable parties include:
- Owners of Trailer
- Owners of Truck
Trucks often have multiple business entities involved in the transfer of goods that they are hauling, and an investigation needs to be completed to determine the responsible parties’ appropriate insurance. The possibility of multiple responsible entities in a collision should concern a victim in a truck collision and compel the victim to obtain experienced legal counsel.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF A DRIVER TELLS YOU TO NOT REPORT A CALIFORNIA TRUCK ACCIDENT?
You should never agree to not report an incident. The incident report is the single most important discovery tool after a collision. A traffic collision report will help the victim in a number of ways. It will establish fault in the collision. It will document the applicable insurance of the other driver’s vehicle. It will provide statements of the parties in the collision, and reflect the surrounding circumstances, such as weather, lighting, etc., that may or may not be involved in the collision. It is absolutely crucial to request a police report following a collision, especially a collision with a large truck.
Trucks often have multiple business entities involved in the transfer of goods which they are hauling, and therefore, an investigation needs to be completed to determine the responsible parties’ appropriate insurance. The possibility of multiple responsible entities in a collision should concern a victim in a truck collision and compel the victim to obtain experienced legal counsel.
OUR PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM IN CALIFORNIA INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING PRACTICE AREAS:
- Brain Injury
- Dog Bite
- Motorcycle Accident
- Pedestrian Accident
- Premises Liability
- Car Accident
- Wrongful Death
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU GET THROUGH TRAUMATIC INJURIES IN CA?
We have experience in dealing with large-scale big rig collisions. We can locate the applicable insurances, guide the client through the significant medical treatment that is usually associated with these collisions, and negotiate with the commercial insurance carriers that are involved in the collisions. These are typically different insurance companies than normal motor vehicle collisions. Understanding and participating in the negotiations with these common carriers is more complex and more rewarding.
WHY SHOULD YOU TRUST REDKEY GORDON LAW CORP WITH YOUR TRUCK ACCIDENT CLAIM IN CA?
Redkey Gordon Law Corp Personal injury law firm in Stockton & Sutter Creek has much experience dealing with truck accident claims. We have secured millions of dollars in recovery in truck collisions. Since there is a much higher degree of injury associated with these collisions, these vehicle collisions require a higher degree of medical evaluation, medical assessment, and medical facilitation. These truck cases also cause a lot of damage physically, emotionally, and financially, and should be awarded accordingly.
We have settled and represented truck claimants over the last 15 years. We provide access to specialists for the medical treatment which our clients require to recuperate and rehabilitate, and our attorneys are experienced in dealing with medical lien issues and the legal causation issues that often surface in these big rig claims.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Stockton & Sutter Creek, CA For a Free Consultation 209-267-1685.
Our truck accident lawyers in Stockton & Sutter Creek handle each case personally and are readily available to advise our clients when they need us. We understand the emotional and physical trials they are coping with, and we do our utmost to make the claim process as stress-free as possible which can facilitate a favorable resolution to their claim.