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Trucking Injury Lawyer

California Truck Accident Attorneys

California, the Golden State[1], is home to 10 national parks, 18 national forests and 278 state parks and beaches.  California is also home to the California Redwood as the state tree and Grizzly Bears as the state animal.

Big-Rig Collision Statistics 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety[2] Administration (FMCSA) confirms that there are more than half a million interstate freight carriers in the U.S. In all, more than 10,900,000 large trucks are registered in our country. The FMCSA reports that those large trucks are involved in more than 783 crashes nationwide every day.

  • Large trucks were involved in 286,000 crashes in 2009.
  • 232,000 of those accidents caused property damage.
  • 51,000 large truck crashes left people injured.
  • 2,987 large truck accidents proved fatal.
  • Large truck crashes killed 3,380 Americans in 2009.
  • 74,000 people in the U.S. were injured in large truck crashes.

The California Department of Transportation further provides:

  • The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) registered 5,645,836 commercial trucks[3] and 2,380,417 commercial trailers in 2011
  • In 2009, there were 236 fatalities caused by 18-wheeler collisions as well   as 4,874 injuries.

Causes of California Truck Collisions 

There are many ways that negligent and distracted truck drivers contribute to and cause catastrophic California truck accidents that victimize individuals and their families.  Common causes of California truck collisions include:

  • Driver Error:  Driver error is ten times more likely to be the cause of a trucking crash than any of the other factors according to the FMSCA including:
  • Fatigue
  • Cell phone use
  • Inattention
  • Distractions
  • Texting
  • Intoxication
  • Inexperienced driver
  • Mechanical Failures:  The second most common cause of trucking collisions are mechanical failures.  Equipment failures can include:
  • Brakes
  • Tires
  • Trailer
  • Broken signals
  • Broken lights
  • Design and manufacturing errors like defective tires
  • Improperly maintained brakes or tires

The FMSCA requires that every California truck driver and company perform a pre-trip inspection and to perform regular inspections and maintenance of their trucks throughout the year. If these reviews are performed there should be no reason for mechanical failures, like worn-out tires. However, FMSCA rules and guidelines are all too commonly ignored, leading to many big-rig collisions.

  • Improper Loading: Another cause of truck collisions involves improper loading.  When a truck’s load is not safely configured or distributed on the trailer, the load can cause the truck to malfunction when moving. A common type of improper loading results in an imbalanced load, causing a truck to top over when it would otherwise remain upright. Improper loading can also lead to a load not being properly secured, then falling off the truck and onto the roadways in the lanes of traffics.

Injuries Caused from California 18-Wheeler Crashes

Truck crash victims who are involved in a big-rig collision can experience anything from mild to severe injuries.  Oftentimes, because of the discrepancy between the trucks size and a car, the injuries and the damage are serious. Whether the trucks involved are trucks with attached trailers or semi-trucks, the impact is often just as devastating.  Truck collision victims often suffer from:

  • Fractured bones
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord damage[4]
  • Traumatic head injury
  • Neck strains
  • Deep lacerations
  • Amputated limbs
  • Fatalities

Many of these injuries will require years of medical treatment and chronic pain management, which can also include lost wages and the inability for the injury victim to return to the occupation they held prior to the accident. As such, it is necessary for any settlement to reflect all of the costs of the injuries and necessary medical treatment. 

Contact a Trucking Accident Lawyer in California 

Being involved in an accident with a truck can be a life changing event, oftentimes with permanent disabilities and injuries.  If you or a loved one have been involved in a trucking accident, contact a California truck accident attorney to discuss your rights and to file a claim for damages against the person or persons who may be responsible for your injuries and damages under California law, including the truck company if they are liable for your damages.

At McEwen & Kestner our team of highly skilled truck accident lawyers has successfully helped many truck accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries and related losses. To make sure that you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled, it is important to have an experienced truck accident attorney handling your case. Please call our office today at 800-732-3070 or email pkestner@mcewenlaw.com. 

References:

[1] http://awesomeamerica.com/california/
[2] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov
[3] http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/offices/ogm/fact_sheets/Fast_Freight_Facts_Trucks_bk_040612.pdf
[4] http://www.spinalinjury101.org/details/levels-of-injury

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