Have you or a loved one been injured in a truck accident in California?
California accidents involving large commercial vehicles like semis, tractor-trailers, fuel tankers, buses, and dump trucks are among the most severe motor vehicle collisions in California and across the United States. These can involve companies like UPS, FedEx, DHL, and the USPS to name a few. Truck accidents can result in serious injuries for victims, especially if the accident was between a large commercial truck and biker or pedestrian. Despite the many laws that regulate the operation of commercial vehicles in the state, many operators ignore them, committing endless safety and traffic violations that can cost an innocent person to suffer serious injuries.
California truck accidents are often the result of negligence, including speeding, aggressive driving, and fatigue, as well as the result of the truck company’s failure to properly maintain vehicle or ensure their loads are within a reasonable weight. Regardless of what caused the accident itself, it’s important for you to know you have a right to obtain legal counsel.
Trying to drive near a huge commercial truck is a risky proposition, even under the best circumstances. The accidents that can take place between a passenger car and a truck can have horrendous consequences. Not only can they result in tragic fatalities, they can also lead to injuries that lead to a lifetime of debilitation.
Penn Kestner & McEwen is California’s Truck Accident Law Firm
If you or a loved one have suffered a severe injury in a truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, please get in touch with Penn Kestner & McEwen as soon as you can. We have a team of experienced, skilled attorneys who have a long track record of providing tenacious representation. You can count on us to do all we can to deliver the best possible outcome in your case.
California Truck Accident Statistics
Just like everywhere else in the U.S., California is a very dangerous place in which to share the highway with a semi-truck. The following is a quick look at the number of fatalities and injuries attributed to truck accidents between 2015-2019.
- 2015: 315 fatalities/8,598 injuries
- 2016: 362 fatalities/9,497 injuries
- 2017: 367 fatalities/9,710 injuries
- 2018: 344 fatalities/10,231 injuries
- 2019: 392 fatalities/9.888 injuries
In 2019, speeding on the part of the truck driver was cited as the primary contributing factor in 1,344 injury crashes. Improper turning was blamed for 575 injury accidents, and unsafe lane changes accounted for another 342 collisions.
Top Causes of Truck Accidents in California
There are a lot of reasons why truck accidents take place, but these are some of the more common ones.
- Driver distraction. Truck drivers can get distracted by using their phones, changing radio stations, or merely daydreaming – just like drivers of passenger vehicles. But when a truck driver is distracted, the resulting accident that can take place can be devastating.
- Fatigue. Truckers often spend far too much time behind the wheel in order to meet unreasonable deadlines – even though this behavior is in clear violation of federal regulations.
- Lack of maintenance. Even though drivers are supposed to carefully check their vehicles before hitting the road, they often neglect this responsibility. That increases the risk of an accident occurring because a vital component failed.
Common Injuries Associated with Truck Accidents
Any injury sustained in a truck accident can be terrible, resulting in pain and significant disability. These injuries are among the many that typically take place.
Traumatic Brain Injury
When a truck hits a car, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are subjected to incredibly strong forces. This can cause the skull to crash into a window, the windshield, or even the pavement. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be so severe that the victim can no longer take care of themselves.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Like a TBI, a spinal cord injury can also rob a victim of their quality of life. There are instances where a person can recover, and live a normal life. Other times, however, spinal cord damage can leave a victim paralyzed.
Broken or Fractured Bones
This could be considered the most “fortunate” of all truck accident injuries, if that’s even possible. When someone has a clean break of an arm or a leg, it will usually heal completely within a few weeks, allowing the person to get back to their normal routine. But when a bone shatters, that could result in the need for multiple surgeries, with the victim never being the same again.
Soft Tissue Injuries
These usually involve torn muscles or tendons. If the damage is extensive enough, the victim could ultimately lose the use of the affected area.
If a truck accident victim’s torso or abdomen suffer a severe impact, that could lead to severe damage to internal organs such as the liver, the kidneys and others. If an injury leads to significant internal bleeding, and that issue isn’t addressed soon enough, it could potentially be fatal.
Drivers and other occupants of passenger vehicles can be crushed between the car and the truck. When an arm or leg is affected, that can cause so much damage the limb can’t be saved, and must be amputated as a result.
Burn injuries also happen in truck accidents on a regular basis. Hot liquids, such as gas and oil, can cause burns that are so significant a victim will have to undergo excruciating skin grafts. The explosions that can result can, of course, be fatal.
Who is Liable for My Accident?
An accident involving a semi-truck can be a very complex case because there can be more than one party that’s liable. The driver of the rig can obviously be to blame, as can the company that failed to make sure the rig was safe enough for travel. If a third-party company loaded the trailer of the truck, and that load played a role in the accident, that loading company could be sued as well. An attorney can investigate to find out which parties are responsible. This investigation can also uncover the proof that you should not bear any responsibility.
How is My Settlement Calculated?
Beware of any attorney who makes promises regarding how much money you’ll receive from your settlement without having all the facts. This is not only irresponsible, it’s also unethical.
Most of the time, however, the worse your injuries, the more money you will likely be eligible to obtain. Your attorney will look at the extent of the treatment you’ll need, the amount of money you’ll lose because you can’t work, your property damage, and much, much more. They will also include your more subjective damages – including mental and emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and others – in the amount of compensation they’ll demand from the insurance companies of the at-fault parties.
Steps to Take if You’ve Been Involved in a Truck Accident
The most important thing you can do if you’re in a truck accident will be to get medical help immediately. If you’re physically able to do so – and it’s completely safe to do so – take pictures and videos of the accident scene.
Just as critical, however, will be to hire a skilled attorney so an investigation can begin. The earlier that investigation begins, the better your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation.
Penn Kestner and McEwen are Here to Help You. Call Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
Get the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait until it’s too late.