What You Need to Know About Semi-Truck Accidents
Approximately every 15 minutes a person is killed or seriously injured in a semi-truck accident, and over 300,000 trucking accidents occur every year in the United States. Truck accidents are one of the most dangerous types of traffic collisions in the country, so it’s crucial that drivers and passengers of all kinds of motor vehicles be aware of the causes of, injuries resulting from, and potentially liable parties involved, among other important details. Unfortunately, over the past 10 years, there has been a 31 percent increase in fatalities for those involved in truck accidents. Read more to learn about what you need to know relating to semi-truck accidents.
How Are Semi-Truck Accidents Different from Car Accidents?
The most significant and most obvious difference between semi accidents and car accidents is that a big rig impact is often much more severe due to the size and weight of a semi-truck (3,700 pounds of car vs. 80,000+ pounds of truck). The weight of the truck means that it takes longer to stop. The length of stop time combined with the high speed of highway travel can and does lead to deadly disasters, therefore increasing the severity and extent of resulting injuries.
In addition to the size and force of big rigs making trucking accidents more dangerous and deadly, Trucking companies also have to abide by safety standards and federal regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Act requires driver background checks, periodic evaluation of existing employees, regulation of hours driven in a day, drug and alcohol testing, and other strict standards. Violations of these regulations can provide the basis for establishing liability on the part of the company and its driver.
Lastly, other differentiating factors include complex liability due to the multiple parties involved, dealing with multiple insurance companies,
What Are the Most Common Causes of Big Rig Crashes?
Commercial trucks present serious dangers to smaller vehicles and their passengers. Even minor truck driver errors can cause devastating injuries when a collision occurs. Some of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failure to secure load
- Improper cargo loading
- Poor employee training
- Failed truck inspection
- Running out of the lane that the vehicle should travel in
- Weather conditions
- Roadway problems or dangerous road conditions
Who Is Potentially Legally Responsible for Semi-Truck Accidents?
A thorough investigation of any truck accident is necessary to determine who is potentially responsible for the crash. It’s generally the case that more than one party can be held liable for compensating you and other victims for your injuries and other losses. The following parties can potentially be held legally accountable for semi-truck accidents:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Truck owner
- Cargo shipper or cargo loader
- Manufacturer of the truck and/or its component parts
- Truck inspection and maintenance provider
- The receiver of the cargo or other property being delivered
In truck wrecks, any third-party vendor could be potentially responsible if their negligence contributed to the accident. If an appropriate and thorough investigation shows that several parties are liable, a lawyer can maximize the compensation you receive for your accident by pursuing claims against all negligent parties.
What Are the Common Injuries Suffered in Semi-Truck Accidents?
Many truck accidents result in serious injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injury
- Amputation injuries
- Paralysis (paraplegia and quadriplegia)
- Severe burns
Tragically, semi-truck accidents also carry a significant risk of fatalities.
These serious injuries mean the victims and their loved ones will absorb tremendous expenses as a result of the truck accident and should be compensated accordingly. Actionable damages can include:
- Medical expenses, such as ambulance fees, hospital visits, doctor visits, in-home care services, rehabilitation, prescription medication, and more.
- Pain and suffering for the mental and physical distress of the pain, anxiety, and stress caused by being involved in and affected by the crash.
- Lost wages, including missed work or lost pay due caused by the accident.
- Lost earning capacity or a reduction in one’s future ability to earn more money due to impairments from injuries.
- Loss of companionship, including either the loss of affection or relations in a marriage or in the loss of the loved one entirely in a wrongful death case.
Northern California Semi-Truck Accidents Lawyers
The experienced personal injury trial lawyers of Curtis Legal Group have handled semi-truck accidents for their entire careers. We have a team of dedicated lawyers and staff who can help clients in need. If you or someone you care about were injured or killed in a California big rig collision, contact us today online or call us at (800) 529-3080.