California’s Most Common Types of Truck Accidents and Injuries They Cause

The California Truck Accident Lawyers of Arash Law Are Dedicated to Helping Victims Recover Maximum Compensation

California's Most Common Types of Truck Accidents and Injuries They Usually CauseTruck accidents can cause more serious injuries than other auto accidents. In a collision, a loaded truck gains more momentum than smaller, lighter vehicles. This often results in more serious injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle. Truck accident victims have the legal right to be fully and fairly compensated for all the losses they have sustained. 

Don’t deal with an insurance company on your own – let the experienced truck accident lawyers at Arash Law protect your legal rights. We fight hard for our clients so they can focus on recovering from their injuries. Call (888) 488-1391 today to schedule your free consultation. The best truck accident lawyers in California are right here at Arash Law. 

What Types of Trucks Are Often Involved in Serious Collisions?

There are many different types of trucks on the road in California. What these trucks all have in common is the added danger they pose to smaller vehicles in a collision. Regardless of the type of truck that was involved, injury victims need a truck wreck lawyer who can protect their rights. Here are just some of the many trucks that pose dangers to drivers, passengers, motorcycle riders, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other road users: 

  • 18-Wheelers / Tractor Trailers — These are the typical “big rigs” that you see on the interstate. 18-wheelers are typically cargo trucks, meaning they are designed to be weighed down with heavy goods. This makes them some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. A big rig accident lawyer will understand the types of injuries you have sustained and the legal issues presented by an accident involving an 18-wheel big rig.
  • Delivery Truck Vehicles — For many years, there were only a few delivery services that dominated the market. UPS, FedEx, and the United States Postal Service still dominate California’s delivery market, but Amazon has revolutionized the industry. Now other tech startups are starting delivery services and exploring new ways to deliver goods to consumers efficiently. Because of this, Californians are likely to see many new companies putting delivery trucks on the road.
  • Waste Disposal Truck Vehicles — There are many different types of “dump trucks.” Some are the residential garbage trucks that we see in our neighborhoods. Others are large, commercial trucks designed for construction sites or home renovations. These uneven loads can make a dump truck more likely to tip and cause an accident. Be sure to allow plenty of space between your vehicle and any dump truck on the road.
  • Tanker Trucks — Tanker trucks carry liquid cargo. The most common type is gasoline (known as Oil Tankers), which is delivered to gas stations in large quantities. Gasoline is highly flammable. Because of this, gas tankers are one of the most dangerous types of trucks on the roadway. If a gas tanker is involved in a collision, there is a high likelihood that the gas will spill and cause a fire. Find a way to get safely out of your vehicle and away from the tanker if you are ever involved in a collision with a gas tanker.
  • Fire Trucks and other Emergency Vehicles — While emergency vehicles are usually not as heavy as a cargo truck, they can be even more dangerous, due to their driving patterns. Emergency vehicles will often drive on the wrong side of the road or through red lights. They squeeze through precarious gaps in traffic and make other dangerous driving moves in order to reach emergencies quickly. This can be dangerous to other drivers on the road. While an emergency vehicle is granted the right of way when it is using lights and siren, the driver must still drive in a reasonably safe manner. Many well-intentioned emergency workers forget this duty in their rush to reach the scene of an emergency.
  • Flatbed Trucks — Flatbed trucks carry many different kinds of heavy equipment and cargo. When these loads are not secured properly, they can endanger everyone near the truck. Logs, pipes, and other cargo have been known to crash through windshields and kill drivers traveling behind the truck. Use caution when traveling behind any type of flatbed cargo load. You do not know how secure it is. If the driver or transit company neglected their duty to secure the load properly, an experienced truck accident attorney can prove that they are responsible for compensating your injuries and losses.
  • Farm Trucks and Equipment — Harvesters, livestock haulers, and other farm equipment can also cause accidents. These large, bulky vehicles require truck drivers to slow down. Drivers must also be especially careful when they have live animals – such as horses – with them. Failure to do so can make them liable for injuries you sustain in an accident.
  • Passenger Movers — Drivers of buses, coaches, tour buses, and other large vehicles have an even higher duty of care than regular drivers. This is because they have a financial interest in getting the public onto their vehicles. Commercial vehicle accident lawyers understand this law and know how to use it to protect their clients’ rights to compensation. The law refers to these transportation companies as “common carriers.” Section 2100 of the California Civil Code requires common carriers to use the utmost care and diligence for passengers’ safe carriage. A California commercial vehicle accident attorney can help you file claims against all involved parties and protect your right to compensation.

The Truck Accident Epidemic

Truck accidents are on the rise, both in California and across the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports a 4% increase in truck accident fatalities between 2011 and 2012. There was also an 18% increase in the number of people injured in truck accidents in the United States during that same time. Here in California, all traffic fatalities have been on the rise. 2017 saw about one-third more traffic fatalities (3,602) than our state experienced in 2010 (2,720).

These numbers show just how important it is to hold truck drivers and transportation companies accountable for negligent driving. After a truck accident, you need the advice of a big rig accident attorney, semi-truck accident lawyer, commercial vehicle lawyer, or 18 wheeler accident lawyer. Find an experienced lawyer who understands the type of vehicle that struck you. 

Top 11 Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

  1. Speeding — According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, speeding killed over one thousand Californians in 2016. This was an increase of more than 10% from 2012 (when speeding was responsible for 956 traffic fatalities in California). That same year, nearly a third of all fatal traffic accidents in California (29.1%) were related to speeding. Our state had the second-highest number of speeding-related fatalities in the country.
  2. Jackknife Accident — A jackknife truck is one that has turned so that the cab is angled away from the cargo hold. This commonly occurs as the result of a collision. It can also occur if the driver loses control of the truck due to speeding, poor weather conditions, or other factors. The rear axle locks, giving the driverless control over the rear cargo load. This can cause the front cab of the vehicle or the rear cargo hold – or both – to tip.
  3. Truck Driver Error — Truck driver error is one of the most obvious forms of negligence. When a truck driver does not properly operate equipment or adjust driving patterns for the large vehicle, he or she is legally responsible (“liable”) for accidents that result from this behavior. Trucking companies are also legally responsible for the actions of drivers in their employ. In addition to the negligence of its drivers, a company can also be liable for negligent hiring and supervision of employees or failing to provide adequate safety training.
  4. Truck Equipment and Mechanical Failure — Poor maintenance and equipment failures can lead to a wide range of truck accidents. In addition to a general duty of care, which requires truck drivers to use reasonable care in inspecting their equipment, drivers and transit companies are also subject to regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These regulations require periodic inspections of brakes, tires, and other sensitive equipment.
  5. Unsafe Cargo Loading and Overloading — Improperly loaded cargo can lead to a variety of problems. The cargo may fly off and hit other vehicles. It can cause tire blowouts. Even a load that is simply uneven can cause a driver to lose control of the truck, leading to a rollover or jackknife
  6. Blind Spot Crashes — Large trucks have large blind spots. Truck drivers must account for this when changing lanes. Many sideswipe and lane change accidents are caused by truckers who are either inexperienced or simply not paying attention to their large blind spots.
  7. The Runaway Truck — Losing control of a truck on a downhill stretch of road is another hazard that truck drivers must be prepared for. Drivers must watch their speed and control the vehicle carefully. Sometimes a runaway truck ramp might be available to help the driver control his or her vehicle. Even if it is not, the driver still has a legal duty to maintain control of the truck at all times.
  8. Wide Turns — Large trucks have a wide turning radius. Like other driver errors, this can lead to a collision if the driver is inexperienced in the maneuver, or simply not paying attention.
  9. Rollovers — Large vehicles have a higher center of gravity. A cargo load can change the center of gravity – in fact, liquid cargo loads (as in tanker trucks) created a constantly shifting center of gravity, due to sloshing. Truck drivers must be prepared for these changes in order to prevent a rollover.
  10. Failing to Adjust for Weather or Poor Road Conditions — All drivers should slow down during rain, snow, and other conditions that cause poor visibility. This is also true when there are dangerous conditions on the roadway (such as ice or potholes). Truck drivers must be especially attentive to these conditions. It takes longer to brake and maneuver in a truck, and a collision could be more dangerous.
  11. Improper Braking Technique — Most large trucks have air brake systems (as opposed to the hydraulic brakes found in most passenger vehicles). It takes both knowledge and experience to operate an air brake system properly. More importantly, it is more difficult to stop a large, heavy vehicle. This is especially true when the truck is loaded with uneven or sloshing cargo. A truck driver who doesn’t know how to brake in an emergency properly can cause injury – and even death – to other road users nearby.

What Kinds of Injuries Are Normally Sustained in Truck Accidents?

  • Head and brain injuries: These can be some of the most devastating injuries. Brain damage can interfere with a victim’s ability to work, enjoy hobbies, or simply spend time with family and friends. These losses may not be tangible, but they are very real. The law requires negligent drivers or their insurance companies to compensate victims for these losses. 
  • Back and neck injuries: These injuries range from severe to mild, and permanent to temporary. A neck injury could result in permanent paralysis. A mild neck injury could result in whiplash – a painful but temporary condition. 
  • Internal injuries: These, too, range in severity. Mild bruising of the liver or kidneys could resolve on its own. A severe laceration (cut) to a major organ might require immediate surgery to save the victim’s life. 
  • Broken bones: Broken bones can be extraordinarily painful and result in significant long-term problems.
  • Lacerations: Serious lacerations can leave victims with permanent scarring, the need for surgery, and other serious parties.
  • Wrongful death: The most severe truck accident injuries can cause death. In this case, the victim’s legal heirs have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim against the truck driver, transit company, and other liable parties. 


Experienced California Truck Accident Lawyers for Complex Truck Accident Injuries 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is important to get legal advice as soon as possible. The sooner an attorney becomes involved in your case, the better able he or she will be able to protect your legal rights. Any statements you make on the scene of the accident or to the insurance company can be used in an attempt to reduce the value of your claim. 

Our experienced truck accident attorneys fight hard to prevent such insurance company tactics. Call Arash Law at (888) 488-1391. We are a record-setting California truck accident law firm, and our lawyers know how to protect the legal rights of big-rig injury victims in specific areas such as San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Riverside, and across rest of the Golden State.

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DISCLAIMER: Information provided on this blog is not formal legal advice. It is generic legal information. Under no circumstances should the information on this page be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal action. Always obtain a free and confidential case evaluation from a reputable attorney near you if you think you might have a personal injury lawsuit.

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