California Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorneys

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California Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorneys Turning Injured Victims Into Victors

An accident involving a commercial truck is a serious matter. If you’re ever injured in one, our California commercial vehicle accident attorneys can be your most trusted ally to help you get what you’re owed. Call us at (888) 4391 to validate your claim and get a free consultation.

California has many scenic roads, which is why the state has the highest traffic volume in the nation. Another notable reason is its booming economy, which is reliant on industries that heavily utilize commercial vehicles. Considering the number of these vehicles traversing their freeways and local roads, it’s not surprising that more crowded roads lead to more commercial vehicle accidents. This is significant because these crashes are among the deadliest traffic accidents.

Commercial drivers are professional drivers, and this distinction means they are held to much higher safety standards. Nevertheless, accidents involving large trucks, buses, and other kinds of commercial vehicles are extremely dangerous and make up a significant percentage of traffic fatalities.

Our bustling national economy is fueled by consumer demands, which increasingly call for commercial vehicles. For instance, as more consumers turn to online shopping to fulfill their every wish and need, more delivery trucks are necessary to ensure prompt deliveries. Prompt deliveries are the name of the online shopping game.

As competition heats up and demand continues to skyrocket, the industry is under considerable strain to maintain safe fleets of commercial vehicles driven by safe and experienced commercial drivers. When companies resort to cutting safety corners when it comes to commercial vehicles, they endanger everyone who travels on our highways and byways.

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, retain the professional legal counsel of a California commercial vehicle accident attorney today. If you need help, the legal team at our reputable injury firm is here to assist you. We have experienced California vehicle accident attorneys available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to ensure that you get the legal guidance you need when you need it.

Benefits Of Hiring Personal Injury Lawyers For Your Commercial Vehicle Accident Case

Here are some of the top reasons to hire commercial vehicle accident lawyers: 

  • Identify All Liable Parties — A commercial vehicle accident often involves more than just the driver. You may need to sue the driver’s employer or even a local, state, or federal agency. A California commercial vehicle accident attorney will ensure that all responsible parties are identified and included in your lawsuit, maximizing your chances of a comprehensive financial recovery.
  • Follow Proper Legal Procedures — Suing the liable parties requires adherence to specific legal rules and procedures. A commercial vehicle accident attorney has the expertise to navigate these complexities, ensuring that your lawsuit is properly filed and all legal requirements are met, which is crucial for a successful outcome.
  • Handle Insurance Companies — Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts. If they don’t make an offer, or if the offer is too small, an experienced lawyer will negotiate on your behalf. With their extensive experience, they know the tactics used by insurance companies and how to counter them effectively to secure a fair and reasonable settlement.
  • Prepare For Litigation — If negotiations fail and no acceptable offer is made, an attorney can expedite the litigation process. They will prepare your case for trial, handle all legal proceedings, and represent you in court, ensuring your case is presented compellingly and professionally.
  • Focus On Recovery — Managing a legal case while recovering from injuries can be overwhelming. Hiring the best California commercial vehicle accident attorneys allows you to focus on your recovery while they handle the legal complexities. This support can alleviate stress and give you peace of mind, knowing your case is in capable hands.

The attorneys at Arash Law are equipped with the necessary experience and skills to help victims of commercial vehicle accidents fight for the compensation they deserve, allowing them to concentrate on their journey.

Why You Need Our California Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorneys

A truck accident is much more complicated than an average car crash in more ways than one. Personal injury lawyers can help you deal with the aftermath of a complex accident.

Here are some of the most notable attributes of truck accidents and how hiring a commercial vehicle attorney can help:

Federal And State Trucking Laws Govern Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle maintenance, driver service hours, and cargo loading standards are commonly investigated in commercial vehicle accidents. The law may address these factors differently depending on where the accident occurred.

Many state and federal regulations have been passed and implemented to ensure everyone’s safety when trucks are on the road. Only knowledgeable commercial vehicle accident lawyers will be able to guide you through the complex and unique rules that apply to these vehicles.

Several Parties May Be Held Accountable

Since commercial trucking operations comprise different phases, there might be more than one party to blame for a traffic accident. Your lawyer will be able to determine if one (or more) of the following is responsible for your injuries:

 

If your lawyer discovers that more than one party was responsible for your accident, they will come after them to maximize your compensation.

Commercial Vehicle Accidents Are Usually Catastrophic

Because of the seriousness of the injuries and damages that a victim may suffer, accidents involving commercial trucks are usually high-stakes cases. Only the best commercial vehicle accident attorneys can accurately place a value on your injuries, damages, and losses from medical costs, lost earnings, and other recovery expenses.

Trucking Companies And Insurers Have Aggressive Lawyers At Their Disposal

LSPs often receive the benefits of extensive insurance policies due to their frequent affiliation with large manufacturers like Amazon and other major names in the industry. Their insurance companies have aggressive legal teams, which can make settlement negotiations more challenging.

Our experienced commercial vehicle accident attorneys can be the key to winning your case. We’ve won over $500 Million for injured clients. They know the strategies used by these companies and how to combat each one. With their expertise, our attorneys will help you develop the most effective strategy to secure the highest possible settlement.

Contingency Fee Structure

Arash Law follows a “No Win, No Fee” policy for all of our cases. In other words, our clients do not have to pay any upfront fees. Our fees are collected only when a settlement agreement has been reached or after we have won the case in court.

By offering this payment arrangement, our attorneys help ease our clients’ financial burdens and assure them that we are working together to accomplish the same goal. The contingency fee agreement gives our clients the comfort of knowing that we will do everything in our power to protect their interests. We offer a free consultation to those interested in learning how our policy applies to their case. Call us at (888) 488-1391 for more information.

Commercial Vehicle

$2,000,969.00

Gil v. Anderson Plumbing: verdict by a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury in Van Nuys awarded to a man who was injured when his vehicle was struck from behind by a large commercial plumbing van. Benny was part of the trial team that obtained this verdict.
–  BENNY KHORSANDI

California Commercial Vehicle Accidents Are Often Deadly

According to the Congressional Research Service’s Commercial Truck: Overview, nearly 4,000,000 people hold commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), and more than 11 million large trucks traveled our nation’s roadways in 2017. In 2021, 5,788 people were killed in truck accidents, representing a 17 percent increase compared to 2020.

Injury-causing commercial vehicle accidents have been on the rise since 2009. The Congressional Research Service supposes that this could be due to greater numbers of inexperienced or marginally skilled commercial drivers or to the increased workloads and higher stress levels of veteran commercial drivers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also weighs in with its own statistics related to commercial motor vehicles (CMV):

  • From 2015 to 2016, fatal accidents involving large trucks or buses increased by 6 percent.
  • In 2016, the occupants of large trucks or buses accounted for 16 percent of all large truck and bus accident fatalities, translating to a 4 percent increase over 2015.
  • Large trucks and buses are involved in 12 percent of all traffic fatalities.
  • Between 2014 and 2016, California was ranked among the ten states with the highest average of large truck and bus accident fatalities. However, most recent data shows that California is leading the nation in trucking accidents, with the highest number of fatalities.

Almost a decade later, the statistics involving commercial vehicle accidents are still alarming. According to 2021 data from NHTSA, trucks were more likely to be involved in fatal multi-vehicle traffic crashes than passenger vehicles. Additionally, they accounted for 9 percent of all fatal traffic crashes and 5 percent of all crashes resulting in injuries and property damage. These statistics highlight how immediate the dangers associated with California commercial vehicle accidents actually are.

Federal Regulations And Industry Violations

The State of California and the entire country impose strict laws and regulations on commercial vehicle drivers and hauling companies. These rules must be strictly observed to prevent truck accidents. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implements several regulations concerning truck operations, including the length of time a truck driver is allowed to drive every day.

Truckers are only allowed to drive up to 11 hours daily, given that they have 10 hours of rest prior. They are also required to take a 30-minute break within the first 8 hours of their shift. They are prohibited from driving beyond 60 hours on seven consecutive days or 70 hours on eight consecutive days. Once they reach these limits, they cannot go on their next shift until they have had at least two nights (or 34 hours) of rest.

If a driver (or their company) disregards these rules and gets involved in an accident while on the road, they will be liable to pay for the damages they caused. Additionally, they will be subject to paying hefty fines and facing punishment under the law. The same applies to any industry violations committed by the truck driver, the company, and other stakeholders involved.

If you suffer an injury in an accident because the driver failed to comply with relevant regulations, you may be entitled to compensation. Learn if your case is valid by calling our commercial vehicle attorneys at (888) 488-1391.

California Commercial Vehicle Driver
Emperatriz Ayala
Emperatriz Ayala
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My husband had an accident 2 years ago, a 85 years old man hit him, the Arash law group works very well on my husband case that took 9 month and he won the case and my husband was happy with the results. A year later I got into an accident as well and I’m still waiting in my case is almost resolving and it’s 9 months already. This people knows the law and they do their job right to help you out in getting the most for you to fight on your behalf. I strongly recommend the Arash Law firm they do things right in a efficient and professional manner.
Chris Zavala
Chris Zavala
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Had a great experience with all the people at Arash law. Long story short was in a bad car accident. It was overwhelming and the whole process was a lot, but they kept me in the loop. They answered all my questions and gave me great advice. Couldn't be any happier. Would definitely recommend anyone looking for a personal injury lawyer. They'll guide you through the whole process!
Jill Smith
Jill Smith
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Having Arash Law handle my auto accident was the best decision I could have made. Everyone I interacted with was kind, professional and detail oriented. I am extremely happy with the outcome and would recommend them highly.
Joseph R. Porter
Joseph R. Porter
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From start to finish, Arash Law firm is there every step of the way with close, constant, personal contact and attention. I never knew a Law firm could actually care so much for me as a person and what I was personally going through as well as the settlement I was going to recieve once my case was finally completed. Thank you to everyone at Arash Law for your ongoing support and communication. You are the ONLY firm I will ever recommend to someone who is need of a great attorny.
Monica Parra
Monica Parra
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I had an excellent experience with Arash Law. I will definitely recommend to my family and friends. I interviewed a few firms before deciding to work with Arash Law. What made my experience excellent was (i.e. head attorney being accessible to talk to and he answered all my questions and concerns, sensitive and thorough personel who completed in home intake & follow up process, being connected immediately to quality Physicians who addressed my injuries and recovery process, clear contract-read throughly to ensure its something you can commit to). Being in a car accident is a traumatic experience and I had a sense of peace knowing Arash Firm was walking with me throughout the whole process. Thank you Arash Firm for all your hard work and help. I am so grateful and appreciative for you all! 🙏 With Gratitude, Monica Parra
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Injured From A Commercial Vehicle Accident?

Types Of Commercial Vehicles

In the State of California, a commercial vehicle is defined as a vehicle used or maintained for the transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit or a vehicle designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property. There is a wide assortment of vehicles included:

Shipping trucks are heavy-duty vehicles that transport large quantities of goods over long distances. They carry freight from manufacturers to distributors and retailers. While they are essential to supply chain operations, large shipping trucks can cause catastrophic injuries when involved in an accident.

Commercial trucks are vehicles used for business purposes, including transporting goods, equipment, or passengers. They vary in size and type, ranging from small delivery vans to large tractor-trailers.

Tractor-trailers, also known as semi-trucks or big rigs, consist of a tractor unit that pulls a detachable trailer. These vehicles are commonly used for long-haul goods transportation and are a staple in the trucking industry. Due to their capacity to carry large cargo loads, these trucks must be driven by trained and licensed truck drivers. Collisions with these towering vehicles are usually serious and may even be deadly.

Utility trucks come in multiple sizes and shapes and have many different uses. Examples include ambulances, fire trucks, postal delivery trucks, dump trucks, and street cleaning trucks. These vehicles are usually owned by state, city, or federal agencies, so they can travel on highways and roads without restrictions.

Ambulances and fire trucks can travel well above designated speed limits when responding to an emergency or urgent situation. Utility truck accidents can cause serious injuries and property damage. As they are government-owned, special rules apply when filing claims for them.

Delivery vans and trucks are medium-sized vehicles used to transport goods locally. Courier services, retailers, and e-commerce companies commonly use them for last-mile deliveries.

Businesses own or lease company vehicles for employees to use for company business. Depending on the company’s needs, these vehicles can range from sedans and SUVs to trucks.

Buses are large motor vehicles designed to carry passengers, typically on fixed routes. They are used for public transportation, school transport, and private charter services, accommodating a large number of passengers.

Paramedics and emergency medical technicians staff ambulances equipped with medical equipment. These vehicles bring patients to and from hospitals or other medical facilities and provide medical care en route.

Taxis and limos are hired vehicles that transport passengers to their destinations. Taxis provide on-demand transportation services, while limos offer a more luxurious experience, often for special occasions.

Food trucks are mobile kitchens that serve food and beverages to customers. They are a popular option for street food, festivals, and events, offering a variety of cuisines in different locations.

Tow trucks are vehicles equipped with tools and machinery to transport disabled or improperly parked vehicles. They are essential for roadside assistance and vehicle recovery operations.

Water well drilling rigs are specialized trucks equipped with drilling equipment used to create water wells. These vehicles are essential for accessing groundwater for agricultural, industrial, and residential use.

Cement mixers are trucks with rotating drums that mix and transport concrete to construction sites. They ensure that concrete remains liquid until it is ready to be poured.

These vehicles are typically used for commercial passenger transport services, including shuttle buses, charter buses, and minibusses. They are designed to transport groups of people for various purposes, such as tours, corporate events, and regular transit services.

The size of a tanker truck and the hazardous materials it transports can make it a dangerous vehicle. On impact, these types of trucks tend to burst into flames. Accidents involving tankers can result in severe injuries or even death for multiple drivers.

Regardless of the type of commercial vehicle, one thing is for sure. They must be driven by a professional, licensed driver who has supposedly received rigorous training to ensure they can handle the job.

Unfortunately, even the best training plan can’t stop an accident from happening. So, if you’re injured in one that a negligent driver caused, you’ll need to call the best commercial vehicle accident attorneys for legal help.

Commercial Vehicle Accidents And Responsibility

Anytime a commercial vehicle causes an accident, determining fault is complicated. The fact is that the commercial driver likely played a role, but there are other contributing factors that it’s important to take into consideration. In fact, the business that employs commercial drivers has a significant responsibility to hire safe, experienced drivers with clean driving records and provide appropriate training for the specific types of vehicles they operate. Further, the businesses are responsible for keeping their commercial vehicles in safe working order, including all necessary maintenance and regularly scheduled inspections.

As the demand for commercial vehicles continues to increase, some businesses are not above cutting safety corners to increase profit margins. Such businesses are responsible for any accidents that are caused by their negligence. If a negligent commercial driver leaves you injured in an accident, the driver’s employer may be liable for the accident — or may share in the fault. It’s important to recognize that such businesses often have deep pockets, which can cut both ways. This means that, although they are likely able to afford a larger settlement, they are also likely willing to spare no expense to avoid such a payout.

California Businesses With Commercial Vehicle Services

California is home to many businesses that provide goods and services to people all over the United States. The state also houses many different kinds of factories. As a result, our highways are fairly humming with commercial freight. Here are some of the most widespread businesses that use commercial vehicles:
Agricultural Sector

California’s agricultural sector supplies produce and other goods throughout the United States. In 2022, the Golden State’s agricultural industry generated a market value of $59.0 billion. Many farms and businesses in the agriculture sector rely heavily on commercial vehicles to sustain operations.

It’s not uncommon to see big rigs and other trucks on the freeways transporting important produce to and from different areas of the state. Between farm and fork, root crops, grains, dairy products, meat products, vegetables, and fruits often travel by semi-truck to reach grocery stores, supermarkets, and restaurants, ultimately ending up on consumers’ plates.

Food Industry

The movement for fresh food and nutritional commodities has become more prevalent in recent years. In California, more stores are starting to sell fresh food, which raises the bar for their level of service. Retailers are calling for more frequent, smaller deliveries of a wider variety of products and stricter assurances of food safety throughout the supply chain. 

Food businesses have started to depend on rental trucks for efficient transportation of goods and commodities to meet their patrons’ needs. While that’s an effective way of bringing fresh food faster to our dinner tables, no one can deny the dangers of the thousands of trucks that traverse California roads and streets daily.

Movers And Storage Facilities

Many people decide to settle in California because of the opportunities it offers. To facilitate these relocations, companies like U-Haul, American Van Lines, and Safeway Moving transport various belongings from one place to another using different types of commercial vehicles. These moving companies employ rental trucks and vans to handle everything from small household items to large pieces of furniture.

Oil And Gas Industries

Transport trucks and trailers are essential for moving various oil and gas products, including crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and refined petroleum products. These vehicles are designed to handle large volumes of materials safely and efficiently over long distances.

In the oil and gas industry, trailers are vital in transporting equipment, materials, and liquids to and from job sites. These specialized vehicles ensure the seamless and secure delivery of critical resources, supporting the industry’s operations and infrastructure.

Construction Companies

Construction projects require large amounts of materials and bulky equipment. Moving these with smaller vehicles can be time-consuming and inefficient. This is why trucking companies are essential partners in the construction industry. With the option of full truckload shipping, companies can ensure their materials reach their destination efficiently and cost-effectively. Construction companies hire trucks to streamline the process, ensuring that materials and equipment are delivered quickly and safely.

The Most Common Causes Of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

While any number of causes can contribute to a commercial vehicle accident, there are several that are associated most closely:

Commercial Driver Error

As mentioned, commercial drivers are professional drivers and are, therefore, held to more careful driving standards. Yet, commercial drivers are prone to many of the same dangerous driving habits as noncommercial drivers.

Fatigued Commercial Drivers

There are strict regulations regarding the number of consecutive driving hours that a commercial driver can log in any given stretch of time. These regulations are put in place for one very good reason — to help keep everyone on our roadways safe. Fatigued drivers are dangerous drivers. When a fatigued driver is behind the wheel of a massive commercial vehicle, the level of danger is that much more significant.

Distracted Commercial Drivers

Now that smartphones rule the world, distracted driving has reached nearly epidemic proportions. Again, commercial drivers are held to far greater restrictions when it comes to smartphone usage, but this doesn’t mean that commercial drivers always strictly adhere to such restrictions. Any time a commercial driver is distracted by anything other than driving safely, they pose a significant safety hazard.

Impaired Commercial Drivers

We are all well aware that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is always exceedingly dangerous. When the drunk driver is a commercial driver who is responsible for transporting other people safely or for moving massive cargo across the country, the situation is that much more dire. For this very reason, commercial drivers face much more restrictive blood alcohol content limitations than do noncommercial drivers.

Inexperienced Commercial Drivers

The high demand for commercial drivers sometimes leads unscrupulous businesses to hire drivers before they are adequately trained to handle their specific vehicles. This lack of experience can be hazardous, especially in busy traffic conditions. When businesses prioritize profits over proper training, they endanger everyone on the road.

Commercial Drivers Who Fail To Accommodate For Bad Road Conditions

Part of being a safe commercial driver is accommodating any dangerous road conditions. Sometimes, commercial drivers are too inexperienced to make necessary accommodations, including reducing their speed. Some commercial drivers cut safety corners in an effort to increase take-home pay. Whatever the reason, commercial drivers who fail to make necessary accommodations to safely maneuver on inferior roads — including roads made dangerous by inclement weather — endanger everyone with whom they share those roadways.

Commercial Drivers With Unrealistic Schedules

Commercial drivers make their livelihoods and support their families by getting behind the wheels of their commercial vehicles. In the process, they often find themselves facing unrealistic schedules that are set by profit-motivated business owners. In other words, commercial drivers often find themselves between a rock and a hard place. This means that they are busy attempting to keep their jobs while also adhering to the industry’s tough safety regulations. Companies that push their commercial drivers beyond the bounds of safe driving can be held accountable for any resulting accidents.

Common Injuries In Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Commercial vehicles are usually large enough to cause catastrophic events. The greater forces involved in truck accidents make them generally more dangerous for victims than regular car accidents. Even at low speeds, a moving truck carries enormous kinetic energy. In collisions, smaller vehicles like passenger cars often suffer the most damage.

Whiplash

Whiplash can occur even after a minor collision. In addition to hurting the neck or back, it can damage muscles and ligaments, affect the brain, and lead to long-term pain and mobility issues.

Broken Bones

The impact of a traffic accident between a commercial vehicle and another car may lead to broken bones. Some fractures can heal relatively cleanly, but more serious broken bones — such as broken legs — can require extensive surgery and long, painful rehabilitation.

Burns

The gasoline and diesel fuel that keep the nation’s roads moving are highly flammable, leaving victims at risk of serious burns. Some commercial vehicles, like tanker trucks, carry petroleum products, corrosive chemicals, or other substances that can also cause burn injuries. In addition to burns from flammable substances, commercial vehicle accidents may cause excruciating friction burns, especially if occupants are thrown from their vehicles. 

Lacerations

Lacerations, or cuts and tears in the skin, are among the most common injuries caused by traffic accidents and are usually considered minor. However, they can easily turn into dangerous injuries that may be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Deep lacerations can lead to severe blood loss, infections, and permanent disfigurement. Commercial vehicle accidents can cause shattered glass, ripped sheet metal, and other sharp debris to cut people within the vicinity of the accident. 

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, are unfortunately common in commercial vehicle accidents. These can range in severity from minor concussions to life-changing disabilities. All of the TBI cases our commercial vehicle attorneys serving California have seen over the decades have had a profound impact on the victim and their families.

The Commercial Vehicle Company And Fault

While we’ve mentioned various ways that companies can be found at fault for dangerous accidents that involve commercial vehicles, it’s important to carefully consider their potential liability. A company that employs commercial drivers is ultimately responsible for the infrastructure of its business. This includes all the details related to the business’s fleet of commercial vehicles, such as:

  • Keeping a safe fleet that’s maintained by experienced and reliable mechanics who work with quality parts and tools
  • Ensuring that each commercial vehicle’s cargo is safely and appropriately secured

In other words, a company can be linked to nearly any accident involving one of its commercial vehicles — unless the commercial driver has truly gone unexpectedly rogue.

When it comes to California commercial vehicle accidents, it’s critical that both the commercial driver and the company be taken into careful consideration. If you or your loved one have been injured in such an accident, do not hesitate to contact Arash Khorsandi and his dedicated legal team at Arash Law. Our experienced commercial vehicle attorneys are here to aggressively advocate for the compensation to which you are entitled and need to reach your fullest recovery post-accident.

Who Else Might Be Liable For A Commercial Vehicle Accident?

It may be surprising to know that in many commercial vehicle accidents, the driver is not always at fault. There may be others to blame for your injuries, including:

Other Road Users

Other drivers can be responsible for your injuries. Even though California mandates all drivers to undergo rigorous training and exams before they can obtain a driver’s license, not everyone applies what they learned or seems to care about the damage they can cause when their reckless driving practices result in an accident.

Apart from other drivers, the following may also be liable for a commercial vehicle accident:

  • Pedestrians
  • Motorcyclists
  • Bicyclists
  • Construction workers or companies

In some cases, multiple parties can share the blame for an accident. In this case, your commercial vehicle accident lawyer will investigate the incident thoroughly and determine who is responsible.

Cargo Loaders

Delivery vans and trucks usually contain heavy cargo delivered throughout the state and beyond. The improper loading of cargo (including overloading) can cause a truck to become unstable or unbalanced, resulting in an accident. Your attorney can hold loading companies and individuals responsible for securing the cargo liable if they can prove this type of negligence.

Truck Manufacturers

Defective truck parts or equipment can also cause accidents. Manufacturers, parts manufacturers, and maintenance providers may be held responsible for damages caused by truck design, manufacturing, or maintenance defects. Truck drivers or companies are responsible for ensuring their trucks are in top condition before hitting the road. You can also hold them responsible if they fail to conduct routine maintenance prior to the crash.

What Compensation Can I Recover From A Commercial Vehicle Accident?

When someone gets injured in a catastrophic commercial vehicle accident, they also face financial problems brought about by piling medical bills and lost income. If you were injured in a truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for the following:

  • Lost income due to missed work
  • Medical bills related to the injury (including surgery, medication, physical rehabilitation, and other necessary treatments)
  • Any damaged property (car, house, other items destroyed during the crash)
  • Emotional and mental suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of relationship
  • Wrongful death

Unfortunately, it’s not usual for insurance companies to give victims a fair and honest list of things for which they can get compensated. Like most businesses, they only have one thing in mind, which is to gain profit. However, when you seek help from the best California commercial vehicle attorneys, they can assess your injuries and provide you with a complete and accurate valuation of your claim.

Wrongful Death Claims And Lawsuits Involving Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Accidents involving commercial vehicles are a common source of wrongful death lawsuits. When a loved one passes away, families shouldn’t have to worry about losing income or other support the deceased had previously provided. Therefore, a wrongful death claim or lawsuit may be appropriate when a relative dies due to the deliberate, reckless, careless, or inconsiderate actions of another individual or company.

Under California’s wrongful death statutes, surviving family members, including parents, spouses, children, and dependent stepchildren, may be eligible for damages and lost compensation. If no direct family members are available, the person who would inherit the victim’s estate or the person designated by the probate court as the deceased’s personal representative may bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate.

It is critical that the families of victims in wrongful death cases resulting from commercial vehicle accidents pursue justice and compensation for their financial and emotional losses. They can seek reparation for the following damages if they initiate a wrongful death claim:

  • Lost income
  • Pre-death medical bills (including medication, therapy, and other treatments received by the victim before dying)
  • Burial expenses
  • Loss of companionship

When remaining family members pursue a wrongful death claim, businesses can be obliged to maintain higher safety standards, preventing the same tragedy from happening to others in the future.

If you lost a loved one in a crash, our hearts go out to you and your family. Reach out to us by calling (888) 488-1391, and our commercial vehicle accident attorneys in California will help you seek justice.

Most Common Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Commercial vehicles can be involved in different kinds of accidents, but several particularly dangerous types are commonly associated with these vehicles, especially large trucks and buses:

Jackknife Accidents

Jackknife accidents are especially dangerous accidents that occur when the back end of a tractor-trailer suddenly swings on its coupling device and folds in upon its own cab — much like the action of a closing jackknife. The ensuing potential danger for every vehicle in the commercial truck’s path is self-evident.

Underride Accidents

Underride accidents can occur from either the back or the side of a truck. They involve a car sliding, being pushed, or driving directly into the much higher underside of the commercial truck. Such accidents are exceedingly dangerous because the entire top of the damaged vehicle is often sheared off in the impact. 

Big rigs are required to sport safety bars at the back, known as Mansfield bars (after the rear-end underride accident that killed Jane Mansfield, a Hollywood bombshell, and that sparked a crusade to mandate safety bars). While there has been plenty of clamoring for mandated side safety bars on semis, this has not yet taken hold despite the fact that they would save lives.

Truck Rollovers

Massive commercial trucks typically have a high center of gravity, which makes them susceptible to rollovers. Factors like experiencing high winds, traveling at speeds that are unsafe for the conditions of the road, braking suddenly, and taking turns and curves too steeply can all lead to dangerous rollover accidents. When a tractor-trailer rolls over on a busy roadway, it’s difficult to overstate how dangerous it can be.

Tire Blowouts

An 18-wheeler truck isn’t called an 18-wheeler for nothing. Each of those 18 wheels provides another opportunity for a dangerous blowout. When a tire blows out while a large truck is traveling at highway speeds, it can be difficult for the truck driver to maintain control while attempting to come to a safe stop out of the line of traffic. The debris left by a blowout alone can be enough to cause dangerous accidents as vehicles swerve in and out of lanes to avoid the dangerous chunks of rubber left behind on the roadway.

Rear-End Collisions

Trucks require more space to stop due to their greater braking time and distance. Insufficient spacing can lead to catastrophic rear-end collisions with severe consequences.

Rear-end collisions involving commercial vehicles, such as delivery trucks, tanker vans, utility vehicles, and food trucks, differ significantly from those that involve passenger vehicles. The substantial size and weight difference means a truck can easily crush a smaller vehicle (cars and motorcycles).

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions with commercial vehicles are usually fatal. They are, more often than not, caused by negligence, such as driver fatigue or impaired driving. When a driver is too impaired to drive, they might veer onto the wrong side of the road.

Commercial vehicles, especially large vans or trucks, are much heavier than passenger cars. So, any vehicle they collide with head-on is likely to be severely damaged, resulting in significant property damage, severe injuries, and even death.

Wide Turn Accidents

Large commercial vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, have a much wider turning radius because of their considerable size and length. These vehicles can cause wide-turn accidents when they turn right or left at intersections or junctions. 

Overcorrecting a turn, where truck drivers might swing a little bit more to the left to make a right turn, can endanger nearby vehicles, especially those that are in the truck’s blind spot. Even though wide-turn truck accidents are rare, they can have devastating consequences for victims.

T-Bone Accidents

T-bone or side-impact collisions frequently occur at intersections and involve vehicles running red lights or ignoring stop signs.

When a commercial vehicle or a car moves through an intersection without caution, it risks colliding with the side of another vehicle or being hit on its own side, resulting in a T-shaped crash — hence the name. These incidents are particularly dangerous when trucks are involved.

The accidents common to large commercial trucks are not only exceedingly dangerous but are also extremely terrifying. If you’ve been injured in one that a negligent driver caused, know that our commercial vehicle accident lawyers in California are on your side. You’ll need all the support you can get. Call us today at (888) 488-1391 to get started with your case.

Five Simple Tips For Driving Defensively Around Large Commercial Vehicles

When it comes to sharing California’s roads with commercial vehicles, it’s in your best interest to follow the first rule of every Driver’s Education class everywhere — drive defensively. Fortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shares a number of ways to do just that.

Remain Mindful Of Large Trucks’ Many Blind Spots

Commercial drivers of large trucks experience giant blind spots on every side of their rigs. If you must pass through these blind spots, do so only when you have a clear path forward. Never linger in a truck’s blind spot. A good rule of thumb to remember is that if you can’t see the trucker in the truck’s side mirror, it’s very likely that they can’t see you, either.

Use Caution When Passing A Truck

When you pass a large truck or bus on the interstate, you’re going to have to pass through its blind spots. Always use caution when passing, and don’t proceed forward until you have a clear shot. Once you’ve gotten around the commercial vehicle, don’t pull back into its lane until you can see its entire cab in your rearview mirror. Finally, don’t even consider passing a truck on the right.

Don’t Tailgate Or Drive Too Closely

Tailgating is always a dangerous idea, but if you tailgate a much larger commercial vehicle, you run the risk of being involved in a back underride accident (see above). Always allow large trucks and buses in your midst as much room on the road as you can possibly afford.

Allow Commercial Vehicles The Room They Need To Make Turns

The larger the vehicle, the more room it needs to make safe turns. Remain mindful of commercial vehicles’ turn signals, and slow down to allow them all the space they need to make their turns or lane changes. Never try to dart past a semi before it heads into a turn, and don’t even consider getting in between a truck’s right-hand side and the curb when it’s turning.

Mind Your Driving Manners

It’s always in the best interest of everyone’s safety to drive as courteously and patiently as you can. We share California’s beautiful roadways with large commercial vehicles, and they are hindered by certain laws of physics that can’t be avoided. Allow these vehicles the space they need to maneuver safely in traffic. When you focus on your patience — rather than your aggression — as you drive, you help keep our highways safer for all who travel on them.

What To Do After A Commercial Vehicle Accident In California
What To Do After A Commercial Vehicle Accident In California

Commercial vehicle accidents are more complex than regular car accidents. However, the steps you need to take after one to ensure you and your rights to compensation are protected are virtually the same. 

Following an accident, you should follow these steps:

Check For Injuries

After you’ve gotten a hold of what happened, try your best to divert your attention back to your body. Your adrenaline levels will be high right after the crash, so you might not feel any soreness or pain immediately. This is why you need to check yourself for any injuries. Scan your body for any cuts, broken bones, and bruising. If you suffered a blow to your stomach, take note of any bruising on your torso. This might be an indicator of an internal bleed that would require you to be sent to the hospital as soon as possible. Don’t forget to check your head for any open wounds as well.

Dial 911

After checking yourself for injuries, call the emergency responders. If you can’t call by yourself, ask someone else to do it for you. Wait for the police and paramedics to arrive in a safe place near the scene of the accident. Ensure your safety first, and be cautious of other vehicles on the road.

Gather Fresh Evidence At The Scene

As you wait for the emergency responders to arrive, you can gather information from the truck driver and any witnesses. Make a note of the truck driver’s license, insurance information, and the truck’s markings, including the trucking company name and other important details. Take photos from various angles, including the collision points, skid marks, injuries, and relevant road signs. These pieces of information may be valuable for insurance and legal purposes. 

Get Checked By The Paramedics

Even if you feel fine initially, you should get medically assessed by the EMTs at the scene. They will be able to give you first aid and advise you further on diagnostic measures to ensure that all bases concerning your health are covered.

It’s also wise to follow up with your healthcare provider a few days after being cleared by an emergency room doctor. Many injuries, especially those to the neck and back, do not manifest immediately and can take a few days to appear. If these types of injuries are not caught immediately, they could cause irreversible damage to your health and lifestyle.

Seek Good Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorneys

If you’ve been involved in a commercial vehicle accident, consulting with a personal injury attorney is crucial. They are instrumental in protecting your rights and ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries. With their guidance, you’ll know how to communicate with the driver’s insurance company. Your lawyer can tell you what to say as well as what to avoid saying or doing that could compromise your claim.

Hire the commercial vehicle accident lawyers California relies on. When you’re negotiating a settlement or seeking compensation for your pain and suffering, they can easily level the playing field with the insurance companies. By providing you with support during recovery, they can ensure that medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages are adequately accounted for.

Statute Of Limitations For Accidents In California

In California, a person injured in an accident has two years to file a lawsuit to recover damages. While two years might sound like a long time, it can pass quickly when you’re focused on healing and moving on with your life.

This deadline is crucial for safeguarding victims’ rights to compensation. Over time, memories may fade, and critical evidence may be lost. Without clear statements from witnesses and solid evidence, determining liability becomes much more challenging. Therefore, victims are encouraged to file a claim as soon as possible.

Another dilemma that comes with the statute of limitations is that some injuries may not appear immediately after an accident and may take years to manifest. This is where the aid of skilled commercial vehicle accident attorneys becomes invaluable. When a previously unknown injury is discovered, the statute of limitations may be extended if your lawyers prove that the accident caused the injury you sustained.

Commercial Vehicle Accident Statistics

Large commercial vehicles, such as trucks, pose a great danger on U.S. roads. In 2020, over 415,000 large-truck crashes were officially reported by police. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that around 4,150, or 1%, of these collisions were fatal, while almost a quarter (100,000) of the crashes resulted in serious injuries. Two years later, the number of injuries in these accidents rose to 161,000. About 73% of the reported injuries were from drivers and passengers of other vehicles, 26% were from truck occupants, and 1% were from non-occupants, including pedestrians and other road users.

On the other hand, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that about 5,936 people were killed in crashes involving medium- to heavy-duty trucks commonly used as commercial vehicles. This is a 2% difference from what was reported in 2021. In 2022, the agency also estimated that about 160,000 injuries were sustained in these accidents, showing a 3.7% increase from what was reported in 2021.

As alarming as these numbers are, they highlight the critical need for enhanced safety measures and stricter regulations for large commercial vehicles. Increased enforcement of existing traffic laws, improved driver training programs, and the implementation of advanced safety technologies are essential steps to significantly reduce the incidence of such devastating crashes. Understanding the risks and taking proactive steps to avoid accidents can help protect all road users. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, seeking legal assistance is paramount. The best commercial vehicle accident lawyers are here to ensure you receive the compensation and support you need to recover from your injuries and losses. Allow us to help you every step of the way.

Frequently Asked Questions About Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Because commercial trucks are significantly bigger than passenger vehicles, they are more likely to cause catastrophic accidents. Those who are injured in these accidents usually need extensive or even long-term care. To make matters worse, their injuries will not just impact their physical and mental health. Beyond their overall health, livelihood, personal relationships, and lifestyles will be affected as well. Victims will need a reliable ally to support them and protect their rights during this trying time. The commercial vehicle accident lawyers California trusts can help. Call us at (888) 488-1391.

Your case’s value depends on several factors, including your lost income, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. The value of cases with more severe injuries and longer treatment plans tends to be higher.

Other considerations may also apply depending on the circumstances of the accident, insurance policy limits, and state laws. To elaborate on the latter, California follows a comparative negligence system. This means that the victim’s contribution to the accident can impact their final settlement value. 

Additionally, the amount you can expect will differ depending on where you are in the process. For example, victims might get a smaller final amount when their case goes to trial due to the court-related and other associated fees that will be deducted from the payout. If you have follow-up questions, meeting with one of our commercial vehicle accident lawyers may provide you with a rough idea of what to expect. 

It could take months or even years to settle your claim, depending on whether you are still getting treated for your injuries at the time of its initiation or other factors. For example, there are certain processes involved: the plaintiff and defendants are required to answer interrogatories under oath. In some cases, the at-fault party may be mandated to undergo a deposition process.

In general, various elements, including the uniqueness of the accident, the entities involved, and more, influence how long it takes to settle a lawsuit involving a commercial vehicle collision.

Here are some reasons why commercial truck accidents end up on trial:

  • There was a discrepancy or disagreement about the assignment of liability.
  • The insurance company declines to provide a settlement.
  • The plaintiff rejects the settlement proposal.

If your case goes to court, the process may take a very long time. The personal injury lawyers at Arash Law ensure that out-of-court negotiations result in favorable outcomes for victims. The best commercial vehicle accident lawyers can provide you with a much clearer and more tailored overview of your case’s development. Contact us today by filling out our “Do I Have A Case?” form.

The question of whether your case will proceed to court or not depends on whether the parties involved will accept a settlement during negotiations. If you (the plaintiff) and the at-fault party (the defendant) don’t see eye-to-eye at the negotiation table, then your attorney can initiate a lawsuit. You can discuss this question during a free consultation with one of our commercial vehicle accident lawyers. An experienced lawyer will be able to tell you what to expect moving forward after assessing all the facts and circumstances of your case.

Even if you are an undocumented worker or immigrant, you are still entitled to compensation for injuries sustained in an accident caused by someone else. You may be entitled to reimbursement for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and any other losses incurred after an accident. It is within your right to seek help to recover the finances you’re owed. Our commercial truck accident lawyers are available 24/7 to answer your questions. Call us at (888) 488-1391.

Punitive damages may be available in cases where the at-fault party acted with malice or intentionally injured the truck accident victim. Punitive damages are rarely awarded in accident cases. They are intended to punish the negligent party. As to whether this applies to your case, your commercial vehicle accident attorneys can inform you.

After an accident, one of the first questions you might ask is, “Do I need a personal injury lawyer?” You’re not required to have a lawyer handle your commercial vehicle accident case, but hiring one is a wise decision. These kinds of accidents can quickly become complicated, and having a trustworthy legal representative on your side can make a big difference. These accidents often result in serious injuries or even death, which means you might be entitled to significant compensation.

By working with a personal injury lawyer, you will likely secure a much higher settlement than if you tried to negotiate on your own. They’ll fight to make sure you get the full compensation you deserve, allowing you to focus on healing and recovery.

Consult With The Best Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorneys California Trusts Today!

Accidents involving commercial vehicles are dangerous. If a commercial driver’s negligence has left you injured, you need the professional legal counsel of a dedicated California commercial vehicle accident attorney. The experienced California legal team at our award-winning law firm is here to help. Our skilled and compassionate commercial vehicle accident attorneys are committed to fighting for your rights and the compensation to which you are entitled.

While the aftereffects of commercial vehicle accidents are often daunting, your full recovery is far too important to leave to chance or to the discretion of the insurance company involved. We care about you and your claim, and we’re standing by to help — 24 hours a day and seven days a week. For more information, please give us a call at (888) 488-1391 today.

Our personal injury law firm helps commercial vehicle accident victims anywhere in California, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Fresno, Roseville, Visalia, Sherman Oaks, Long Beach, Concord, Los Altos, Oxnard, Santa Clarita, and Huntington Beach.

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