Due to their large size, truck accidents, including collisions with large trucks, known as 18 wheelers, often lead to serious injuries and damage to occupants of small cars and pedestrians all around Long Beach.
In California alone, in 2012, the total number of fatalities due to large truck crashes turned out to be 244.
Meanwhile, at the national level, the total number of fatal crashes between large trucks and smaller vehicles was 3,464 for the same period.
Main Causes of Truck Accidents in Long Beach
According to the FMCSA and NHSTA, these are the 3 main causes of accidents caused by trucks.
- Problems with equipment
It was found that problems with mechanical components of trucks are a “critical cause” of accidents in only 10 percent of the cases studied. In these accidents, a failure or malfunction of the brakes or tires was the most common problem.
Now, if the brakes of a vehicle suddenly stop working for no foreseeable reason, this is likely to be no one’s fault unless it can be shown that the company was negligent in maintaining the brake system if the manufacturer sold defective brakes.
- Security breaches
Safety breaches are another possible cause of serious truck accidents responsible for a small percentage of the mishaps.
Safety breaches could include any type of violation of the policies put in place to regulate the transportation industry, such as driving in a state of fatigue, drunk driving, speeding, excessive hours of service, undue burden or failure to perform pre-trip inspections.
- Driver error
The vast majority of truck accidents are caused by a simple driver error.
Although most truckers tend to be very safe drivers – after all, their livelihood depends on their driving skills – the large amount of hours they spend behind the wheel can increase the risk of an accident.
The most common mistakes of drivers include going too fast for road conditions, taking their eyes off the road, making illegal maneuvers or not keeping a safe distance.
Common Injuries From Truck Accidents
- Head injuries/Traumatic Brain Injury
When the brain and surrounding tissues are damaged, it can be devastating.
The most common type of brain damage caused by an 18-wheeled accident is TBI, caused by a blow to the head that, in turn, causes the brain to move inside the skull or cause damage to the skull.
In some circumstances, a collision with an 18-wheeler may result in amputation of arms, legs, or other parts of the body, or resulting in damage to one part of the body which may require amputation later in treatment for injuries related to crashes.
In the event of an accident, broken glass, metal, and other projectile objects can cause permanent disfigurement to those involved.
While they may not be deadly, these injuries may require major surgery, skin grafts, and other reconstructive measures to repair the damage, and can result in psychological impacts that are difficult to measure.
The most tragic injury that can result from an accident with an 18-wheeler is death.
Traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death in Long Beach; a collision with a truck or other commercial vehicle can be very dangerous due to the size and weight of the truck.
Proving fault in a truck crash
If you were injured or have lost a loved one in a truck accident, it is possible for the driver or his employer to be liable for your damages.
Despite this, it is very common for the parties to refuse to take responsibility for the collision.
An attorney can help you prove liability, gather evidence to reinforce your claim, and ensure that you receive adequate compensation.
After a crash, the commercial transportation company and its insurance company will begin an investigation of the scene immediately.
These businesses often try to limit compensation for those injured in an accident.
They will take witness statements, photos of the scene of the accident, and examine vehicles to determine the extent of damage caused by the collision.
State officials may also conduct an investigation into the crash, which may be beneficial to your claim.
Usually in a case of an accident with a truck, one demands the commercial transportation company, not the driver.
This process is complicated and requires the assistance of a lawyer who has experience handling cases of this type.
Contact a car truck attorney in Long Beach
Truck accidents are often the most complicated and dangerous of the road.
Trucks and cargo vehicles often cause more damage and problems because of their size and weight. Our lawyers at the Avrek law firm have successfully defended personal injury cases against commercial transportation companies and large insurance companies, and we are experts in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Administration regulations that may affect your claim.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, a lawyer may be able to help you file a lawsuit to get compensation for your damages. To see how an attorney can assist you after an accident, contact us and we will do an initial evaluation of the case, for free, without this implying any obligation on your part.
What is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
We work with experts to assist in the official investigation.
Our lawyers can analyze footage, interview witnesses or medical personnel, review mandatory police reports, analyze medical histories, consult experts who can reconstruct the scene of the accident and recreate the crash.
All of these will affect how much your accident claim is worth; this is why our professional help can assist you in getting the most of it.
How Much Compensation Can I Get After a Truck accident?
Keep in mind that we can help you get compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses: If you have received medical treatment for your truck accident injury, you may be entitled to recover the expenses of all bills in connection therewith. This includes emergency care, medications, medical exams, rehabilitation treatments, physical and/or speech therapy, care teams, and future treatments.
- Pain and suffering: You may qualify for compensation for any physical and/or emotional pain that was caused by your injury.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: This point relates to those activities you used to enjoy before chronic or temporary injuries you suffered during the truck accident, such as a sport, driving, or spending time with family and friends.
- Loss of income and lost wages: The victim of a truck accident may be entitled to recover the lost wages for not being able to work because they had to receive treatment. Also, their condition after brain damage may prevent them from continuing to work, so they would also have lost wages in the future.
- Spousal loss and death due to negligence: This applies to the family of a fatal victim of a truck accident. The compensation that could be received by loved ones of the deceased can be used to cover funeral expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other emotional damages.
How long do I have to take legal action?
Legally, a truck accident is classified as a personal injury.
As with any personal injury, it is essential that you act as soon as possible.
There is the California Statute of Limitations, which says that if the statute of limitations expires, the court cannot grant an extension, and you could lose your right to file a claim.
In addition, it is always easier to remember the details of an accident immediately after it occurred.
The details are fundamental, particularly in cases of commercial truck accidents.
The sooner you contact a personal injury lawyer, the more likely it is that you will be able to expedite the payment of compensation for damages you seek.
Medical expenses and lost wages accumulate quickly and this could leave you and your family in a vulnerable economic situation.
Types of truck accidents
An overturning accident happens when a vehicle rolls over to its side. Commercial truck overturns are common because of the heavy truck bumper design and its weight.
- Front crashes
An out-of-control truck can travel against coming traffic and as a result a front crash occurs.
Other reasons for this type of accident are when the truck is in a narrow street, when the driver must move to the adjacent line, opposite the direction of the road, when he falls asleep or when he is sending texts while driving.
- Run over
Run over is when a car gets under the semi-trailer truck. These kinds of accidents are fatal in the majority of cases.
Truck Accident Liability
With truck accident cases in Long Beach, many different issues can affect the liability.
Potential problems include the following:
- The size and weight of the truck. Was the truck overloaded?
- The route that the truck driver was following.
- How much time was given to the driver to complete the route and how many rest stops were assigned and for how long?
- Many truck collisions occur because of tired drivers who, due to incentives or other reasons, try to cover too much ground in a day. Sometimes this results in drivers sleeping on the road and losing control of the vehicles.
- The mechanical condition of the truck, including the condition of its brakes.
- Licenses, training and driving history of the truck driver.
- Visibility and obstructions, including blind spots and whether the truck had adequate mirrors and if the truck driver was using them correctly.
What To Do After a Truck Accident?
Remember, after being a victim of a truck accident there are certain things that you can do:
- Contact 911
- Call the authorities
- Report the accident to your insurance company
- Contact a lawyer right away
- Get information from other parties
- Do not sign any paper and be cautious
- Get the witnesses’ contact information
- Record the damage
- Do not assume guilt