Have you or someone you know been involved in a California truck accident? At Citywide Law Group, our California truck accident attorneys are dedicated to helping truck accident victims across the state get the money they need after an accident. The money you receive from a truck accident lawsuit can help to pay for costly medical bills, make up for income lost during your recovery, and compensate for the emotional trauma you’ve been forced to endure.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation with our skilled California truck accident attorneys. We will review your case, provide an initial assessment of its strength, and answer the questions you may have.
California Truck Accident Statistics
Fatal Truck Accident Statistics
Despite state and local efforts to reduce traffic accidents, the number of crashes involving large trucks in California has been on the rise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), many of these accidents have been fatal:
- 2012: 261
- 2013: 259
- 2014: 301
- 2015: 305
- 2016: 322.
Location of California Truck Accidents
Where are most of the fatal truck accidents in California occurring? The California counties reporting the highest number of truck accident deaths in 2016 include:
- Los Angeles County (53)
- San Bernardino County (28)
- Riverside County (24)
- Kern County (23)
- Fresno County (17)
- San Joaquin County (17), and
- Orange County (11).
Common California Truck Accident Injuries
Trucks are incredibly large vehicles. A tractor-trailer traveling on a California highway can reach up to 75 feet in length and weigh in at 80,000 pounds. The average passenger car, on the other hand, weighs in at less than 3,000 pounds. Motorcycles tend to weigh significantly less, often ranging anywhere between 200 and 700 pounds. When these vehicles collide, the result can be incredibly violent and devastating.
At Citywide Law Group, our California truck accident attorneys are prepared to help you recover compensation for any truck accident injury that you have sustained. In prior cases, we have successfully recovered life-changing compensation for truck accident victims suffering from injuries including:
- Brain injury
- Degloving injury
- Eye injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Thoracic injury
- Catastrophic injury
- Amputation, and
- Wrongful death.
Call us today to find out how we can help you maximize the compensation you are awarded for your California truck accident injuries.
Causes of California Truck Accidents
Why are truck accidents so problematic in California? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are four primary causes of truck accidents.
Truck Driver Error
Truck accidents can occur when truck drivers are negligent. All drivers on the road, including those operating large trucks, have an obligation to obtain proper licenses, follow state and local traffic laws, and drive with caution. When drivers breach the duty of care owed to others, the results can be deadly. Driver errors may include:
- Driving in violation of Federal trucking regulations
- Making illegal turns
- Aggressive driving
- Being unfamiliar with the roadway, and
- Drunk driving.
Sometimes the truck itself will have issues that are outside of the driver’s control. When a truck is defective or not maintained properly, accidents can happen. Examples of vehicle error may include:
- Faulty tires
- Braking issues
- Cargo shifts, and
- Inadequate maintenance.
Other Driver Error
Truck drivers are not the only ones on the road. Passenger vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians also share the road. These other drivers (and pedestrians) have an obligation to drive safely. When these drivers (and pedestrians) act negligently, truck accidents can happen. Driver errors can include:
- Lane splitting
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving, and
- Failing to yield.
Sometimes a truck accident will not be the result of driver error or problems with a vehicle. Instead, outside elements and factors can lead to dangerous truck accidents. Examples of environmental factors that can lead to a California truck accident include:
- Dangerous road conditions
- Inclement weather, and
- Limited visibility.
Determining Liability for California Truck Accidents
You’ve decided that you want to pursue monetary damages from a personal injury lawsuit. Who should be held financially responsible for your injuries? In California, anyone who contributes to the cause of your accident and injuries can be on the hook for damages. This is true even if (a) more than one person is to blame and/or (b) you contributed to your own injury.
Truck Drivers: Truck drivers have an obligation to drive safely. When truck drivers speed, fail to obtain necessary licenses, or violate federal regulations, they can be held responsible for any damages that result.
Employers: Employers of truck drivers can be held responsible for harm caused by their drivers if they’re on the clock. Employers must ensure that their drivers are properly trained and licensed to operate these large vehicles, drive safely, and obey all applicable laws. Federal regulations limit the length of time a truck driver can be behind the wheel. Employers have a duty to ensure that drivers don’t log too many hours on the road at one time. Failing to monitor and supervise employees can result in liability.
Truck Manufacturers: Trucks are required to manufacture so that they are safe for use. When trucks contain dangerous defects, the companies responsible for putting them on the road can be held strictly liable in a product liability lawsuit.
Government: The state of California, county governments, and local governments have a responsibility to maintain state infrastructure. This includes any freeways, highways, and roads that run throughout the state. When these roads become hazardous, the responsible government agency has an obligation to make it safe. Government agencies can be held liable for injuries that are caused by unattended dangerous road conditions.
Third Party Drivers: Truck drivers at not the only ones who can be to blame for an accident. Other drivers on the road have an obligation to be safe. Failing to uphold this duty can result in liability for accidents that result.
Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Cases
If you have been injured in a California truck accident case you have the right to file a lawsuit for damages. However, you must act quickly. The statute of limitations for most bodily injury cases is two years from the date of your accident. Failing to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires will likely prevent you from getting the money you need.
You can make sure that your claim is filed on time by contacting an experienced California truck accident attorney immediately after your accident.
Compensation for Truck Accident Victims
Truck accidents can be incredibly violent and cause victims to suffer from extremely painful and potentially life-changing injuries. At Citywide Law Group, our attorneys can help you recover both economic and non-economic damages for the harm you have suffered because of an accident. Economic damages help to make up for the financial costs of an accident, while non-economic damages compensate you for the more intimate and personal struggles you have been forced to endure.
Damages that may be available to you after a California truck accident include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Anxiety and depression
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of sexual relations, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Experienced California Truck Accident Attorneys
Hiring an attorney to handle your California truck accident claim is the single best thing you can do if you want to maximize the compensation you recover. At Citywide Law Group, our attorneys understand how traumatic a truck accident can be and will fight to make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. We have over 17 years of experience handling complex personal injury cases and have helped our clients recover millions in damages. Call us today to set up a free consultation with our experienced truck accident legal team. We will review your case, explain your rights as a victim, and answer any questions you have.