Trucking is the leading method of freight transportation in California. From Sacramento down to San Diego, virtually every part of the state depends on trucks to transport goods. While semi-trucks and other tractor units play an important role in the economy, these vehicles present unique dangers to other motorists. That’s why state and federal authorities place many strict regulations on the trucking industry.
When big rigs are involved in traffic accidents, the results can be catastrophic. In fact, a crash involving a truck is more likely to cause death or serious injury than an accident between two cars. The sheer size and weight of an 18-wheeler can be especially hazardous to smaller vehicles traveling on highways. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, it’s important to get help from a lawyer as soon as possible. The California truck accident attorneys at Nadrich & Cohen, LLP have experience dealing with insurance companies, at-fault drivers and the local court system.
California Trucking Accident Attorney
Filing a personal injury claim to recover damages from a truck crash can be complex. In addition to establishing the fault of the negligent driver, a big rig accident lawyer may have to enter into negotiations with the trucking company. These businesses often have their own insurance adjusters and legal teams. Rather than go to trial and defend against a lawsuit, they will want to settle for the lowest amount possible. However, a California truck accident lawyer can take up the fight and help victims and their families obtain maximum compensation for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages and missed time at work
- Pain and suffering
- Damaged property
- Lifestyle changes due to debilitating injuries
- Punitive damages
- Loss of Consortium
Since 1990, Nadrich & Cohen, LLP has been fighting for accident victims throughout California. As a respected truck accident law firm, we’ve recovered millions of dollars for clients from San Francisco and the Bay Area to Long Beach and Orange County. Our California truck accident attorneys understand roadway dangers throughout Los Angeles and the rest of the state. If you’ve been hurt in a trucking accident, we can determine if you have a claim for compensation. Call us now at 1-800-718-4658 for a free consultation.
Truck Accident Statistics for California
California has more than 390,000 lane miles of public roads. In 2011, truck drivers traveled more than 327 billion miles throughout the state. Unfortunately, not all drivers and trucks are safe.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers a “large truck” to be a vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds. In 2015, there were 296 crash fatalities involving large trucks in California. This was the second highest of any state. Since 2010, California has seen a 23.7 percent increase in fatal crashes involving large trucks. The surge reflects a nationwide trend. Between 2014 and 2015, the number of large trucks involved in fatal accidents increased 8 percent, from 3,749 to 4,050.
Of the approximately 415,000 reported large truck accidents that occurred in the United States in 2015, more than 20 percent resulted in an injury or death. The following NHTSA statistics offer a glimpse into when and where these collisions occur:
- Almost 90 percent of nonfatal crashes happen on weekdays.
- Approximately 60 percent of fatal accidents transpire on rural roads.
- A quarter of fatal crashes occur on rural or urban interstate highways.
- About 35 percent of fatal crashes happen during the nighttime hours between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Trucking Accident Causes
Big rigs and other large trucks require specialized driving skills. Even a minor road mishap can be disastrous to an 18-wheeler, which takes about 40 percent longer to stop than an average car. Many trucking accidents are caused by the following:
- Driver fatigue from long hours on the road
- Illegal substance or alcohol use that leads to impaired driving
- Delivery schedules and compensation standards that encourage drivers to speed
- A lack of familiarity with defensive driving and safety concerns due to poor training
- Improperly loaded cargo that can cause a trailer to tip
- Poor inspection and maintenance protocols that permit bad brakes, lights, tires and more
- Manufacturing flaws that can make a truck more susceptible to rollovers
- Employers that fail to carefully hire and train adequate drivers and maintenance staff
Hire a Los Angeles 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer
These examples of negligence can lead to various types of dangerous scenarios. Large trucks frequently jackknife, experience rollovers and tire blowouts. Furthermore, 18-wheelers have larger blind spots and must make wider, more hazardous turns.
At Nadrich & Cohen, LLP, our California truck accident attorneys understand how dangerous big rigs can be to other drivers.
The Average Semi-Truck Accident Settlement
Trucking accidents often cause more damage and injuries than crashes involving smaller vehicles. In addition, truckers and their companies are generally better insured than the average motorist. For these reasons, big rig accident settlements tend to include larger payouts.
That being said, there are a lot of factors that will impact how much can be recovered from a truck accident injury claim. An 18-wheeler accident attorney will start the process by determining liability. In many cases, multiple parties could be responsible for causing a crash. A claim may involve taking action against the:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Truck manufacturer
- Truck owner
- Parties responsible for truck maintenance
When determining suitable compensation for your injuries, the trucking accident attorney will also consider the type and severity of the injuries suffered. The future economic impact of any injuries will be taken into account. If the victim died in the crash, a semi-truck accident attorney will file a claim on behalf of the surviving family members. A wrongful death settlement can include compensation for funeral costs, loss of companionship and the victim’s lost lifetime earning potential.
Depending on each of these factors, the ultimate recovery could range from a several thousand to several million dollars. While no compensation amount can completely erase a tragedy, a truck accident law firm will fight to obtain maximum compensation for accident victims and their families.
The legal weight limit of a fully loaded 18-wheeler is 80,000 pounds. In comparison, a typical car weighs about 5,000 pounds. It doesn’t take a collision expert to know that a car faces a much larger damage risk in a truck accident.
If you’ve been involved in a trucking accident, your first step should be to seek medical attention. You’ll likely be overwhelmed by a variety of emotions and stress. However, it’s important to contact an experienced truck accident law firm as soon as your health allows you to do so. To help your semi-truck accident attorney along with your case, consider taking the following actions:
- Keep medical records of any injuries caused by the accident.
- Be sure to also seek attention for potentially unseen injuries such as concussions.
- Preserve any available evidence of the crash. This may include photos, measurements and police records.
- Keep the damaged vehicle. While you may no longer be able to drive it, the vehicle could be a vital source of information for your big rig accident lawyer.
At Nadrich & Cohen, LLP, we work on a contingency fee basis
Retaining a California Truck Accident Lawyer
At Nadrich & Cohen, LLP, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that our California truck accident attorneys only collect payment if the client recovers damages. You can count on us to use all necessary resources to investigate your case and hold the at-fault parties accountable. Call our office today at 1-800-718-4658 for a free consultation with an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney.