Although less than 5% of all registered vehicles in the country are heavy commercial trucks, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), at least a single large commercial truck and bus was involved in more than 13% of all fatal crashes on American roads. There have been 13,233,910 heavy commercial trucks among the 273,602,100 registered vehicles throughout the country, according to the latest data from the FMCSA.
More than 7 out of 10 people killed in large truck accidents on U.S roadways were occupants of other vehicles, not the giant truck. There is no denying that these multi-ton rigs are necessary to maintain the flow of contemporary society, but it is also clear that they possess the potential to be extremely hazardous.
The types of tractor-trailer accidents we encounter most frequently and their causes are covered below by Cefali & Cefali, APC. For a free consultation, if you were hurt in a truck accident in California, give us a call or send us an email.
What Are the Most Common Trucks on the Road?
Large vehicles come in a variety of designs and are used for a variety of different reasons on U.S roads and highways. The most common type of huge trucks and the dangers they provide to drivers and pedestrians include:
These trucks used for transporting freight are often referred to as “big rig trucks”, “semi-trailers,” or “18-wheelers.” They are prone to rollovers due to their large blind areas and high center of gravity. Tractor-trailers can pose a serious risk to other motorists due to their high rate of long periods spent behind the wheel by large rig drivers.
In order to facilitate loading and unloading freight, flatbeds have a nice wide trailer. Improperly fastened cargo that escapes from the flatbed truck and strikes other cars or causes severe accidents is a common factor in flatbed truck crashes.
Garbage and Dump Trucks
Trash, garbage, and other service vehicles, like dump trucks, can pose serious risks to those who are walking, cycling, or driving nearby. These vehicles frequently travel through residential neighborhoods with heavy loads of rubbish, dry goods, dirt, building waste, sand, gravel, and others. There is a risk of significant blind areas, tip-overs, and falling or falling objects due to the loads’ frequent top-heavy nature.
A big rig transports gases and liquids, which are frequently deemed hazardous commodities. Heavy tankers are extremely vulnerable to rollovers because of their shape and size. If the transported fluid or gas is combustible or if poisonous material fumes are emitted, this might be quite harmful.
The most common truck accidents that occur
Below are the most common truck accidents that occur:
One of the most devastating and horrific collisions imaginable is a truck rollover. The center of gravity of tractor-trailers and several large commercial trucks is significantly higher than that of regular passenger cars. Truck drivers must exercise extreme caution when making sharp bends or unexpected swerves.
If drivers make many abrupt bends on the wheel or drive recklessly in these circumstances, the trailer will flip or roll the entire vehicle over onto another side, posing a dangerous and fatal hazard to all motorists and others on the road.
In other circumstances, rollover collisions are the result of truck drivers’ careless or irresponsible behavior, such as speeding, distracted or driver fatigue, or driving while intoxicated. In other instances, even when truck drivers are operating their vehicles properly and responsibly, a truck rollover disaster may still happen.
For instance, a trailer that has been dangerously overloaded or poorly loaded by a cargo crew may sway when navigating a turn. Tire blowouts, which can be caused by poor tire maintenance or by design or manufacturing flaws, are a common cause of rollover accidents.
Due to the stark size and weight disparity between large commercial trucks and regular cars, passenger cars are frequently destroyed in rear-end truck collisions. Truck drivers require a lot more space and time to slow down, avoid obstacles and skip navigation in the road, or coming to a safe stop behind other cars, because tractor-trailers are large and difficult to operate.
Devastating rear-end collisions with other vehicles can occur when truck drivers are inattentive, speeding, or tailgating. Rear-end collisions can as frequently be caused by intoxicated driving and driver weariness. Inexperienced or hurried truck drivers who disregard the FMCSA’s suggested following distances put other vehicles in danger by failing to give themselves enough room to slow down or stop.
Drivers have the potential to drift out of their lane and directly into the path of oncoming traffic when they are careless, reckless, or completely lose grip of their trucks. When cars disregard the proper right-of-way at stop signs, red lights, or other junctions like pedestrians crossing, head-on crashes can also occur.
For a variety of causes, a truck may hit head-on another vehicle. The truck driver could be drowsy from working long hours to satisfy strict quotas and progressively drift into opposing lanes. Additionally, drivers may be impaired by alcohol or illicit drugs while they are on the road. After abusing OTC stimulants excessively, they may undergo a mental breakdown and unintentionally veer in the direction of approaching traffic. The probability of a head-on collision rises as a result of tire blowouts, which frequently result in rollover accidents and can also make drivers lose all control and swerve into other lanes without warning.
Large vehicles with articulated joints that connect the tractor and their attached trailer can experience jackknife accidents when they make poor turns or apply the brakes suddenly. The pressure that results leads the trailer to swing widely around its pivot point, resembling a folding jackknife. Because a skidding trailer might hit neighboring vehicles and take them along while the truck bulldozes their way through traffic, this type of accident is particularly dangerous.
Truck drivers’ incorrect braking is the most frequent cause of jackknife collisions. In bad weather, if truckers brake too hard or too quickly, the tractor may slow down before the trailer that is towing. The trailer may fishtail as a result of this. The trailer’s back may then slide out to either side and jackknife.
Similar circumstances can result from turning over duties too soon. Even if the jackknifed trailer avoids hitting any other cars before it stops, oncoming traffic may still hit the resulting road obstruction and trigger multiple-car pileups.
The majority of T-bone collisions, also called broadside collisions or side-impact, take place near junctions. Sometimes, tractor-trailers as well as other large trucks entering crossroads at a perpendicular angle will disregard stop signs, run a red light, or otherwise fail to yield the right-of-way, resulting in “T”-shaped collisions with the sides of other vehicles.
Drivers or passengers who are seated on the side of the car that receives the brunt of the force in a T-bone collision frequently suffer the most severe injuries in these collisions. T-bone collisions can be legally caused by truck drivers who really are speeding, inattentive, tired, or drunk running through junctions. A truck driver can potentially cause a T-bone collision by turning improperly across one or even more traffic lanes, which results in other cars slamming into the sides of the truck or trailer.
The difference between a sideswipe truck accident and a T-bone accident is that the cars involved in a sideswipe accident are often moving in the same direction at the time of the impact. Many times, vehicle drivers fail to thoroughly inspect their numerous blind areas before changing direction or entering into traffic, which results in sideswipe collisions among trucks and passenger vehicles.
In other instances, tire blowouts, traffic obstructions, strong winds, or other adverse weather conditions could lead truck drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Drivers who are distracted, intoxicated, high on drugs, or exhausted may also just lose concentration and wander into other vehicles in adjacent lanes.
These collisions are especially hazardous since a sideswiped vehicle may be pushed sideways into other parallel lines of traffic, resulting in multiple vehicle pileups and further damage.
Wide Turn Accidents
Truck drivers must take more care when making right-hand turns because they are typically tighter than left-hand turns. To skip navigation, the “right turn squeeze,” which happens when trailers do not have enough room to execute correct right turns, truck drivers will occasionally try to make right-hand turns by first swinging their cabs wide to the left, then circling through a right-hand turn. However, this puts other lane vehicles in danger because they can collide with the trailer or perhaps get pinned underneath the truck when it swings to the left.
The FMCSA advises truck drivers to proceed straight through to the farthest lane of the road into which they are turning, then complete the turn by swerving rightward into the nearest available lane. This is in place of veering left. Although this type of turn is often much safer, drivers must still safely assess the amount of time and clearance they have. Truck drivers who disregard this safety advice or who engage in other risky wide turns due to distraction, drowsiness, or intoxication may cause serious injury in collisions with other vehicles.
Due to their inability to detect other cars at the rear like the majority of regular small vehicles can, this is a major problem for large trucks. Due to the fact that no man can see what is happening there, people often refer to it as a “No Man’s Land.” The vehicle next to the truck is in serious danger if a truck driver doesn’t notice the bikes and cars changing lanes or making turns; they could be hit, fallen off, or crushed in a short amount of time.
Blowout of Tires
This can occur in any car at any time, putting the lives of the passengers in serious peril. Inexperienced drivers may worry and feel anxious when a tire blows out, which can cause them to lose control of their car and collide with other vehicles.
These are the most fatal accidents that come to mind. There are so many accidents that might happen if a vehicle passes underneath a truck in the span of a second. The trailer could crash into the cars below due to the truck’s blowouts, or a jeep which is significantly higher than other vehicles could lose its roof and damage passengers if it passes underneath the trailer. The likelihood of survival is extremely slim in each scenario.
Most Common Truck Accidents: Driver-Related Factors
Truck drivers, as well as drivers of other vehicles, are the most evident culprits in truck accidents. The following are a few of the primary reasons why truck drivers get into accidents.
Long hours are frequently required of truck drivers. Some drivers disobey the law’s requirement that truck drivers have a specific amount of rest. It’s tough to think of a circumstance in traffic that is riskier than driving alongside a truck driver who’s really dozing off.
Speeding, disobeying traffic lights, reckless driving on a two-lane road, tailgating, and other sorts of irresponsible driving are all examples of reckless driving.
Just like everyone else, truck drivers are susceptible to the attractions of distracted driving conditions like texting and speaking on the phone. Although they aren’t used as frequently as they once were, most vehicles still have CB radios. Music that is played to pass the time on a long ride might also be considered distracted driving.
Unreliable vehicle maintenance
Most truck accidents are caused by poor vehicle maintenance. For instance, worn tires might result in blowouts, which can be fatal. Depending on who was in charge of keeping the truck in working order, this may or may not be the driver’s fault. Usually, but not always, the trucker is in charge of this.
Bad Cargo Loading
Poor cargo loading may result in cargo falling into the road at high speeds or possibly tipping the truck over. Sometimes the driver is in charge of loading the goods; other times, the trucking industry or even a third party is in charge. However, the driver must at the very least inspect the cargo.
Poor or inappropriate training
A poorly trained truck driver poses a significant risk to other road users because they lack the necessary abilities for defensive driving, vehicle control, and other safety features.
Driver inexperience or lack of familiarity with the roads
Unaware of hazardous routes or unprepared for twisty, bumpy, or tight roads, truck drivers might easily lose control of their vehicles and crash into anything in their path.
Truck drivers find it challenging to consistently maintain safe driving conditions when faced with snow, rain, ice, fog, and strong winds. Drivers can become erratic and result in multi-car pileups that seriously hurt other drivers.
Bad Road Conditions
Truck driving can be particularly dangerous on our roads due to short lanes or highways lacking shoulders, unpaved or pothole-filled roads, and other factors.
These big vehicles, which weigh over 10,000 pounds and are typically operated by private businesses with poor driver training, are responsible for the bulk of accidents in existence today.
What Are the Most Common Truck Accident Injuries?
The moments following a truck crash are essential. Truck accident victims frequently depend on a witness to get assistance. After any accident, documentation is crucial, but your medical requirements come first.
Get medical help as soon as you can. Even if either you or your passengers feel well, motor vehicle accidents can cause delayed injuries that get worse in the hours and days that follow.
Some of the most severe and catastrophic injuries in all auto accidents are caused by truck crashes. Common wounds consist of:
Head and Brain Injuries
Head as well as brain injuries are some of the most common injuries resulting from collisions with large vehicles. Concussions, severe head injury, and wounds to the face and scalp frequently result in traumatic brain injury (TBI), particularly concussions. A serious injury to the brain is a traumatic brain injury. Regular X-rays or CT scans may not pick up very small brain lesions. To find these alterations in a person’s brain, specialized brain imaging techniques must be employed. Headaches, mood and memory issues, trouble sleeping or focusing are some of the signs of TBI. Even though they cannot be seen with the human eyes, head trauma injuries are indeed serious and can have a disastrous impact on a person’s life.
Injury to the spine
The most serious injury an individual may suffer is a spinal cord injury. When the spine is genuinely hurt or torn in some way, it happens. Complete or partial paralysis can occur at or below the point where the spinal cord is damaged as a result of these accidents. In essence, the central nervous system—which includes the spinal column—transmits all of the information that must be transferred from the brain to the other parts of the body.
Therefore, injury to the spine is similar to a twist in a hose. Beyond that, contact is terminated. While more severe occurrences of these injuries can end in quadriplegia, a state in which the person has lost use of all extremities, a few of these injuries leave patients unable to walk. Some patients need assistance talking, breathing, eating, and taking a bath.
Broken bones might appear to be an ailment that should recover on its own. Not all fractures, though, do so on their own. In fact, there are some shattered bones that need pricey procedures to fix. Pins, rods, and screws may need to be introduced into the body to keep the bones together as a result of these agonizing wounds. Broken bones could be displaced, which means the bone completely fractures, or non-displaced, which means the bone fractures but does not completely separate into separate pieces.
When the bone pierces the skin and is exposed, compound fractures happen. If a fracture is not treated right away, it could result in internal bleeding, inflammation, nerve damage, and lifelong disability. A shattered bone will usually show that it has been broken despite the best treatment.
Injury to the Back and Neck
The collision alone is deadly when a huge tractor-trailer crashes with a smaller passenger vehicle. In collisions involving semi-trucks, fatalities are rare. Muscle sprains, tendon injuries, and ligament damage are frequently sustained by those who escape these trucking accidents. Other soft tissues in the back and neck are also harmed by them.
Vertebrae, which are skeletal components, guard the spine. Discs, which are cushions made of stiff cartilage and filled with a gel-like material, are located between each spine. These discs provide the ability for mobility by acting as suspension systems between the spinal column’s bones. However, when a disc is injured, it may leak, swell, or even entirely herniate, which causes it to collapse. Nerve bundles are compressed as the area between the vertebrae gets smaller. It may cause uncomfortable and incapacitating symptoms.
Insurance Considerations for Truck Accidents
What are the most common condition on insurance , then? What information should you have?
Various insurance companies are commonly involved.
Cases involving trucks are notorious for being complicated. They involve a wide variety of businesses and people. They also often involve a wide range of insurance providers. Possible parties include your own insurance. Potentially included is the truck driver’s insurance company. The truck manufacturer or the trucking company insurance provider also might.
The Amount of Insurance Cover
It’s possible that each accident participant has a unique insurance coverage with a unique policy limit. These policy restrictions may on occasion be the bare minimum allowed by U.s. laws, as with individual drivers. Sometimes the policy regulations provide considerable coverage.
Injuries are frequently severe in truck accident incidents. Hundreds of thousands of dollars might be spent on hospital stays, and the expense of ongoing treatment can reach millions. Even if a judge requires it, it may be difficult to obtain additional pay if the damages exceeds the insurance company’s policy limitations.
Your State’s Laws, and How They Affect Liability
The U.s. is a state that recognizes modified comparative faults. The activities of the wounded sufferer are taken into account by the law. The injured party cannot be awarded damages if the jury determines that they were more than 51% at blame for the accident.
Why does this matter? It implies that determining negligence is a major concern in many trucking accident situations. Additionally, it implies that you may be entitled to financial recompense for your injuries despite whether you were somewhat to blame for the accident.
Insurance companies frequently intimidate truck accident victims.
When underrepresented truck accident victims are mistreated by insurance firms, insurance is another part of concern. These businesses put pressure on them to resolve existing truck accident claims fast, cheaply, and without the use of consulting a lawyer.
Stop and think about the situation if insurance is pressuring you. Could they be attempting to exploit you? What today appears to be a sizable sum of money may later prove to be much less when hospital bills are paid, household expenses are paid, and additional care is required. Do not succumb to pressure from an insurance company to take unrepresented action. An attorney should be consulted if you were hurt in a truck accident.
What Kind of Settlement Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Get?
Accidents involving careless truck drivers are unavoidable. Large 18-wheelers, garbage trucks, and semi-trucks clog both urban and rural highways. If a truck accident has injured you or perhaps a loved one, you need skilled lawyers on your side to obtain the right compensation.
Our San Juan Capistrano truck accident attorneys at Cefali & Cefali, APC consider a number of criteria to determine a reason for payment for your case, which include:
Who is accountable for your injuries?
Truck drivers are obliged to exercise a higher level of caution on the road because of the enormous size of their vehicles and the possibility for more damage. If a driver uses his vehicle dangerously, such as speeding or using aggressive “road rage” techniques, you may indeed be able to receive compensation.
The trucking company might also be held responsible if a driver had broken the rules regarding working hours, neglected to examine their vehicle, or lacked the necessary training.
It is crucial to get in touch with our truck accident lawyers so we can fully go over the circumstances of your case.
What is the severity of your injuries?
Oftentimes, truck accidents result in severe damage. A lifetime of medical treatment and lost potential earnings will greatly raise trucking accident compensation when an accident victim suffers injuries that render them incapacitated or unfit to do the very same employment.
Typically, truck accidents are handled out of court, but the larger financial stakes mean you may need to go to trial. Our truck accident lawyers in San Juan Capistrano, CA are skilled litigators with a successful track record. We have collected millions of dollars in settlements and judgments for our clients.
Damages are indeed a legal term in civil cases that are intended to give the victim. In a settlement, damages to physical harm, emotional distress, and property damage are all quantified in monetary terms.
For instance, a victim of an accident may require the repair of their vehicle and payment for their medical expenses. Trucking accidents, however, are much more serious.
Consequences injuries that leave you deformed or crippled might last a lifetime. Here is an example you may require:
- Long-term medical treatment and physical therapy
- Hospital equipment for mobility issues
- Prosthetic limbs
- Home modifications
Furthermore, you might be eligible to receive compensation for lost potential earnings if, regardless of having education and abilities, failure to find meaningful employment or return to the workforce.
Does your lawsuit meet the criteria for punitive damages?
When compared to other types of personal injury damages, punitive damages are special. To find out if your case is eligible for punitive damages, it is imperative to consult with your truck accident attorney.
Punitive damages, in contrast to other compensatory damages, are intended to:
- Punish a party that has been guilty of negligence
- Prevent future behavior
For instance, if the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating the vehicle, you might be eligible for punitive damages.
Who covers settlement costs?
In most circumstances, a truck driver that is responsible for the accident, its insurance company, or perhaps the trucking companies will cover the settlement or decision. Depending on the facts underlying the truck crash, there may be one or more parties at fault for personal injury claims.
There are far too many trucking accidents. Victims may experience despair and anxiety as they evaluate the severity of their injuries, the effect on their personal and professional lives, and the unanticipated financial load.
Allow our personal injury law firm to fight for the compensation you are due. We will zealously argue everything for you and direct you at every turn.
What Losses Can Truck Accident Lawyers Help Recover?
One of the most tragic incidents on U.S highways involves semi-trucks. Accidents are frequently fatal and have far-reaching effects.
Our personal injury lawyers in San Juan Capistrano are here to assist you with your needs in pursuing compensation if either you or someone from your family has suffered injuries in a careless vehicle accident.
- Full coverage of all current and future hospital expenses
- Lost income when you aren’t able to work
- Reduced earning potential
- Loss of pleasure of life damages
- Negative emotional effects
- Damages from consortium loss
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Potential punitive damages for an individual who was blatantly liable for negligence
Truck accident victims may sustain fatal wounds. The pain of death of a family member is indescribable. We at Cefali & Cefali, APC are aware that no amount of money can make up for your loss. However, you can help hold the negligent parties liable by seeking the advice of a wrongful death attorney.
It’s not just about the money when making a wrongful death compensation claim. Families can get the closure they require to go on by standing up for their loved one’s rights, getting answers, and ensuring sure culpable parties are held accountable for their actions.
Any monetary compensation will reflect the seriousness of the wrongdoing and aid in preventing future needless fatalities.
Why You Should Call Our Truck Accident Lawyers for a Consultation Right Away
Truck accident claims make up the majority of the personal injury cases handled by Cefali & Cefali, APC. Our San Juan Capistrano truck accident lawyers are excellent trial lawyers. From both state and federal courts, we have defended the rights of our clients by providing them with specialized and vigorous legal counsel.
Call Cefali & Cefali, APC if you require advocacy that is efficient and results-oriented. We are devoted to providing individualized, sympathetic representation to clients exactly like you, in order to help them restore their lives. We’re here to help you get the right compensation you deserve for your losses and injuries.
If you have any questions regarding our other services, like a personal injury claim, and others, don’t hesitate to message or call us right away. Our team is here to help you with everything that you want to fulfill your needs in your settlements or claim.
Do not wait to get in touch with our team Cefali & Cefali, APC for a free case evaluation or consultation with no responsibility if you or a family has suffered catastrophic injuries in a truck accident. We wish to support your financial and physical recovery. For your free consultation, message us and get in touch with our knowledgeable truck accident attorneys right now by clicking our contact form here or call us at (877) 423-3254.