Were you recently in a truck accident? If so, the experienced Orange County truck accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm can help.
Truck accidents in Orange County and throughout the LA area can be traumatic, complicated, and challenging to deal with on your own. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, it’s vital to immediately seek legal representation before speaking with the transportation company’s insurance provider.
At The Dominguez Firm, we will fight to protect your legal rights, help you seek maximum compensation, and ease your road to recovery. Call (800) 818-1818 for your free consultation today.
Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?
Operating a large commercial truck requires advanced skill and training, although even with this preparation, accidents involving trucks in Southern California still happen far too often. An Orange County truck accident usually occurs for one or more of the following reasons:
1 – Driving under the influence
Many truck accident cases are caused by impaired truck drivers. This one is easy to avoid. A driver should never get behind the wheel while drunk or on drugs. The health and safety of everyone on the road is put at risk when a truck driver is operating under the influence.
2 – Distracted driving
Distractions might include using a cell phone, operating the GPS, or trying to eat food while driving. Truck drivers should avoid taking their eyes off of the road or hands off the wheel.
3 – Driving while tired
Most truck drivers take on long shifts and drive for many hours. This monotony may tempt truck drivers to fall asleep, causing a truck crash. If a driver feels tired when driving any commercial trucks or passenger vehicles, they should pull over and rest. When they fail to do so, your life is put in danger.
4 – Mechanical problems
One leading factor leading to a commercial truck accident is vehicle malfunction. This failure may include bearing too much weight, lacking proper maintenance, engine overheating, or not meeting service regulations. The driver has the responsibility to make sure that their cargo is secure and the truck that they are driving is mechanically sound.
5 – Improper training
Operating tractor-trailers requires a much different skill set than driving a passenger car. Without ample experience, a truck driver may not know how to manage blind spots, maneuver turns, change lanes, or perform other critical truck maneuvers.
6 – Reckless Driving
Reckless driving might include speeding, running lights, not stopping at stop signs, or not following other traffic laws. This road behavior is dangerous in any passenger vehicle, but it becomes even more hazardous in large trucks.
7 – Wide Turns
Semi-trucks require extra space when turning, which can cause collisions with nearby vehicles. Miscalculated turns may also make the entire semi-truck flip. With a truck flip accident, truck drivers and those in surrounding vehicles face a high risk of serious injuries.
How Common Are Truck Accidents?
If you drive a car, you may think that you should never worry about big rig accidents. However, it is quite common for passenger vehicles to become involved in trucking accidents. So how often does this happen? Here are some truck accident facts:
- Approximately 4,136 people died in truck accidents in the U.S. in 2018, based on findings from The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.
- 11% of fatal accidents included a truck in 2018, according to the same research. Passengers of smaller vehicles made up the majority of the deaths in those accidents.
Are Truck Drivers Responsible for All Accidents?
Determining fault in an Orange County truck-related accident is challenging. Unlike a car accident, more than two parties may be involved since you have to factor in the truck driver’s employer and the actual owner of the truck. When considering liability, you must think about the following:
- Is the manufacturer responsible for any defects in the truck?
- Did a mechanic improperly repair any truck problems?
- Did the truck driver operate the vehicle negligently?
- Did the employer or owner meet federal and state laws regarding cargo loaders?
Because of these complications, the truck driver will not always be liable for the accident, although, in the following scenarios, they may be to blame:
- If the trucker is an independent contractor: Truck employers are responsible for a driver’s negligence or recklessness unless the driver is an independent contractor.
- Outside of hours: The driver may be at fault if the accident happens outside of the employee’s schedule or other parameters.
Federal Trucking Laws Can Complicate Liability
Personal injury lawsuits involving commercial vehicles become even more complicated when considering the country’s varied trucking laws. The State of California governs many laws surrounding each Orange Country trucking company to keep residents safe. However, trucks licensed in other states may not meet California’s criteria.
Federal laws include specific regulations as to:
- Driver hour limitations
- Consistent testing for drugs and alcohol
- Cargo limitations
- Driving logs and records
- Required servicing and maintenance
If trucking companies do not adhere to these requirements, they may be held completely liable.
Common Truck Accident Injuries and Compensation
Truck accidents often result in serious and even catastrophic injuries. Victims may experience:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
- Burns or permanent scarring
- Loss of a limb
Aside from medical bills, injured victims in a semi-truck accident can receive economic compensation for other losses such as lost income by filing a personal injury claim. A claim can result in a settlement or verdict to cover:
- All medical bills
- Future loss of work
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Vehicle or property damage
- Wrongful death losses such as burial expenses and loss of companionship if a loved one was killed in an Orange County truck accident
Victims can also be compensated for the emotional losses they’ve suffered due to their Orange County truck accident. These can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Even though non-economic damages can’t just be added up easily like economic damages, they usually make up the largest part of an Orange County truck accident victim’s settlement or verdict amount.
What to Do After an Orange County Truck Accident
If you’re ever in an Orange County truck accident, you should follow these steps:
- Immediately seek medical treatment for any injuries, even if you think you feel fine.
- File a police report. Police reports will cover all accident details on the scene, though you should not inform the police about your injuries until you’ve seen a doctor.
- Gather evidence by taking pictures of the scene, talking to surrounding witnesses, and collecting everyone’s contact or insurance information.
- Contact an Orange County truck accident lawyer to help build your case and represent you in court.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Truck accident attorneys understand all of the complicated ins and outs of trucking industry laws and personal injury laws. A truck accident lawyer from The Dominguez Firm will analyze your case, build your claim, gather evidence, determine liability, and represent you in court.
Whether you were the driver or passenger of the vehicle, having a powerhouse legal team by your side will protect your legal rights.
Call the Experienced Orange Truck Accident Attorneys at The Dominguez Firm
If you suffered in a recent tractor-trailer accident, you should seek an immediate consultation with the experienced Orange County truck accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm. With over 30 years of experience, we know how to handle complex truck accident cases.
You can rest easy knowing you’re in good hands with The Dominguez Firm. We have been recognized for our outstanding customer service. Plus, our award-winning in-house trial lawyers will handle your Orange County personal injury claim with skill and determination. We aim to help you fight for the full legal compensation you’re entitled to so your road to recovery is as smooth as possible.
If you’re seeking an Orange County truck accident lawyer, call us at (800) 818-1818 for a free consultation.