Riverside County, CA is home to 2.4 million residents. As the fourth largest county in California, Riverside has plenty of open spaces, yet is also close to large Southern California metro areas such as Los Angeles. That, and the growing trend towards online shopping have led many major retailers such as Amazon to build huge distribution centers in Riverside County.
Those new warehouses mean Riverside County residents now share the road with many more commercial trucks. On an average day, approximately 25,000-30,000 trucks travel along the busiest sections of Interstate 10 in Riverside County. As you would expect, this noticeable increase in truck traffic has led to an uptick in the number of truck accidents in Riverside County. In 2013, 7,511 people were injured in truck accidents. By 2017, that number had risen to 9,710 people.
Getting into an accident with a large commercial truck is one of the most traumatic events a person can experience. Unlike a car accident, the chances of suffering a catastrophic injury or even being killed are high. Also, a truck accident case can be very complex and involve multiple parties besides the driver. Given these facts, it’s important to contact the truck accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm right away if you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Riverside County. Contact us at 800-818-1818 for a free consultation.
Below we’ve answered some of the most frequent questions we receive regarding truck crashes and information regarding what to do if you are injured in a truck accident in Riverside.
Types of Riverside truck accidents
In California, truck drivers must meet certain requirements and undergo training to safely operate commercial trucks. However, the sheer size and weight of large commercial trucks such as semi-trucks can make them hard to maneuver even for the most experienced truckers, especially in bad weather. This can easily lead to major accidents. Some of these truck accidents even make the local news where we hear words such as “jackknife” or “rollover”. But what exactly do they mean? Below are descriptions of some of the most common types of truck accidents.
- Jackknife truck accident – This term is arguably the most commonly used when describing a semi-truck accident. If the truck driver is forced to brake suddenly or encounters icy roads, the back trailer section may swing out, giving the truck the appearance of a partially folded pocket knife. Sometimes the truck driver can regain control, but often, the entire truck goes out of control and crashes into surrounding vehicles.
- Rollover accident – Commercial trucks have a high center of gravity. That makes them more susceptible to rollover truck crashes, especially along curved roads. Rollover accidents happen when the truck’s wheels come off the ground on one side and cause the truck to overturn. Not only can the truck crash into nearby vehicles, it can land on the opposite side of the road, causing horrific head-on collisions with vehicles traveling in the opposite direction.
- Underride accident – These occur when a car hits the back of a semi-truck and goes underneath it. Depending on the size of the car and how fast it was traveling, the entire top can be crushed or ripped off.
- Lane change accident – Semi-trucks have enormous blind spots. That makes it hard for truck drivers to change lanes. If there’s poor visibility, the dangers are multiplied and can lead to serious accidents.
- Blowout accident – Most large commercial trucks have 18 wheels. Because they transport heavy cargo across thousands of miles, tire blowouts happen. You may even see remnants of a blown truck tire along the freeway. When a tire blows out, the trucker may lose control and set off a catastrophic truck accident.
What are some common causes of truck accidents?
There are many reasons why trucking accidents happen, but there are several common causes that account for most serious truck accidents:
- Truck driver fatigue – Truckers are under a lot of pressure to meet the deadlines imposed on them by their trucking companies. There are federal and state guidelines regarding how long truck drivers can stay behind the wheel. Truckers will sometimes ignore them to arrive at a destination on time. Even worse, they’ll sometimes also speed to get there.
- Speeding – Commercial truck drivers aren’t the only ones who travel above the speed limit. Emergency vehicle trucks often do the same, including in residential areas when responding to a call. While first responders are trained to arrive safely, accidents still happen.
- Poor truck maintenance – Issues which might pose a threat in a passenger car can be deadly in a commercial truck. As an example, broken or non-working brake lights. If a tractor-trailer’s brake lights aren’t working and visibility is poor, a passenger car could easily get into a deadly underride accident with that truck.
- Truck defects – Small and commercial trucks receive recall notices just like passenger cars do. If the owner ignores the recall or the repair isn’t done correctly, it could lead to a major accident.
- Improperly loaded trucks – Improperly loaded trucks may suddenly lose cargo while on the road, causing a major accident. Or, the cargo load may be over the allowed limit, making the truck harder to control, which also poses a danger.
- Alcohol and /or drug use – Even though the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucking companies to periodically test independent truck drivers for drugs and alcohol, some truckers still drive under the influence. While most truckers are responsible, tight deadlines, long hours and loneliness can entice some truck drivers.
What roles do insurance companies play in commercial vehicle accidents in Riverside?
Contrary to what you might think, the truck companies and their insurance providers are not on your side. The trucking industry is notorious for aggressively defending itself against truck accident claims so they can pay out the least amount possible. They may even attempt to blame you for your truck accident to try to avoid paying anything at all.
You don’t want to take on the trucking companies and their insurance providers on your own at such a difficult time. It could end up costing you dearly. Instead, hire a Riverside truck accident law firm like The Dominguez Firm. That way, you can concentrate on your recovery while we fight for every cent of the compensation you are entitled to for your truck accident injuries.
What should I do after a truck accident?
If you’ve been injured in a Riverside County truck accident, try to get out of harm’s way if you can. Then do the following, in order:
Following these tips will help strengthen your case and protect your rights.
What compensation could I be entitled to for my Riverside County truck accident?
Trucking accidents between passenger cars and trucks in Riverside County usually results in catastrophic injuries to those in a passenger car. These injuries can include:
Many of the injuries listed above, such as traumatic brain injuries and amputations, will permanently alter a truck accident victim’s life. Victims can require long-term hospitalization and care. They may not be able to return to their former jobs again. A Riverside County truck accident victim’s losses can total in the hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars.
As the victim of a truck accident in Riverside, not only will you have major medical bills to contend with, you may also need:
An experienced Riverside truck accident lawyer will compare your truck accident and injuries to similar cases they’ve handled in the past to get a general idea of what your case may be worth. This amount will also include non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Call the Riverside truck accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm
Truck accidents are complex and can involve multiple parties. Among them are:
You certainly don’t want to take on multiple defendants on your own. If you were seriously injured or lost a loved one in a Riverside truck accident, call the Riverside personal injury attorneys at The Dominguez Firm for a free consultation today at 800-818-1818.
For over 30 years, our experienced truck accident lawyers have been helping clients obtain the maximum compensation they are legally entitled to for their truck accident claims. As our client, we promise to fight for you too. We also have the resources to take on the large trucking companies and their lawyers, not all Riverside truck accident lawyers can say the same. And if the trucking company lawyers refuse to make a fair settlement offer, we aren’t afraid to go to trial. Our award-winning personal injury attorneys have won seven and eight-figure verdicts for our truck accident clients.
For those who have lost a loved in a Riverside truck accident, you have the legal right to file a wrongful death case if you are the next of kin. While no amount can compensate you for your loss, getting financial compensation can help you feel justice has been served and provide financial stability, especially if any surviving family members were economically impacted by the loss.
If you’re worried about the cost of hiring an attorney, don’t be. At The Dominguez Firm, we work on a contingency basis. That means you have no upfront fees or hidden costs to worry about. At the end of your case, we receive a percentage of your final verdict or settlement amount. That percentage will be clearly stated in the client representation agreement you sign with us and does not change regardless of your final compensation amount.
It’s unlikely, but if we are unable to obtain any compensation, then you owe us nothing. You win or you don’t pay, so call us today!