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Commercial truck accidents in California are notoriously complex

If you drive on freeways and highways in California, this usually means you will be driving alongside large commercial trucks. This can be nerve-wracking, especially when these accidents usually cause serious problems to those traveling in smaller passenger vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Administration reports that between 2016 and 2017, there was a 9 percent increase in the number of fatalities of victims who were struck by large commercial vehicles. Based on data published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 162,467 traffic accidents involving big rigs, including 12,669 in California alone. These accidents resulted in 460 fatalities and more than 5,000 injuries in 2019.

Although not every truck accident will result in fatal injuries, most truck accidents result in serious injuries, including broken bones, internal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and paralysis.

Financial Compensation is Available After a Devastating Truck Accident

All large truck accidents can be life-changing, causing physical injuries as well as psychological trauma. If you or someone you love was injured in a large truck accident, financial compensation can be obtained when the accident was caused by another’s negligence. Consult with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney who can assist you in obtaining the financial compensation you are entitled to.

The personal injury litigators at the Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King are exceptionally qualified in the field of large truck accidents. The firm is equipped with the tools and resources needed to handle these complex cases, and they understand the tactics routinely used by the freight industry in an attempt to downplay a victim’s injuries. If you were injured in a truck accident, you will need the support of an experienced litigator who will aggressively advocate on your behalf. Consider obtaining the legal guidance of the Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King by calling (909) 297-5001 today.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Southern California

Like all traffic accidents, large commercial truck accidents can happen in a variety of ways, but since these vehicles are much bigger and heavier than most vehicles on the road, they tend to cause far greater damage. As a result of the weight and size of large commercial trucks, unique issues could arise, which could result in catastrophic traffic accidents.

Common causes of large commercial vehicle accidents include:

  • Blind Spot Accidents – The FMCSA reports that big rigs have large blind spots on four sides. Because of this, the agency warns drivers to stay out of these blind spots when driving alongside large commercial trucks. Accidents that can be caused by these blind spots include sideswipe accidents and turning accidents.
  • Jackknife Accidents – Jackknife accidents happen when the trailer unit of the large truck, connected by the hitch, begins to move independently of the tractor. The FMCSA reports that in 2019, 7,000 large truck accidents were caused as a result of jackknifing incidents.
  • Difficulty in Stopping in Time – Heavily loaded trucks can have a far more difficult time in stopping, which can be hazardous when traffic comes to a sudden stop. A big rig that rear-ends a smaller passenger vehicle can severely injure those in the smaller vehicle.

While most truck accidents occur as a result of the truck driver’s inability to control the vehicle, other reasons a truck accident can be caused include: Distracted driving, Truck maintenance issues, Lack of driver training or experience, Driving while sleep-deprived, Driving while under the influence, Truck or trailer defects, and Cargo loading errors.

Establishing Liability After an Accident

As with other types of personal injury cases, liability for a truck accident is based on the theory of negligence. For the most part, negligence means the party who caused the accident failed to use a reasonable sense of care another party would, given similar conditions.

In California, truck drivers who are found negligent in causing the victim’s injuries will be held responsible for that victim’s losses. To establish negligence in a truck accident case, the following four elements must be demonstrated:

  1. The truck driver owed the victim a duty of care to operate the large truck safely;
  2. The truck driver violated the duty of care by driving in a reckless manner;
  3. The breach in care caused the accident; and
  4. The victim sustained significant injuries and damages as a result of the accident.

When a truck driver has violated state or federal laws and this led to the accident, the truck driver may be considered negligent per se. Used in auto accident cases, negligence per se occurs when the at-fault driver has violated a provision of the state’s vehicle code, which was intended to prevent the injury of others, and the violation resulted in the accident.

It should be noted that there are other parties besides the truck driver who can be held accountable for the accident. The elements needed to prove negligence could vary because the standard of care will be different, depending on who the at-fault party is and what is that party’s relationship with the victim.

Additional parties that can be held responsible for a truck accident include: Trucking companies, Vehicle part manufacturers, The shipper or loader of the cargo, and Other drivers on the road.

After a Large Truck Accident, Obtain Legal Counsel From an Experienced Attorney

All truck accidents can result in serious injuries that could cause financial stress due to mounting medical expenses and a loss of employment. When a truck accident is caused by a negligent truck driver or other third-party, the liable party should be responsible for all damages caused in the accident.

If you were injured in a truck accident, obtaining the support of an experienced personal injury attorney can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Truck drivers, trucking companies, and their insurance companies are aware of the financial strain faced by most accident victims and they will use all tactics at their disposal to pay victims the least amount possible. With the representation of an experienced litigator, you will ensure you obtain the damages award you truly deserve.

At the Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King, helping victims of negligence is the first and foremost priority. If you were injured in a truck accident by a negligent truck driver or another party, obtaining proficient representation can help you build a strong case, and help you obtain the financial compensation you truly deserve. Consider contacting the Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King by calling (909) 297-5001 or filling out the online contact form today.

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