When passenger vehicles are involved in a collision with a large commercial truck, there is a much higher likelihood that the occupants of the smaller vehicle suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries. However, it can be challenging to pursue compensation for losses suffered in a large truck accident. This is because trucking companies are backed by large corporations and insurers who will fight aggressively from paying out large personal injury claims -- even when it is clear that the victim has suffered disabling injuries.
The experienced Los Angeles truck accident attorneys at the Vaziri Law Group have helped injured victims recover maximum compensation for their losses. We are sensitive to the needs and situations of victims and their families. Our team is here to assist you as you face the challenge of securing fair compensation for your losses.
Factors That Lead to Tractor-Trailer Crashes Nationwide
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a vast majority of deaths in large truck crashes involve occupants of smaller passenger vehicles. Tractor-trailers and trucks are taller and have greater ground clearance compared to the average cars, which means that lower-riding vehicles can slide under truck trailers, which could have deadly consequences. Strong underride guards can prevent such catastrophic accidents from occurring.
Truck driver fatigue is also a factor that leads to truck accidents nationwide. Under the federal hours-of-service regulations, drivers of large tucks are required to take breaks so they are not fatigued behind the wheel. In addition, braking capability can be a factor in truck crashes as well. Compared with passenger vehicles, stopping distances for large trucks are much longer. This is particularly the case on wet and slippery roads or if the brake systems are poorly maintained.
Common Causes Tractor-Trailer crashes
Accidents involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks could be caused by a number of factors and result from different acts of negligence. Statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show a number of common causes that lead to devastating truck accidents nationwide:
- About 32% of truck crashes are caused by large trucks that cross over the centerline of roadways. This could be because the truck driver is fatigued, distracted, impaired or otherwise careless.
- Losing control of the truck due to speeding causes 29% of truck accidents.
- FMCSA's causation study attributes 12% of truck accident to "driver nonperformance." This could include fatigue, being sick or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Roughly 2% of truck drivers who were involved in fatal accidents in 2016 had a blood alcohol level of 0.08%. The legal limit for drivers of commercial vehicles is 0.04%.
- About 28% of truck accidents was caused by driver inattention.
- Problems with the truck cause about 10% of accidents including faulty parts, loading mistakes or overweight vehicles.
- About 3% of truck accidents are caused by inclement weather and poor roadway conditions.
Our experienced truck accident lawyers will conduct a deep investigation into what caused your truck accident, collect documentation relating to driver history, driver logs, cell phone records, vehicle maintenance information, etc., which could shed light on what caused your accident and who should be held liable. Our law firm also uses the services of outside experts who can help strengthen your case.
Distracted driving is a major risk for any type of traffic accident. However, it can be significantly more dangerous when large truck drivers operate their rigs while distracted. According to FMCSA's statistics, truck drivers who are texting are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash. Also, large truck drivers are six times more likely to be involved in an accident while dialing a hand-held cell phone and three times more likely to be involved in a crash when they are reaching for an object in the truck.
Federal laws prohibit truck drivers from texting or talking on a handheld cell phone while operating a commercial vehicle. When truck drivers operate their vehicles while distracted, the consequences can be catastrophic. If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted truck driver, our experienced California truck accident lawyers can help you secure maximum compensation for your losses.
Are Trucking Companies At Fault For Their Truck Drivers?
When a truck driver is operating a commercial truck, it often means that he or she is an employee of a company, corporation o agency. However there are also instances where truck drivers work as independent contractors. If a truck driver is self-employed and not connected to any corporation or firm, the driver might be completely responsible for his or her actions and held liable for an accident that occurs.
However, if the truck driver is employed by a company - which is often the case - his or her employer can also be held liable for the accident and resulting injuries. An experienced California truck accident lawyer will be able to closely examine the evidence and make a determination with regard to who the liable parties may be in a tractor-trailer accident.
Getting Help After A Trailer Truck Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor-trailer accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a large truck accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages and losses. An experienced California truck accident lawyer can help you collect, preserve and compile critical evidence that could be vital when it comes to proving your case and proving liability.
Injured accident victims can request a free consultation by filling out the contact form on this page. Call the Vaziri Law Group to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.