Truck accidents can cause devastating injuries that can require extensive medical treatment.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a trucking accident that wasn’t your fault? You may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver. The state of California provides that those who are injured in a truck accident due to someone else’s actions are entitled to compensation for their injuries. Contact our experienced California personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw today for a free consultation. We will review your case with you and present you with your best options.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?  Why Choose OnderLaw ?

If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you need adequate legal representation that knows how to navigate through complex personal injury laws and can best help you receive justice and appropriate compensation. At OnderLaw , you’ll receive more than just adequate legal representation. You’ll receive representation from experienced personal injury attorneys that will go above and beyond in your time of need.

OnderLaw was founded nearly two decades ago on the principle of seeking justice for our clients. For previous clients, we earned close to $4 billion in settlements. Our hard-working attorneys have earned numerous awards for our hard work and have been recognized by several attorney rating services.

Aside from the stellar legal representation that we provide for every client, we are also here to support our clients while they manage their road to recovery. We lead with compassion and empathy in dealing with each one of our clients, understanding that they are facing a difficult challenge in trying to move forward in the aftermath of their accidents. We will do the same for you.

Given our understanding of the difficult time you must be going through right now, you will have no financial obligation when you decide to have us represent you. Our firm operates on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you only pay when we get money for you. We will take an agreed-upon percentage of any compensation we obtain on your behalf.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents occur due to a number of reasons, including:

  • Load size – If trucks are carrying too large a road, they are at risk of tipping or rolling over, especially when turning corners on a curve at an increased speed. If this happens, and especially if this happens quickly with little time for other drivers to react, cars can crash into the truck, or the rolling truck can crash into the cars around it.
  • Mechanical issues – Commercial trucks are required to receive routine maintenance and inspections. But this maintenance costs time and money. Whether mechanical issues are intentionally overlooked or accidentally missed, trucks may suffer mechanical malfunctions while they’re being driven.
  • Fatigue – Truck drivers are known to drive at all times of day and night. Despite the Hours of Service regulations, many drive with minimal sleep because of demanding schedules or management that insists on faster deliveries. Fatigue is a common cause of truck accidents, where truckers fall asleep, even for a few seconds, while driving.
  • Weather conditions – Ice or snow can create slippery roads, and intense rain can cause visibility issues for drivers. Slippery roads can be particularly dangerous for trucks given the possibility of them sliding, and due to their size, their impact can cause considerable damage to other cars.
  • Speeding – Driving at a high rate of speed increases the risk of an accident due to the increased risk that the driver will lose control of their vehicle and decrease the amount of time a driver has to react.
  • Distractions – Just like drivers of passenger cars, truck drivers can be distracted by their use of cell phones while driving, by changing the radio, or even by watching activities happening outside the truck, such as accident cleanup or construction.
  • Improper training – Truck drivers are supposed to undergo extensive and specific truck driving training. Some truckers, however, may not have received proper training to safely maneuver a semi-truck or meet the truck driving training requirements.
  • Alcohol consumption and drug use – Being intoxicated from either street drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol can severely impair a driver’s vision, judgment, reaction time, and depth perception.
  • Improper loading – As drivers are governed by the Hours of Service Regulations, cargo loaders are governed by Cargo Securement Rules. Should a load be top-heavy, fastened to the trailer with worn, abraded, or incorrect straps, or otherwise in an improper manner, the cargo can shift in the trailer and cause a rollover or can come off the back of a flat-bed trailer altogether and crash into nearby motorists.

Common Injuries Suffered in Truck Accidents

The injuries that drivers and passengers involved in a truck accident sustain are similar to the injuries sustained in a car accident but can be much more serious and life-threatening, given the size of the trucks and the force of impact (semi-trucks weigh between 30,000 and 80,000 pounds). Drivers and passengers can suffer:

  • Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
  • Mental injuries like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and anxiety
  • Damaged organs and internal bleeding
  • Broken bones
  • Muscle strains
  • Whiplash
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Severe scrapes and burns
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis

Who Is Responsible?

Our firm will conduct a proper investigation to help determine who was responsible, or at fault, for this accident. This is important because California is an at-fault state: if someone harms you, they must fairly compensate you.

This is especially the case if it is found that the employer bypassed the necessary routine maintenance and inspections for the truck or hired an untrained or unqualified driver. Even further, if it is determined that the truck suffered some mechanical malfunction, the manufacturer of the truck could be held liable. If the cargo was loaded by a separate entity, and improper cargo loading was the cause of the accident, the cargo loading company could be held liable.

In some cases, it may be determined that both you and the truck driver share in some responsibility for the accident — also known as pure comparative negligence. If you are found to be partially responsible for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault for the accident. For example, if your actions are found to have been 20 percent responsible for the accident, and the truck driver’s actions are found to have been 80 percent responsible for the accident, your potential compensation will be reduced by 20 percent.

Compensation for a Truck Accident Claim

Most trucking companies carry liability insurance for their truck drivers. Depending upon the type of cargo and the weight of the load, the minimum insurance liability limits are between $300,000 and $5,000,000. Your attorney can get a copy of the trucking company’s insurance policy to determine the available amount in your case. Just because the company carries the minimum limit, that doesn’t mean you’ll get the entire amount.

In California, you may be entitled to three types of compensation, or damages: economic damages, noneconomic damages, and exemplary damages. The difference between economic and noneconomic damages is that one type of damages can be assigned a specific dollar value (economic damages), and the other is much more subjective and doesn’t have a defined dollar amount (noneconomic damages).

The types of economic damages you may be eligible to recoup are:

  • Loss of income – Since truck accident injuries can be particularly devastating, recovery from those injuries may take quite some time. During your recovery, you may not be able to work. You may be compensated for your lost income during this time. If your injuries are especially severe, you may become disabled or unable to return to work again. You may be compensated for this decrease in your future earning ability, as well.
  • Medical expenses – Medical costs immediately after your accident are expensive, especially if you are hospitalized. And if you require extended and ongoing medical treatment, those expenses can be astronomical. You may be compensated for those medical expenses and any future medical expenses you may incur for continued medical treatment related to your injuries from the accident.
  • Property damage – If your vehicle or other personal property, such as cell phones or laptops, is damaged or totaled in the truck accident, you may be compensated for the cost to repair or replace that property.

The types of noneconomic damages for which you may be compensated include:

  • Pain and suffering – You may be compensated for the mental anguish and physical pain you have had to suffer as a result of the truck accident.
  • Loss of consortium – When you suffer injuries from a truck accident, your recovery not only affects you but your loved ones, too. It can affect your relationships with those closest to you. Your loved ones (typically a spouse or child/ren) may be compensated for this.
  • Loss of quality of life – After a truck accident, your injuries may prevent you from being able to do the things you enjoy that you did freely before the accident. Exercising, or playing sports, or even driving may be difficult or impossible for you to do now with the injuries you’ve sustained. You may be compensated for this decline in the enjoyment of your life.

Finally, you may also receive exemplary damages. Exemplary damages are damages that are awarded when the actions of the person who harmed you were particularly oppressive, fraudulent, or done with malice. However, these damages are exceptionally rare. A judge or jury only grants exemplary damages when the defendant’s actions were so gross that the judge or jury wants to make an example of that person in order to deter any future repeat of that action.

California Accident Statistics

  • California has averaged over 250 truck accident deaths annually in the past ten years.
  • Interstates 5 and 10 average hundreds of truck accidents each year.
  • There were nearly 5,000 truck accident deaths in the United States in 2017.

Call OnderLaw Today

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, you need legal representation. Our attorneys are here to help. Contact OnderLaw today. While we cannot guarantee a specific outcome, but we can guarantee that we will provide you with the best legal representation possible. Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today. Call us or contact us online now.