Orange County Truck Accident Attorney
Truck crashes can be fatal and result in devastating wreckage to not only cars but also your personal wellbeing. After a truck accident happens, you may be stuck with medical expenses that can add up to a hefty price and severe injuries that prevent you from living your normal way of life. If you believe the truck driver is responsible for your injuries, it is time to speak to a truck accident attorney who can help you obtain maximum compensation for all your troubles. If the truck driver is at fault, their company can be liable for your damages. To learn how you can get started on your truck accident settlement claim, speak with a knowledgeable attorney today. Contact Roberts | Jeandron Law for a free consultation.
Why Truck Accidents Are More Dangerous
Source: U.S. Department of Energy
While commercial trucks come in all weights and lengths, semi trucks can be up to 51 feet in length and can have a gross vehicle weight — the weight of the cab, trailer, and contents — of 80,000 pounds. Comparatively, the average weight of a personal vehicle is around 4,000 lbs or two tons. That means that tractor-trailers weigh as much as 20 times as much as other vehicles involved in an auto accident.
Because the energy expended is directly proportional to the mass of the vehicle, large trucks can do a tremendous amount of damage even at low speeds. Consequently, when a truck collides with a smaller vehicle, it’s always a serious accident.
At Roberts Jeandron Injury Attorneys, our Orange County truck accident lawyers represent the victims of 18-wheeler accidents, rental truck accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, city bus accidents, blind-spot accidents, and more.
Common Injuries That Occur In A Truck Accident
Trucks are massive vehicles that weigh anywhere between 6,000 to 80,000 pounds depending on their load, which means that the force of this vehicle hitting a car can be the source of catastrophic injuries. More severe injuries can be the result of a high-impact truck accident. Here are some common truck accident injuries:
Seat Belt Injuries
Also known as seatbelt syndrome, this injury happens when a truck accident victim’s body slams against a seatbelt. This can cause abrasions and bruises along the length of the seatbelt fabric. There can also be vertebral fractures and intra-abdominal injuries in the chest region.
Neck And Back Injuries
Truck accident injuries can also include extensive neck and back pain, resulting in chronic discomfort that can make it difficult to move, rest, or even sleep. Neck injuries are often characterized as whiplash, caused by the neck plunging forward and whipping back, which creates strain on the muscle tissues in the neck. The back muscles can also experience sprain or strain, resulting in painful lower back pain.
A truck accident can cause traumatic spinal cord injury caused by a fast blow to the spine. This can cause damage to the spinal cord nerves and result in the loss of function and strength to the area affected along the spinal column. There is also the risk of paralysis to one or both sides of the body if spinal nerves are severed. Numbness and loss of sensation are also common after a bad spinal injury.
Broken And Fractured Bones
Other serious injuries truck accident victims may suffer are broken and fractured bones. Fractured bones are less noticeable and often cause soreness, dull pain, and swelling. Broken bones are more painful, take longer to heal, and can require crutches, casts, stints, and braces.
Internal organ and tissue damage can also happen to a truck accident victim because of a fast-moving crash. The body can slam against surfaces during an accident, resulting in internal bleeding and bruising to organ tissues. Internal injuries are incredibly serious and require immediate medical attention to prevent death.
Lacerations And Contusions
It can be easy to get a scrape or a wound during an accident, due to flying objects, broken glass, and sharp rocking that throws you against the surface of your car. Passenger vehicles are especially at risk of being completely wrecked during a horrific truck accident.
Traumatic brain injuries are one of the causes of high medical expenses after a bad truck accident. This can result in hemorrhaging, contusions, hematomas, and concussions, which can cause permanent damage. Traumatic brain injury victims can suffer from cognitive and neurological disorders long after the wound has healed.
A commercial truck accident can erupt in fires, causing severe first, second, and third-degree burns. Burns can be fatal and cause permanent disfiguration, resulting in long-term pain and suffering for burn victims.
Chest And Rib Injuries
Because the chest is exposed and facing the steering wheel, it can often suffer from injuries because of the forceful impact of the airbag that deploys during an accident. It can also hit the steering wheel or the dashboard during an accident.
While truck and bus accidents can occur at many places, a study performed and released by the Kentucky Transportation College of Engineering has highlighted the increased danger of these types of crashes between cars and pedestrians in busy intersections. The most likely scenarios leading to these crashes are:
- Driver pulling into oncoming traffic from a side street
- Driver is speeding and cannot stop or slow down in time
- Drive is moving through an intersection without making sure that it is clear
If you or a family member has been injured or killed in an accident with a bus or a truck and suspect that negligence was involved, you need an attorney to represent you who is thoroughly familiar with all aspects of truck and bus accidents.. Roberts | Jeandron Law, Orange County injury attorney, can help you build a compelling case from all of the possible evidence at hand.
Ways A Southern California Truck Driver May Be At Fault
A negligent truck driver can cause an accident for various reasons, turning their commercial vehicles into a hazard that can create serious harm. The trucking industry has many rules to help prevent such careless mistakes; however, this doesn’t stop some incompetent drivers from causing crashes. Here are some ways that a truck driver error can cause a trucking accident:
Truck Driver Fatigue
According to the FMCSA, there is an 11-hour driving limit after ten consecutive off-duty hour sessions. Truck drivers are required to take these scheduled and obligated breaks to prevent them from becoming too drowsy behind the wheel. When semi-truck drivers overwork themself and drive for extended times, this can put neighboring cars at risk because they can fall asleep while driving due to driver fatigue, resulting in a scary large truck accident caused by drowsy driving.
Semi-trailer truck drivers can become distracted by their phones and other devices that take their eyes off the road. For example, they may be texting, watching videos, talking, sending emails, or GPS mapping. Semi-trucks require the driver’s full attention when in operation, preventing the trucker from fully maneuvering around obstacles before it is too late.
Trucking companies require truckers to regularly take drug tests to prevent any illegal activity and protect the general public. However, truckers can sometimes still break the rules and abuse drugs or drink alcohol while operating their vehicle. This can be disorienting for them and affect their ability to react to vehicles around them.
In most states, truck drivers must drive a certain number below the speed limit to prevent them from crashing into vehicles when slowing down. Trucks are very heavy vehicles, and because of this, they take longer than passenger vehicles to slow down. Truck drivers have to slow down way ahead of other vehicles if they need to come to a full stop; otherwise, they can slam into the vehicles ahead of them.
Bad weather can create chaos for drivers on the road, especially truck drivers carrying heavy loads. Wet slippery roads, icy conditions, heavy fog, and downpours create hazardous conditions for a large truck driver.
Driving In the Wrong Lane
Truck drivers have to travel in designated lanes, and sometimes drive-in lanes are prohibited for truck drivers. The trucker may think they are beating the traffic by driving in a lane designated only for smaller vehicles, but it can make it easier for truck drivers to get into an accident.
Improperly Packed Trailers
Sometimes trucks are not properly prepared for travel, and the vehicle’s contents haven’t been secured according to protocol. This can make the truck imbalanced when the goods inside slide around, throwing the truck’s weight off. Trucks that are improperly packed can cause a trucking accident due to the wobbling and off-center weight distribution.
Truck drivers must get their vehicles inspected regularly and can be held responsible when their vehicle fails to perform according to quality standards. When truckers fail to make sure their truck is ready for the journey, they can break down on the road and crash into other cars. Sometimes it isn’t the trucking company’s fault, but instead, the manufacturer that is liable for a malfunctioning vehicle.
How Can My Attorney Help Me Claim Damages?
Orange County truck accident attorneys are especially useful after a commercial vehicle truck accident because once you’ve been in a recent truck accident, they are the ones that fight for your right to fair compensation.
They Perform An Investigation
After a recent accident, an experienced truck accident attorney has to investigate your case and look into the truck crash evidence. Truck accident cases often have multiple witnesses, photographic evidence, and medical expenses that support the severity of the truck accident. They will review all the evidence, point out important facts, and show how the trucking company is at fault in the truck accident claim. If the large commercial truck driver isn’t at fault for your injuries, then your attorney will let you know.
They Pull Reports
Trucking accident lawyers not only look into the visible evidence, but they also will request reports. This includes the police accident report, the vehicle inspection report, warehouse logs, trucker logs, and other information that hold clues to how the accident happened. They can find out how the truck driver may have been behaving before the accident, whether the truck had an issue with its maintenance or performance, and whether the truck driver was fatigued. This can point to who is responsible for large commercial truck accidents.
They Look At The Driver History
In addition to reports, an Orange Country truck accident lawyer can find out if there is a pattern for the trucker. Commercial truck drivers may have a record of negligence and poor driving history that can help reveal who may be at fault.
They Review Traffic Camera Footage
Your Orange Country truck accident lawyer will request traffic camera footage so that they can find out how the accident happened. If the truck improperly switched lanes, was involved in aggressive driving, or made other illegal moves, personal injury attorneys can identify this due to their experience and knowledge of traffic law.
They Demand Black Box Data
Trucks typically come equipped with a black box, an electrical data collecting unit that records and transmits information about the semi-truck. Some of the information black boxes can reveal in a truck accident case is how fast the truck was going before the accident happened, the incline the truck was at, and electronic communication that was sent. All of this information can be revealed in trucking accidents.
They Negotiate On Your Behalf in Southern California
Orange County truck accidents can be expensive, resulting in high medical bills and other damages that make life truly difficult for passenger vehicle drivers. An Orange County truck accident attorney will reach out to all involved parties, such as the trucking company, insurance company, witnesses, local authorities, and anyone else in truck accident cases. Lawyers reach out to the responsible party and negotiate your settlement amount based on the damages caused by the truck crash. They use strategy, strong communication skills, and reliable evidence to prove who is at fault.
They Represent You In Court
When the trucking companies don’t budge, or their insurance company doesn’t want to agree to your terms, your attorney will then take you to court. They file a petition on your behalf and initiate litigation to help you receive attention from the judge and jury pertaining to your right to receive compensation. Your attorney will represent you before the jury and explain how you are not at fault and all the damages you suffered, highlighting important aspects of your case.
What Are Damages I Can Claim In My Orange County Truck Accident Case?
After you’ve been in a miserable action resulting from serious injuries, it is possible to claim for both economic and non-economic damages.
Your Orange County truck accident could have resulted in wage loss, property damage, and medical bills. Even though your insurance company might cover most of your property damage, sometimes you may need additional funds. Your medical expenses might include surgery, imaging scans, follow-up visits, lab tests, physical therapy, prescription medicine, medical equipment, and other requirements to help you recover. All of this adds up, which is why you can include it in your settlement amount. You may also have to take time off from work because of your injuries. For example, if you broke an arm and cannot perform ordinary tasks at your job because of your wounds, you will have to take time off from work until you recover. These unpaid hours that you missed because of your truck accident are damages. This includes any time you expect to take off from work in the future, especially if you are partially disabled.
Trucking accidents not only cause physical damage but psychological damage as well. You may be a victim of trauma, emotional disorders, and other disabling effects after having suffered a scary truck crash. Depression, anxiety, grief, shame, embarrassment, and other terrible emotions could have surfaced because of your experience. When you are struggling with your recovery and enduring pain and suffering, you should mention this to your attorney.
Unlike compensatory damages, which are intended to compensate a truck accident victim for their economic costs (i.e., medical treatment, lost wages, property damage, etc.) as well as pain and suffering, punitive damages are intended to punish the driver or trucking company for egregious behaviors. In a semi-truck accident, the court may award punitive damages for a case where the driver was intoxicated at the time the accident occurred, for instance. Or when the policies of the truck companies were illegal under state and federal trucking laws, making an accident much more likely. While punitive damages are rare in truck accident claims, there is no cap for this type of accident in California.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
There are unique hazards when a large truck strikes a passenger vehicle that may not exist in a more common car accident. While these tips should not be construed as legal advice, they may not only help your financial recovery, but they can save your life. For actual legal advice, contact an Orange County truck accident attorney.
Get to a Place of Safety
Some trucks transport dangerous materials. If you see a spill or smell something unusual, move your car to a safe position if possible.
The dispatcher will need your location, a description of the vehicles, the types of injuries involved, and whether there are hazardous materials.
If you can do so safely, take pictures of the accident scene from your phone. It can help your truck accident claim.
Seek Medical Attention
Accidents with commercial trucks frequently result in serious injuries. Do not delay getting medical treatment at the closest Orange County hospital or clinic. Even if you feel fine, follow up with your doctor.
Call a Personal Injury Attorney Who Handles Truck Accidents
Trucking companies hire expert truck accident attorneys who will make a persuasive case about why you should take a fast settlement. That’s because they know if you hire a personal injury law firm, they may pay out a much larger settlement. We will assign an Orange county truck accident lawyer to your claim on a contingency basis. Call today for a free consultation with an Orange County personal Injury attorney.
How Do Orange Country Truck Accident Lawyers Help?
Your truck accident attorney will accurately estimate your damages and ensure that you are receiving full compensation for your wounds. They represent you before the other parties and ensure that you are treated fairly. Truck accident attorneys don’t let the party responsible get away with causing a bad accident but not paying for it. They will use evidence from your case to show how the other party was negligent, using traditional methods in the personal injury industry. Their experience, wit, and grit will help you obtain the settlement you deserve.
If you are starting your next personal injury claim, you will want to provide photographs, receipts, medical bills, contact information, and other useful data that can supply your Orange Country truck accident lawyer with enough information to get the ball rolling. They will review all of your truck accident case details and tell you if they believe you are not at fault for your injuries. With a strong case, you can likely receive compensation for your damages. You can learn more about the process and call Roberts | Jeandron Law today for a free consultation.Need help? Contact us now!