Trucking accidents are a common event on America’s roads. If you are ever in an accident with a commercial vehicle, then finding the right California truck accident lawyer will become necessary. Especially when seeking to recover the the compensation you deserve. The reasons for this are that trucking accidents are often far more complex than a normal automobile accident. Questions such as responsibility, cause, and who has to cover expenses are all reasons that trucking accident lawyers are needed to review and seek compensation in these types of accidents. Here are some basic things you should understand if you ever find yourself in an accident with a truck.
Over the last twenty years trucking accidents have shown an increase of twenty percent and are involved in one of every ten fatal traffic accidents in the United States. For the year 2002 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recorded 4,897 deaths and 130,000 people injured in trucking related accidents. The injuries sustained in such accidents are often far more severe than an equivalent accident involving an automobile. The reasons for this are due to the sheer size and weight of most eighteen wheel and other large types of shipment trucks.
Given that California is home to some of the largest metro areas in the country and also a prime location for international shipping it should come as no surprise that trucking accidents are common. According to 2010 reports from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration California (NHTSA) had the nation’s second highest number of fatal traffic accidents. Of 2,715 recorded fatal accidents 235 of these were due to the involvement of a commercial truck. This means that nine percent of all fatal automobile accidents in California involved a commercial truck in 2010. Highway I-70 is known for being especially dangerous with commercial trucks being involved in thirty one percent of its reported 2,250 accidents in the year 2000.
When determining accountability there are several different parties involved when the accident involved a commercial truck. These can include the truck driver, the owner of the truck, the person or company paying for shipment, the truck manufacturer if the accident was caused by mechanical failure, and the company that loaded the cargo. As you can see the layers of accountability are vast and require an attorney skilled in such shipping laws to properly interpret.
The various parties involved in the shipping process will also often fight amongst themselves over who is responsible for the accident and in effect who has to pay your compensation if you are injured. Add to the fact that each party has their own insurance company and you can see why leaving this to a professional is advisable.
The causes of commercial trucking accidents are varied. The most common cause of these accidents is driver error. Studies by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report that driver error is the root cause for eighty eight percent of all commercial trucking accidents. Driver error covers a wide range of topics. These can include drug abuse, drinking, driving too fast, exhaustion, being distracted, or being unfamiliar with the area they are driving in. Among these many causes the most common one is exhaustion or lack of sleep by the driver.
After driver error the second most common cause of commercial trucking accidents is mechanical failure. These can be design flaws or faulty equipment. The most common mechanical failings are due to improper maintenance and upkeep of the trucking equipment. Failings in upkeep can result in jackknifing due to bad breaks, outright break failure, tire blowouts, rollovers due to improper balancing, the trailer not being attached correctly, bad lights, and failure of the transmission.
As you’ve read commercial trucking accidents can be very severe and are sadly common in California due to its busy shipping industries and location. If you’re injured in a trucking accident you need to hire trucking accident lawyers to review your case. You are legally entitled to be compensated for all that a severe injury caused by a commercial trucking accident costs you. You are not just owed for hospital bills. You are also due any therapy, ongoing treatment, and pain and suffering caused by the negligence of another. Injuries sustained in a trucking accident can also negatively impact your career. Aside form lost wages you may have your ability to perform your chosen profession negatively impacted or in worst-case scenarios you may no longer be able to work in your chosen job field. Don’t leave it to chance or bickering insurance companies to solve, it is only through the assistance of trucking accident lawyers that you will receive the compensation that you are rightfully owed. Contact The May Firm today at 1-844-MAYFIRM or fill out our free online form.