Commercial trucks are critical to moving essential goods across the country, but they also create heightened risks on the road. Contact a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer today if you were injured in an accident with a truck in order to pursue a personal injury claim.
Injured In A Truck Accident In Los Angeles?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 150,000 people are employed as truck drivers in California. With such a high number of truck drivers, it’s not surprising that the statistics for truck accidents are also high and include over 300 fatal crashes and nearly 7,000 injury crashes. If another party’s negligent or intentional action caused your accident, they are responsible for your injuries.
When Should I Call A Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer?
An experienced truck accident lawyer will be a valuable resource after your accident. While your first priority should be medical attention for your injuries, you should consider contacting an attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you involve a lawyer, the less likely you are to take any action that could weaken your case for recovery against the defendant.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Certain factors make trucks more likely to be involved in an accident, including the size of the vehicle and the long hours truck drivers spend behind the wheel.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has rules governing the number of driving hours for truck drivers. Drivers cannot work more than 14 hours on-duty consecutively and can only drive for 11 of those 14 hours. After reaching the 14-hour mark, the driver must have a minimum of ten consecutive hours off duty. If a driver exceeds these limits it is a clear sign of negligence, but a driver should not drive while overly tired even during an authorized driving window.
Unsafe Lane Changes
The larger the vehicle is, the bigger its blind spot. Truck drivers must be incredibly cautious before changing lanes to ensure there are no vehicles in the path of the lane change.
Poor Driver Training
Commercial trucks are more difficult to drive safely, so California requires all commercial truck drivers to secure a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). To obtain a CDL, a driver must secure a Commercial Learner’s Permit, which requires a 10-year records check, a completed medical exam, and a knowledge test. After driving with a permit for 14 days, the driver must pass a skills test to secure a valid CDL. Securing a CDL is the minimum bar for training. Drivers must keep their skills fresh. A driver’s inability to safely drive their vehicle is negligent behavior.
Speeding and Overtaking
Truck drivers are often required to reach certain destinations in a set time frame, but these requirements are not always easily achievable. These time constraints can cause truck drivers to speed and overtake other vehicles on the road. Speeding reduces the driver’s reaction time, and overtaking can force other, smaller cars off the road — both of which often lead to crashes and serious injuries.
Types of Injuries Caused By Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks do serious damage to other vehicles when they are in an accident, often resulting in serious injuries.
If a driver or passenger braces for impact, they might break a bone. Broken bones are also common when a victim is thrown from a vehicle. Any broken bone is likely to disrupt your day-to-day life, but serious breaks can require surgery or rehabilitation.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a victim suffers a blow or piercing of the brain tissue by an object. TBIs result in a variety of symptoms depending on the location and severity of the impact but can include seizures, headaches, cognitive impairment, communication problems, and behavioral and emotional changes. At its most severe, a TBI results in brain death.
The body often takes a beating during an accident with a truck. Blows to the body can cause internal injuries including internal bleeding, organ injury, a collapsed lung, or broken ribs. Symptoms of internal injuries can be delayed or difficult to detect but delay of treatment has serious consequences.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that allows the brain to communicate with the body. A car accident can cause a sudden blow to the spinal cord or the surrounding tissue resulting in broken, crushed, or dislocated vertebrae or discs. Spinal cord injuries result in nervous system damage and interfere with motor function.
Finding The Best Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer For You
It is important to work with an experienced truck accident lawyer after your accident. Your lawyer will listen to your goals and prepare a case strategy to achieve them. Your lawyer will take the stress of pursuing recovery off your shoulders so that you can focus on your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.