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Bakersfield And Central California Truck Accidents


Central California is home to most of the state’s agriculture and livestock. The region provides food for not only the entire state, but for much of the country. Unfortunately, because of the high concentration of commercial truck traffic, Central California sees many serious and fatal trucking accidents. According to the California Highway Patrol, Central California sees about 72 fatal truck crashes and 976 crashes involving injuries every year, making it one of the most dangerous regions in the state. In fact, Highway 99, which connects Bakersfield with the rest of California, was declared the deadliest road in America as recently as 2016.

Commercial trucking plays a crucial role in our local and national economy. But large trucks can become deadly when safety standards aren’t maintained. Tractor trailers, big rigs, and eighteen wheelers all weigh at least 20 times more than an average passenger vehicle, practically guaranteeing injuries and property damage in an accident. To further increase the danger, many commercial trucking companies routinely ignore safety regulations to maximize profits.

If you or a loved one was injured in the Bakersfield area as a result of a trucking accident, you need to speak with a Bakersfield truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Recovering from a truck accident can be a long and painful process, and many victims will require a lifetime of medical attention.

The Bakersfield truck accident lawyers at West Coast Trial Lawyers are caring and compassionate professionals. We understand how trucking accident claims work and we will stand up the insurance companies to recover all the compensation you deserve to deal with your medical bills and other expenses.

Truck Accidents In The Central Valley

A primary reason for so many fatal truck accidents in Central California is the large number of trucks that must pass through the area on a daily basis. Fresno and Bakersfield in particular see a very high volume of truck traffic every day. Central California is home to two particularly dangerous stretches of highway that see a steady flow of trucks, Interstate 5 and Highway 99.

Interstate 5 begins at the Mexican border and crosses the entire length of California into the state of Oregon. I-5 is heavily traversed by big rigs responsible for transporting agricultural products from the Central Valley throughout the state and to the rest of the country. A stretch of Highway 99 that passes through Fresno and other cities in the Central Valley has been declared the most dangerous road in America on more than one occasion.

How Truck Accidents Are Different Than Car Accidents

It is important to understand that you cannot deal with a truck accident the same way you would deal with a car accident. Knowing the difference will help protect your rights because the consequences of a truck accident may potentially be life changing.

Our team of Bakersfield truck accident lawyers has decades of experience dealing with commercial trucking insurance companies, and we will guide you through each step of your truck accident case.

Four reasons why trucking accidents are different than car accidents:

  • Injury Severity and Fatalities: Injuries sustained after a collision with a large truck are more severe and fatalities are more common. Medical care for trucking accident injuries will also be more costly than in a normal car accident.
  • Trucking Industry Laws: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) has implemented several trucking regulations to make roads safer for truck drivers and all drivers. Because truck drivers and trucking companies are held to higher safety standards, they can be held liable for trucking accidents if they do not abide by safety regulations.
  • Insurance Coverage: There is significantly higher insurance coverage available when dealing with commercial trucking insurance companies. 
  • Truck Accident Investigation: Commercial trucking accident investigations are more extensive and expensive than regular car accident investigations. An experienced Bakersfield truck accident lawyer understands the protocol for conducting a trucking accident investigation, and will do so in a timely manner to preserve important evidence.

Negligence in Truck Accident Compensation Claims

Truck drivers and trucking companies have a legal duty to avoid creating dangerous situations on the road. Whenever commercial truck drivers or truck companies make mistakes that lead to accidents, truck accident victims are entitled to seek fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

The most common way of establishing liability in a trucking accident is to show that a person or company’s negligence caused a collision.

Common examples of truck driver and trucking company negligence:

  • Distracted driving (texting, talking on the phone, etc.)
  • Improperly loading truck cargo.
  • Logging too many hours behind the wheel.
  • Failing to conduct appropriate truck maintenance.
  • Hiring unqualified or inexperienced drivers.
  • Driving drowsy or while fatigued.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Strict Liability in Truck Accident Compensation Claims

The second theory of liability is called strict liability. In California, product designers and manufacturers — and any companies involved in the chain of distribution — can all be held strictly liable if a defective product caused a trucking accident.

Negligence is not a factor in a strict liability case, because production companies and manufacturers can still be held liable whether or not they made any mistakes that contributed to the trucking accident.

Strict liability claims can be based on:

  • Defective engine or transmission components.
  • Defective brakes.
  • Defective brake lights.
  • Defective cargo ties or straps.
  • Defective accelerator pedals.
  • Defective tires.

Contact us to find out how we can help

If you have sustained injuries in the Bakersfield area as a result of a trucking accident, an attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (661) 347-3610 or email info@westcoasttriallawyers.com



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