5 Ways Truck Accidents Happen
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler or Semi-Truck Accidents
A truck driver who is found in violation of California’s safety regulations and causes an accident may be held liable to an injured driver for their losses. The majority of all truck accidents are caused by a truck driver who was not using reasonable care while driving or who was in violation of safety regulations.
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident in Los Angeles, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The experienced team of Los Angeles truck accident lawyers at West Coast Trial Lawyers will recover all the compensation you are entitled to so that you can focus on your recovery and on the ones you care most about. Below, our team of truck accident attorneys will discuss the most common truck accident causes.
The Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Poor Driver Training and Truck Maintenance. When it comes to commercial trucking companies, all drivers must meet a minimum amount of training hours, as well as other safety requirements, before they are allowed to drive a truck on public roads. The reality is that not every commercial trucking company or truck driver will actually meet their required safety guidelines. The result is that there are many poorly equipped drivers out on the road.
Furthermore, commercial trucking companies must maintain their trucks in reasonably good condition before they are allowed on the road. As trucking companies are primarily driven by profit, they may not always fully invest the time and money it takes to properly maintain their trucks. The result of cutting corners and failing to properly maintain their trucks does not only portray poorly trained drivers, but also poorly trained drivers who are driving poorly maintained trucks.
Speeding. Truck drivers are under extreme pressure to meet their deadlines. As a result, commercial trucking companies will often pressure their drivers to get to their destinations within very strict time limits. Naturally, there are many factors which can cause delays, including traffic accidents and poor weather. Because of the tremendous stress that most truck drivers are under, it is common for them to speed in order to reach their destinations more quickly.
Fatigue. This is perhaps the most common cause for all truck accidents. Most truck drivers become severely fatigued after driving several long hours over lengthy stretches of road, typically with little to no rest in between. As mentioned, truck drivers experience a great deal of pressure to meet their strict deadlines. As a result of this pressure, they don’t sleep enough and the accumulated fatigue may easily cause them to fall asleep at the wheel or become distracted, causing a serious accident.
Distracted Driving. It is not uncommon for a truck driver who has been driving for several hours to become bored or lose focus of the road. It often happens that a truck driver will start browsing the internet or respond to text messages on their phone. Another example of distracted truck driving is playing around with the stereo, causing a seemingly harmless distraction that can last a few seconds, yet can result in serious harm.
Drug and Alcohol Use. Due to the tremendous pressure truck drivers are under, it is very common for them to use drugs and alcohol while behind the wheel. This is sometimes done in order to relieve stress, but more often than not it is a way to just keep driving. Driving under the influence as a truck driver is especially egregious because all truck drivers, due to the sheer size of their vehicles, have an added duty of care while behind the wheel.
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.
Contact Us to Find Out How We Can Help
If you have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a truck accident, a skilled truck accident attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.