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Large trucks, semis, and 18-wheelers are a leading cause of many traffic-related deaths in the United States. These types of accidents are particularly disastrous given a tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler can weigh 20 to 30 times more than a passenger vehicle. Due to this, commercial trucks are dangerous and essentially guaranteed to crush smaller vehicles in an accident.
Truck accidents are different from car accidents because they’re complicated cases that will involve commercial trucking companies and insurance policies. It is crucial for a truck accident victim to take the right steps after a truck accident to ensure they receive fair compensation for their losses.
18-wheeler trucks are made in all shapes and sizes. These trucks usually carry cars, gasoline, and fresh produce. Its 18 wheels and tires are used to withhold over 40,000 pounds and gross weights of up to 80,000 pounds.
Many semi-trucks have devices installed on the engines that limit speed set between 62 and 68 mph. Trucks also have a huge turning radius and require at least 40 to 50 percent more distance in order to make a full stop.
If you were involved in a truck accident and would like to pursue legal actions against the party at-fault, our qualified truck accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are readily available to offer legal assistance. We will help strengthen your claim and negotiate with insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve.
To schedule a free consultation, please contact our 24/7 legal team by calling 213-927-3700 or filling out our quick contact form.
What Causes an 18-Wheeler Accident?
All trucks are subject to state and federal laws and regulations to minimize accident risks. However, some truck drivers and commercial trucking companies will ignore safety laws in order to meet their deadlines and maximize profits.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reviewed over 120,000 truck accidents within a two-year period. They came to a conclusion that driver error was the main cause of multiple vehicle crashes.
Some other causes of 18-wheeler truck accidents include:
Furthermore, there are many other factors that can contribute to an 18-wheeler accident. This includes:
Because of the immense size of an 18-wheeler, the resulting injuries from big rig accidents are usually severe. These can include:
Who Is Liable?
In short, determining liability after a truck accident tends to become a logistical nightmare. Truck accidents are typically catastrophic from an injury perspective and they are highly complex from a legal standpoint. Further complicating matters is that multiple parties can be held liable.
Depending on the circumstances of your particular accident, the truck driver, trucking company, and truck manufacturer can all be held liable. An injured driver can also share some degree of responsibility. It is important to recognize that an injured driver who is found partly responsible for a truck accident may still recover some damages.
California is a comparative liability state. Even an at-fault driver may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit for some damages, regardless of whether or not he or she was partially at-fault for the truck accident.
Moreover, California negligence law states that any truck driver who is found guilty of negligence can be held liable for causing injuries and damages to another motorist. Any driver who was injured by a truck driver’s negligence is entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit.
However, the injured driver needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the truck driver who hit him or her was negligent in causing the accident. In the state of California, there are three factors for demonstrating negligence in a collision:
Furthermore, according to California strict liability law, designers, manufacturers, and any companies involved in a product’s chain of distribution can be held liable if a defective product contributes to a truck accident. In strict liability cases, negligence is not a factor when determining liability. Any of the above mentioned entities can all be held liable, whether or not they made any mistakes that resulted in the collision.
Strict liability claims can be based on faulty:
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
If you have sustained injuries as a result of a truck accident, our expert truck accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact us today by calling 213-927-3700 or filling out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.