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According to a news article featured in The Orange County Register, two elderly women were killed in a collision involving a box truck in Irvine on September 13, 2018. The fatal collision occurred shortly after 10 a.m. on Oak Canyon, near Valley Oak Drive. Doris Rogers, 86, and Lynda Bobzien, 68, were both pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver, on the other hand, walked away from the carnage without a single scratch.
This is not an isolated incident. Large trucks and semis are a leading cause of all traffic related deaths in the United States. An average tractor trailer, or eighteen-wheeler, weighs anywhere from 20 to 30 times more than an average passenger vehicle. Due to their immense weight and size, a large truck is almost guaranteed to crush any passenger vehicle in a collision.
This is unfortunate and unacceptable, because all commercial trucking companies have a legal obligation to ensure their trucks are operating at the highest safety standards. This means, among other preventative safety measures, making sure their trucks are properly serviced and regularly maintained. Sadly, many trucking companies will not live up to legally mandated standards and the consequences of such negligence can be catastrophic, like the tragedy that took place in Irvine last September.
Large trucks, and the truckers that drive them, are responsible for a significant contribution to the American economy. Commercial truck drivers are professional drivers who have undergone specialized training. Yet despite their wonderful contributions to the economy, large trucks can easily become deadly weapons on our roadways whenever safety standards are disregarded.
In a perfect world, truck drivers and commercial trucking companies would always follow legally mandated safety procedures. However, some truck drivers and the commercial trucking companies that employ them often break safety laws to meet strict delivery deadlines and maximize profits.
Not abiding by legally mandated safety measures increases the likelihood of a horrific collision and is also negligent. Examples of truck driver and commercial trucking company negligence include:
Federal statistics show that large trucks only account for 3% percent of the vehicles on the road, but are directly involved in 12% of all traffic fatalities. Besides causing fatalities, large trucks are also responsible for many serious injuries. Some of the most common truck accident injuries are:
People who were involved in a truck accident often mistakenly believe their case will be handled like a car accident. Truck accidents are significantly more complex than other accidents, and there are many aspects an experienced Irvine truck accident lawyer will need to consider when proving liability in a trucking accident.
Proving liability will generally involve one (and sometimes both) of two legal theories: negligence and strict liability.
The most common way of establishing liability after a trucking accident is to prove a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence caused the collision. When truck drivers or truck companies make mistakes that cause accidents and injuries, truck accident victims may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses.
In the state of 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 these cases, and these companies can be held liable whether or not they made mistakes that contributed to an accident. Strict liability claims are based on:
It is important to know how to protect your rights following a truck accident because the consequences may be potentially life changing. Our team of Irvine truck accident lawyers have decades of experience dealing with commercial trucking insurance companies, and we will guide you through each step of your truck accident case.
Below are four reasons why trucking accidents are different than car accidents:
If you or a loved one was injured in the Irvine area as a result of a trucking accident, it’s crucial that you speak with an experienced Irvine truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Recovering from a truck accident can be a long and painful process. We understand the way insurance companies work and we will fight to recover all the compensation you deserve to deal with your medical bills and other expenses. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.