Costa Mesa Truck Accident Attorneys
The experienced Costa Mesa Truck Accident Lawyers at Bisnar Chase have a long and successful track record of holding negligent truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for over 40 years.
Tragedies caused by poorly maintained trucks are unnecessary and can be easily prevented when these trucking companies do what they are required to do under the law. Our accident attorneys have won millions of dollars in compensation for those who have suffered at the hands of someone else's negligence.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi-truck collision, please contact our Orange County law offices at 949-203-3814 for a free consultation.
Common Causes of Big-Rig Incidents
A recent Large Truck Crash Causation study reported that almost 55 percent of the trucks involved in crashes had at least one mechanical violation and almost 30 percent had at least one out-of-service condition.
Other common causes of semi-truck collisions include:
- Driver fatigue: Truckers falling asleep at the wheel is a typical occurrence in semi-truck accidents. Big-rig drivers are often pressured to make delivery deadlines. There are regulations that employers need to follow though in order to keep drivers from falling asleep while operating a semi. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that "14-Hour Limit: May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period." Truckers who exceed the 14-hour driving limit can possibly cause a collision. Big-rig drivers are also to take 30-minute rest breaks within an 8-hour period. Motorists who recognize that a semi-truck is swerving are to notify traffic authorities immediately.
- Brake failure: Of all types of failure, brake failure is the most common in large trucks such as 18-wheelers or tractor-trailers. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), tractor-trailers with defective equipment are twice as likely to be involved in crashes as trucks without defects. Brake defects were most common in these types of crashes. In fact, brake failure was an issue in 56 percent of tractor-trailers that were involved in crashes. Do not let the negligence of the trucking companies infringe on your right to compensation. If you have been injured in a truck accident, our savvy Costa Mesa personal injury attorneys can help you take legal action so you can acquire the compensation you deserve.
- Weather conditions: Semi-truck drivers have the responsibility to make sure they are operating their big-rig under safe road conditions. Truckers are to avoid dangerous weather conditions such as heavy rainstorms, snowstorms, wind storms and heavy fog. Data reported that within a ten-year-period 556,151 crashes occurred due to weather-related conditions. Each type of weather condition carries its own kind of risk. For example, truckers who choose to drive through a heavy rainstorm have an increased risk of hydroplaning. Those who drive in high winds run the risk of the truck tipping over.
- Poor truck maintenance: Equipment failure or truck malfunctions are the most common causes of catastrophic auto accidents. Regular maintenance on semi-trucks is crucial. Truckers are to constantly check to see if parts of the truck such as brakes, tires and the steering wheel are functioning up to par. Every 18-wheeler has it's own truck maintenance schedule. Every so many miles, a trucker must inspect the big rig. When there are faulty parts in semi-trucks, the trucking company or the truck’s owner can be held liable for injuries and damages caused as a result.
- Reckless driving: Speeding, driving under the influence and distracted driving are all considered not only careless but illegal. Since 18-wheelers are greater in weight and size than most other vehicles, the damage they can cause could be devastating. Truckers who are operating a big rig haphazardly can also face a license suspension. Commercial driver disqualification could occur if the truck driver was improperly changing lanes, following too close to other vehicles or exceeding the speed limit. When you hire a truck accident attorney in Costa Mesa, California, they will be able to conduct a full investigation to prove that a driver was operating a big rig recklessly. Insurance companies will aim to provide you with the lowest settlement offer for an incident that was clearly their fault. Call 949-203-3814 today and start the process of receiving the compensation you deserve for your losses.
Types of Injuries Accident Victims Suffer in Big-Rig Collisions
The average big-rig weighs up to 80,000 pounds and can reach 72 feet in length. Due to its size, a commercial truck can cause a significant amount of property damage. People can also suffer from multiple debilitating injuries.
Types of injuries truck accident victims may experience can include:
- Spinal cord injuries: There are two types of spinal cord injuries which are known as a complete and incomplete injury. A complete spinal cord injury means that an accident victim has lost all sensation where the injury took place. An incomplete spinal cord injury involves partially losing sensation where the injury occurred but still maintaining the ability to move. A person that is paralyzed can be categorized in two different ways: tetraplegic and paraplegic. Paraplegia is the extreme of the two and involves a person losing all mobility and will need round-the-clock care and rehabilitation for the rest of their life.
- Burns: The common types of burns that people experience in commercial vehicles are friction burns. Friction burns take place when the epidermis is scraped off by an object. There are instances where truckers can cause an accident and due to the impact, vehicle passengers can be ejected out of their seat and onto the pavement. Burns can also be caused by an airbag explosion. Friction burns can range from being a small abrasion to the skin being completely ripped off to the bone. Burns are separated into four categories which are first, second, third-degree and fourth-degree burns. The most severe of the categories is the fourth-degree burn which is when all layers of the skin are destroyed including the muscle and bone.
- Whiplash: Whiplash occurs when the neck is suddenly jerked back and forth. This can be dangerous because not only can the brain be impaired from this injury but so can the spine. Those who are rear-ended by a semi-truck can find themselves experiencing whiplash symptoms. Typical whiplash symptoms include neck stiffness, headaches, lower back pain and dizziness. Whiplash symptoms can also last up to six months. Treatment options such as prescription medications, numbing medicine and physical therapy may be needed.
- Bone fractures: Broken bones can be one of the most unrecognizable injuries after an accident. People that suffer from a broken rib after a motorcycle accident may at most feel a soreness. This is why it is important to be examined after a collision to prevent any further damage to the body. Signs that you may have a broken bone from an accident include bruising, tenderness, or a limb appearing deformed. There are also several classifications for a broken bone. Accident victims may be diagnosed with a stable, transverse, comminuted, oblique, compound, hairline, avulsion, greenstick, spiral or pathological fracture. Every type of bone fracture is unique which means that every treatment plan will be different. The faster you obtain medical assistance the sooner you can begin your treatment plan.
- Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries involve ligaments, tendons and muscles. The most frequently experienced types of soft tissue injuries include contusions and sprains. Soft tissue injuries like bone fractures are not obvious at the time of the incident but can gradually worsen. If a person who was involved in a big rig collision overuses the part of the body that has been strained, this can lead a victim to have chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to diseases such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis. Treatment for soft tissue injuries can be steroids or anti-inflammatory drugs.
Liability for Your Costa Mesa Semi-Truck Crash
Commercial truck drivers undergo at least 168 hours of on-the-clock training to become a driver. Those who do not follow what they were taught in training can cause major damages and even kill passenger drivers on the road. What if the driver was not to blame for an accident though? There are a few parties that can be responsible for your collision.
The entities that can be held accountable for your truck collision can include:
Manufacturer: A flaw in a truck part or in the design of a truck can put drivers on the highway at risk. Truck manufacturers hold the legal duty to make sure their trucks and the parts of the truck are safe. Trucks should also be made to be long-lasting. If a manufacturer leads a company to believe that their product can withstand harsh weather conditions and can operate well for a long period of time, the manufacturer can be sued for misleading the consumer.
Cargo loaders: Cargo loaders must take precautionary measures to make sure that materials are secured in a semi-truck. FMSCA states that "The new regulations require each tiedown to be attached and secured in a manner that prevents it from becoming loose, unfastening, opening or releasing while the vehicle is in transit. All tiedowns and other components of a cargo securement system used to secure loads on a trailer equipped with rub rails must be located inboard of the rub rails whenever practicable."
Actions to Take After a Costa Mesa Big-Rig Incident
A big-rig crash can leave many injured or can claim the lives of multiple drivers. Filing a personal injury claim or maneuvering through the legal process can be daunting. There are actions that you can take though to make sure you are safe and taken care of after your accident.
Steps to take after a truck accident in Costa Mesa:
- Stay at the crash site: Do not leave the scene of the crash. It is important to stay until the authorities arrive. Leaving the scene of the crash even if it was not your fault is illegal. You must stay until the police and medics arrive. You also can not leave the crash site until authorities confirm that you can.
- Call the police: If you are still mobile and coherent, contact the police. When the police arrive you can provide them with your statement and file an accident report. Even if there was not an extensive amount of property damage and injuries, it is still urged that you file a report so.
- Take photos: You should not only take photos of the property damage and the bodily harm that you have experienced but also of the street skid marks, traffic signs nearby, the entire area of the scene and if there is other contributing evidence such as potholes or a construction site.
- Exchange information: When multiple drivers are involved in an accident you must gather all of the drivers' information involved which can include name, address, contact information, the insurance company, policy number, the license plate and driver license number of the drivers. Experts also encourage writing down the model and make of each vehicle involved.
- Contact a Costa Mesa truck accident lawyer: The semi-truck collision lawyers at Bisnar Chase have been representing clients who have been in tragic collisions for over 40 years. We specialize multiple practice areas as well such as motorcycle accidents, motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian accidents. Our legal team wants you to only focus on recovering. Contact our personal injury law firm today to receive a free case analysis.
Call Bisnar Chase's Costa Mesa Truck Accident Lawyers
Call us immediately and an experienced and reputable Costa Mesa Truck Accident lawyer from our team will discuss your rights and help you take legal action.
The skilled Costa Mesa train accident lawyers at Bisnar Chase are proficient at reading between the lines and finding out if the trucking companies have been cutting corners and in turn affected your well being.
If you have suffered from catastrophic injuries or have lost a loved one due to a wrongful death, contact the Southern California law firm of Bisnar Chase for free legal advice on your accident case.