Tustin Truck Accident Attorney
Bisnar Chase's Tustin truck accident lawyers have been helping clients win millions in compensation for over 40 years.
Big rig crashes can cause severe injuries and can even cost a driver or pedestrian their life. Survivors can be left facing substantial medical bills and lost wages.
If you or someone you know has experienced serious injuries from a 18-wheeler wreck in Tustin, California call today at (949) 203-3814 to receive a free
3 Different Types of Tustin Big Rig Crashes
Data indicates that of the approximately 450,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2017, there were 4,237 fatal crashes (1%) and 344,000 crashes resulting in injuries (23%).
There are common types of semi-vehicle collisions that take place in California.
These kinds of incidents include:
- Rollovers: Even though this is not in any relation to the quality of the equipment, cargo that is not evenly loaded can be problematic. If the cargo is not properly distributed it can cause a commercial vehicles to tip over when a driver turns. Drivers must double-check if the weight of the cargo is safe to drive with.
- Jackknife: Jackknifing involves the trailer of an 18-wheeler swinging to the side at an angle while the vehicle is still traveling forward. This type of incident can occur when the roads are slippery. It can be caused by a motorist who does not brake correctly. It is important for companies to make sure that their drivers are properly trained to avoid these kinds of accidents.
- Wide turns: There are many causes that can lead to big rig crashes being involved in wide turn collisions. One of the most prominent reasons that these crashes take place is a driver not using their turn signal or checking their blind spot. Operators of 18-wheelers are to completely check if they have enough space to turn or it can cause a car to collide into the cargo region of the vehicle.
Reasons why 18-Wheeler Accidents Take Place
Operators of semis and the companies who have employed them have a duty to keep others on the road hazard-free. Those who do not can face hefty fines, losing their license, or kill a passenger or driver. There are a number of circumstances that cause commercial truck collisions to occur.
Causes that can lead to a collision involve:
- Speeding: Big rigs weigh thousands of pounds, heavier than a passenger vehicle, which means that it can take longer to come to a complete halt. A driver speeding can cause a rear-end collision. Big rig drivers who are speeding may also have trouble turning and can either jackknife or hit multiple passenger cars. Speeding on ramps can be extra dangerous as well. The amount of damage that an 18-wheeler can cause by falling off a ramp can be enormous, resulting in multiple fatalities.
- Fatigue: Fatigued and distracted driving is a serious problem for all motorists, but truck drivers who work beyond the federally mandated hours of service are operating large and dangerous vehicles that can do great damage. There are several reasons why there are federal regulations that limit the number of hours that a motorist can work without rest. The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a report stating that in 3,887 people were killed in commercial truck wrecks in 2012. It also noted that 13% of drivers in big rig accidents were sleep deprived.
- Dangerous Road Changes: Rain is not the only weather condition that can cause a fatal collision involving an 18-wheeler. Other weather conditions that can be dangerous to drive in can be harsh wind and heavy snow. Regarding heavy snow conditions, factors such as black ice can cause the semi to jackknife on the highway. Heavy snowfall can also make it hard for 18-wheeler motorists to see what is in front of them. Snow may not be common in Southern California, but in different parts of Northern California, this can become an issue. Drivers should not engage in risky behavior just to meet a deadline.
- Brake Issues: The average big rig weighs up to 80,000 pounds, 20 times more than the typical sedan. If it is necessary for a semi to brake immediately, the amount of weight can be too much to handle. If a brake is overused constantly it can damage the brakes and more then likely lead to an accident.
- Auto Defects: Unfortunately, broken equipment is not something that is uncommon in big rigs. Plenty of companies neglect to maintain a well-functioning vehicle for their drivers. There are several different parts that can malfunction due to a lack of maintenance or a manufacturing defect. For example, when a tire does not obtain the standard quality and depth it is probable that it is in violation of FMSCA regulations. Instead of purchasing new tires, most companies re-tread or re-cap their tires to save on costs. If a tire is constantly re-treaded and contains insufficient tire wear this could lead to the tire heating up and shedding easily.
Fighting Against the Insurance Companies
Large big rig companies can be intimidating to encounter when filing a claim. Many will either want to offer you the lowest amount in compensation, misinform you of your rights, or twist your words to make it seem you were at fault for an accident.
One of the misconceptions that injury victims have is that they need to provide their statement to the big rig's insurance company. Your insurance company, depending on your policy should be the one handling your accident case. If that is not included in your insurance contract, you need to speak to an accident attorney immediately. You should not settle for less than you deserve. Call our Orange County law offices today for free legal advice at (949) 203-3814.
Injuries Experienced in a Tustin Semi-Truck Collision
Big rig crashes can lead to devastating injuries that can leave those involved with debilitating and even fatal injuries. California injury law enforces a strict liability, stating that victims have two years to file a claim to receive compensation from liable parties.
Injuries you can claim in a Tustin 18-wheeler wreck are:
- Torso and rib fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
5 Steps Victims Should Take After a Big Rig Wreck
The measures you take after a motor vehicle crash are critical. From what you say to who you call for help can make a huge difference in the settlement amount you receive for your collision. There are steps you can take that can help lower the levels of stress right after the accident and while filing a claim.
Below you will find a guide of what to do after an 18-wheeler wreck.
- Do Not Leave the Scene of the Collision: It is understandable to be ridden with adrenaline and fear after a crash. No matter what the feeling though, you need to remain at the site of the crash. You must wait for help, such as an ambulance and the local authorities. Meanwhile, check yourself and passengers for any obvious injuries and if you can move over to a safe area away from congested traffic.
- Call the Police: Call 9-1-1 immediately. When the police are called they will be able to dispatch more aid at the scene of the crash. Also, when the local authorities arrive at the collision site, you can give your statement to the police which can be very useful when you file your claim.
- Collect Evidence: Evidence that will help your claim can include photographs, witness statements, video, and police statements. You need to take pictures documenting the damage done to your vehicle, as well as the weather conditions, road layout, and anything else relevant. This can make a huge difference in proving liability, especially if the crash was caused by road conditions. Governmental entities may then share responsibility for an accident.
- Exchange Information with all Involved: Information that you need to trade with all vehicles involved includes contact information, driver’s license numbers, vehicle identification number, insurance policy numbers and companies. You do not just want statements of the witnesses by recording them on your smartphone or writing down what they have said, you also want the best contact info you can reach them at, so they can give an official statement to your semi-truck collision attorney.
- Speak to an Attorney in Tustin: A legal professional will be able to build a case to show liability in your truck accident case. A skilled injury lawyer can review the police report and the driver logs to see if the driver was violating federal hours-of-service regulations, was driving under the influence, or if there were any other contributing factors.
Since truckers often cross multiple state lines, there are federal regulations that control how long a driver can work without rest.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), which monitors commercial vehicles such as semis and buses, enforces the following restrictions with regard to how much rest drivers should get between shifts:
- Property carrying commercial drivers may work for 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following a 10-hour rest period
- Drivers are not allowed to drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may begin a 7/8 period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty
First, as is true in all workplaces, it is important to restrict the ability of an employer to overwork their employees. Secondly, drivers who work longer than is allowed under the law are more likely to become drowsy.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the following data on the dangers of drowsy driving:
- Over a five-year period, 198,708 people were killed in commercial vehicle incidents.
- Of those accidents, 4,430 were a direct result of drowsy driving.
- In those drowsy driving accidents, 4,432 drivers were killed and 5,021 people were killed.
Experienced Tustin Truck Accident Lawyers
Our Tustin truck accident lawyers at Bisnar Chase have a long and successful track record of helping people who have been involved in a big rig or car accident. We can obtain maximum compensation for their tremendous losses, from vehicle damage to major injury.
Please contact our Southern California law firm at (949) 203-3814 to schedule your free case analysis.
Our legal team has been serving Tustin, CA and other surrounding Orange County areas for over 40 years.
Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys
1301 Dove St. #120
Newport Beach, CA 92660