Trucking Injuries: Los Angeles & Nationwide
From the nation’s busiest port in Los Angeles, semi-truck tractor-trailers laden with cargo head off throughout Southern California in all directions as they start their journeys across the United States. Our congested highways are crowded with 18-wheelers at all hours of the day and night, creating dangerous situations for the occupants of the passenger vehicles who share the road with these behemoths. Truck accidents are responsible for hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries in California every year. While truck crashes happen less frequently than auto accidents, they are almost always more severe. You never hear about a “fender-bender” with a big rig. Some of the most catastrophic injuries occur when a large truck hits a passenger car.
Truck accident cases are nearly always more complex than car accident claims. Also, the stakes are higher, and so the insurance companies fight them harder. For these reasons, it’s vital to get help from a seasoned and respected personal injury attorney. The Morris Law Firm in Los Angeles has experience taking on the biggest corporations and recovering significant compensation, including multi-million dollar verdicts. The firm’s lead attorney, James A. Morris, Jr., is a Board-Certified specialist in Civil Trial Law who is never afraid to take your case to court. With that reputation preceding him, Mr. Morris is well-positioned to negotiate a full and fair settlement on behalf of the injured or try the case to a jury verdict if necessary.
If a negligent truck driver hit and injured you, or if you lost a loved one to a truck accident in Los Angeles or Southern California, call the Morris Law firm for a free consultation to discuss recovering compensation for your loss.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Los Angeles and Southern California
The causes of 18-wheeler crashes are numerous, but two of the chief concerns are drowsy or fatigued driving by the truck driver and lack of proper truck maintenance.
Truck driver fatigue – Truck drivers put in long, punishing hours behind the wheel to keep cargo moving across the state and the country at all hours. Federal regulations permit truckers to work 14-hour days with 11 hours of driving before taking only ten hours off and starting up all over again. They can legally do this for 60 hours over seven days or 70 hours over eight days before they must stop and take 34 hours off. That’s less than a day and a half of rest before doing it all over again. Sleep deficits pile up, and drowsy truck drivers pose a significant danger on the road. Their attention is dulled and responses are slowed, and if they fall asleep at the wheel, the truck could drift out of its lane and even into oncoming traffic. To make matters worse, vast numbers of truck drivers are known to drive beyond the legal limits and falsify their logs to hide their noncompliance.
Poor truck maintenance – Historically, truck safety groups and government agencies get together for annual roadside inspections of 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles. The 2017 Roadcheck was typical of most years. Nearly 20% (that’s one in five) of commercial vehicles inspected were immediately pulled from service because of the dangerous shape they were in. Over a quarter were pulled off the road for brake issues, while another 15% were driving on dangerously unsafe tires.
Other leading causes of tractor-trailer crashes include:
Distracted driving – Despite their enormous responsibility on the road, truckers are just as susceptible as other drivers to texting while driving, talking on the phone, eating, and engaging in other distracting behaviors. The long hours they spend on the road might make truck drivers even more prone to take their minds off the sometimes boring task of driving.
Speeding and reckless driving – Truckers are often under intense pressure to meet deadlines and make up for lost time, which can lead them to drive faster or more aggressively than is safe.
Unbalanced loads – If cargo is not properly loaded and secured, it can come loose during transit. If the trailer gets unbalanced, the driver can lose control and wind up jackknifing the truck. On a flatbed trailer, unsecured loads can fall onto the road and create multi-car disasters. The 2017 Rodcheck found 15.7% of vehicles with an improperly secured load.
Inexperience – Handling a big rig takes a special set of skills and hours of training. When companies put drivers on the road before the drivers are ready to handle the job, the fleet owner can be held responsible for this negligent decision.
Intoxication – From drinking and driving to ingesting stimulants to stay alert, truckers might take substances that impair their judgment and ability to react promptly and appropriately to changes in traffic patterns or road conditions. Impaired drivers might underreact, overreact, or not respond at all in time to avoid a wreck.
Dedicated and Successful Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney
The team at the Morris Law Firm put in the time, effort and expertise needed to investigate the facts behind a complex truck accident, determine fault, and build a strong case that proves the liability of the truck driver or trucking company to the injury victim. We’ll work to see that you are fully compensated for the harm done to you by a negligent truck driver or commercial carrier.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident or lost a loved one in a crash with an 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicle in Los Angeles or Southern California, call the Morris Law Firm at 747-283-1144 for a free consultation. There’s never any fee until after we recover compensation for you.