Across the United States, injuries due to accidents involving large trucks have been increasing in number. For example, there were approximately 88,000 semi truck accidents in 2011 and 104,000 in 2012, a year-over-year increase of 18 percent. Many of these incidents involve negligence in some form, and trucking accident lawsuits often result.
The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that, in 2012, 244 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents in California, the second highest rate in the nation. 6.4 percent of all such fatal truck accidents nationwide occurred in California.
In the state of California, trucking accident lawsuits are common where collisions result in injury or death. The large size of tractor-trailers often amplifies the impact of a collision caused by the negligent driving of truckers.
Negligent conduct by truck drivers can take many forms, including:
- Falling asleep at the wheel, or fatigued driving
- Excessive speed, or traveling too fast for conditions
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Road rage and other unsafe, aggressive behavior
- Distracted driving, including eating or texting while on the road
Sometimes, negligence on the part of trucking companies can contribute to accidents, including:
- Postponing the replacement of worn parts, like tires
- Delaying vehicle inspections
- Asking drivers to stay on the road longer than regulations permit
- Creating tight delivery schedules that put an undue strain on drivers
In addition to drivers and the firms that they work for, third parties may be responsible for negligent conduct by:
- Providing inadequate third-party truck maintenance
- Manufacturing defective brakes or other parts
- Delivering problem computer systems or glitchy software
Regardless of who commits the negligent conduct, California state law provides for redress in the civil courts when an individual is hurt or killed by truck-related negligence out on the road. The law allows for the filing of trucking accident lawsuits that can seek compensatory damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and long-term care and/or rehabilitation. When a fatality occurs, survivors may allege wrongful death andy seek compensation for burial expenses, pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
Truck accident investigations may become complex given the many potential causes of wrecks. The retention of counsel can be helpful because an attorney with a focus in this area of the law will often know where to look in seeking out the cause or causes of a truck accident.
Contact us at Attorney Group for California with your questions about any accident that you or a family member may have been involved in. We can connect you with one of our affiliated attorneys who can evaluate your case. Initial consultations are always complimentary and fully confidential.