When on the road, truck drivers can encounter problems that lead to accidents that devastate the lives of others sharing the road. Bad weather, drowsiness, and neglect of road laws are just some of the unpredictable events that can lead to a bad accident. Truck accident cases are on the rise and can cause excessive damage because of how heavy trucks are. When you’ve been in an Orange County truck accident, you should reach out to a dependable truck accident lawyer who can help. They can file a truck accident claim on your behalf and reach out to the trucking company and their insurance company on your behalf. Learn more about truck accident claims and call a Huntington Beach Personal Injury Attorney from Timothy J. Ryan & Associates for a free consultation.
Common Causes Of Trucking Accidents
A truck driver can inflict serious injuries by making a mistake on the road. Driver error is the number one cause of a commercial vehicle accident. A truck crash can be caused by the following activities:
A truck driver can get distracted if they use their cellphone while driving. When a trucker doesn’t pay attention to the road, they can crash into a nearby passenger vehicle because they aren’t aware of what’s going on around them. Distracted driving is one of the most significant causes of many trucking accidents.
Drowsiness And Fatigue
Truckers often cause a truck accident because they are too exhausted to be operating their commercial vehicle. Drowsiness and fatigue can make a truck driver unaware of their environment. The trucker may also find it difficult to respond in time to prevent an accident. According to the FMCSA, all truckers must take required breaks and can’t drive beyond a certain amount of hours without rest. Not doing so violates federal laws.
Because trucks are massive vehicles that take a long time to come to a complete stop, truckers are prohibited from driving too fast. Typically, they should drive about ten miles below the speed limit to give the commercial truck operator the ability to stop in time. A truck may require 525 feet to come to a full stop if it is driving 65 miles per hour, compared to a passenger vehicle that only requires 316 feet to stop. Large trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which means that it can take them even longer to stop before crashing. Truckers that speed put everyone around them in danger.
Every trucking company requires their truckers to submit to random drug testing to make sure that they are clean when operating their commercial truck. Some truckers disobey the rules and abuse substances while taking long trips to deliver goods. Illicit substances can cause severe cognitive impairment, preventing truckers from properly driving and paying attention to neighboring vehicles.
Disobeying Traffic Rules
Truckers that don’t yield, ignore stop signs and lights, don’t use their indicator, and perform improper lane changes can cause serious injuries. Traffic rules help protect everyone that shares the road, and violating these rules can result in accidents.
Poor weather conditions can cause a catastrophic truck accident, leaving many devastated. A commercial truck can be affected by heavy rain, icy streets, snow, dense fog, and other conditions. Trucks can hydroplane on wet roads, slide on ice, or crash into cars that can’t be seen in dense fog or snow.
Truck drivers are required to have their vehicles inspected regularly to make sure they are operating properly. There are many different types of technical issues that can happen that can cause trucking accidents. For example, tire blowouts, faulty brake pads, broken steering systems, overheating engines, and other forms of faulty equipment can cause an accident. Sometimes, it isn’t the trucking company’s fault when a vehicle malfunctions; it can instead be the manufacturer of the faulty part. If there is a flaw with the truck that resulted in an accident, your Orange Country truck accident lawyer can seek damages from the manufacturer.
Cargo Load Violations
Cargo loads can slip off trucks and cause accidents. This can be caused by damaged or loose tie-downs, improperly secured truck equipment, inability to prevent the load from shifting, and other mistakes. This isn’t necessarily the truck driver’s fault and can be the fault of the party responsible for loading the truck.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Auto accident victims that experienced catastrophic injuries after a recent truck accident may have numerous medical bills. Large trucks can be the cause of many different injuries, which include the following:
Broken Or Fractured Bones
An Orange County truck accident can inflict broken bones on accident victims, resulting in temporary or permanent disabilities. Broken arms, legs, ribs, and more can be debilitating and painful, preventing the victim from participating in normal activities. Fractured bones can also cause swelling, edema, achiness, and weakness in the limb.
Organs can be punctured and bruised after a bad accident, resulting in internal bleeding. Internal injuries are extremely dangerous, requiring immediate medical treatment. Some examples of internal injuries include blood vessel tears, liver lacerations, bleeding near the heart, punctured lungs, and other punctured organs.
Neck And Back Injuries
Neck injuries are typically caused by whiplash because the head is flung forward and back at high speed, resulting in too much stress on the neck muscles. Back injuries are also common, and you might have sore muscles in your lower back region due to muscle strain.
Seat Belt Injuries
During an accident, a seatbelt can also cause injury because it presses against the chest. This can cause abdominal soft tissue injuries, fractured ribs, sternum injuries, and other forms of injury.
Traumatic brain injuries can happen in a severe truck accident because the head can hit the window, steering wheel, dashboard, or flying objects inside the car. Brain hemorrhages, hematomas, contusions, and concussions can happen when the head gets hit hard enough to cause internal bleeding. Penetrating injuries can also happen, creating tissue damage at the area of impact.
Lacerations And Contusions
Gashes, cuts, and bruises can cause excessive bleeding, scarring, and severe pain. Even without broken bones, cuts and bruises can also limit movement and take time to heal.
In some cases, fires can erupt after a truck accident. Burn injuries come in four degrees, which range from the surface tissue being harmed to deeper muscle and bones being burned. Burn injuries can be life-threatening and often result in permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Truck crashes often result in death to the victims. Any injury caused by the truck accident that results in the passing of the victims is a wrongful death. Sometimes, this doesn’t happen immediately and can happen at the hospital if the victim doesn’t recover from excessive bleeding. In other cases, the personal injury damages can contribute to other complications that cause death later. You can work with an Orange Country truck accident attorney to prove how the truck crash caused the wrongful death.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are another severe wound that might happen after a truck crash. This can include severed, damaged, or pinched nerves that cause sciatica and other types of pain. Slipped discs, fractures, and other issues can create extreme pain, numbness, and permanent disability. There is also the risk of hemiplegia, paraplegia, or other forms of paralysis.
Steps You Should Take After A Truck Accident
After you’ve been in a truck accident, it is time to take action. You shouldn’t delay taking steps to prepare for your case because of the statute of limitations and to help provide reliable proof that you can use to show who is liable for your damages.
Get Photographic Evidence
You should take pictures of the property damage to your vehicle. Take pictures of the interior and exterior of your car to show the full extent of the damage. You can also include debris on the road, anything that may have contributed to the accident, and skid marks. If there were other cars involved, taking pictures of them could help. You can also photograph the truck and its positioning to show the aftermath of the accident. Take photos of your wounds to show how severely you were injured.
You will want the police on the scene as soon as possible, so you should call 911 and inform them that you’ve been in an accident. The police can file a report which your attorney can later retrieve and use as evidence in your personal injury claim.
Collect Contact Information
Make sure that you obtain the trucker’s name and their company’s contact information. Your attorney can contact the trucking company to gather their insurance information. You can also get contact information from witnesses, as their testimony can help provide additional evidence for your claim.
Get Medical Help
If you aren’t too severely injured and don’t require on-the-scene medical assistance, you should see a doctor. Your physician can review your injuries and let you know the extent of your injuries. You can include medical bills for imaging scans, physical therapy, laboratory tests, and more in your settlement total.
Call Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company has to know about your car accident and will want to know how the accident happened. They can also help cover some of the property damage and medical bills, based on the type of insurance coverage you have. Your insurance company coverage may not be enough, which is why you will need the help of an Orange County truck accident attorney to get additional compensation through your settlement claim.
Call An Attorney
Because of their experience in understanding accidents caused by large trucks, a personal injury attorney will know how to manage your settlement case. They can provide valuable guidance and resources that make it easier for you to recover compensation. Attorneys perform all the work for you and will reach out to witnesses, perform an investigation, contact involved parties, draft documents, and speak on your behalf.
They negotiate the settlement amount with the involved parties and keep you updated on their responses. Attorneys also accurately calculate how much your damages may be worth, so you don’t undervalue or overvalue how much you are owed in damages. The trucking company’s insurer will listen to your attorney and respond to your claim for a settlement. You can seek damages through a civil lawsuit if they deny your payment.
Learn More About What You Can Claim In Your Truck Accident Settlement
With the help of a truck accident attorney from Timothy J. Ryan & Associates, you can receive direction on what you can file as damages on your settlement claim. You can include medical bills, property damage, and current and future lost income. Pain and suffering are additional damages you can include in your settlement claim, which represent how much emotional and psychological damage you endured because of the accident. Your attorney can accurately estimate how much these damages are worth so that you can receive full compensation. When you are not at fault for the truck accident, it is not fair that you should struggle with expensive medical bills and other financial expenses because of your injuries. Your attorney can represent you and help you get the compensation you deserve. Without a personal injury lawyer, it can be difficult for you to prove who is at fault for the accident. Lawyers are well-versed in investigative practices and can discover additional evidence to make a strong case. In addition to your photographs and medical bills, they may obtain information from traffic cameras, truck black boxes, truck driver logs, and other reliable forms of proof. Your attorney can argue who is at fault and use reliable tactics to support your claim with their knowledge of traffic laws. To learn more about how to initiate a settlement claim, you can reach out to a truck accident attorney to learn more. Contact Timothy J. Ryan & Associates to speak to a Huntington Beach Personal Injury Attorney during your free consultation.