Los Angeles County is home to both the United States’ largest seaport and some of the most dangerous roads in America. Together, these factors result in a lot of accidents. Los Angeles truck accident lawyers frequently encounter victims who were simply driving down the I-5 and suddenly were struck by a semi-truck.
Unlike standard vehicle accidents, most collisions involving semi-trucks are not the result of operator error. Instead, they are genuine accidents or the result of a defect or mechanical failure. There are many causes of truck accidents, but one thing they all have in common is the severity of the injuries. Truck accidents are highly likely to leave those in the passenger vehicle with serious injuries and trauma.
Tractor-Trailer Drivers and Crashes in California
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association truck crash data reveals that approximately 30% of truck accidents happened in three states. California has the second-largest number of these serious truck accidents. The FMCSA also found that during a single year in California, 277 people died because of truck accidents, and an additional 3,939 people were injured. The same, there were a total of over 8,600 accidents that involved a semi-truck or a bus.
One of these well-documented accidents happened in November 2019 and involved three semi-trucks and a single pickup truck. One of the semi-truck drivers failed to yield to traffic, which caused the crash. These types of accidents are more common in California generally, and particularly in Los Angeles county, than throughout most other parts of the country.
California is clearly a dangerous place to drive, and Los Angeles County is one of the most dangerous places to drive within the state. The outdated freeway and interstate system causes confusion among experienced drivers, even if they are local. Truck drivers frequently deal with gaps in their routes and must find other ways to get from point A to point B. Sometimes this requires using surface streets.
Injuries and Risks of Fatalities in Truck Crashes
Greater Los Angeles County, including LA, Long Beach, and Anaheim, is the 18th deadliest area to drive in the United States. The most dangerous single road is Interstate-5, but many other streets experience frequent accidents between semi-trucks and standard passenger vehicles. The 110 connector is also well-known for fatal accidents. Even worse, there is a high-volume of accidents involving large trucks, and the fatality rate is steadily increasing.
Between 2017 and 2018, fatal crashes that involved semi-trucks increased by about 1%. However, between 2016 and 2018, the NHTSA found that large truck crash injuries increased by 8%. On some level, there is some good in knowing that the fatality rates are not increasing at the same rate as injuries. Nonetheless, there are clear and apparent risk factors in the rise of injuries and fatalities involving trucks.
Here is a quick overview of some of the most common factors in truck crashes:
- Approximately 30% of all truck accidents involve tire defects
- Long-haul truckers contribute about 65% of fatal truck accidents, typically due to driver fatigue.
- Truck drivers report brake problems in 29% of accidents.
Even considering tire defect and brake problems, in over 87% of truck accidents, the primary cause of the crash was determined to be driver error. Typically, it is the truck driver who makes a mistake. However, being involved in a crash with a semi-truck does not automatically make the truck driver responsible. Victims have to accept small percentages of fault if they were violating basic traffic rules such as speeding, following too closely, or changing lanes inappropriately.
Understanding the Role of Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyers
Victims are usually left without much financial help to get through their recovery period. This is probably one reason why victims feel like they cannot afford legal support. However, Los Angeles truck accident lawyers usually work on a contingency basis, which allows victims to access legal advice without paying out of pocket.
Having an attorney on your side is important after a truck crash. Because truck accidents happen so frequently, the insurance providers who work with truckers or trucking companies know how to avoid making payments. These insurance providers will fight tooth and nail to make the smallest payout possible. The result is that many victims are left with massive amounts of medical debt in addition to bills that piled up while they were unable to work.
The role of a Los Angeles truck accident attorney is to help the victim recover and re-establish financial stability in their household. It is the victim’s right to seek out compensation for the damages they experienced because of another person’s carelessness or negligence.
Handling Catastrophic Injuries and Lifelong Healthcare Needs
Truck accidents come with a high risk of lifelong health care needs and catastrophic injuries. For instance, semi-trucks are more likely to erupt into flames during the collision. This can result in severe burns, amputation, and disfiguring injuries. All of these qualify as catastrophic medical events.
Catastrophic injuries often require long-term or lifelong medical support. But someone who lost a limb may not need around-the-clock care the way that someone with quadriplegia might. Instead, amputees will need prosthesis and prosthesis maintenance. These devices and their maintenance are expensive. In addition, amputees often need to undergo therapy to learn how to use prosthetics effectively. It is not uncommon to see these long term or advanced healthcare needs in trucking accident survivors.
Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyers Offer Some Relief
How does hiring Los Angeles truck accident lawyers work? Typically, when victims realize that the insurance companies are giving them a low payment offer, they look for legal support. Truck accident attorneys work on a contingency basis to ensure that legal help is both accessible and affordable. With an agreement in place, victims can work with a legal professional to draft inclusive and extensive demand letters, negotiate for fair settlements, and go to court if necessary. Our attorneys at TorkLaw allow the victim to direct their time and energy towards their recovery rather than fighting with insurance companies or the other party’s attorney.