California is host to over 130,000 truck drivers. That doesn’t account for the long-haul drivers that are frequently coming in and out of the state. Orange County truck accident lawyers acknowledge that truck drivers and transportation are a huge part of the Southern California economy, but they still pose risks. Approximately 74% of fatal vehicle accidents include a large truck. Additionally, 68% of fatalities in trucking accidents are the passenger vehicle occupants.
The trucking industry throughout the U.S. is still on the rise, and that’s not going to stop anytime soon. Unfortunately, trucking accidents are also on the rise. The trouble is that California traffic congestion, driving habits, and the presence of these large vehicles is the perfect storm for catastrophic accidents. Many people who are in a crash with an 18-wheeler don’t walk away, and those who do often have injuries that follow them through the rest of their life.
Second Busiest State for Trucking
California is the second busiest state for employed truck drivers, and it’s apparent. Whether you’re on the five or the 405, you won’t get far without seeing a Big Rig. Orange County sees a substantial amount of the trucking traffic in Southern California. It’s also home to some of the most hazardous freeway connectors and transitions.
Tractor-trailers or semi-trucks are among the most common type of commercial vehicles to see on the freeway. When they’re traveling at high speeds, a collision with them doesn’t just involve the risk of the weight of the cab. These trucks haul livestock, gases, liquids, may have refrigerated units, and other items that contribute to the weight and intensity of the accident.
Hazards are on Every Street – Dangers of 18-Wheelers
Orange County truck accident lawyers see the real image for what 18-wheelers or a big rig can do. For Californians, driving next to an 18-wheeler or a semi isn’t anything new. However, it is unexpected when a truck driver acts carelessly or was blatantly negligent.
The top danger of semi-trucks on the road has nothing to do with their driver. The top cause of trucking accidents on a nationwide scale is a mechanical defect in failure. Tire defects play some role in about 30% of trucking accidents. There’s a serious problem if one in three Trucking accidents involves some type of tire failure or defect.
Another common reason for accidents involving big rigs is non-performance. The term non-performance refers to any action or inaction that causes the trucker to no longer function at full capacity. Now, this is somewhat unfair to truckers because non-performance can include serious health conditions such as a seizure or heart attack. However, non-performance most commonly refers to drowsy driving, distracted driving, and driving while intoxicated.
Of course, truck drivers are subject to some similar situations and moments of panic that other drivers face. The cause of a crash with an 18-wheeler may have to do with decision or performance. Decision typically refers to things like speeding or following too closely. At the same time, performance is a label that refers to overcorrection, driver error, and loss of control of the rig.
Orange County Truck Accident Lawyers Review the Most Common Injuries
The most common types of injuries that victims of trucking accidents experience range from whiplash to amputation. Back and neck injuries are extraordinarily humming, and they go beyond whiplash. They often include injuries to ligaments and even some small bones that make up your neck and back. Injuries to the vertebra can lead to life long chronic pain.
Spinal cord injuries are also among the highest or most common injuries experienced. As mentioned, injuries to those small bones that make up your back and neck can cause damage. A spinal cord injury is what happens when damage is done, not just to the vertebra but the nerve within the spine.
Other common injuries include burns, amputation, disfigurement, cuts and bruises, internal injuries, and brain trauma. Almost everyone involved in trucking accidents will experience some type of injury, just given the sheer size and weight of these vehicles.
Risks Associated with Truck Crashes
Getting severe burns is one of the unexpected risks that come with trucking accidents. These large trucks are at a much higher risk for fuel tanks taking on damage. Additionally, they take risks when carrying chemicals that can easily ignite. These fires spread quickly and can easily engulf the semi-truck or passenger cars in a matter of minutes. Even those in nearby vehicles may suffer burns or disfigurement from the degree of heat.
Truckers take on quite a bit of brisk with just the amount of time they spend on the road. However, standard passenger drivers also take a risk when they know they’re sharing the road with a semi-truck. Semis and their drivers are often involved in catastrophic accidents, and it could be the driver’s fault, their employer’s fault, or the result of an equipment defect. These risks are something that everybody on the road faces, but most think that they’re not likely to be in a trucking accident.
Will You Need Orange County Truck Accident Lawyers to Close Your Case?
Most people involved in fracking accidents should consider their options in claim resolution. It’s likely that you understand the basic process of filing an insurance claim and working through the insurance process towards resolution. However, most people go through that process with very mild injuries in a fender-bender situation. Few people go through that process while also recovering from severe trauma.
Making it through a truck accident claims is a bit different from your traditional Insurance resolution with two passenger vehicles. You may be working with multiple insurance providers, the trucker’s employer may be involved, or they may be an independent contractor. There are a lot of open-ended questions that come with filing a claim against an at-fault truck driver.
An attorney should be your first stop for legal questions, and it may be surprising what support they can offer while you recover physically. Orange County truck accident lawyers offer a variety of resources in a way that makes legal assistance affordable and accessible. At TorkLaw, our team can help you answer questions about what to expect during your trucking accident claim.