No matter where you go across the country, you’ll find trucks, big rigs and more. Trucking is an important industry, employing thousands all across the country while shipping all different kinds of goods. With all that travel, and all those trucks on the road, accidents are, unfortunately, common. These accidents can present certain challenges. At the LA Injury Group, we have a big rig accident lawyer team that can help you. In this blog, we’ll go over some of the more common causes of big rig accidents, as well as what we can do for our clients.
Too often, people who have been in an accident that involves a big rig, or a motorcycle or some sort of vehicular other than a car will go to a law firm that only focuses on car accidents, or personal injury cases. There is quite a bit of overlap between car accident cases and big rig accidents. However, they are not exactly the same. There are important differences. Other firms will shuffle their big rig accident clients onto a lawyer that only does car accidents and tell the client “they’re an expert” or something similar. That doesn’t happen here.
At the LA Injury Group, people who have been in a motorcycle accident are represented by an attorney that has experience with motorcycle accident cases. Folks that have been in a big rig accident are represented by someone with big rig accident experience. To us, that’s the only sensible way to do things. When you want a job done, you hire someone with experience doing the job. When you come to the LA Injury Group, we have experts who have dealt with a case like yours before. That way, you’re represented by someone who’s “been there and done that,” to use a common phrase.
One of the most important things in a big rig accident is to figure out exactly who caused the accident. With a trucking accident, there are more parties who could potentially be responsible than typically are in a car accident. For example, in a car accident, one of the drivers is at fault for the accident usually. Others might be at fault include whoever was in charge of the road conditions (if a poorly maintained road led to the accident) or if a third party happened to cause the accident (someone who swerved in front of one of the vehicles and caused the accident).
However, in a big rig accident, there are even more parties who could be at fault. For example, if whoever loaded the vehicle did so improperly, and that happened to play a significant part in the accident, then they would be at fault. Another party that could potentially be at fault would be whoever was responsible for the maintenance of the truck. We may not tend to think of them this way, but a big rig is a very complex machine. It has to be well kept, frequently checked out and always in the best of shape. If something is overlooked or neglected on the machine, and that leads to an accident, then whoever was responsible for that would be at fault.
The above is just one reason why it’s so important to have a law firm that can provide a thorough investigation. Here, we have the resources to find out exactly what happened and why. With a team of trusted investigative professionals, we can make sure that no stone is left unturned in your case. This is important in any kind of accident case, but it’s even more important in a big rig accident case.
Consider: without a law firm that can provide the type of top notch investigation we can, you would be at the mercy of a law firm that may not have the LA Injury Group’s experience. So, their investigation might only look at the accident itself. Perhaps the driver would be somewhat at fault, maybe the owner was. But, without a thorough investigation, they might not be able to find that the truck loader was at fault, or the trucking company, and so forth. To not find all of the parties were at fault is to overlook potential compensation.
One of the most common causes of trucking accidents is the fatigue of the driver. Truck drivers work long shifts. It’s not an easy job by any means. Not only is the job physically demanding, but it has rigorous, nigh-unbreakable deadlines too. Cargo has to get from one place to another quickly, no questions asked. That can lead to truck drivers driving when they shouldn’t, when they’re so tired that they shouldn’t be on the road.
While everyone has driven while they’re tired, it’s not a good idea. Studies have shown that driving while exhausted or tired can be dangerous. In fact, in some cases (if the driver is really, truly exhausted) then it can be as negative as driving under the influence. If a driver is too tired, then their decision making is reduced, as is their response time. That’s a deadly combination that could easily lead to an accident.
The government has actually passed laws to make sure that drivers get the amount of sleep they should. The requirements are that for every 11 hours of driving, the drivers should have ten consecutive hours of rest. That “rest” isn’t just sleep – it’s eight hours of sleep mixed with a two hour break. Unfortunately, not every driver sticks to this. That can lead them to be fatigued when they head back out on the road, thus raising the possibility that they cause a crash.
That being said, studies have shown that a minority of big rig accidents are actually caused by the big rig drivers themselves. Instead, they’re caused by other drivers. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Trucks have large “blind spots,” bigger than a car or other kind of vehicle might have. If you’re driving in this vehicle’s blind spot, no matter how talented and conscientious the truck driver is, they might not be able to see you.
If you’ve never driven a big rig, then you might not be aware of how fast they can be. Too many accidents occur every year because someone misjudged the speed of a big rig. They thought it wasn’t going as fast as it actually was, and then crashed into it. This can also manifest itself when someone merges in front of the truck and then reduces their speed. Big rigs can do a lot of things, but they don’t exactly stop on a dime.
Making a left turn in front of a truck is often necessary, particularly if you’re on a major highway. However, you want to be as careful as possible when doing this. Make sure that you’re paying the truck the proper respect and not treating it like it’s some kind of regular car. Obviously, whenever you turn, you always want to signal. However, you want to be especially clear about signaling when you change lanes around a big rig. You’re already a careful driver; when it comes to big rigs, it doesn’t hurt to be a bit more careful.
The LA Injury Group can help you through every kind of big rig accident. These accidents are more common than most people think. In southern California, with so much time spent on the road, with so many trucks around, these accidents occur frequently. When you’re hurt in a big rig accident, it’s natural to not know where to turn. However, when you come to the LA Injury Group, you’ll find attorneys who have been handling big rig accident cases and others for a very long period of time. To schedule a free consultation, give us a call at (818) 240-1800.