Tractor trailers (also known as 18-wheelers, semi-trucks and big rigs) are large commercial trucks that weigh tens of thousands of pounds and carry cargo throughout the United States. While these drivers perform an essential service, these large vehicles are significantly more dangerous when involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle on the roadways.
If you suffered injuries due to an accident with a tractor trailer truck, learn how a Los Angeles tractor trailer lawyer can help you receive justice and understand your legal rights. Contact our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800)-794-0444 for a free consultation.
Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents
While an accident with a tractor trailer can happen for any reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration determined that the top ten causes of accidents involving large commercial trucks included the following:
- Brake problems
- Interruption of the flow of traffic (due to a primary accident, debris on the roadway, etc.)
- Prescription drug use
- Speeding or traveling too fast for conditions such as weather, construction, etc.
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Issues with the actual roadway
- Failure to stop quickly enough to avoid a crash
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Failure to examine the surroundings prior to making a driving maneuver (inadequate surveillance)
- Driving while fatigued
It is interesting to note that seven out of these ten causes of trucking accidents include negligent driver behavior. If you suffered any kind of injury due to the negligence of a truck driver, a Los Angeles tractor trailer lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help conduct an independent investigation and determine the cause of your accident and the negligent parties.
Accidents involving large tractor trailers are significantly different than that of passenger vehicle accidents. Instead of one driver (or possibly multiple drivers in a multiple-car pile-up), there are several different parties a victim may file a claim against in a tractor trailer accident. If a truck driver is working as an independent contractor, a victim can file a claim directly against them.
However, in most cases, the truck driver is working for a trucking company or company with a fleet of tractor trailer vehicles. In these cases, a victim may also file a claim against the trucking company or the company that they directly work for. Some of the parties that a victim may file a claim against following a tractor trailer accident include the following:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The company that owns a fleet of trucks that the driver works for
- The truck owner, if different from the trucking company or other company
- The company leasing the tractor trailer
- Any person or company that incorrectly loaded, overloaded, or failed to appropriately secure the cargo of the tractor trailer (if different from any of the above persons or entities)
- Manufacturer of the tractor trailer, or any defective part or component of the tractor trailer that either caused the accident, or contributed to the severity of the accident.
- The shipper requesting the cargo (this is only under certain specific circumstances)
It is important to note that a victim that suffers injuries may have the legal right to file a claim against more than one of these entities in order to receive compensation for their losses.
For a free legal consultation with a tractor trailer accidents lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Types of Compensation
Trucking companies, or private companies that own a fleet of tractor trailers, will often have large insurance policies to cover any type of losses that result from their truck drivers’ negligence or recklessness. Typically, these insurance policies are quite substantial due to the fact that most accidents involving large commercial tractor trailers cause catastrophic injuries, damages and losses to victims.
While no amount of compensation can return a person back to health or take away pain and suffering, a victim of a tractor trailer accident likely faces substantial medical bills, ongoing therapy, surgeries, pain and suffering, loss of wages, and even permanent medical issues due to no fault of their own. Compensation from a claim assists the victim in helping pay for these unexpected costs and losses.
Most accidents involving tractor trailers are devastating and severe, and victims typically find themselves with significant, permanent, or even life-threatening injuries. Some of the types of injuries suffered from a tractor trailer accident include traumatic brain injuries, aortic dissections, broken bones, nerve damage, spinal cord injury (including paralysis), internal organ damage or bleeding, or even serious burns if the accident resulted in a fire or explosion due to flammable cargo on the tractor trailer.
In other cases, serious psychiatric conditions follow a catastrophic tractor trailer accident such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health indicates that those victims suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can suffer for years following a traumatic event. These types of injuries are often permanent and can result in substantial changes to a victim’s life.
Most victims also suffer significant property damage as a result of an accident with a tractor trailer. Most specifically, a victim’s car is usually completely totaled, and they will have to have to purchase a replacement. During the time that the victim loses the use of their car, they may have to rent a car or find other transportation to medical appointments or for other necessary trips. The cost to replace a vehicle is substantial, as is the cost to rent a vehicle in the meantime. Victims have the right to receive compensation for their vehicle as well as any property inside the vehicle that has monetary value.
Los Angeles Tractor Trailer Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Consider How a Los Angeles Tractor Trailer Lawyer Can Help
If you were in an accident involving a tractor-trailer truck, you may have substantial medical bills, loss of wages due to an inability to return to work due to the severity of your medical issues, pain and suffering, and property damage. Consider visiting with our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800)-794-0444 for a free consultation to learn more about your rights and how a Los Angeles tractor trailer lawyer can help provide you the information you need if you decide to move forward with your claim.