Trucks have a responsibility to share the road with others, including cars, bicycles, pedestrians, and buses. There are several different types of large trucks on our roads and highways, and any one of them can cause significant damage in the event of an accident. Serious injuries such as TBI (traumatic brain injury), spinal cord damage, and even fatalities can frequently occur.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) classifies trucks by a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). A truck’s GVWR is determined by the sum of its unloaded vehicle weight, 150 pounds for each designated seating position, and its rated cargo load. The NHTSA considers every truck with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds to be a large truck. This rating includes delivery trucks, utility and construction trucks, buses, and tractor-trailer semis. These trucks travel the same roads that ordinary cars do, from interstate highways to rural streets.
All together there are approximately 15.5 million large trucks on America’s roads. Around 2.2 million of these large trucks are 18-wheelers (referred to as semi-trucks or big rigs) that haul cargo from place to place. Smaller box trucks primarily deliver packages and goods around town. Construction and utility trucks travel from job-site to construction yard delivering people and equipment.
In 2019, trucks carried 10.8 billion tons of cargo to stores, restaurants, and factories. That’s a total of 70% of all goods transported from one state to another via trucks. Naturally, having such a significant number of trucks on the road increases the risk of a truck crash.
A large truck crash can be a very dangerous scenario for passengers in cars because the truck is much heavier than a traditional car or SUV. Trucks require much more distance and time to slow down and come to a complete and safe stop. Additionally, a big truck collision emits a considerable amount of force and momentum given the vehicle’s size and weight. These factors combine to make truck crashes a common source of serious injuries and even fatalities for passengers traveling in cars.
On average, a truck crash that injures or kills a person occurs every 15 minutes. There are a total of 500,000 such truck crashes annually in the U.S. Truck crashes cause approximately 5,000 deaths every year. Many people suffer severe and even catastrophic injuries in these types of collisions with big trucks.
The majority of truck drivers are true professionals who work hard and do their jobs safely day in and day out. They are experts at safely transporting vast amounts of cargo to the correct destination on time. But the truth is that accidents are going to happen, even with the most skilled and cautious driver behind the wheel.
When a truck driver is at fault in a crash, the most common factors are mechanical issues from tires, faulty brakes, and steering problems. Road defects can also cause dangerous conditions that lead to accidents.
Additionally, truck drivers are most likely to cause crashes when they are on unfamiliar routes or are driving while fatigued. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that aggressive driving is also a common cause of truck accidents, although it had a direct effect in no more than 5% of crashes.
Furthermore, the NHTSA issued findings from a U.S. study examining the use of drugs in drivers traveling the road but not involved in a crash. Its subjects were tractor-trailer truck drivers at one location in Tennessee. That study found that some 30% of the drivers were positive for either marijuana, cocaine, or stimulants. Proving fault on the part of a truck driver who was under the influence and caused a traffic accident can be a difficult task for someone without legal training. With the aid of an experienced DLG Torrance truck accident lawyer, if you were injured by a truck driver under the influence, we can help you win your case and recover the maximum damages award you deserve.
Truck accidents can occur due to a number of factors and scenarios. Some crashes happen when a big rig is changing lanes, unaware of a small car in the adjacent lane. A truck crash might occur when a truck fails to stop in time to avoid hitting a passenger car from behind. A “T-bone” crash involves the front end of the truck smashing the side of a passenger vehicle (with the two vehicles colliding to eventually form a ‘T’). Such front-end truck accidents are much more likely to severely injure or kill a person in a smaller car, when compared to other types of truck impacts.
Truck crashes can happen anywhere, not just on major highways. More than half happened on roads that were not interstates or freeways. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that fatal crashes involving large trucks often occur in rural areas and on interstate highways. Approximately 57% of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas, while 26% occurred on interstate highways, and 13% fell into both categories by occurring on rural highways.
The average number of deaths caused per mile traveled by large trucks has reduced dramatically in the 35 years since statistics were first recorded in 1975. That year, there were 2757 people killed in passenger cars for every 81,300 miles traveled by trucks. Recent figures indicate an average of 2797 passenger car deaths occur per 297,593 truck miles traveled.
Although truck crashes have reduced overall, they still happen with tragic regularity. The injuries inflicted by truck crashes can be serious, even if no fatalities are recorded.
Truck accidents can result in a range of injuries (from minor to catastrophic) that are typical of car crashes in general. There are fatalities, of course, as well as spinal injuries, neck injuries like whiplash, and broken bones. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can also occur, along with lost limbs, or even paralysis. Moreover, there is a considerable risk for cuts and abrasions resulting from flying glass or exposed metal.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that fatal crashes involving large trucks often occur in rural areas and on interstate highways. Approximately 57% of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas, 26% occurred on interstate highways, and 13% fell into both categories by occurring on rural Interstate highways.
The FMCSA analyzed truck crash statistics from 2018 and found the following figures:
A truck accident personal injury claim is a civil lawsuit filed by the victim seeking to recover financial compensation for the injuries and damages caused by the crash. Any personal injury claim is based on negligence or an intentional harmful action that results in an injury or accident.
A truck accident personal injury claim often begins by negotiating (haggling) with the insurance company representing the at-fault party who caused the crash. Insurance companies are known for pressure tactics, attempting to force injury victims into accepting a quick and often unfair settlement for their claim. This is when people who have been injured need an experienced and dedicated Torrance truck accident lawyer fighting in their corner. Our DLG Torrance truck accident attorneys negotiate aggressively with insurance companies to settle the claim on behalf of the injured party. If a settlement is unable to be reached out of court, a DLG truck accident lawyer is always prepared to take your case to trial. Rather than simply accepting a lowball offer from an insurance company, Dordulian Law Group proceeds according to what is in the best interest of the client, and we always develop our strategy accordingly.
The civil legal process can be complex and time consuming, in some cases taking months to years to reach a resolution. Depending on the truck accident attorney you choose, that extended legal process could lead to exorbitant costs and out-of-pocket expenses. Costs and expenses add up throughout the course of litigation. By choosing Dordulian Law Group’s Torrance, California, truck accident lawyers to successfully handle your case, you never have to worry about any upfront costs or fees. You don’t pay a cent until we recover maximum financial compensation for you.
In legalese, damages can include expenses like medical bills for treatment, ongoing care after the crash, lost wages or earning capacity, reduced quality of life, pain and suffering, etc. Damages are typically divided into one of four categories:
Injured truck accident victims may file what are known as special compensatory damages for any economic hardships resulting from experiencing the accident. These damages can go towards medical bills and the costs of medical care you may require in the future. Special damages are intended to cover any costs that accumulate when you are too injured to work (or any additional costs that are otherwise a detriment to your economic well-being). These can include rent, mortgage payments, and even costs associated if relocation arrangements are required because of your injury.
General compensatory damages can be collected for non-economic hardships, including “pain and suffering” and “mental anguish.” Compensatory damages include broad terms covering abstract misfortunes like diminished quality of life and even psychological trauma resulting from a truck accident. These types of less tangible (although serious) damages can be difficult to litigate, which is why having a highly qualified Dordulian Law Group truck accident attorney in your corner is the advantage you need to recover the full compensation you deserve.
Covering costs ranging from funeral expenses to medical expenses incurred before a loved one’s death, wrongful death damages may apply in certain truck accident circumstances in which the bereaved is compensated after the loss of a close family member, friend, or partner. Punitive damages are rare and in a unique class; a California court may find that a truck accident victim is owed punitive damages in cases where a defendant’s behavior is exceedingly reprehensible or reckless.
One recent high-profile truck accident settlement involved comedian Tracy Morgan against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. In 2014, Morgan suffered serious injuries when a Wal-Mart truck crashed into his limousine van traveling along the New Jersey Turnpike at excessive speed. The truck driver had reportedly been awake for more than 24 hours when the crash occurred. Morgan sustained a broken leg and ribs, as well as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A confidential settlement estimated at $90 million was reached.
Dordulian Law Group’s truck accident lawyers have the experience and know-how to recover the maximum damages you deserve after enduring an accident. Our attorneys are experts in the complexities of California personal injury and truck accident law, and maintain an unwavering commitment to the continued well-being of our clients. Learn about our truck accident injury services with a free consultation today by calling (310) 504-1911.
One method commonly used to determine damages is known as the “multiplier calculation.” This involves multiplying the amount of special or economic damages by a number (determined by the insurance company) between one and five. The number is typically higher in correlation with the severity of the accident and victim’s injuries, and is used to quantify the sum total of any damages owed in your truck accident.
For example, if an injured person has $150,000 of medical bills and $50,000 of lost wages caused by the truck crash, the total economic damages would equal $200,000. In certain cases, an insurance company might offer to pay another $400,000 on top of the bills (a two-times special damages multiplier for non-economic damages). Truck accidents leading to very severe injuries that are life-altering might deserve an insurance company offer of special damages multiplied by five. However, it can be difficult for an average person – particularly one who just endured a terrible truck accident – to determine whether or not an offer from an insurance company is fair. That’s why securing the representation of a qualified and experienced Torrance truck accident lawyer from DLG is a sound decision that will ensure your rights are not taken advantage of and you receive the maximum damages award you deserve.
Moreover, a personal injury award must take into account more than just the pain caused by the injuries and the treatment required afterward. There are many other issues that could negatively impact an injured person’s life. Some injuries might not manifest until months or even years after the accident. Some injuries might be long-lasting psychological problems like PTSD, depression, or anxiety. Stresses of big medical bills, lost work, or changed relationships can also continue long after the crash is over. All of these factors can make life going forward much more difficult for the injured victim much than it was before the truck crash
Dordulian Law Group’s truck accident attorneys will pursue justice in your claim on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid until we win your case and recover damages on your behalf.
DLG’s skilled attorneys have decades of experience helping truck accident victims get back on their feet and move forward. We’ve defended our clients against all the insurance companies, and won even the most difficult of cases in remarkable fashion. To date, DLG has secured over $100 million in settlements and verdicts for our injured clients.
“I had a great experience with Dordulian Law Group after I was hit by a truck riding my bike. Samuel was a great help me throughout the whole process. Everyone that I had the pleasure of working with at the office was friendly and did a great job! I would highly recommend them for any personal injury case.”
The statute of limitations in California allows just two years to file a legal action against the person who caused the crash. This time limits your right to recover a claim against the insurance company of the at-fault party.
It is true that not every truck injury claim has to go to court. However, without the potential of a lawsuit backing up the claim, the at-fault party and their insurance company are under no obligation to settle your claim. Additionally, navigating the legal process against experienced legal teams and insurance companies with vast resources can be a herculean effort. A DLG Torrance truck accident attorney knows how insurance companies operate. With our experience, we can help you through the truck accident claim process and pursue a maximum settlement. It is always best to consult with an experienced lawyer for advice immediately after a truck crash so you don’t forfeit any legal rights.
When you’ve been injured in a truck accident, it is in your best interest to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced and dedicated DLG Torrance truck accident lawyer will be your unconditional advocate throughout the entire legal process. Our combined decades of experience and 98% success record can help you achieve total recovery – physically, emotionally, and financially.
Securing help from our truck accident attorneys is as easy as calling (310) 504-1911 or filling out our free consultation form. And remember, there are never any upfront costs or out-of-pocket expenses to the client until the case is settled and all the damages are paid.
DLG attorneys have a remarkable 98% success rate in fighting for their clients to secure the justice they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. With no upfront fees or charges required for our lawyers to take on your case, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Choosing an experienced Torrance truck accident attorney can be the difference between a $10,000 settlement and a multi-million dollar settlement. Take a look at some of our recent results and satisfied client reviews to discover what it means for truck accident victims who choose the DLG Advantage.
Our law firm in Torrance, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.