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Common Types Accidents a Big Rig Accident Attorney Can Help You With

Because they are so much larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road, truck accidents commonly result in severe injuries and sometimes even death. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you need a big rig accident attorney who understands the different types of truck accidents and the challenges presented by each. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, and the sooner you contact a lawyer, the better chance you have of a successful claim. 

Truck towing another truck on California highway

About Oversized Truck Accidents in California

Similar to unsecured loads, oversized trucks also present unique hazards to other drivers on the road. Oversized trucks have specific regulations that they must follow to ensure that they are being operated safely. When they fail to follow these regulations and cause an accident company, the trucking company or the driver may be held liable for any injuries that occur. Trucking companies and their drivers are negligent when they fail to do the following when operating an oversized truck:

  • Obey restricted travel hours
  • Travel with pilot or escort vehicles
  • Display signs and flashing lights on the oversized truck to alert other drivers

Of course, you will need to show that their negligence caused your accident. A truck accident attorney can help you prove how their negligence caused your injuries so that you can get the compensation you need. 

Wide Turn Accidents in Trucks and Tractor Trailers

One thing every motorist knows to be true is that semi-truck drivers make wide turns. Commercial trucks are supersized vehicles and cannot turn in the same small radius as a personal car. Wide turn accidents happen when trucks occupy more than one lane of space to complete a turn. Often to make the turn in the space allotted by the road, the driver must cross into another lane, pop up on the curb, or even cross part of a sidewalk to make a turn within a designated space. 

What is a Jackknife Trucking Accident?

Similarly to how a pocket knife pivots and folds out in the shape of a “V”, a semi truck pivots and is able to turn to a “v” shape where the bed of the truck meets the cabin. This hinging effect resembles a blade tucking into a knife, which is why the term “jack knife” is used. 

Jackknife accidents are extremely dangerous to the truck driver and other motorists on the road. Most often, truck jackknife after a skid but these types of incidents are also common when the road curves or inclines.

California Truck Accidents Due to Unsecure Loads

The size and weight of a truck’s cargo can significantly affect how the truck handles and the distance required for it to stop. In addition, loading the truck incorrectly can cause the truck to become unbalanced and make it even more difficult to control. These cases can be difficult because a different company than the trucking company may have been responsible for loading the truck. In some cases, the driver may be at fault for failing to ensure that the load was secure. 

Distracted Driving Truck Accidents on California Roadways

Truck drivers are susceptible to distraction just as much as any other driver. Any distraction that requires the driver to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, or their mind off of the job at hand can lead to a deadly accident. Common distractions include the following: 

  • Eating and drinking
  • Using a cell phone, including texting as well as other apps
  • Operating a dispatch device
  • Looking at a map or GPS device
  • Reaching for an object in the cab, searching through compartments

A distracted driver may be unable to take action to avoid an accident, drift into another lane or oncoming traffic, or even drive off the road, leading to a catastrophic accident. Unfortunately, distracted driving cases can be difficult to prove, but a big rig accident attorney can gather the evidence that you need. 

Truck Accidents Caused By Inexperienced or Untrained Drivers

Driving a semi-truck requires considerable experience and a specific skill set. As a result, trucking companies have an obligation to ensure that their drivers are qualified and properly trained. Failure to provide adequate training and supervision or negligent hiring practices can put other motorists at risk when their drivers are on the road. Untrained or inexperienced drivers are likely to commit the following mistakes:

  • Stopping to late
  • Failing to reduce their speed when necessary
  • Unsafe turns
  • Driving too fast for weather, road, or traffic conditions
  • Failing to identify dangerous situations and react appropriately
  • Changing lanes or turning too quickly

A big rig accident attorney can help you hold the trucking company responsible for any accident that is the result of their untrained or inexperienced drivers. 

Mechanical Failures that Lead to Truck Accidents

Semi-trucks spend thousands of hours on the road every year, and as result, have intense maintenance requirements. Trucking companies will often try to save money by neglecting the maintenance of their trucks, leading to very serious mechanical failures. Mechanical failures that can result in serious accidents include the following: 

  • Tire blowouts
  • Brake failures
  • Power steering failures
  • Tow hitch failures

It’s important to keep in mind that not all mechanical failures are the result of negligent maintenance on the part of the trucking company. Some failures may be due to design defects in the truck itself, faulty parts, or shoddy repairs by a mechanic. 

Determining who may be at fault can be difficult when the accident was caused by a mechanical failure. An experienced big rig attorney will be able to identify the cause of your accident and determine who should be held liable. 

Truck Accidents Caused By Driving While Fatigued

Because drivers are under pressure to make deliveries on time and spend long hours behind the wheel, driver fatigue remains a common cause of truck accidents across the country. Driving while fatigued can lead to the following issues that can quickly lead to an accident: 

  • Slower reflexes and delayed reaction times
  • Poor judgment and decision making
  • Inability to pay full time and attention

Many people don’t realize that there are federal regulations regarding how long drivers can spend behind the wheel. 

  • Drivers may drive for no more than 11 hours and can be on-duty for only 14 hours, including non-driving tasks
  • Drivers are required to take breaks of at least 30 minutes every 8 hours
  • Drivers may not work more than 60 hours over seven consecutive days

Many of these accidents are caused by the trucking company pressuring the driver to keep driving or by simply failing to supervise their drivers. If you believe that your accident was caused by the driver’s fatigue, a big rig accident attorney can review your case and determine whether you have a claim. 

Talk to a Big Rig Accident Attorney at Banafshe Law Firm, PC Today

If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be facing significant medical bills and other losses. You may be unable to work, take care of your family, or live your daily life. You need someone on your side who will fight for fair compensation. Contact the Banafshe Law Firm, PC today at  800-789-8840 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.