Riverside & Orange County Truck Accident Attorneys
There are few things more devastating than an accident with a large commercial truck. Those who survive semi-truck accidents often suffer life-altering injuries, including brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, amputation, and other catastrophic injuries. Large commercial trucks are responsible for over 5,000 traffic fatalities each year in the United States. These accidents are largely the result of trucker error or distraction, and/or fatigue of the truck driver, although there are a number of other issues which can contribute to large truck accidents. The following statistics come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- In 2012, nearly 4,000 people were killed, and another 104,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks;
- Among the fatalities, 73 percent were occupants of the passenger vehicles, and 18 percent were truck drivers or the passengers in the large truck;
- In 2012, large trucks accounted for four percent of all registered vehicles, yet accounted for 8 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes;
- Large trucks are more likely to be involved in a fatal, multiple-vehicle crash as opposed to a fatal single-vehicle crash than passenger vehicles, and
- Twelve percent of truck accidents occur when the truck is negotiating a curve.
Experiencing an accident with a large semi-truck is incredibly terrifying and can leave you with devastating injuries. After your accident, do not let insurance companies take advantage of you. Greenberg & Greenberg is ready to fight for you and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Common Injuries Resulting from a Truck Accident
Truck accident injuries are likely to be very grave. If the truck accident does not kill those in the passenger vehicle, the driver and passengers can be left with catastrophic injuries which take years or decades to recover from. Some victims of a truck accident may never fully recover from their injuries. Common truck accident injuries include the following:
- Back and neck injuries can go all the way from minor neck pain to dislocated discs, to spinal cord damage so severe that paralysis results.
- Broken bones and fractures can occur in a truck accident, and such injuries are likely to be much more severe than breaks and fractures from a two-passenger car collision.
- Head injuries and brain trauma are also frequently seen following a truck accident. These injuries could consist of a relatively minor concussion or a severe brain injury which can alter a person’s life forever. Head injuries are not always immediately apparent, and symptoms may appear over the next few days or weeks. Those with head injuries could suffer confusion, nausea, vision problems, loss of motor functions and a variety of cognitive difficulties.
- Internal injuries are also common injuries sustained in a large truck crash. Organs such as the spleen, pancreas, kidney, bladder, liver or lungs can be damaged severely, which can sometimes result in death as such injuries can be difficult to identify and treat.
- Cuts and lacerations are common in any type of accident and may leave permanent, even disfiguring scars.
Healing from the injuries of a truck accident could take weeks, months, years, decades or a lifetime. Some victims of truck accidents are left with permanent disabilities which prohibit them from ever returning to work. Medical expenses can escalate to the truly astronomical level, even for those victims who are fortunate enough to have health insurance. It is likely that emotional trauma will also be a factor for many victims of trucking accidents.
Multiple Defendants in Truck Accidents
One of primary reasons truck accidents are much more complex than passenger vehicle accidents is because there is often more than one defendant. The truck driver may have been at fault, whether due to carelessness, distraction, impairment or recklessness. The trucking company could be at fault if it failed to conduct a thorough background check on the truck driver, or failed to ensure the driver was properly trained. The loading company could be at fault if poorly-loaded cargo was the cause of the accident, or, if the accident was the result of faulty maintenance, the maintenance company could be held responsible. The truck accident could have occurred because of a defective truck part, in which case the manufacturer could be liable for the accident. Often, there is more than one defendant in a truck accident case, therefore a highly experienced truck accident is absolutely necessary.
The Aftermath of a Truck Accident
The focus of your life in the weeks and months following your truck accident will likely center around medical care, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical treatments. Additionally, you may be unable to return to work, therefore could be dealing with an ever-increasing pile of medical bills, lost wages due to your inability to work, and long-term physical, emotional and financial consequences from your trucking accident. Consider this, however: while your first call following the accident was probably to 911 to get medical assistance for yourself and your family, the driver of the large truck might well have been dialing the company dispatcher. The driver’s phone call would immediately put into motion the trucking company’s crash team—a teach which immediately heads to the site of the accident to engage in damage control.
The “crash team” could be comprised of a reconstruction specialist, a professional photographer, and a professional truck wreck investigator as well as an expert in the onboard technology used in this particular commercial truck. The dispatcher will also call the company attorney and a risk manager from the company’s insurance company. The ultimate goal of the trucking company’s team of experts is to disprove your version of the collision, ensuring the trucking company and their insurer will not be held financially responsible. Gaining access to the site of the accident immediately is crucial for representatives of the trucking company so that evidence which could implicate the driver or the trucking company can be gathered and, in some cases even altered or destroyed.
The driver’s logbooks, witness statements, photographic evidence of such things as skid marks, accident debris or property damage can soon become lost to you—the real victim of the accident—remaining in custody of the trucking defense crash team. The team will review the data from the truck’s onboard Electronic Control Module and may even purchase the data from your totaled vehicle—data you may not even realize exists. The trucking company will thoroughly “debrief” the driver as well as possibly even deleting calls from the driver’s cell phone and developing a comprehensive story regarding the events prior to the crash.
The trucking company’s team has done all of this within the first few hours and days following your truck crash. You, on the other hand, were probably so caught up in ensuring the other passengers in the vehicle and yourself were medically attended to that hiring an attorney could have been the very last thing on your mind. This disparity can leave the trucking company “sitting pretty” by the time a trial rolls around while you may feel as though you are at the bottom of a deep hole, trying desperately to climb out. If you do not have an experienced California truck accident attorney by your side from the early stages of your truck accident, you can imagine the position you could find yourself in.
How a Greenberg & Greenberg Lawyer Can Help Following a Truck Accident
If you are dealing with the aftermath of a trucking accident it is likely you did not have the time to contemplate the future or to deal with the legalities of the crash which would eventually impact your entire future. It is for this reason that a truck accident attorney from Greenberg & Greenberg should be brought into the equation as soon as possible following a trucking accident. While it may seem like one more thing to take care of, once a highly experienced truck accident lawyer is brought on board, you and the other victims of the accident can focus your attention on healing and putting your life back together while your attorney-advocate concentrates on getting you the compensation you deserve for the negligence of another. The Greenberg & Greenberg law firm has the most aggressive and skilled truck accident attorneys–both in negotiation and litigation.
We will strongly advocate on your behalf to receive justice through compensation. If you or a loved one were injured in a big rig crash, the attorneys at Greenberg & Greenberg can help you pursue a claim, negotiating for the absolute maximum compensation for lost income, medical bills, and other damages you have incurred. Before bringing a claim against the truck driver or another party which contributed to your accident, you will need evidence to prove someone breached a duty of care owed to you and this breach of duty resulted in your injury or loss. Under the law, breaching a duty of care is defined as “negligence.” Lead personal injury attorney Elan Zektser has extensive experience in working with and against accident reconstructionist who play a large and essential role in these types of cases. Contact Greenberg & Greenberg today for experienced representation following a California truck accident.