San Diego 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer
While all automobile accidents can potentially cause serious injuries, being involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler can be catastrophic. These vehicles are so heavy that they can cause extensive damage to other vehicles on the road and life-threatening harm to the occupants of those vehicles, even when they are traveling at slower speeds.
If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler accident in San Diego or the surrounding area, you may be eligible to claim compensation for your losses. The experienced San Diego truck accident attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers can build the strongest possible case for you to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.
The Dangers of 18-Wheeler Accidents
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, nearly 5,000 fatal crashes involved 18-wheelers in a recent year. Thousands more collisions involving these vehicles resulted in serious injuries to the victims. Why are accidents with these vehicles capable of causing so much harm?
- Combination of weight and speed ‒ The average passenger car weighs around 2 tons. By contrast, a fully loaded 18-wheeler can weigh as much as 40 tons. When you are struck by a vehicle that is 20 times the weight of your own, the momentum can cause unimaginable damage. When the 18-wheeler travels 60 miles per hour, the consequences can be devastating.
- Long stopping distances ‒ Due to their size and the specialized braking equipment 18-wheelers have, these vehicles require around twice the stopping distance that an average passenger car needs under ideal conditions. If a truck driver is following too closely or if road conditions are particularly hazardous, there is a strong chance that an 18-wheeler may collide with vehicles in front of it.
- Blind spots ‒ All automobiles have blind spots. However, the large size of an 18-wheeler means that its blind spots are also extra-large. An 18-wheeler’s main blind spots are right in front of the cab, right behind the trailer, and the areas along the two sides of the truck, starting at the cab doors and extending back the length of the trailer. The blind spot on the trucker’s right side is two lanes wide. If a trucker fails to check their blind spots, there is a risk of danger to smaller vehicles within these areas.
- Unsecured cargo ‒ While many 18-wheelers have enclosed trailers, many of them have open flatbeds. Vehicles like this require operators and loading companies to be particularly diligent about securing cargo properly. If the cargo is not tied down correctly, pieces of it can fly off the bed and cause serious accidents for drivers near the 18-wheeler.
- Hazardous material ‒ Many 18-wheelers transport hazardous material across our country’s roads and highways. These materials can include explosive, flammable, radioactive, or poisonous items. If the driver of a vehicle carrying hazardous materials does not have proper hazmat training, there is a risk that dangerous items can be released into the open and cause significant harm to people and the surrounding environment.
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
Determining what caused an 18-wheeler accident can be a complex process. An experienced personal injury lawyer will investigate how and why the accident occurred. This can help provide your case with the evidence you need to recover compensation for your successfully .
Some of the most common causes of 18-wheeler accidents include:
- Driver inexperience ‒ To drive an 18-wheeler, a trucker needs to obtain a Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL). This requires training and passing written and practical driving tests. Because there is such a high demand for truck drivers, some companies may deliberately or unknowingly hire inexperienced or unqualified drivers who are less likely to know how to operate an 18-wheeler safely.
- Driver fatigue ‒ The FMCSA cites fatigue as a contributing factor to a significant proportion of accidents involving 18-wheelers. Because truckers are on the road for many hours under stressful conditions, they are often at risk of falling asleep at the wheel. If the driver is found to be negligent, or their company is found to be negligent because they failed to abide by the hours-of-service regulations, they may be held liable for the injuries you suffered in the accident.
- Distracted driving ‒ According to the FMCSA, distracted driving is one of the leading factors of collisions involving 18-wheelers. This can come in many forms, including using communications devices, eating or drinking, and adjusting the GPS. Even a few brief moments of driver distraction can lead to devastating crashes.
- Improper maintenance ‒ Many trucking companies try to cut costs by failing to provide proper maintenance for their vehicles. This can lead to accidents due to faulty brakes or worn tires. In such instances, trucking companies can be held liable for injuries that resulted from accidents their trucks caused.
Compensation in 18-wheeler Accidents
Every accident case is unique, and how much compensation you receive will depend on the individual factors of your case. However, injured victims of 18-wheeler accidents can receive compensation for things like:
- Medical Bills
- Lost wages from missed time at work
- Prescription and non-prescription drugs
- Physical and psychological pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Speaking with an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney about the specific nature of your case can give you a good idea of what you can expect to recover from your claim.
Contact an Experienced San Diego 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler accident in San Diego, it is important that you consult with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Trucking companies often have high-powered legal teams at their disposal who will attempt to minimize your claim to protect their client. You deserve to have a strong, knowledgeable lawyer who is ready to fight for the compensation you are owed.
The experienced 18-wheeler accident attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers are ready to put our knowledge and resources to work for you. Let us handle your claim so that you can focus on your recovery. Call us today at (619) 233-5020 or contact us online for a free consultation.