Truck Accidents, involving a semi-tractor trailer or an eighteen-wheeler, can result in serious injuries because occupants are dealing with a large truck that is often moving fast and disproportionately weighs much more than passenger vehicles.
The legal weight
In the United States, the legal weight for an eighteen-wheeler is 80,000 lbs. (i.e. 40 tons). This weight is without an oversize or overweight permit. So conceivably, an eighteen-wheeler could weigh more than 80,000 lbs. In comparison, the average passenger vehicle weighs somewhere around 5,000 lbs.
Serious truck injuries and fatalities
The gross difference in weight between large trucks and passenger vehicles account for most of the serious injuries and fatalities that occur in such accidents.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2005, accidents involving such large trucks resulted in 5,212 fatalities.
Special safety rules and regulations
For these reasons, there are special safety rules and regulations that truck drivers have to follow, regardless of whether the driver is an employee of the truck company or an owner-operator. A truck accident can occur regardless of whether the truck driver adhered to or violated those safety rules and regulations.
Potential causes of Truck Accidents?
1. Driving too fast.
The length of time it takes an eighteen-wheeler to stop is generally 40% greater than that of a passenger vehicle. This estimate could vary depending on the weight of load the truck is carrying, weather conditions, road conditions and whether or not the truck is bobtailing (i.e. whether the truck is being driven without an attached trailer).
2. Driving too close.
Sometimes, a truck driver is driving too close to the vehicle in front of him and when that vehicle stops, the truck may not have sufficient distance to stop before striking the vehicle.
3. Driver Fatigue.
Pursuant to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, truck drivers must keep logs, showing their hours of operation (driving) and their off-duty hours. These strict guidelines, created to reduce driver fatigue or to keep them to a minimum, must be adhered to by truck drivers. When a driver fails to adhere to these rules, fatigue may set in, making him a dangerous driver.
4. Driver Error.
Because of the height of his truck, a truck driver may fail to see a passenger vehicle in his blind spot or see a pedestrian crossing the street. As a result, the truck may strike another vehicle or the pedestrian.
5. Driver Distraction.
A truck driver can get distracted by using a cellphone, by conversing with his passenger or by being preoccupied with the radio. These distractions can make him a danger on the road, resulting in a truck accident.
6. Driver Aggression.
Truck drivers are on strict time schedules, especially when they are delivering perishable goods. If a driver is running late, he tends to become more aggressive, placing others at risk.
7. Load Shift.
If a truck load is not tied down properly, it can shift during transport. If that happens, the weight of the load can cause the driver to lose control of his truck, resulting in a truck accident.
Legal Rights of Victims
Catastrophic truck accidents can lead to serious injuries. Due to the severity of such injuries, it is very important to contact an attorney familiar with both truck accidents and auto accidents.
The Mason Law Firm Truck Accident Attorneys is managed by Personal Injury Attorney Mason Rashtian. Before opening his own practice, Mason Rashtian was an insurance defense attorney. In that capacity, Mason defended truck drivers involved in catastrophic accidents, including cases involving fatalities, T-bone collisions, side-swipe collisions, and rear-end collisions. Additionally, he handled cases with less serious injuries such as rotator cuff tears, herniated discs, whiplash and back pain. Needless to say, he has seen it all.
Additionally, he handled cases with less serious injuries such as rotator cuff tears, herniated discs, whiplash and back pain. Needless to say, he has seen it all.
Mason has litigated truck accident cases all throughout California, including, but not limited to, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Palm Springs/Indio area.
If you have been involved in an accident with a truck, semi-tractor trailer or an eighteen-wheeler, it is important to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney, such as Mason Rashtian. We will provide you with an honest and complete assessment.
There is never a fee unless there is a recovery in the case.
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The Mason Law Firm
28494 Westinghouse Place, Suite 202
Valencia, CA 91355
The Mason Law Firm
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Burbank, CA 91505
The Mason Law Firm
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Sherman Oaks, CA 91403