The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there are approximately 4,000 truck accident fatalities every year, and over 70% of those killed are occupants of passenger vehicles. Nearly 95,000 people are injured in semi-truck accidents each year as well. If you’re hurt in a Laguna Hills truck accident, you need the skilled California personal injury attorney team at Case Barnett Law.
Causes of Laguna Hills Truck Accidents
A study by NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that 10% of large truck crashes were caused by equipment issues, such as brake problems or an unsecured load, and 80% by driver error.
Ways Truck Drivers Are Negligent in a Truck Accident
- Distracted or inattentive driving
- Drowsy driving or falling asleep at the wheel
- Reckless driving; driving too fast for weather or road conditions
- Drunk driving leading to an impaired crash
- Illegal driving maneuvers, such as tailgating
Dangerous Roads Near Laguna Hills
Driving in Southern California, especially in Orange County, can be a challenging experience. The daily commute can be demanding and exasperating, sometimes leading to road rage; the over-driven roads can be full of potholes; and if it rains, the roads may be slippery from oil build-up after weeks and months of dry weather conditions. The risk of an accident increases because many drivers just aren’t used to driving on wet roads.
In Orange County, canyon roads are considered the most dangerous. Despite their beautiful scenery and long, captivating stretches, they have blind curves, steep hills, a lot of wildlife, and twisty curves that make them especially difficult to navigate. The California Highway Patrol reports that the roads in this area are responsible for thousands of accidents every year.
Laguna Canyon Road
Local motorists, as well as visitors from other cities and states, love to drive along Laguna Canyon Road. This stretch of highway (State Route 133) runs alongside the Pacific Coast and provides a beautiful view. However, because of its blind turns and late-night accidents due to speeding, drunk drivers, and poor visibility, Laguna Canyon Road is considered one of the most dangerous roadways in Orange County.
Although you may not see a lot of tractor-trailer trucks on Laguna Canyon Road, you may have to negotiate the road with delivery trucks, moving trucks, tow trucks, and other commercial vehicles. Due to their size and the twists and turns of the road, a collision with this type of vehicle could be deadly.
When You’re Injured in a Laguna Hills Truck Accident
When you’re involved in a Laguna Hills truck crash, you likely face the impact of a tractor-trailer that weighs over 10,000 pounds. Your injuries could be catastrophic and require medical attention for the rest of your life.
Types of Injuries in a Laguna Hills Truck Crash
- Traumatic brain injury. This can sometimes cause long-term or permanent cognitive impairment.
- Eye injuries. Debris might fly into your eye, and cause damage, or broken glass could cause you to lose your eye completely.
- Organ damage. The blunt force trauma of a truck crash can cause internal organ damage, especially to the lungs, spleen, liver, and kidneys.
- Burn injuries. If a gas tank is punctured during a truck accident, it can cause a high-temperature fire that spreads quickly. Additionally, a leak from a damaged line or hose can also cause a fire.
- Limb amputation. An underride accident can cause limb loss if the vehicle slides under the truck bed.
- Spinal cord injury. This can sometimes include permanent paralysis.
People often think of “injury” as physical harm, but a truck crash can cause enormous emotional pain and suffering. Physical harm can cause permanent changes in a person’s life, and this can result in anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. If you combine those with the pressure of expensive medical bills and lost wages if you have to be off work, the aftermath of a crash can be crushing. That’s why a Laguna Hills truck accident attorney can help by factoring in the emotional expense of the accident when determining the value of your case.
Getting Compensation With the Help of a Laguna Hills Truck Accident Attorney
It’s important to hire an Orange County auto accident attorney immediately following the crash. Why? Because insurance companies want to catch you at your most vulnerable—when you might be tempted to accept a low-ball settlement offer because you’re worried about mounting medical expenses. Your truck accident attorney will assist in calculating the full value of your damages, likely increasing the amount of your settlement and letting the insurance companies know you’re serious about fair compensation.
Possible Recoverable Damages When You Hire a Truck Accident Attorney
- Medical costs and any future medical needs
- Lost wages, loss of future earnings
- Property damage
- Transportation costs for doctor appointments
- Future medical needs, such as rehabilitation
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Assistive devices, including wheelchairs and car renovations
- Pain and suffering
Liability in a Truck Accident
Even if you’re partially liable for the truck accident, you can still file a personal injury claim for damages. Under California law, you lose a percentage of the settlement award equal to your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 20% at fault in a $100,000 claim, you will receive an award of $80,000.