aerial view of san juan capistranoEvery year, there are approximately 3,000 truck accidents in California, with an average of 133 fatalities. Because trucks are so much bigger and weigh so much more than cars, an accident with a truck can result in catastrophic injuries.

The National Safety Council (NSC) reported that in 2020, California ranked second in the U.S. in large truck accident fatalities, with nearly 400 deaths. Texas was first with 643 deaths, and Florida was third with 344 deaths. 

It takes only seconds for a crash to change your life, and you’re left with unanswered questions and confusion about where to turn for help.

That’s why you need the skilled Orange County truck accident injury attorney team at Case Barnett Law. They have helped many San Juan Capistrano injured victims recover fair compensation after a truck crash. They understand the special evidence needed to help your claim and prove who might be at fault for the accident.

How Truck Accidents Are Different From Car Accidents

The average passenger vehicle weighs less than 4,000 pounds; tractor-trailer trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Even if you drive a very large car or SUV, it can’t withstand the force of a truck collision. A truck needs at least 40% more stopping distance than a car, and a truck is likely to crush your vehicle, causing more severe injuries, disability, and even death. Not only are truck accidents more serious, but they also present a more complicated personal injury claim with different types of evidence necessary to prove liability.

Truck Accidents Are More Severe

Statistics show that in most cases, the fatalities in a truck vs. car accident are occupants in the passenger car. Because truck drivers are more protected in a big rig, they are often unharmed in vehicle crashes. Additionally, the large size of a truck increases the risk of the most devastating type of collision—an underride accident, where the smaller car can have its top sheared off, or the car gets trapped beneath the truck. The enormous size and weight of a semi-truck usually mean that victims suffer serious injuries, permanent disability, and even death.

There May Be More Than One Defendant in a CA Truck Accident Case

You may think that filing a personal injury claim for a truck accident is the same as filing one for a car accident. But that’s not true. Truck crash cases are often more complex, with the potential for multiple at-fault parties, including.

  • The truck driver. The driver of the truck may be negligent by operating the semi while drowsy or distracted, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, or driving recklessly.
  • The trucking company. Commercial trucks must be kept in good working order. The trucking company is responsible for ensuring regular maintenance of its fleet. Additionally, the truck company must ensure that drivers comply with hours-of-service regulations set by the federal government.
  • The cargo loader. If the truck is loaded improperly, the cargo can shift during a sudden stop or difficult turn. The imbalance of weight can cause the trailer to tip and result in an accident.
  • The truck manufacturer. If there were problems with the mechanics of the truck, the truck manufacturer might be to blame.

Evidence Needed to Prove Liability in a Truck Accident

  • The driver’s logbook, which might contain important information about the time and length of the driver’s breaks and if they violated the FMCA rules
  • Maintenance records that will show if the truck was recently repaired or had never received maintenance
  • Inspection records that will show if the driver conducted the necessary inspection of their truck
  • Black box data can show how fast the truck was moving and if the trucker took the required breaks
  • Truck driver’s personnel file to see if they were properly trained and qualified to drive
  • Shipper documents that show how the cargo was loaded
  • Emails between the driver and the trucking company might show that management had encouraged the trucker to drive more hours than allowed

Dangerous California Roads

California has many dangerous intersections and roads that present hazards for drivers. Some have steep grades, some have blind curves, and some involve canyon driving. One of these dangerous roads is The Ortega Highway—State Route 74 that heads east toward Riverside Country from San Juan Capistrano. Additionally, tractor-trailer trucks often pull out of ranches and farms in the agricultural district of California during the day but also at night. Trucks also depart manufacturing and processing centers with full cargo loads every morning.

It’s important to know which California roads are dangerous and where most pedestrians and drivers get injured.

When You Need Compensation After a California Truck Accident

After a truck accident, the trucking company often sends out its own investigators to review the site and collect evidence. That’s why it’s important that you call a truck accident lawyer right away to advocate on your behalf. Because this type of accident can result in costly medical bills, missed time at work, and a great deal of pain and suffering, you need to seek compensation for damages right away.

Potential Recoverable Damages

  • Medical costs associated with the accident and any future medical costs
  • Lost wages, including bonuses and raises, and loss of future earnings
  • Property damage
  • Transportation to and from doctor appointments
  • Future truck needs, such as rehabilitation
  • Assistive devices such as wheelchairs or door ramps
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Possible punitive damages

Types of Compensable Injuries

  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Wrongful death

How an Attorney Can Help Your San Juan Capistrano Truck Accident Claim

Not only can the attorneys at Case Barnett Law investigate the accident and determine liability, but they will also gather important evidence to show the at-fault party’s negligence. They will:

  • Communicate with the insurance adjuster and insurance company
  • Evaluate the monetary value of your personal injury claim
  • Handle all paperwork, so you can rest and recover
  • Negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our San Juan Capistrano Truck Accident Lawyer

At Case Barnett Law, our experienced truck accident legal team understands just how difficult it can be after suffering an injury from a truck accident. We know how to help you find a legal strategy that can see you through the trauma and help get you the compensation you deserve.

You can find out whether you have a valid case at no cost to you. That’s because we offer free consultations. To request a free consultation with our team, reach out by calling 949-409-0055 or filling out the online contact form below. We proudly serve clients in San Juan Capistrano, throughout Costa Mesa, and in the surrounding areas.

Case C. Barnett
Costa Mesa Personal Injury Attorney practicing in child injury law, car accident injuries and elder abuse law