A commercial vehicle accident with smaller cars or trucks can cause severe injuries or even fatalities. Commercial vehicles included in accident statistics are commonly tractor-trailers but can include buses, dump trucks, cement trucks, delivery vehicles and more. Because these vehicles are often owned and operated by companies, they are under a different set of rules and regulations than ordinary motorists. This is why having an experienced lawyer by your side when you’ve been injured in a crash is important to prove fault and obtain the compensation you need and deserve.
Justice & Compensation with a Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer
David Azizi has been practicing personal injury law in Los Angeles and the surrounding area for 22 years. David knows that each case is important, and he is compassionate and transparent with his clients. This, along with his diligence and legal acumen, is why Super Lawyers, the legal ranking company, rates him among the top personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles. If a negligent party caused your accident injuries, contact David for advice and help by calling (800) 991-5292. You can also contact him by sending a message on the online contact form. You will discover why so many Los Angeles residents have turned to David when they need help.
Accidents With Commercial Vehicles Increasing
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, there are more than 25 million motor vehicles registered in the state alone. The number of commercial vehicles in California in 2018 that weighed more than 10,001 pounds was 511,792. However, that does not include interstate tractor-trailers that are registered elsewhere. That same year, there were also 5,286,647 commercial vehicles weighing under 10,001 pounds and more than 2 million trailers.
How does this translate into accidents with smaller vehicles? In 2017, 4,657 commercial trucks were involved in accidents that resulted in fatalities. Of those, 68 percent involved passenger vehicles. Another percentage involved motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Contributing Factors in Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Factors that contribute to an accident caused by a commercial vehicle may be due to driver error. However, in some cases, the company that employs that driver may be negligent. In many cases, more than one type of negligence is involved. Contributing factors by a commercial vehicle driver or the company can include:
- Speeding is the most common factor in accidents caused by a commercial truck driver. In 2017, speeding contributed to 32 percent of all accidents involving commercial drivers. In some cases, the driver is speeding because of pressure by the company that employs him or her to make deliveries more quickly. If speeding caused an accident involving a tractor-trailer, the lawyer can check the electronic logging device or paperwork to prove the trucker was speeding.
- Distracted driving is another type of negligence that is commonly cited in accidents involving commercial drivers. Because long-distance drivers face long hours on the road with resulting boredom, they can become distracted. Forms of distracted driving include changing a radio station, texting on a cell phone or eating and drinking while on the road.
- Fatigue is a real problem with commercial drivers. In some companies, such as Amazon and FedEx, the drivers are expected to make an extraordinary number of deliveries and are clocked by the second. This results in exhaustion, stress and reckless behavior on the part of the driver. Spending long hours on the road under these conditions can easily cause an accident with other vehicles.
- Impaired driving can be a problem because of the long hours and stress. Drugs are used by some commercial drivers in order to stay alert. However, it may have the opposite effect and make the truck driver reckless, leading to a commercial vehicle accident.
- Poorly secured loads contribute to some accidents because the load can shift, causing a rollover accident. Spilled cargo and commercial vehicle rollovers contribute to many accidents involving other vehicles.
- Lack of maintenance can be attributed to either the driver who is an independent operator or the company that owns the commercial vehicle. A blown tire, bad brakes and other maintenance problems can contribute to an accident.
Statistics on the Causes of a Commercial Vehicle Accident
According to a study performed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the following problems contributed to accidents involving large trucks:
- Brake problems contributed to 27 percent of commercial truck accidents.
- Unfamiliarity with the road being driven contributed to 19 percent of accidents.
- The pressure to make deliveries contributed to 10 percent.
- Fatigue was a factor in 7 percent of commercial vehicle accidents.
- Aggressive driving contributed to 5 percent of accidents.
- Problems with tires contributed to 3 percent of accidents involving commercial vehicles.
- An Illness was a factor in 1 percent of accidents.
- Illegal substances were factors in 0.4 percent of commercial vehicle crashes.
Watch the following vehicle by attorney David Azizi about recovering $4.9 million for a victim hit by a big rig:
Commercial Truck Insurance
Because large commercial vehicles are recognized as presenting a risk while on the roadways, they are required to carry higher insurance in the event of an accident. Freight-hauling trucks have to carry a minimum of $750,000 in insurance coverage, and that coverage can go up to $5 million. The difference is in what the truck is hauling. Obviously, dangerous substances such as gasoline or toxic chemicals will be insured for much more. Commercial vehicles that weigh less and are not hauling hazardous materials may carry much less insurance, but it will still be at least $300,000. Because truck drivers are expected to have a higher duty of care toward others on the roadways, compensation is often higher in accidents that result in injuries or fatalities.
Free Case Review with a Los Angeles Commercial Vehicle Accident Law Firm
Reach out to David for help and advice when you’ve been injured in an accident in the Los Angeles area at (800) 991-5292. He can review your case, tell you what options are available to you and even give you a rough estimate of how much you might be awarded. With a track record of winning 98 percent of his cases, you can’t go wrong. David has many years of experience of negotiating with insurance companies and is comfortable in the courtroom if it comes to that. As always, you owe nothing until your case has been won, and David will work aggressively to get you the compensation you need and deserve.