Rear-end accidents are often thought of as fender-benders, however, when this type of accident involves a big rig or other commercial vehicle, it can be devastating. Because big trucks are hard to maneuver and require a much longer stopping distance than a passenger vehicle, they are dangerous. In addition, the operators of commercial trucks normally drive up to 70,000 miles each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and this increases the risk of an accident.
If you’ve been injured in a rear-end collision with a semi-truck or large commercial vehicle, call the Law Offices of David Azizi at (800) 991-5292 for your no-obligation, free case review. He will go over your case, can give you a rough estimate of how much you might recover and tell you what options are available going forward.
David Azizi – Truck Accident Lawyer for Rear-End Collisions
L.A. truck accident injury lawyer David Azizi uses grit, determination and his vast knowledge of the law to help his clients obtain the compensation they deserve after being injured through the negligent actions of another. He doesn’t stop until he’s gathered all the evidence in the case, which provides for intense negotiations with the insurance company or builds a case for civil court.
David begins by checking the police report, if there is one, for errors and talking to witnesses. In a crash, he looks for video footage provided by nearby businesses and traffic cameras. David strongly believes that when someone is injured through another’s negligence, they should not have to shoulder the financial burden. He is comfortable dealing with insurance companies as well as in a courtroom to get you the compensation you deserve.
How Big Is the Risk of Rear-End Accidents Involving Big Trucks?
Data gathered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows that a truck is more apt to strike the rear-end of a passenger vehicle than the other way around. A study was conducted that spanned six years and showed 28,000 big trucks being struck in the rear by smaller vehicles. On the other hand, 42,000 of those accidents involved the truck striking the rear of another vehicle. The fatality rate for a smaller vehicle striking a big truck was much higher, usually due to an underride accident, where the smaller vehicle passed underneath the big rig.
Size Difference Matters
The average big rig is between 60 feet and 120 feet long, and its weight can go up to 80,000 pounds. In comparison, the average mid-size passenger vehicle is 14.7 feet long, with a weight of 3,361 pounds. This helps to explain why the larger the vehicle, the higher the risk of serious injuries and fatalities.
What Types of Trucks Are Commercial Vehicles?
Many people would think of 18-wheelers when it comes to commercial vehicles. However, many other types of trucks fit into this category. They include:
- Tractor-trailers, also called 18-wheelers, semis or big rigs. This name really refers to the truck cab where the motor is located. A tractor-trailer may be hauling a cargo unit, tanker, refrigerated trailer, livestock hauler, flatbed or other type of trailer. All of them offer specific types of dangers, depending on what is being transported because the load being carried may spill or come loose during an accident.
- Transit buses may include commercial buses, transit buses, tour buses or charters. These types of large vehicles are capable of transporting many people at one time along a specific route or to a destination. Big buses are involved in around 63,000 accidents each year and injuries are common. This is because the tip over rate for buses is higher than in many other vehicles.
- Delivery trucks are familiar sights as more people order online from the internet. They include U.S. Postal Service trucks, FedEx, UPS and other delivery services. Although these would be considered medium-weight vehicles compared to semis, they can still cause severe injuries or fatalities when they involve rear-end accidents.
- Work trucks include garbage trucks, cement and dump trucks, moving vans and others. These vehicles are generally owned by a company that employs the driver. If a negligent driver causes an injury, the driver and the company may be liable.
What Causes Rear-End Accidents of This Type?
There are a number of reasons that rear-end accidents occur, but negligence is normally the cause. Even though big trucks are much larger and heavier, the driver still has a duty of care to travel safely without endangering others. The owners also have a duty to ensure that drivers have adequate time to make their deliveries are well-qualified, and that the vehicles are properly maintained. Some of the most common reasons that a big truck can cause a rear-end collision include:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Being impaired is dangerous for any motorist but more so if the driver is behind the wheel of a big truck. Those who drive impaired may exhibit poor judgment, impaired ability to judge distance and time, decreased coordination, dizziness and drowsiness.
- Distracted driving occurs because truckers can become bored when spending long hours behind the wheel. Using a cell phone or texting, eating or drinking, fiddling with a radio or GPS and other actions can contribute to distracted driving. In some instances, such as changing a radio station, the driver has one hand off the steering wheel and is looking away as well as thinking about what they are doing. This exhibits all three types of distraction that can lead to rear-end accidents.
- Speeding is a leading cause of all types of collisions and an important factor in rear-end accidents involving a big truck. Because a truck takes a much longer amount of time to stop when the brakes are applied, speeding can easily lead to an accident. If that big truck crashes into a smaller vehicle, it can result in an override accident, where the truck passes over the smaller passenger car.
- Poor maintenance in a big truck can lead to an accident. Bad brakes are a major cause of rear-end accidents by a big truck. Tire blowouts, engine problems and others can result in the driver losing control, which can have disastrous results.
- Fatigue is a problem with all drivers but more dangerous when it affects a trucker. If that trucker nods off behind the wheel or becomes too drowsy to drive safely, it can lead to an accident.
Failure to adjust driving to adverse weather conditions causes accidents. Because big trucks cannot stop quickly, driving too fast and too close to the vehicle in front can cause an accident.
Free Case Review with a Truck Accident Law Firm for Rear-End Crashes
David wins 98 percent of his cases through his compassionate efforts, doggedness and legal expertise. This is why the legal ranking firm, Super Lawyers, calls him one of the top personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles every year. For your free no-obligation consultation, call David today at (800) 991-5292. He can answer your questions, and you can find out if he can help you obtain compensation to pay your medical bills and lost wages along with your pain and suffering. You can also message David online at his website, and he will contact you as soon as he can.