Santa Barbara Truck Accident Attorneys
Based on the most recent estimates by the FMCSA, 408 deaths due to truck crashes occurred in California in a recent year. Because of their humongous size and substantial weight, crashes that involve commercial trucks are uniquely dangerous, devastating, and sometimes fatal.
While the trucking industry is a vital part of the country’s economy, it is deadline-driven and fueled by overworked drivers and greedy trucking companies. This usually means that these truck drivers are forced to work under immense pressure and strict time constraints that leave them stressed, exhausted, distracted, and more prone to causing crashes that result in catastrophic injuries to other road users.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a truck crash in California, the Santa Barbara truck accident attorneys of Bamieh & De Smeth have the necessary resources and experience to make sure that you receive compensation to recover from the crash physically, mentally, and financially. We will work hard to recover all your truck-accident associated damages, which can include, among others:
- Lost earnings
- Medical expenses
- Property damage and loss
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of companionship
Top Causes of Truck Accidents in Santa Barbara
The FMCSA’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study, errors committed by truck drivers are the top causes of truck crashes nationwide. Trucking companies are desperately trying to catch up with various demands of the trucking industry, which typically puts drivers under extreme pressure to perform. That being said, truck drivers are commercial drivers, so they’re held to more stringent standards than non-professional or non-commercial drivers.
The FMCSA study breaks down the leading causes behind driver error into the following categories:
This refers to a trucker’s failure to sufficiently recognize and accurately respond to the driving conditions on time. This failure often results from inattention or distraction from something outside or inside the truck.
This refers to a driver’s failure to effectively perform their driving duties. This can result from fatigue and drowsiness, by drivers who have unaddressed physical impairments, or by drivers being disabled by some medical condition like a seizure or a heart attack.
This refers to the trucker’s failure to make sound decisions associated with the present driving situation. Such bad decisions usually include speeding, following too closely, and misjudging the speed at which other vehicles are moving, among others.
Performance issues typically involve over-performing, which includes failure to properly control the rig, overcompensation for driving errors, or panicking while driving.
Other factors that contribute to or directly cause truck crashes include:
- Brake issues
- Interruptions in traffic flow, which can include congestion or motor vehicle accidents ahead
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Driving too fast for the roadway’s condition
- Effects of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, or illegal drugs
- Being under the influence of alcohol
- Implementing insufficient surveillance of the traffic and roadway conditions
- Problems with the road conditions
- Having to stop, because of a crosswalk or a traffic control device, before the accident
When you work with our Santa Barbara truck accident attorneys, you can rest assured that we will determine whatever caused the crash that got you injured.
Trucking Companies Can Also Be Held Liable for Truck Accidents in California
Trucking companies might recklessly or intentionally violate safety requirements or transportation rules to increase their profits. But when their violations cause or contribute to truck crashes, they can be held responsible for the injuries and related damages. Examples of violations resulting from negligence include:
- Allowing overweight trucks
- Overloading trailers
- Poor and inadequate training and hiring practices
- Not regularly maintaining trucks
- Encouraging or forcing truck drivers to forego hour and sleep restrictions
- Letting trucks carry and transport unbalanced loads
- Retaining underperforming, at-risk, or under-qualified drivers
- Encouraging or letting drivers break safety rules
Take note that there are also strict state and federal laws for regulating the weight, size, and routes for trucks, cargo weight, and work hours of truckers, among others. Sadly, a lot of commercial truck companies are notorious for violating these safety laws. They might likewise falsify or destroy their documentation process to deliberately conceal proof of their intentional negligence. This is outright malicious and could subject trucking companies to punitive damages in personal injury claims.
Why Truck Accident Claims Are More Complex Than Car Accident Claims in California
Truck accident claims are very different from claims involving cars and other smaller vehicles. Put simply, these claims involve particular factors that do not apply to car accidents, including truck industry regulations, special accident investigations and reconstructions, commercial insurance coverage, and the risk of catastrophic and deadly injuries.
Trucking Industry Regulations
The FMCSA has very specific and strict trucking regulations developed to make sure that the roadways are safer for all truckers and all road users. All truck drivers must follow these regulations. Otherwise, failing to observe these regulations will usually result in trucking companies and truck drivers being held liable for accidents caused by these violations and injured victims being compensated for their losses.
Truck Accident Investigations
Investigations and collecting proper evidence for truck crashes are significantly more complicated and extensive than other motor vehicle crashes. These investigations can be even more complex in cases where both the trucker and the trucking company may be liable for a crash because determining and proving fault is not always easy when multiple parties are involved.
Commercial Insurance Coverage
Put simply, the insurance policies of commercial trucking companies have significantly higher limits. If you suffered injuries and other damages in a truck accident, the skilled Santa Barbara truck accident attorneys of Bamieh & De Smeth will do everything that they can to make sure that you recover the maximum compensation from the liable party’s insurance coverage.
Common Injuries from Devastating Truck Crashes
A crash between a large commercial truck and a smaller vehicle normally results in catastrophic or fatal injuries for the smaller vehicle’s driver and occupants. The main reason for this is the massive disparity in weight and size between the two vehicles. The impact forces naturally cause debilitating injuries and untimely deaths every year. While there are various kinds of injuries, the most common injuries resulting from truck crashes include the following:
- Multiple Broken Bones – When people get injured in a truck crash, they often sustain not one, not two, but multiple broken bones throughout their entire body. And these are not your regular bone fractures but complex fractures that can cause permanent mobility problems.
- Severe Abrasions and Cuts – Deep tissue lacerations usually require complicated and multiple surgeries to manage, and victims may end up with permanent disfigurement and scarring.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries – Head trauma that often happens in truck crashes can lead to severe TBIs, where extensive brain damage occurs and may be permanent. TBIs may cause physical and cognitive impairments, seizure disorders, psychological problems, personality changes, memory issues, and death, among many others, depending on the severity of the brain damage.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – While some injured individuals may walk away from an accident feeling fine, take note that symptoms of spinal cord damage may not appear right away. Severe spinal cord injuries may cause temporary or permanent paralysis and other serious complications.
- Amputated Limbs – The impact of a truck crash can lead to extensive damage to the limbs that amputation is the only option. Some truck crashes even lead to traumatic amputation, in which the limb gets amputated due to the impact of the crash.
- Crush Injuries – These include internal bleeding and damage to vital organs that can result from blunt force trauma during the crash.
- Severe Burns – In severe truck crashes, the impact can cause the fuel tank to rupture and ignite, starting a serious fire. In cases where the vehicle’s frame is smashed in the accident, it may be difficult or impossible for victims to escape or get pulled from the vehicle, resulting in life-threatening and disfiguring burns.
The bottom line – truck crashes frequently cause debilitating injuries that could result in temporary or lifelong medical treatments and physical therapy, necessitating accommodations in your home, losing your job, and imposing dependence on your loved ones to do even the most basic daily tasks for you.
The skilled Santa Barbara truck accident attorneys of Bamieh & De Smeth will make certain that your settlement or award considers all the long-term repercussions of a life-altering truck crash.
Reach Out to Our Knowledgeable Santa Barbara Truck Accident Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck crash caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to act as soon as you can. Insurers for trucking companies will spare no expense to aggressively defend their policyholders to protect their profits. Also, it’s vital to note that personal injury cases involving commercial trucks are usually more complex because their insurance providers are in the business of making money and not giving away money.
Fortunately, you do not need to fight these insurance companies and their army of lawyers on your own. Our Santa Barbara truck accident attorneys will fight for the compensation you truly deserve. Get in touch with Bamieh & De Smeth online or call 805-643-5555 to arrange your free case evaluation today.