Accidents involving large trucks are likely to be more severe than other traffic crashes. While the average passenger vehicle in California weighs around 4,000 pounds, a semi truck could weigh as much as 20 times more. The most common reasons behind truck crashes are driver error, equipment failure and poor truck maintenance.
Truck drivers are required to have special licenses, and they have a heightened responsibility to use care and drive safely. However, some drivers make mistakes. For example, many drive while tired, distracted or intoxicated. Despite all these potential issues, statistics indicate that most semi truck accidents are the result of an error by a passenger vehicle driver.
There are thousands of moving parts on a large truck, and the failure of any piece of equipment can lead to deadly consequences. A particular part can fail because of manufacturer negligence or because of maintenance shortfalls. If the manufacturer has been negligent in making the part, that negligence might be actionable.
Trucking companies are required to perform regular maintenance on their fleets to make sure the trucks are safe to be on the road. Worn or damaged brake pads, cracks in windshields and other seemingly minor issues can lead to major accidents.
Someone who has been injured in a truck accident might be able to file a claim for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages. An attorney with experience in personal injury law could help in such cases by examining the causes of the crash and identifying potential sources of recovery. Legal counsel might draft and file a complaint for relief in civil court or negotiate a settlement with at-fault parties or insurance companies.