A traffic accident involving a commercial truck, such as an eighteen-wheeler or other large freight carrier, can be much more catastrophic than an ordinary car accident. A typical fully-loaded large commercial truck can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, while an average passenger automobile weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. Because of this size disparity, and due to the basic laws of physics, any collision between a commercial truck and another vehicle is likely to result in serious, even fatal, injuries. In the event that you or a loved one is involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries by bringing a legal claim against the responsible parties.
Driver negligence is often the largest contributor to truck accidents that occur in Los Angeles. Negligence is the failure of someone to exert reasonable, responsible care. When it comes to accidents involving semi-trucks, big rigs, 18 wheelers or other large trucks, it is the care that a truck driver must take to ensure the safety of the drivers and pedestrians they come across while operating the truck. This requirement to exert reasonable care is called a “duty of care”. When a trucker doesn’t show reasonable care, then they are considered negligent. Various acts and even failing to act are considered negligent. Some examples include:
- A speeding truck driver
- Truck operator making unsafe lane changes
- A truck driver who runs through a stop sign
- A driver operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Truck driver who fails to yield the right of way