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Any vehicle collision is cause for serious concern – accidents on Moreno Valley and the rest of Southern California’s roads result in thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries annually. However, the worry should greatly increase when a large truck is involved. Commercial trucks, commonly weighing in at over 100,000 pounds when loaded, are exceptionally dangerous due to their massive size relative to passenger vehicles. Accidents involving trucks usually occur on freeways at much greater speeds than on city streets, which increases collision force when accidents occur and often causes fatalities.

The size of these vehicles means safe truck driver behavior and responsible conduct by the trucking companies and manufacturers should be a top priority. Unfortunately, too often this isn’t the case and results in catastrophe for everyone involved. If you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident, contact an experienced Moreno Valley Truck Accident Attorney to see if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Accident Risks in Moreno Valley

Moreno Valley, a growing town of over 209,000, is boxed between the major 215 and 10 freeways. Busy State Route 60 also cuts directly through the city. The city is located in Riverside County, the third-busiest commercial trucking county in California with more than 2.1 million daily trucking miles logged. A large portion of these trucking miles pass by and through the city and are a constant presence on freeways (and risk to motorists) in the area. This geography and the busy trucking industry in the area expose numerous people to injury from large trucks.

California’s Office of Traffic Safety reported 939 individuals were killed or injured in motor vehicle accidents in the city in 2017, including those on nearby freeways heavily populated by large trucks. In October 2019 the 60 Freeway was shut down in Moreno Valley near the Indian Street overpass when a semi-truck brought down power lines, and just a month earlier 2 people died in a big rig crash on the 60 Freeway near the Badlands.

Do Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies Owe Me a Duty of Care?

Commercial trucks like semis and tractor trailers pose a risk to all motorists in standard vehicles on their road thanks to the large difference in vehicle sizes. Commercial trucks are also commonly found on highways and other large roads with elevated speeds, which increases the collision force and resulting damage when accidents occur. These companies and their drivers owe a duty of care to behave as an ordinarily prudent party would in their situation.

To help lower the risk to others, the federal government additionally created laws governing commercial truck drivers and trucking companies. These rules regulate drivers’ behavior, truck safety procedures, hazardous material transportation, and insurance coverage requirements. Safety rules deal with issues including:

  • Driving while intoxicated;
  • Commercial driver licensing procedures;
  • Truck maintenance and safety inspections;
  • Hazardous material transport; and
  • Driver hours and mandatory rest breaks.

California enacted additional regulations that further restrict truck driver behavior and regulate safe operating procedures in-state. For example, one law requires commercial truck drivers operate their vehicles on highways at a lower speed limit than the posted speed limit for non-commercial vehicles.

How do I Recover for my Injuries?

Truck accident injury victims commonly pursue recovery through the courts under the theory their injuries were due to someone’s negligence. Negligence is generally proved by showing:

  • Defendant owed you a duty of care,
  • Breached that duty through act or omission, and
  • Caused your injuries.

Another method to establish liability in California is arguing the defendant’s negligence is shown in fact because they broke a law, rule, or regulation when causing injury. If this is established, the defendant is presumed to be negligent under the doctrine of negligence per se. Evidence from the accident such as traffic cameras, skid marks, or eyewitness accounts may be useful in proving the defendant was speeding or breaking another rules such as texting while driving and caused your injuries.

What is my Truck Accident Worth?

Truck accidents are traumatic, life-changing events, so it’s normal to wonder what you’re able to recover for your damages. If you can prove in court a defendant was negligent, you may be entitled to compensatory and even punitive damages. Truck accidents, due to the disproportionate sizes of involved vehicles and high-speeds at which they commonly occur on freeways, often result in catastrophic injuries, astronomical bills for medical care, and costly inability to work long-term or even permanently – assuming the victim is lucky enough to survive.

The government understood the grave impact truck accidents can have on victims, so to address this issue and ensure liable parties are financially capable of paying large damage awards to victims, they require every commercial truck on the road carry insurance coverage of least $750,000. The minimum amount skyrockets to $5 million for every commercial truck that ever carries hazardous materials.

Damage Awards

You may be entitled to compensatory damages to make you whole for physical, emotional, mental, psychological, and even financial harms you can prove resulted from the incident. Courts award damages for a variety of injuries, including:

  • Medical bills,
  • Property damage,
  • Lost wages,
  • Lost future earning capacity,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement, and
  • Loss of consortium (companionship).

Sometimes victims are awarded punitive damages to punish a defendant’s particularly reprehensible conduct and deter its repetition. These are rarely awarded because they require satisfying a high burden of proof and are completely at the court’s discretion. The difficulty involved in receiving a punitive damage award is best tackled by an experienced Moreno Valley Truck Accident Lawyer to avoid costly legal missteps.

Contact an Attorney

If you or a loved one were hurt in a crash involving a commercial truck of any kind, you know firsthand how devastating the consequences can be. Contact the skilled Moreno Valley Truck Accident Attorneys at Walton Law, APC without delay to protect your rights and help build the strongest possible case for recovery. Our attorneys have spent years providing comprehensive, aggressive representation for victims like you and delivering results; we’ve secured millions in damages on their behalf. Contact us 24/7 at (866)-338-7079 or through our online Contact Page to schedule a risk free, no obligation initial case review. The confidential consultation is free, and you pay nothing until we recover for you. Let our highly skilled attorneys answer your questions and use our knowledge and resources to fight for maximum possible compensation for you today.