It’s not uncommon to see huge commercial trucks like big rigs, semi-trucks, and 18-wheelers on the busy 15 freeway in and around Wildomar. Though they often weigh more than 100,000 pounds, most motorists don’t realize how at risk they are from these vehicles if a collision does occur. This massive size difference between vehicles means it’s not uncommon for catastrophic injuries and often fatalities to result from these accidents. The fact these accidents often take place on highways with elevated speed limits means a greater force of impact upon collision and more severe consequences. The high-risk nature of operating big rigs means all parties involved with these trucks need to operate responsibly at all times to minimize risk to others on the road. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen and results in devastating consequences to everyone around them. If you were injured during a crash with a large commercial truck, contact an experienced Wildomar Big Rig Truck Accident Attorney to learn if you may be entitled to compensation.
Risk Factors in Wildomar In a relatively small town like Wildomar, with only 37,000 residents, it may appear that the risk of involvement in a big rig truck accident is very low. However, the town is located by the massive 15 freeway and has a heavy commuter population driving to other metro areas for their job. However, motorists are at high risk for contact with big rigs on the freeway – Riverside County is the third-busiest country for commercial trucking in California with drivers logging nearly 2.1 million daily miles for the over 5.6 million commercial trucks registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The large big rig population, busy freeway, and prevalence of improper behavior behind the wheel such as texting and driving or speeding all elevate the risk to innocent motorists in Wildomar; over 80 percent of collisions are reported to involve some form of distracted driving.
Can I Win My Case? Victims of big rig accidents usually try to recover for their injuries by filing a suit in civil court alleging they were victims of someone else’s negligence. Victims may sue not only truck drivers but trucking companies, maintenance companies, and even truck manufacturers guilty of negligent conduct. To establish someone’s liability you must show they owed you a legal duty of care, breached their duty through an action or a failure to act, and that breach caused your injuries. If you can establish this, they’ll be guilty of negligence and liable for your damages without a valid legal defense.
You may also be able to prove negligence through negligence per se, which means the defendant broke a rule or regulation when injuring you. In big rig cases this commonly appears in the form of breaking a traffic law such as a posted speed limit. It can be helpful to examine evidence at the scene of the crash as well as rely on witness statements to establish if any laws were broken. Because trucking companies and big rig drivers have many additional rules to follow when operating their vehicles, this is often a wise strategy to pursue. Both federal and state governments have passed regulations for big rigs such as:
- Commercial truck driver licensing,
- Maintenance requirements,
- Safety inspections,
- Hazardous material transportation, and
- Hour limits per shift and rest breaks for big rig drivers.
California has gone further than the federal government and created additional regulations, such as the requirement big rigs and other commercial trucks operate at speed even lower than the posted speed limits for normal vehicles on its highways.
What Can I Recover for My Injuries? Given the size difference between a massive big rig and a regular passenger vehicle, it’s no surprise these accidents commonly result in catastrophic injuries for those who are fortunate enough to survive the collision. Soaring medical bills, lifelong care needs, and permanent disability are all common challenges faced by victims. The government realized the situation and have taken steps to ensure truckers and the companies they work for can afford to pay large damage awards for their negligence. Currently, every commercial truck in the United States including big rigs, semi-trucks, and 18 wheelers, must carry no less than $750,000 in liability insurance coverage; that coverage level skyrockets to no less than $5 million if a truck ever carries hazardous materials.
Victims hurt by a defendant’s negligence may receive damage awards to try and make up for their injuries – these may be given by courts for physical, emotional, mental, and financial harm from the accident. You may be able to recover for injuries such as medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, permanent disability, and loss of consortium (companionship).
Sometimes, in severe cases of vile, reprehensible conduct, victims may be entitled to an additional damage award to punish a defendant’s bad behavior. An award of punitive damages may be large, but you must satisfy a high burden of proof to qualify for these discretionary awards. Because it’s easy to make legal missteps, it’s advisable to seek help from a skilled Wildomar big rig truck accident attorney.
Contact a Lawyer Today Anyone involved in a big rig truck accident understands firsthand the catastrophic injuries as well as the life-altering physical, emotional, mental, and financial long-term consequences of involvement in a collision with a large commercial truck. If you or a loved one were involved in a big rig truck accident, contact the experienced Wildomar Big Rig Truck Accident Attorneys at Walton Law, APC today to put your best foot forward and have the best chance of recovering for your injuries. Our attorneys have delivered tailored, comprehensive representation for victims just like you and recovered millions of dollars their behalf. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or through our online Contact Page to schedule a risk free, no obligation case evaluation today. The initial consultation is free, and you pay nothing until we win your case. Let our skilled attorneys use our knowledge and resources to secure the best possible outcome for you from an unfortunate, avoidable situation today