Orange County Truck Accident Attorney
In 2016, there were 322 reported fatal truck accidents in the state of California. Nearly four percent of these accidents were right here in Orange County. Truck accidents can be devastating, especially for occupants of smaller vehicles. Even if a truck accident is not fatal, it still has the ability to can inflict debilitating and life-changing injuries. If you or someone you know has been injured in an Orange County truck accident do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of John Rapillo for help.
Attorney John Rapillo has been dedicated to helping injured accident victims in Orange County for more than 35 years. He knows how important a financial settlement or award can be for his clients and fight aggressively to maximize the amounts they receive. During his career, he has helped thousands of injured accident victims recover millions in compensation. Call the Law Offices of John Rapillo today request a free consultation and find out he can help you, too.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Tractor trailer trucks traveling on the road can be up to 75 feet long and weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. When these large vehicles are involved in crashes with small passenger cars, motorcycles, and bicyclists, the results can be catastrophic. Commonly reported truck accident injuries include:
- Brain injury
- Burn injury
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Spinal cord injury
- Paralysis, and
- Wrongful death.
Causes of Truck Accidents
While truck accidents can happen for any number of reasons, some factors are more likely to cause an accident than others. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commonly cited causes of truck accidents include:
Vehicle Error: faulty brakes, improper maintenance, tire problems, and unexpected cargo shifts
Truck Driver Error: fatigue, drunk driving, illegal turns, and unfamiliar with the roadway
Other Driver Error: following too closely, lane-splitting, speeding, and distracted driving
Environmental: poor visibility, bad weather, and dangerous road conditions.
Liability for Truck Accidents
In California, any person who contributes to the cause of an accident can be held financially responsible for any injuries that result. Since there can be so many different causes of truck accidents, it follows that there can also be a few different potentially liable parties.
Truck drivers have an obligation to drive their large trucks with as much caution as possible. In fact, before a truck driver can even legally drive they must obtain a commercial driver’s license and receive specialized instruction. When truck drivers are on the road and traveling long distances they are legally required to stop once every few hours. If truck drivers breach their duty of care to others on the road, they can be held financially responsible for resulting injuries.
Truck Driver Employers
Companies who employ truck drivers have an obligation to make sure that their drivers are properly trained and driving safely. If an employer fails to train, oversee, or instruct their driver, and an injury results, that employer can be held financially responsible.
Truck owners must make sure that their vehicles are fit for the road. If an owner fails to inspect, maintain, or fix a truck, he or she can be on the hook for any resulting damages.
Companies that design, manufacture, and sell trucks can be held strictly liable for any defects that result in injuries. If a truck is sold containing defective tires or faulty brakes, the company (or companies) responsible for putting that unsafe truck on the road can be held responsible.
Third Party Drivers
Truck drivers do not operate in a vacuum. Instead, they travel on roads among other vehicles. All drivers on the road – not just those operating trucks – have an obligation to drive safely. When other drivers become aggressive or get distracted and cause an accident, they can be held financially liable for resulting injuries.
Orange County, local city governments, and the state of California must prove roads and highways free from dangerous conditions. If a government agency knows (or should know) about a dangerous road condition, but fails to take reasonable steps to fix that hazard, it can be held liable for resulting injuries.
Statute of Limitations in Truck Accident Cases
If you’ve been injured in an Orange County truck accident you may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person (or people) responsible for your injuries. However, you do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a claim. In California, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years from the date of an accident. If you do not file your claim within this period of time you will be prevented from getting the money you really need.
There are certain times when the statute of limitations will be accelerated or extended. It is important to consult with an experienced Orange County truck accident attorney immediately after your accident to make sure that your claim is filed before the statute of limitations expires.
Truck Accident Injury Damages
If you’ve been injured in an Orange County truck accident you may be entitled to recover monetary damages. These damages are generally divided into two distinct categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are awarded to compensate for the financial losses you’ve endured because of an injury. In other words, these damages should put you back in the financial position you would have been if the accident had never happened. Examples of economic examples include:
- Nursing care
- Lost wages, and
- Reduced earning capacity.
Economic damages are limited to your present and projected future financial losses.
Some injuries may not have a direct financial effect on your life. Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate you for these subjective and difficult-to-value injuries. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Disfigurement and scarring, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Speak to an Orange County Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you know has been injured in an Orange County truck accident, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of John Rapillo for immediate assistance. Our truck accident attorneys understand how quickly and substantially an unexpected accident can change your life. We also understand how important a settlement or financial award can be. This is why we will fight to make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. Call us today to request a free consultation and learn more.