California Trucking Accident Attorney Serving Los Angeles & San Bernardino Counties
Truck accidents happen less frequently than car accidents, but they still cause thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths in California each year. The vast majority of truck crashes, injuries and deaths in the state happen in Los Angeles. The trucking industry is an essential part of the economy, but several facts about trucking make it especially dangerous for others on the road. When a truck crashes with another vehicle or a motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian, it is the other road user and not the truck driver who is injured or killed over 70% of the time.
The Law Firm of Oscar A. Ischiu, Esq. represents truck accident victims in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties and helps them get the medical care and compensation they need to deal with their injuries after a serious truck accident. Our firm’s founder and principal attorney, Oscar Ischiu, founded and ran a trucking company of his own for several years before entering law school. The knowledge and experience he gained as a trucking company operator gives him a special insight into the trucking industry and how to handle truck accident cases that most other personal injury attorneys don’t have. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Southern California, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal truck crash in Los Angeles or San Bernardino, call The Law Firm of Oscar A. Ischiu, Esq. for help. We are here to make sure you get the medical care you need and the compensation you deserve when you are injured in a truck accident through no fault of your own.
Los Angeles Truck Traffic and Trucking Accidents
The Port of Los Angeles is the busiest port in the United States and the tenth-busiest in the world when combined with the adjacent Port of Long Beach. It is the number one freight gateway in the United States and moves more cargo than any other port in the Western Hemisphere. Each year, over nine million containers flow in and out of the port, and if they aren’t coming or going on freight trains, they arrive and depart on 18-wheelers and double tractor-trailers bound for the Interstates crisscrossing Los Angeles, including the 110, the 710, the 405, the 105 and I-10. With so much truck traffic going on here, it’s no wonder that Los Angeles County far outpaces every other county in the state when it comes to truck accident injuries and deaths. Truck accidents in LA County are many times more frequent than any other county and triple the number two county in the state for truck crashes, which is San Bernardino County.
Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?
Collisions between tractor-trailers and other vehicles happen for the same reason as other traffic accidents – negligence on somebody’s part. Truck accidents are not always the fault of the truck driver or trucking company; other drivers often don’t give the big rigs the respect they deserve and instead drive recklessly around them, whipping in front of slower-moving 18-wheelers in traffic, making quick lane changes, driving in the trucker’s blind spots, and not giving them the space they need. Tractor-trailers can weigh up to 80,000 when loaded down, which is more than 25 times the weight of the average passenger vehicle. This means they need extra time and distance to come to a stop, and their immense weight delivers a tremendous force in any collision, even in a low-speed impact. Eighteen-wheelers also have more extensive blind spots than passenger cars, extending for several lanes and car lengths on both sides of the truck as well as directly in front of the cab and behind the trailer.
When truck accidents happen due to truck driver or trucking company negligence, they are usually attributable to one of the following factors:
Fatigued and drowsy driving – Truckers can lawfully work 11-hour days, including eight hours of driving time every day, and put in 60 hours over a seven-day period or 70 hours over eight consecutive days before being required to take 32 hours off (less than a day and a half) before starting a new week. Some truckers even put in more hours than allowed in an attempt to deliver their hauls as fast as possible. Long-haul trucking can be boring, monotonous and fatiguing in the best of times; when truckers drive longer than is legal or safe, they risk impaired judgment and slowed reaction times that can be dangerous or fatal to others on the road.
Improper truck maintenance – Owner-operators and trucking companies are responsible to maintain their vehicles and fleet in good working order, but with the thousands of independent companies operating in the country, it’s impossible to police them all. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, in conjunction with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, conducts annual roadside inspections throughout North America. The date for this 72-hour event is published to truckers and trucking companies well in advance, yet every year about one in five vehicles inspected are immediately removed from service due to unacceptable safety violations. Bad or missing brake components and defective tires top the list, with other dangerous safety lapses like malfunctioning signal lights and coupling devices close behind.
Negligent cargo loading – When trailers are loaded beyond their load limits or stacked too high, the driver risks losing control, tire blowouts, and dangerous accidents like a rollover or jackknife. The same can happen if a load is not properly balanced or becomes unbalanced during travel because it wasn’t secured properly. Unsecured cargo on a flatbed or open trailer can also come loose and spill onto the roadway, creating miles of havoc and devastation. Truck drivers are required to check their loads before starting out on every trip. Accidents caused by negligent loading can be the fault of the truck driver, the trucking company, the freight shipper or a third-party contracted to load the truck. As a former owner and operator of his own trucking company, attorney Oscar A. Ischiu has the insider’s knowledge necessary to identify all the proper parties and hold them responsible for their contribution to a serious truck accident on the road.
In addition to the above, truck drivers are susceptible to all the negligent and reckless driving behaviors as other drivers, including speeding, distracted driving, texting while driving, drinking and driving, failure to signal, following too closely, etc. The main difference is the increased likelihood of catastrophic injury or wrongful death as a result of a truck accident.
Get the Help You Need After a Serious Truck Accident in Los Angeles or San Bernardino
If you have been hurt in an accident with an 18-wheeler, or if you lost a loved one to a fatal tractor-trailer accident in Los Angeles or San Bernardino County, call The Law Firm of Oscar A. Ischiu, Esq. for a consultation with a knowledgeable and dedicated trucking accident lawyer. We speak both English and Spanish. There’s no fee if we don’t recover compensation on your behalf.