California has some of the busiest roads in the country, and Echo Park’s location in east-central Los Angeles makes it a prime setting for all kinds of different vehicles. One of the most common–and dangerous–vehicles you’ll see on the roads around Echo Park are semi-trucks. Also known as big rigs, these commercial trucks serve as a crucial element of the economy by transporting and delivering goods like food, water, fuel, and a host of other extremely important materials. Making sure that these goods are available for purchase and delivered in a timely manner is among the most important parts of being a semi-truck driver. Unfortunately, this pressure can also lead to accidents.
A semi-truck accident is devastating no matter where it occurs, but when it happens in a populated area like Echo Park, the results can be all the more damaging for everyone involved. These vehicles are not only much larger and heavier than the average vehicle, but they often carry harmful materials that can make a normal accident much worse. Then, there is the injury component. Semi-truck accidents frequently cause serious injuries because of these same factors. That’s why it’s important to have experience and support on your side if you’re involved in one of these high-risk accidents.
Talk With Experienced Echo Park Semi-Truck Accident Attorneys
When it comes to semi-truck accidents in Echo Park, having the trusted and experienced attorneys at Quirk Accident and Injury Attorneys on your side can make all the difference. Our attorneys have years of experience in handling semi-truck accident claims in Echo Park and the surrounding area, so we know firsthand how serious these accidents can be and the impact they can have on your health and wellbeing. Working with our attorneys can take the burden off of you, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
To get started with a free consultation, contact us today.
What Do I Need To Know About Echo Park Semi-Truck Accidents?
The first thing you should consider about semi-truck accidents in Echo Park is just how common (and dangerous) they are. The California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) found that Los Angeles led the state in the number of semi-truck accidents that caused either injuries or death in 2019:
- 2,724 reported injuries
- 66 deaths
To go along with this state-level data, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tracks the same data on a nationwide level. In 2020, there were 415,000 accidents involving semi-trucks. Of those accidents:
- 101,000 involved injuries
- 4,444 were fatal
- 27% occurred on interstate highways
What this data underscores is not just how dangerous a semi-truck accident can be, but how to approach them. Knowing what to do in the event of an accident with a semi-truck accident in Echo Park–or elsewhere–can minimize the potential risk that is inherent in bringing a claim for damages. Also, while this knowledge won’t prevent injuries from happening, it can help reduce potential harm.
Further, semi-truck accidents are different than regular car accidents. Thus, it’s important to know the causes of them.
What Causes Semi-Truck Accidents in Echo Park?
The reality is, semi-truck accidents are not only prevalent in Echo Park but have a wide variety of different causes. For one, all of the normal causes of car accidents can be present in semi-truck accidents, like:
- Fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unsafe lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Other negligent drivers who initiate an accident with the truck
- Poor road surface conditions
- Poor weather
- Poor visibility
However, the main difference is that a semi-truck accident poses a significant risk to other vehicles on the road. Semi-truck accidents are more dangerous than accidents involving smaller vehicles for several reasons. One reason is the size and weight of semi-trucks, which can cause more severe damage to other vehicles and result in more serious injuries or deaths. Additionally, semi-trucks have large blind spots, which can make it difficult for the truck driver to see other vehicles, increasing the risk of accidents. Furthermore, semi-trucks take longer to stop than smaller vehicles, which can make it difficult for the driver to avoid a collision. Finally, the cargo that semi-trucks carry can be hazardous and potentially dangerous in the event of an accident.
Some of these truck accidents can be blamed on other drivers, but many times the accident is the fault of the truck driver or truck company for their negligence. Still, common causes of accidents that are unique to semi-trucks include:
- Inexperienced truck drivers
- Improperly or unsafely loaded cargo
- Brake failure or tire failure
Unfortunately, another unique aspect of semi-truck accidents is the level of severity of the injuries that are usually involved. The above factors all add up to amplify the injuries that come with an accident.
Common Injuries in Echo Park Semi-Truck Accidents
Looking at the different types of injuries that are common in Echo Park semi-truck accidents also underscores how serious these accidents can be, especially for drivers and passengers in normal vehicles. These injuries usually include:
- Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Strained or torn ligaments
- Cuts and bruises
- Wrongful death
After an accident, your main goal should be to get to safety and check yourself for any injuries. From there, it’s important to take the following steps to make sure your claim for damages remains viable:
- Report the accident to the proper authorities
- Begin gathering witness statements
- Take photos and videoes at the accident scene
- Exchange your information with the other involved parties
- Ask witnesses for their contact information
Once you have taken the initial steps after a semi-truck accident, you may also want to try to gather any information or evidence that proves the truck driver works for a specific trucking company. This will help narrow down the potentially responsible parties.
How Do Echo Park Semi-Truck Accidents Happen?
Not only are semi-truck accidents extremely common, but they can occur in a variety of different ways. Each type of semi-truck accident poses its own unique set of dangers and consequences. Here are some of the most common:
- Rear-end collisions – Rear-end collisions are among the most common type of semi-truck accidents. Because of their weight and speed, semi-trucks are very difficult to stop. This creates accidents when a driver is fatigued or distracted, or when their cargo is not loaded properly.
- Underride accidents – Another uniuqe semi-truck accident is the underride. This occurs when a car or other passenger vehicle contacts the truck from the side and goes under the trailer. This usually leads to serious injuries, as the driver of the vehicle is trapped under the weight of the truck.
- Jackknife accidents – Another unique semi-truck accident occurs when they suddenly slam on their brakes, sending the attached trailer swinging out at a ninety-degree angle. These jacknife accidents create damage not only for other cars, but for the truck as well.
- Rollover accidents – Improperly loaded or defective semi-trucks frequently cause rollover accidents, which occur when the momentum and weight of the trailer cause the entire truck to rollover. These are extremely dangerous for all vehicles on the road, but especially for the truck driver.
While these are usually the most common type of accident with a semi-truck, virtually every type of accident can happen during these crashes. No matter what type of accident occurs, contacting our team of experienced Echo Park semi-truck accident attorneys can let you know what the next steps are.
What Damages Can You Recover From a Semi-Truck Accident in Echo Park?
Just because semi-truck accidents are fairly unique doesn’t mean that the same general process for recovering damages isn’t in place. Basically, outside of the above factors, a semi-truck accident follows the same procedure as a normal car accident. Once you’ve begun medical treatment and figured out who the liable party is, you can begin the claims process. Our team can help you figure out just who is responsible and will assist you in filing a claim with every liable party. In a semi-truck accident, various parties could be liable, from the driver to the manufacturer of a defective part.
Generally speaking, a semi-truck accident claim can recover the following:
- Accident-related medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income if you’ve been permanently injured
- Costs related to the damage to your vehicle or other property
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma from the accident
- Reduced quality of life
- Scarring or disfigurement
Another thing to think about is “comparative negligence.” California law maintains that your potential recovery is reduced based on your percentage of fault related to the accident.
Dedicated Support From Echo Park Semi-Truck Accident Attorneys
Being in an accident with a semi-truck has life-changing implications, both in terms of your injuries and the emotional and psychological effect that the accident will have on you. When you or a loved one have been involved in one of these unfortunate accidents, our team of dedicated Echo Park semi-truck accident attorneys can help you get the support you need. Through our experience, we have developed a proven system of success in handling these claims. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today for a free consultation.