California drivers can usually look in any direction and see dozens of other motorists no matter the time of day. Some of them paying attention and some not. Attentive drivers often pay extra attention to the rear-view mirror to stay alert as to what’s going on behind them.
Knowing what cars are doing behind you can give you extra options if there’s trouble ahead. You might also see the start of a terrible accident when you spot a driver behind the wheel of a big rig, not paying attention, and trying to stop in time to avoid hitting you.
Sometimes these rear-end accidents can be avoided, but sometimes the truck’s driver, carrying a heavy load, can’t stop in time and ends up causing a devastating collision for you or someone nearby. The sight of an impact involving an 18-wheeler or a box truck can be frightening enough, but for victims, the injuries and pain involved can be a true nightmare.
Rear-end Big Rig Accident Dangers in California
Rear-end accidents can result in a minor fender-bender or cause a major impact. The consequences are only magnified when large, heavy trucks or vans are involved in collisions.
These big rigs usually sit up higher on the road, creating the dangerous opportunity for a smaller car or SUV to end up underneath thousands of pounds of steel. Their heavy loads also mean that drivers need more time and distance to stop for stalled traffic or a road obstacle. Unfocused truck drivers, perhaps looking at a cellphone, can fail to see stopped cars in time and crash into multiple vehicles before coming to a rest.
These types of accidents are a true threat to you because they are the most common on the road. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2019 rear-end collisions made up nearly a third of all accidents across the nation.
For the year, there were over two million rear-end collisions in America. They accounted for 595,000 injuries on the road and resulted in 2,346 tragic deaths.
Common Injuries In Truck Rear-End Crashes
Rear-end impacts can unleash very focused and powerful forces on drivers and passengers inside. Bodies are often jerked backward and then pushed forwards, stretching muscles and bones in ways they weren’t meant to go.
Here are some of the more common injuries victims receive in a big rig rear-end crash:
- Whiplash – Part of hyper-extension and hyper-flexion injuries. Whiplash can involve injuries to the neck, shoulders and upper back after the body is shoved back and forward quickly. A cervical disc or herniated disk injury can occur. The cervical spine involves the top seven vertebrae in your spine.
- Broken Bones – Rear-end impacts often place a driver’s hands, feet, and spine under extreme pressure. Fractures can require surgery to make sure bones reset correctly.
- Traumatic brain injuries – TBI is caused by a blow to the head. In rear-end big rig accidents, victims can strike the steering wheel, the dash, a headrest, or the seat in front of them. TBIs can involve concussions ranging from mild to severe. More intense blows can result in memory loss, amnesia, light sensitivity, and even mood swings.
- Permanent disfigurement and disability – A sudden collision with any part of a vehicle can cause victims to receive deep lacerations requiring surgery. Pieces of a damaged car can also fly through the air and cause a permanent disfigurement that might require expensive plastic surgery to fix. With the most serious injuries, a permanent disability for the patient is possible. The need to amputate a limb, or the loss of the ability to walk, or even severe brain damage can change someone’s life forever. Car insurance companies would have to provide money for healthcare and medical equipment over a lifetime.
Who Can Be Held Responsible After a California Truck Accident
Victims in truck accidents should get full support from the insurance company providing coverage for an at-fault driver. This can be a tricky subject though, because it may not just be the driver’s truck insurance company that can be held liable.
The truck driver may work for a local company that also carries liability insurance for its drivers. The local company may be contracted out by a national carrier that can also receive some blame for an accident. The vehicle manufacturers or parts makers, like a company providing faulty brakes for trucks, might also be held responsible.
In California, large trucks could also be on the road for a local farm, national agricultural company, or food manufacturer. These businesses and corporations must be included in any insurance claim you file. For these varying circumstances, it’s important to have a California Big Rig Accident Lawyer helping you sort through every option to make sure you receive compensation to pay for your entire physical and financial recovery.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in California
After a truck accident involving a serious injury, contact an experienced California Truck Accident Attorney such as Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that clients should work directly with their lawyers, get honest advice, and the personalized attention to detail their case deserves.