Drivers of passenger cars in California share the roads with commercial trucks, like 18-wheel big rigs, every day. Small mistakes by any driver can cause a crash, but business pressures sometimes contribute to wrecks involving large trucks.
The way drivers get paid too often entices them to speed and put in excessive hours behind the wheel. Trucking companies impose demanding delivery schedules. The urgent need to keep fleets operating could also cause trucking companies to put drivers to work who have not been adequately trained.
In addition to shipping deadlines, the size and weight of trucks increase their potential to inflict damage in a crash. Braking distance, impediments to visibility and slow acceleration rates exacerbate risk factors for collisions. Passenger vehicle drivers sometimes lack awareness of the operational limitations of trucks. They might cause accidents when they turn left in front of an oncoming truck or change lanes suddenly.
A person hurt in a crash with a big rig might miss work for a long time because of severe injuries. Income loss coupled with medical bills could produce financial strain for the victim. If negligence on the part of the truck driver, such as being distracted, impaired or speeding, caused the crash, or if truck defects were responsible, then the victim might pursue damages with a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney for an injured victim can often determine the cause of such an accident through a review of the police investigation report, eyewitness testimony, truck maintenance logs and other evidence. In some cases, the trucking company could be named as a defendant along with the driver.