8 Most Common Types of Truck Accidents in California

Types of Truck Accidents 

Truck accidents with passenger vehicles

Semi-trucks, delivery trucks, tractor trailers, and other large commercial trucks are a daily sight on roads and highways in California. They are the main form of transport of goods in the U.S. Although they are the backbone of our economy, large trucks can cause accidents if truck drivers are negligent, trucks are not maintained, and cargo is not properly loaded. In 2021, 5,700 large commercial trucks were involved in a fatal crash. 

If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident in San Bernardino County, our experienced truck accident lawyer can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with Sierra Accident Lawyers by calling (909) 942-7632 or contacting us here


Rollover Accidents 

Rollover accidents happen with tractor trailers

Trucks have a much higher center of gravity than standard passenger cars, making them more likely to overturn. If a truck driver loses control, changes lanes abruptly, or is speeding, the truck’s trailer may flip and roll over onto its side, causing a dangerous and potentially deadly rollover accident. A truck rollover accident may also occur when a vehicle hits a curb, traffic barrier, or other obstacle. The speed and impact of the crash will cause the truck to flip over. 

T-Bone Accidents

Also known as side-impact accidents and broadside accidents, these truck accidents happen when one driver collides head-on into the side of another vehicle. If a truck is speeding and runs a red light, they may hit another vehicle and veer into oncoming traffic. This truck crash also happens if a driver fails to stop at a stop sign or at an uncontrolled intersection.  A T-bone collision can occur when a truck makes a sudden lane change, causing other vehicles to hit the side of the trailer. 

Jackknife Accidents

Semi truck accidents

This type of truck accident occurs when the two separate parts of the truck, the cab and the trailer, fold into themselves, forming the shape of a jackknife. This can happen when a truck driver is speeding and slams on the brakes, causing the heavy trailer to swing out of control. Slippery roads can also lead a truck to lose transaction and cause jackknife accidents. 

Tire Blowouts

Truck tire blowouts can be very dangerous to both the truck driver and other vehicles on the road. If a truck driver fails to check a truck’s tires before a long-haul drive, the tires may lose too much pressure, causing a tire blowout. Old and worn tires may also give out, or poor tire alignment may contribute to tire blowouts. These accidents can cause a truck to rollover or crash into a nearby vehicle. 

Rear-End Truck Accidents

Large truck crashes lose control

In California, trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Given the enormous weight and size of a large commercial truck, they require much more time and distance to come to a complete stop. If a truck driver is distracted, tailgating, or speeding, they might not be able to stop in time and rear-end the vehicle in front of them. Rear-end truck accidents can cause serious property damage and injuries. 

Underride Accidents

An underride accident happens when a smaller vehicle slides underneath the body of the truck in between its wheels. They can happen at either the rear or side of a truck. While the Department of Transportation requires all trailers to have a rear safety bar to prevent underride accidents, there is no guard on the sides of trucks. These types of accidents almost always result in serious or fatal injuries. 

Spilled Cargo Accidents 

Truck rollovers

Trucks transport heavy and sometimes dangerous cargo everyday. Improperly loaded freight can cause a truck to tip over or rollover. Cargo can also spill out of the truck onto the road or highway, creating a dangerous road hazard for other vehicles. If the truck is carrying toxic or flammable chemicals, it can cause an explosion or file leading to catastrophic injuries and damage. 

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are some of the most deadly types of car accidents. When they involve a semi-truck, the danger triples. These serious accidents happen when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions crash front to front. This can happen due to a mechanical failure, such as a brake failure or steering issue. These truck accidents can also occur from negligence, such as distracted driving, driver fatigue, or impaired driving. 


Common Injuries for Truck Accident Victims

Rollover truck accidents cause serious injuries

Due to a truck’s weight and size, injuries suffered in truck accidents are usually much more severe than the average car accident injury. If a truck collides with a passenger vehicle or motorcycle, it is the driver of the smaller vehicle who is likely to be seriously harmed. 

Some of the most common truck accident injuries are:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures 
  • Internal injuries
  • Burns
  • Amputation
  • Psychological trauma, including PTSD
  • Wrongful death 

After a truck accident, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Even if you feel fine at the moment, you may be suffering from delayed injuries that can become serious hours or days later. 

Truck accident victims face a long road of recovery, often requiring months of physical therapy. They may also never fully recover from their injuries and endure chronic neck or back pain. 


Who Is Responsible: The Truck Driver or Trucking Company? 

Negligent truck drivers

A truck accident can occur for many reasons: a truck driver’s negligence, trucking company oversight, or another reckless driver. Truck drivers must abide not only by the rules of the road, but also by federal and state regulations. If a negligent truck driver causes an accident by speeding or reckless driving, they may be held liable. 

Trucking companies can also be responsible for truck accidents. If truck drivers violate their hours of service, fail to inspect their vehicle, or did not have proper training, the trucking company may also be held liable. 

Even if you share some blame for the truck accident, you can still seek compensation in California. This is because the state applies a ‘pure comparative negligence law,’ which allows you to recover damages in proportion to your degree of fault. Your settlement would be reduced according to your percentage of fault. 


Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer in California Today 

Truck accidents

If you were involved in a truck accident in the San Bernardino area, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries and other losses. However, obtaining compensation is not an easy task. You will need a truck accident lawyer to investigate the accident, determine liability, and calculate the actual damages you have suffered.

Sierra Accident Lawyers is an experienced personal injury law firm in Rancho Cucamonga. We represent injured victims of all types of auto accidents and always fight for justice. Call us to schedule a free case evaluation today.

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