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Commercial Vehicle Accidents Happen All To Frequently
Commercial vehicles, sometimes called semi trucks, big rigs, 18 wheelers, or tractor trailers, are a common sight on California roadways. Unfortunately, accidents involving commercial vehicles are often devastating. While commercial trucks make up just over 4% of the vehicles on highways across the country, they are involved in more than 12% of all traffic fatalities. Nearly 97% of all deaths in commercial truck accidents are occupants in passenger vehicles. California has the country’s second-highest traffic fatality rate with more than 2,700 deaths every year, 200 of which involve commercial vehicles. Learn more about 18 wheeler accident attorney.
Commercial vehicle drivers and employers are held to much higher standards than other drivers on the road in California. When hurt in a commercial vehicle accident in Los Angeles, it’s important to seek legal counsel from an experienced injury lawyer in LA to determine who is at fault and build a case.
Common Causes of Commercial, Big Rig, Tractor Trailer Truck Accidents
There are many potential causes of commercial vehicle accidents in Los Angeles. Commercial vehicles require more skill and care to drive than passenger vehicles as they need more space to stop and have large blind spots. Some of the most common causes of 18 wheeler accidents in Los Angeles include:
- Improper lane changes
- Driving under the influence
- Truck parked on the shoulder of a highway
- Fatigued driving
- Improper loading of cargo
- Mechanical defects
- Road conditions
- Incorrect driver training
- Types of Commercial Vehicle Accidents in Los Angeles
There are many types of commercial vehicles in California, not just trucks.
Bus Accidents in Los Angeles
Living in Los Angeles, metro buses and charter buses are a common sight on the roadways. Every day, thousands of people in the city safely use the subway, light rail, and bus systems, but sometimes accidents do occur. Across the country, there are more than 9,000 bus accidents every year. The Center for National Truck and Bus Safety Statistics¹ reports that most accidents are between buses and passenger cars and buses and pedestrians. About one-quarter of these accidents involve pedestrians. Bus accidents can easily lead to serious injuries for passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers.
It’s important to work with an experienced bus accident attorney in Los Angeles because causation and liability can be difficult in these cases. When a bus driver causes an accident, the bus company, a third party maintenance company, or even a local government agency may be at fault if improper maintenance contributed to the crash. It is also possible for the bus manufacturer to share liability in a bus accident case.
Limousines or Limo’s are a common sight in Los Angeles. As with most auto accidents, limo accidents are usually caused by negligence or reckless driving. Unlike a regular car accident, limousines are commercial vehicles and the driver is held to a higher standard of care and diligence by California law. Common carriers that charge for services, including many limos for hire services and taxi companies, are required to exercise the utmost care and provide vehicles that are safe. This means that limo companies owe a duty of care to passengers to prevent pedestrian and car accidents and overcrowding accidents when the limo has too many people.
Under California law, limousine companies are required to carry physical damage coverage, workers’ comp coverage, general liability coverage, garage liability coverage, umbrella liability coverage, and property coverage. Many government agencies also regulate Limousine companies. Thanks to new California legislation to reduce teen injuries, charter party buses and limousines are also required to get a special permit from the DMV and drivers must receive specialized training.
California Ridesharing Accidents
Rideshare companies like Lyft² and Uber³ have become massively popular in Los Angeles. Over the last few years, ridesharing has overtaken taxi businesses in popularity with a business model that takes advantage of the fact that most consumers want to use their smartphones for a broad range of transactions.
While ridesharing is certainly a convenient and potentially life-saving option, this type of business also comes with many liability issues. For example, are passengers covered by the ridesharing company’s insurance? Who is liable if a rideshare driver hits another vehicle? What happens when a third party is involved in a rideshare accident in Los Angeles? The answers to these questions are not entirely clear, but several legal disputes have put pressure on the companies and state regulators to eliminate any confusion.
If you were involved in an accident in an Uber or Lyft car as a passenger, you might have a claim against the rideshare driver and the company’s insurance policy most likely covers you. California law requires rideshare companies like Uber carry a minimum of $1 million per incident liability coverage, and new rideshare insurance legislation requires these businesses cover drivers as soon as the app is turned on. No matter who was at fault for the accident, passengers are subject to this policy.
Contact a Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
Commercial truck accidents are involved as the responsible party in the crash may be the truck driver, passenger car driver, the trucker’s employer, or even the company responsible for maintaining the fleet. An experienced personal injury attorney will work to evaluate your case and determine liability using all evidence available to help you build a case and seek compensation from the responsible party or parties. If you or someone you love has been involved in a commercial vehicle accident in California, contact the Law Office of Tawni Takagi today for a free consultation with a Los Angeles commercial accident injury attorney to discuss your case.
Center for National Truck and Bus Safety Statistics¹ – https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts