Truck Accident Lawyers of San Diego

Big Rig, Semi-Truck, 18-Wheeler or Commercial

While many accidents are of the small “fender-bender” variety, this is typically not the case when a semi-truck is involved.

Typically weighing many tons more than an average passenger vehicle, commercial trucks have the potential to cause serious injuries or deaths, even in low-speed accidents.

Truck accidents include a variety of vehicle types including:
  • Big Rigs
  • Semi-Trucks
  • 18-Wheelers
  • FedEx Trucks
  • UPS Trucks
  • Amazon Trucks
  • Dump Trucks
  • Tow Trucks
  • Cement Mixers

Injured in an accident?
Contact the personal injury lawyers at COAST LAW GROUP for your free consultation.

Types Of Big Truck Accidents

Rollover Truck Accidents

A “rollover” is exactly what it sounds like — it’s when a truck rolls to one side as a result of:

  • Speeding
  • Sudden maneuvers
  • Improper cargo loading
  • Dangerous or slippery roads
  • Failure to perform proper maintenance
  • Driver error


Jackknife Accidents

“Jackknifing” is when the cab and the trailer of a big-rig or 18-wheeler fold at their joint. When something causes the back of the trailer to swing forward or move forward faster than the cab, it creates a sharp angle and the truck is left facing two directions.

At that point, the truck driver has lost control of the vehicle. This is dangerous for nearby cars because they could collide with the swinging trailer or wedge underneath as an underride.

Jackknifing is one of the most common truck accidents. It could be caused by:

  • Equipment malfunction
  • Locked wheels
  • Brake failure
  • Speeding
  • Weather conditions
  • Loose cargo
  • Debris
  • Incorrect maneuvering


Underride Truck Accidents

An underride accident occurs when a passenger car goes underneath a semi-truck, either from the rear or along the side. The height difference between the vehicles may crush the top and front of a car and leave its occupants seriously injured.

Although many trucks are equipped with underride guards (metal barriers designed to prevent a car from proceeding underneath), these guards are often not strong enough to withstand a severe impact.

Unsecured Load Accidents

The trucking industry is subject to a variety of federal regulations for loading cargo. The key to cargo hauling is that it must be firmly secured to the vehicle. A truck’s restraints must be appropriate for the weight and type of cargo being transported.

An unsecured load presents a hazard not only to vehicles and persons in the immediate vicinity of the truck but also to cars, pedestrians and bicyclists which may be struck hours later by debris left on the roadway following a load spill. Unsecured loads observed on roads or highways should be immediately reported by calling 911 – doing so may save lives.

Tire Blowout Truck Accidents

Tires on semi-trucks are often stressed by excessive use and heavy loads. When a big rig has a tire blowout, it can cause the vehicle to swerve into another lane, roll over or jackknife. Often, a tire blowout is caused by defective manufacturing or improper maintenance.

The best way to protect yourself from being involved in a tire blowout accident is to maintain as much space as possible between your vehicle and trucks on the road. When you need to pass a truck, make sure there is plenty of space ahead of the truck so you can pass quickly and not drive alongside the truck for any longer than necessary.

Hazmat Truck Accidents

A Hazmat truck is one that carries hazardous material — it could be anything from gasoline, explosives, motor oil, activated charcoal, pesticides, infectious biological substances, radioactive material, lithium batteries or dry ice.

The danger of a Hazmat truck accident depends on the type of cargo. Some materials are deemed hazardous because they’re flammable and there’s a risk of explosion or fire. In other situations, it could be a substance that’s harmful when airborne because it’s dangerous to breathe.

In a situation where the hazard becomes airborne or causes a fire, an injury can happen even without a collision. In fact, a person can be injured from a Hazmat truck accident even if they aren’t on the roadway. If an accident causes noxious vapors to be released into the air, for example, residents in nearby neighborhoods could be affected.

Compensation for Big Rig Truck Accident Victims

In California, if someone else is found fully or partially responsible for your accident, you may be able to recover compensation to the extent of the other party’s culpability for some or all of these damages:

  • Medical Bills – for your past, present, and future costs of the medical treatments
  • Property Damage – for the damage to your vehicle and possessions;
  • Pain and Suffering – for the physical pain and limitations resulting from the crash
  • Loss of Wages – for the time you had to take off of work to recover from the accident or to visit doctors, therapists, and others who are helping you to cope with your injuries
  • Impairment of Earning Capacity – for the diminishment of your ability to earn a living
  • Lifestyle Changes – for the loss of enjoyment in your life due to debilitating injuries
  • Life-Care – for the ongoing non-medical needs you may have if you were badly injured
  • Punitive Damages – if the trucking company’s intentional or reckless acts contributed to causing the crash that injured you.

To find out how much your truck accident claim may be worth, seek the legal services of an experienced law firm. Don’t simply accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without consulting a lawyer.

Contact Coast Law Group at (760) 942-8505 to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney and legal guidance.

What To Do If You’ve Been Involved In A Trucking Accident

Always first take care of your health and safety. Call 911 if you sustained an injury and need medical care and get out of the roadway and to a safe place.

You are required by law to stop if you’ve been involved in a collision. If you leave without taking the necessary information, it’s considered a hit and run.

Be sure to provide the following information to any other involved drivers:

  • Your name (or the car owner’s name if you are not the owner)
  • Your car registration number
  • Your driver’s license number

If anyone was injured, you are required by law to notify the California Highway Patrol or local police within 24 hours after the accident. You also need to file a report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles if there were injuries, fatalities, or any property damage worth more than $1,000.

Obtain a copy of the police report. Then, if you’re able, take pictures of the scene including the damage to your car and any other vehicles involved, weather or road conditions, visible injuries, or other factors that could have affected the crash.

Get a medical evaluation by a doctor as soon as you’re able. Even if you feel ok, you may have injuries that aren’t yet showing symptoms. If you wait a week and then have pains or issues pop up, it could be hard to prove they are a result of the accident.

Contact Coast Law Group before you contact your insurance.

When a truck accident happens and you are not at fault, it’s critical for you to have experienced attorneys on your side. Get a hold of us today at (760) 942-8505 to get the process started.

We are Here
to Help

Our team at Coast Law Group will thoroughly review your case, independently investigate the accident, and communicate with the adjusters and attorneys working for the truck company or its insurer. We know how they work and are well-aware of the tactics they use to pay out as little as possible such as:

  • Delaying the claims process by not returning calls or corresponding
  • Coercing you into saying or admitting things that could be harmful to your claim during recorded calls
  • Downplaying the damages and minimizing injuries
  • Making a low-ball offer (well below the case value) and urging you to settle quickly