Commercial truck semi truck accident

What Is the Average Truck Accident Lawsuit Settlement?

Truck Accident Lawsuit FAQ

Commercial truck semi truck accident

Truck accidents involving big rigs, delivery trucks, tanker trucks, and tow trucks often lead to catastrophic injuries or death. A commercial truck in California can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Compared to the average passenger car weighing 4,000 pounds, the difference between the two is astonishing. 

If you or a loved one was injured in a semi-truck accident, you may be able to recover compensation in a truck accident lawsuit. Speak to our Irvine truck accident attorney in a free consultation to begin the truck accident claims process. 


What Causes Commercial Truck Accidents in California?

Causes of semi truck accidents in California

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a large-scale study to determine the most common causes of commercial truck accidents. 

Among the thousands of accidents involving commercial trucks studied, they found that the following led to the most serious truck accidents involving injury or death:


Semi-truck drivers in California must adhere to the speed limit, which is 55 mph for commercial trucks on all highways. They must also remain in the right lane, except when overtaking or passing another vehicle or making a left turn. 

Semi-trucks require significantly more time and distance than to slow down and stop. If a truck driver exceeds the speed limit, they may not have enough time to stop. Truck collisions caused by excessive speed often lead to serious injuries to other drivers or road users. 

Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a serious offense and can result in the suspension or loss of a truck driver’s CDL (commercial driver license), among other penalties. Under California Vehicle Code, it is illegal for commercial drivers to have a 0.04% percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC). 

Alcohol, prescription and over-the-counter medication, and illicit drugs all impair a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safety. If a truck driver gets behind the wheel while intoxicated, they put themselves and others in great danger. 

Driver Fatigue

Truck driver fatigue is a major contributing factor in fatal truck crashes for decades. According to a study from the FMCSA, 65% of truck drivers report that they often or sometimes feel drowsy while driving. Under California’s hours of service rules, truck drivers are legally allowed to drive up to 11 hours in one day. 

Drowsiness has a similar effect on drivers as alcohol, and is just as dangerous. Unfortunately, it is not as easy to detect as drunk driving. Truck drivers must be alert to the signs of driver fatigue, and pull over or stop if they feel sleepy. Truck companies must also follow federal and state regulations that limit a driver’s time on the road. 

Distracted Driving

Truck drivers can be distracted by their cell phone, the radio, navigation systems, or something outside of their truck. While California has a strict “no texting and driving” law as well as the FMCSA, truck drivers may still grab for their phone to send a text message or call someone. 

Even a few seconds of inattention can lead to a serious crash. A FMCSA study found that texting while driving increased the risk of an accident by 23 times. A distracted truck driver can cause a serious rear-end collision, rollover accident, or sideswipe accident. 

Mechanical Problems

A truck mechanical failure could lead to a serious multi-vehicle collision. If a truck driver or truck company fails to properly inspect their vehicle, they could miss a brake issue, flat tire, or other error affecting the safety of the vehicle. 

Semi-truck accident victims may suffer from severe injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, back injuries, and broken bones.


Do I Need a Lawyer for My Truck Accident Case? 

Trucking accident attorney to file a semi truck accident lawsuit

Since truck accidents tend to be much more complex than auto accidents, it is advisable to seek the advice of an experienced California truck accident attorney. There could be several liable parties involved in the crash, such as the truck driver, the truck owner, or the truck manufacturer. 

Companies like FedEx, UPS, and Amazon have robust legal teams. Filing a lawsuit against them is challenging, as they will try to deny fault and reduce your settlement amount. A semi-truck accident lawyer can be your best defense in this situation and litigate your case. 

Here are more ways an Irvine truck accident attorney can help: 

  • Identify the responsible party or parties
  • Determine the extent of your damages and the value of your case
  • Obtain the necessary evidence to prove liability and causation
  • Send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company 
  • Negotiate with the insurance adjusters and lawyers of the other parties
  • File a personal injury lawsuit and represent you in court if necessary


Can I Sue the Truck Driver?

Semi truck accident lawsuit

In the event of a semi-truck accident, you may be wondering who is liable for your injuries: the truck driver, truck company, or another party? Determining liability is a complex process that requires an experienced attorney and time to investigate the case. 

In order to sue a truck driver or their company, you will need to prove that their negligence was the direct and proximate cause of the accident and your injuries. Black box data, truck driver logs, and the police report are all critical pieces of evidence that can help you prove negligence. 

If you are partially at fault in the accident, you can still recover compensation under California’s pure comparative negligence rule. For example, if you are 30% at fault, you would still be able to recover 70% in damages. 


What Can I Get In a Truck Accident Lawsuit?

Sue the commercial truck driver or the trucking companies

Steer clear of lawyers who say all truck accident lawsuits are worth millions of dollars. The truth is, there is no “average” truck accident lawsuit settlement. The amount you can receive in a semi-truck accident claim depends on the severity of the accident and the injuries sustained, the liability of all parties, medical expenses, property damage, and the available insurance coverage.

In a semi-truck accident lawsuit, you will be eligible to claim two types of damages: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages represent the actual losses suffered by the victim, such as medical bills, loss of earning capacity, and lost wages.

Non-economic damages cover the non-monetary losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of consortium. In some cases, you may be able to claim punitive damages. These damages are only awarded if the defendant’s actions were especially reckless. 


Irvine Truck Accident Law Firm 

If you were involved in a California semi-truck accident, you do not want to be left saddled with huge medical bills and debilitating pain. Our California truck accident attorneys have the resources and legal expertise to help you recover financial compensation from the negligent truck driver or trucking company. 

At Woodbridge Accident Lawyers, our legal team cares about your well-being and peace of mind. When you call us to schedule a free consultation, we will listen to your concerns and offer you the best plan of action. Call us today at (949) 850-6767 or fill out our online contact form here

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