Primer on Truck Accidents in Southern California

By Los Angeles Area Truck Accident Attorney – Ehline Law Firm PC – Truck accidents in Southern California are often deadly when they involve another vehicle, and especially so when they involve a motorcyclist or a pedestrian. It does not even seem to matter who the negligent driver was in a collision with a truck.  Sometimes, people are more concerned with getting the injured to the hospital and not arguing over who is at fault.  Since the truck’s sheer weight alone can cause deadly damage to the person in the vehicle, and in some cases, the driver of the big rig, these are cases worth discussing as a “catastrophic tort” in a Bar Exam example, or a Socratic discussion in law school. In some cases the driver of a vehicle is the responsible party in the collision, even though truck drivers often are assumed to be speeding, driving dangerously or fatigued.

This has been shown over and over in the news, with the most recent deadly truck accident reported in the LA Times, occurring in late May, when the driver of a vehicle drove her car the wrong way in the westbound lanes of the 210 Freeway and struck a UPS truck loaded with packages in the early morning hours. The collision occurred at approximately 2:00 a.m., and while the driver of the UPS truck attempted to veer out of the driver’s way, it was not enough to avoid the collision. The woman was killed in the accident. News reports indicate that the truck driver did all he could to maneuver the big rig out of the path of the oncoming car. The result of the collision was deadly for the woman driving the wrong way, and it resulted in the UPS truck striking the center divider. The truck then ignited into flames. The driver escaped harm, but his packages were strewn across the freeway.

Just a day earlier, in Riverside County, another collision involving a big rig truck (traveling eastbound on the 10 Freeway) left two people injured. In this collision, the Jaws of Life had to be used to extricate one of the people who suffered injuries in the vehicle.

A Los Alamitos truck accident involved a truck that went off of the 605 Freeway and crashed into a tree, causing a male passenger to be killed and leaving the driver seriously injured. Though this accident occurred in early May, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department still does not know what caused the truck to leave the road. In this accident, the trailer opened and revealed containers that were marked as radioactive materials. On inspection by the Orange County Fire Authority hazardous material handlers, it was found that the containers held construction-related equipment and nothing hazardous.

In April, there was a truck collision on the eastbound 10 Freeway in Desert Hot Springs that involved a car and a big rig. The car that collided with the big rig became trapped and resulted in the driver of the vehicle suffering moderate injuries. The accident occurred at approximately 8:40 p.m. and the victim, after being freed, was transported by ambulance to an area hospital.

This is just a sampling of the big rig accidents that occur in Southern California, that a truck accident attorney in Los Angeles would handle.  Drivers often do not think about the size of these trucks and the amount of extra weight they haul, on top of the tons that they weigh. This means that a truck will need more room to come to a complete stop; they often cannot slow down fast enough when a car pulls in front of them, and are unable to maneuver like a smaller vehicle can. When a driver does not take this into consideration, it can mean being involved in an accident with these monstrous vehicles.

The vehicle driver is not always the one to cause the accident. In many cases, it is the inexperience or the reckless driving of the truck driver. Either way, this can result in a deadly accident or cause serious injuries. These accidents that recently occurred in Southern California, in places like Los Angeles and Riverside Counties, underscore how serious truck accidents can be – frequently resulting in rescue crews having to extricate people from their vehicles. Truck drivers might not be totally at fault when they collide with a vehicle. In some cases, the mechanical condition of the truck they are driving may be to blame. The big rig’s mechanical condition is closely regulated, and these rules should be followed by the company that owns the truck.  When they are not followed, the trucking company can be held liable for their negligent actions of putting a dangerous semi on the roads of Southern California, or anywhere in the state of California.

About Author


Ehline Michael
Michael Ehline is a prolific blogger on California and international tort law. He has been a guest on CNN, discussed in major news publications like Forbes, Circle of Legal Trust, Personal Injury Warriors, and International Cruise Victims. He has lobbied congress on behalf of injured consumers, served as a United States Marine, and won millions of dollars for his clients. This blog discusses Ehline's insights and musings on all aspects of negligence law as it relates to all things "accidents." Ehline can be reached at (213) 596-9642.