Shirvanian Personal Injury Law Firm
Turn to The Shirvanian Law Firm for the best representation after a car accident, truck accident, or other serious injury. With our firm, you can expect thorough and aggressive advocacy that delivers optimal results.

100 W. Broadway Suite 760, Glendale, California 91210

1430 Truxtun Ave., 5th Floor, Bakersfield, California 93301

(877) 809-4223 Toll Free

(818) 835-5396 Local

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The Shirvanian Law Firm

Glendale Truck Accident Lawyer

Getting into an accident with a truck can result in expensive medical bills and a long recovery if you sustain serious or catastrophic injuries. Multiple parties could be involved in your accident, including the truck owner, driver, and trucking company whose legal teams and insurance companies may attempt to deflect liability onto you. 

If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible so they can preserve evidence and start building your case. The Glendale truck accident lawyers at The Shirvanian Law Firm can assist you with your claim by investigating the accident, identifying the responsible parties, and helping you recover fair truck accident compensation for your injuries.

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Truck Accident Statistics

The trucking industry is a significant contributor to the American economy, generating $368.9 billion for moving freight across the country, with an estimated 3.5 million U.S. truck drivers in the workforce.

As a result of the vast distances they operate across and the number of trucks on the road, trucking hazards are a daily risk for drivers throughout the country. In 2020, there were 28% more fatalities from large truck crashes than in 2009.

In 2009, the number of deaths was the lowest since 1975, the same year that the U.S. Department of Transportation began collecting truck accident data. These statistics show the number of deaths and injuries associated with truck accidents nationwide:

  • The number of fatal accidents involving large trucks was 9% in 2020.
  • Drivers and passengers of other vehicles made up 71% of the fatalities and 68% of injuries in large truck crashes.
  • Large trucks account for 80% of multi-vehicle crashes, compared with 61% for passenger cars.

California Truck Accident Trends

The California Highway Patrol recorded a decrease from 84 fatal truck crashes in 2018 to 83 in 2019, where truck drivers were at fault. Additionally, there has been a decline in truck accidents resulting in injuries from 3,098 in 2018 to 3,038 in 2019. Data still shows how hazardous trucks can be on California’s highways and roads.

  • California ranked as one of the top states with the highest number of fatalities resulting from large truck crashes, with 398 deaths in 2020.
  • There were 262 large trucks involved in multi-vehicle crashes in 2020, a decrease from 282 accidents with multiple cars in 2019.
  • Big truck accidents in 2020 increased to 102, up from 83 in 2019.

Types of Trucks

California requires trucks to weigh at least 20,000 pounds for single-axle trucks. However, a fully-loaded truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, 20 to 30 times more than a passenger car. In California, vehicles and their loads cannot exceed 102 inches in outside width.

The trucks’ taller heights and higher ground clearances can endanger other passenger vehicles, increasing the likelihood of an accident. A truck accident can be hazardous when these vehicles collide based on the differences between passenger vehicles and commercial trucks.

Passenger Vehicles

Passenger vehicles do not transport people for hire under California law. These vehicles include sedans, vans, and pick-up trucks like a Dodge Ram or Chevy Silverado.

Passenger Sedans

  • These sedans are designed to carry passengers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) vehicle classification system places passenger cars into weight classes ranging from 1,500 to 3,499 pounds.

Pick-up Truck

  • According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Class 1 light-duty pick-up trucks have 4 tires and gross vehicle weight ratings of over 6,000 pounds. However, standard-sized pick-ups in Class 2 can weigh anywhere between 6,001 to 10,000 pounds.

Commercial Trucks

The state of California defines a commercial vehicle as a vehicle with the primary purpose of property transportation. Commercial trucks can include light trucks, heavy trucks, and buses.

Forklift Truck

  • Forklift trucks are allowed on the highway to transport and load goods. These trucks cannot function on the road for a distance of longer than one-quarter mile. However, they are also exempt from the weight fee imposed by California’s Department of Transportation (Caltrans), unlike semi-trucks and other heavy commercial trucks.


  • Semi-trucks combine a semi-trailer to carry cargo and a semi-tractor to provide power to transport freight across the country over long distances. In 2020, 53% of fatal accidents involving large trucks were single-truck tractors pulling a single semi-trailer.

Commercial Truck Classifications

The United States Department of Energy has established a classification system to define the size and weight of commercial vehicles. There are three classes of commercial trucks based on their weight:

Light Duty – Class 1-3 (6,000 – 14,000 lbs.)

  • Light-duty vehicles weigh less than 14,000 pounds, except for trucks with two or more axles and six or more tires. Federal emissions control regulations categorize these vehicles into passenger cars and light-duty pick-up trucks.

Medium Duty – Class 4-6 (14,001 – 26,000 lbs.)

  • Medium-duty vehicles are often used to haul loads across the country or to transport construction materials. These types of vehicles include delivery vans, dump trucks, and buses.

Heavy Duty – Class 7-8 (26,001 – 33,000 lbs.)

  • Trucks with four or more axles are considered heavy-duty vehicles. They also include two-axle tractors pulling one and two-axle trailers such as semi-trucks. These truck drivers accounted for 10% of total mileage throughout the country. Unfortunately, fatal truck crashes have increased by 5% since 2016.If you experience a truck accident, contact a skilled truck accident law firm to help you with your case. The Shirvanian Law Firm understands the severity of heavy-duty truck accidents and can help you seek a fair settlement to pay for medical bills and other recovery costs.

Types of Truck Accidents

Several different types of truck accidents occur regularly on California’s highways. These accidents can cause significant vehicle damage and injuries to you and your passengers. Your attorney can determine the kind of accident you experienced when they investigate your case.

Jackknifing Accidents

The truck’s trailer can detach from the tractor and swing left or right. As a result, it can cause the trailer to cross into other traffic lanes. Eventually, the truck driver loses control of the vehicle, resulting in a jackknife incident. Equipment failure, improper braking, excessive speeding, or taking a rash turn may contribute to this accident.

Turning Accidents

Trucks need extra space to make a wide turn, occupying two or more lanes. When turning right, truck drivers must watch out for other vehicles since they may not turn quickly from the right lane and move left to make room for turning.

Runaway Trailer Accidents

A trailer carrying cargo that breaks free of its tractor may hit vehicles in its path. Some of the reasons for these types of accidents include:

  • Wet road conditions
  • Defective trailer coupler
  • Improperly attached trailers
  • Excessive speeding

Underride Accidents

A truck’s broader size and heavier weight can cause a car to slide underneath the truck and rip off its roof. The federal government requires trailers to have rear guards that can withstand crashes. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported underride guards could bend and separate in a crash, causing deaths and severe injuries to passengers in other vehicles.

Rear-end Collisions

Trucks need twice as long, or two football fields length, to stop. Rear-end truck accidents occur when a truck hits a car in its rear. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Misjudgment of the car’s direction
  • Tailgating and following too closely
  • Malfunctioning and neglected brakes
  • Driver inattention and distraction

T-Bone Accidents

Tractor-trailers and other large trucks that travel through intersections can run red lights and violate proper right-of-way. As a result, they collide with other vehicles, resulting in T-bone-shaped collisions.

How Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help You with Your Case

After suffering a severe truck accident, you can work with a California truck accident attorney to help you navigate your case. The Shirvanian Law Firm can examine your case to determine liability in your accident. We also take other steps to help you pursue the best possible truck accident settlement, including:

Understanding Federal Trucking Regulations

Truck drivers and their employers must follow the FMCSA’s rules regarding the hours of service and regular drug and alcohol testing. Other laws include:

  • Inspections of their vehicles’ cargo before and after each haul
  • Exercise extreme caution or stop driving in dangerous weather
  • Frequent rest breaks at scheduled times
  • Schedule reasonable unloading times

Your attorney can obtain records from the electronic logging device on the driver’s truck to see if they were speeding at the time of the accident. They can also seek the trucking company’s records of the driver’s history and if there were any previous driving violations.

Collection of Crucial Evidence

Your lawyer can help you obtain crucial evidence, such as witness statements, police reports, and surveillance footage recording the accident. They can advise you to save all receipts and invoices for any repairs and replacement parts for your vehicle from this incident. Your lawyer can also connect with a network of medical professionals who can assess your injuries.

Negotiations With the Insurance Adjusters

Insurance companies can use aggressive tactics to make you settle quickly by offering low-ball settlements and placing liability on you in the accident. Your attorney can speak on your behalf to discuss the physical and emotional impact of your injuries and the accident on your life and help you obtain compensation.

If the insurance company refuses to settle with you, you may need to file a truck accident lawsuit in court.

California Truck Accident Lawyer

A knowledgeable motor vehicle accident attorney from The Shirvanian Law Firm is essential to successfully navigating the complexities involved in obtaining compensation from the responsible parties in a truck accident.

The Shirvanian Law Firm works with victims of truck accidents to recover the compensation they need for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with their injuries. We have law offices in Glendale, Riverside, Bakersfield, and Sacramento to serve our clients throughout California with professional legal assistance when they need it most.

Our law firm works on a contingency fee arrangement so you can get the legal representation you need to maximize your settlement without worrying about an upfront fee. We only get paid if we win your case. Call us today to book a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

To learn more, or to inquire about or contingency fees, contact The Shirvanian Law Firm at (877) 809-4223