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What Is Considered a Truck in California?
A truck is considered a commercial truck in California if it is used or maintained to transport goods or people for hire, compensation, or profit. Drivers of these vehicles must carry commercial driver’s licenses and adhere to specific state and federal requirements when driving and maintaining their trucks.
The following types of vehicles are generally considered commercial trucks in California:
- Semi-Trucks (18-Wheelers) – Large trucks designed to tow cargo trailers and typically used for long-haul transportation.
- Box Trucks – These trucks have a cube-shaped cargo area and are often used for moving furniture, appliances, and smaller loads.
- Tow Trucks – Used for towing or recovering broken-down vehicles, tow trucks fall under the commercial vehicle category when used for hire or compensation.
- Dump Trucks – These are typically used in construction to transport and unload large quantities of materials like sand, gravel, or dirt.
- Tanker Trucks – These trucks carry liquids or gases and require special handling due to the hazardous nature of their cargo.
- Flatbed Trucks – Flatbed trucks have an open trailer that can carry a wide variety of loads.
- Refrigerated Trucks – These are used to transport perishable goods at specific temperatures.
- Concrete Mixer Trucks – These trucks have rotating drums to mix and transport concrete.
What Are Common Commercial Truck Accidents in Los Angeles?
A truck accident is often a catastrophic event that can lead to severe, even fatal injuries. These vehicles’ sheer size and weight amplify the risks and consequences involved when they collide with smaller automobiles.
Some common examples of commercial truck accidents include the following:
- Jackknife Accidents – In a jackknife accident, the trailer of the truck swings out to form a 90-degree angle with the cab, resembling a folding pocketknife.
- Rollovers – Truck rollovers happen when a truck tips over onto its side or roof. This type of crash is particularly dangerous and can result from driver error, speeding, or taking turns too quickly.
- Rear-End Collisions – Due to their size and weight, trucks take longer to come to a complete stop. As a result, they are often involved in rear-end wrecks, especially when drivers follow too closely.
- T-Bone Accidents – Also known as side-impact collisions, T-bone accidents occur when a truck hits the side of another vehicle. These often happen at intersections and can cause severe injuries.
- Blind Spot Accidents – Trucks have much larger blind spots than smaller vehicles. Accidents often occur when a truck driver changes lanes or turns without noticing a vehicle in their blind spot.
- Head-On Collisions – These are among the most deadly types of truck accidents. They happen when a truck and another vehicle collide front-to-front, often at high speeds.
- Underride Accidents – In an underride wreck, a smaller vehicle slides under the rear or side of a truck. These accidents are often catastrophic, as the tops of smaller vehicles can get sheared off.
- Lost Load Accidents – These occur when the cargo on a truck falls onto the road, creating hazardous conditions and potential collisions involving other drivers.
- Wide-Turn Accidents – Trucks require more space to make turns. Accidents can occur when a truck swings out into adjacent lanes to complete a turn, colliding with others in the process.
What Injuries Can Someone Sustain in a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents often result in severe injuries due to the substantial force of impact these commercial vehicles carry in traffic collisions. Common truck accident injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Herniated discs
- Fractured bones
- Lacerations and cuts
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Sprains and strains
- Crush injuries
- Eye injuries
- Neck injuries
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Nerve damage
- Dental injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Psychological Trauma
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)