Merced County Truck Accident Fatally Injures Three
I’m Ed Smith, a Merced truck accident attorney. A grandmother and her two grandchildren were left with fatal injuries after a truck accident near Los Banos on July 17, 2018. At approximately 1:55 in the morning, a 56-year-old Ontario man was driving a 2011 Freightliner northbound along Interstate 5 in the vicinity of Taglio Road. For unknown reasons, the trucker failed to stop in time as traffic slowed near an unrelated crash and rear-ended a 2012 Dodge Caravan. The impact reportedly propelled the Dodge into the center median, causing three of the five parties inside to succumb to their injuries at the scene.
I would like to send my sincere thoughts and prayers to those grieving the loss of their loved ones during this heart-wrenching time.
Identity of Victims
The Merced County Coroner’s Office has identified one of the three victims as Regina Dorado, a 57-year-old woman of Covina. The two other parties, a 6-year-old and a 10-year-old whose names have been withheld due to pending family notification, were identified as the grandchildren of Ms. Dorado.
Truck Accident Statistics
A majority of the fatalities in large truck accidents were caused to passenger vehicle occupants. With one in 10 highway deaths involving a large truck, this can be particularly frightening for those commuting on a daily basis. These vehicles have the potential to cause serious injury or even death as they can weigh 20 to 30 times as much as a passenger car. Following are some national statistics surrounding the incidence of truck accidents:
- From 2015 to 2016, the number of large trucks involved in fatal traffic accidents has increased from 4,074 to 4,213, accounting as an overall increase of three percent (according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration);
- Of the total number of fatalities reported in 2016, approximately 11 percent were non-occupants like pedestrians and bicyclists, 17 percent were occupants of large trucks and 72 percent were occupants of other cars (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration);
- Approximately 48 percent of large truck accident fatalities in 2016 occurred between the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in comparison to 30 percent of collision fatalities not involving these vehicles (according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety);
- The costs of fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses reached nearly $40 billion dollars in 2012, the year for which comprehensive data is available. The total cost, including property damage and traumatic injury, was $99 billion (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Many factors can come into play in a truck accident. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these accidents are commonly caused by:
- Abrupt interruptions within the flow of traffic such as congestion or accidents ahead;
- Becoming distracted by tasks such as talking on a cell phone or looking off the road at an accident;
- Brake problems caused by worn or failing brakes;
- Driving in an unfamiliar area;
- Prescription or over-the-counter drug use leading to driver drowsiness and slow reaction time;
- Roadway issues caused by lack of maintenance like potholes and other obstructions;
- Traveling too fast for weather or traffic conditions.
Injuries in Truck Accidents
Accidents involving large trucks are more likely to result in catastrophic injuries due to the overwhelming size and momentum of the vehicle. Injuries sustained in such accidents may include:
- Abdominal injuries may damage internal body organs;
- Back and spinal cord injuries can range from vertebrae moving out of place to compression fractures. Loss of sensation or even paralysis may result from a spinal fracture;
- Broken bones are a common result of truck accidents;
- Brain and head trauma may range in extent from a mild concussion to a traumatic brain injury, which can create a permanent disability followed by necessary lifelong care;
- Chest injuries can be caused by striking the dash or steering wheel. These injuries can damage the blood vessels, lungs or heart;
- Death (in some extreme cases).
Truck Accidents and Wrongful Death
When a truck accident results in the death of a loved one, a wrongful death claim may be brought by the family of a deceased person in civil court. This type of claim compensates a family for damages they have experienced due to their loved one’s demise, including funeral and burial costs, end-of-life medical care, loss of future earnings, and more. While no amount of compensation can bring a loved one back, monetary compensation can alleviate a family’s financial burden and help move them forward without their beloved family member by their side.
How a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
Determining liability in a truck accident can be a complex matter for surviving family members of a deceased party. When faced with this type of tragedy, consulting with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Merced can help. An attorney with years of experience can explain what rights family members have and investigate further into the accident to obtain fair compensation for a loved one’s untimely death.
Merced Truck Accident & Wrongful Death Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Merced truck accident attorney. Large trucks comprise an essential part of the nation’s economy today, however, they can be deadly on the road. If a truck accident has caused you or a loved one to suffer serious harm, I am here to provide you with compassionate, free and friendly advice on your situation. Please feel free to give me a call at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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