Late last night the diver of a Lexus traveling westbound on the 91 Freeway escaped serious injuries when a big rig trailer toppled over on their car. According to KNBC News, the accident happened near State College Boulevard in Anaheim at about 11:30 p.m. The trailer was carrying roughly 32,000 pounds of alfalfa when the accident occurred. The dramatic photo of the accident scene shows just how lucky the driver was to survive the crash. The truck driver was uninjured.
Cause of the Crash
While the precise cause of the crash has not yet been released, the law generally requires that truck drivers carry loads that are safe and do not present a hazard to the public. For example, the Federal Code of Regulations requires truck drivers to ensure the loads they are carrying are safe from shifting or falling (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, §393.100). In the case above, it is possible the 32,000-pound load shifted during a turning maneuver, causing the trailer to topple over on the Lexus. It is unknown, however, what role, if any, the car’s driver had in the happening of the accident.
Insurance Issues With “Minor-Injury” Accidents
The approach insurance carriers have taken over the years toward “minor injury” accidents has changed, and not for the better. This new and more “stingy” approach has likely increased the number of lawsuits filed within the State of California. The insurers now typically offer less compensation to victims which leads to a greater likelihood a lawsuit will have to be filed to resolve the claim. Aside from court congestion, this also creates a potential problem for people trusting their insurance company to protect them. For example, with the internet accessibility of court records now, anyone sued in relation to an automobile accident will have their name listed on a court’s website. Prospective and current employers, creditors and prospective creditors can now access this information, which could prove very harmful to those people the insurance companies are paid to protect, their policy holders. Should an insurance company’s bad faith approach lead to their policy holder’s lost job or loan opportunity?
SOURCE: Driver Rescued From Lexus With Big Rig Trailer on Roof, NBC News, Southern California, January 20, 2013, by Jonathan Lloyd