Los Angeles Truck Accidents Attorney
Commercial trucks, such as tractor-trailers, are an important part of the economy in Los Angeles. They carry the products people in the city use every day, and in most cases, truck drivers operate their vehicles very safely so no one becomes hurt. This is not always the case, though. In fact, tens of thousands of people are hurt in trucking accidents every year across the country. Truck accidents are not part of the regular course of business as the trucking companies would like people to believe. They are usually the result of negligent truck drivers, trucking companies, and other third parties.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a truck, it is important to speak to one of our Los Angeles trucking accident lawyers at Personal Injury Legal Group. We can advise you of your legal rights, negotiate with the insurer on your behalf, and handle every legal aspect of your claim so you have the best chance of success.
Personal Injury Legal Group has expertise in handling complex, highly defended cases. For over 60 years, our personal injury attorneys have successfully represented numerous truck accident victims throughout the state of California. Our dedicated experts will aggressively pursue both the justice and the financial award that you deserve.
Truck Accident Injury or Death
If you experienced an injury or a loved one died as a result of an accident involving a large truck, you should know that you are not alone. Each year large truck accidents will kill roughly 5,000 people and injure another 115,000 more victims. The enormous difference in weight between a semi-truck and a standard passenger vehicle may result in serious injuries or death even when the impact on the smaller vehicle and the passengers inside were relatively slight.
Why Do You Need a Los Angeles Trucking Accidents Lawyer?
Trucks are extremely large and heavy. When they are fully loaded, they can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. As such, when they are involved in an accident, it is always the occupants of smaller vehicles who will sustain the most serious injuries. Contrary to what many people think, the insurance companies representing the negligent party are not willing to help you. In fact, they have many strategies they use in order to deny or reduce the overall settlement you receive.
Insurance companies may argue that you were partly at fault for the crash. If they are successful with this claim, it could significantly reduce the total amount of damages you are awarded. They may also ask you for a recorded statement so they can use your own words against you in the future. A lawyer will fight back against these tactics so you recover the full settlement to which you are entitled.
A lawyer will also conduct a full investigation into your crash to determine how it occurred. This is not always as easy as it may seem, particularly given that the at-fault party may not even be at the accident scene. During the investigation, a lawyer will also collect important evidence that will help prove your case so you receive the maximum damages you deserve.
Performing all of these tasks is always difficult for those who are not experienced with them. It is almost impossible when you are suffering from very serious injuries. Essentially, a lawyer will handle every aspect of your claim so you can focus on getting better.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
One of the first and most important aspects of any trucking accident is to determine the cause of it. Once the cause of the crash has been established, you will then know who to hold liable for paying damages. Although it is true that every accident case is unique, there are several common causes of trucking accidents. These include:
- Violation of traffic laws, such as running red lights, speeding, and failing to yield
- Aggressive driving
- Truck driver fatigue
- Inspection and maintenance violations
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Hours of service violations
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Defective truck parts
- Negligent hiring, training, and supervision
Clearly, determining the cause of a truck accident is not always so straightforward. For example, you may believe the truck driver is at fault for rear-ending your vehicle. A lawyer may later find, though, that the brakes of the truck were defective, and the manufacturer is to blame. A lawyer can also identify all causes of a crash so you obtain the maximum damages you deserve. Using the same example, if a truck driver was following you too closely before the crash, they and the manufacturer may be liable for paying compensation.
Common Injuries Sustained During Trucking Accidents in Los Angeles
Again, due to the sheer size and weight of a truck, an accident can result in catastrophic injuries for accident victims. A catastrophic injury will impact the most important parts of the body, usually the spine or brain, and cause permanent impairment of bodily functions. Significant pain, scarring, and disfigurement are also common after trucking accidents. Other common injuries sustained during these crashes are as follows:
- Injuries to the spinal cord, such as fractured vertebrae
- Paralysis, including paraplegia and quadriplegia, depending on the location of the injury
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Locked-in syndrome after a TBI, which occurs when a person is ‘locked in’ to their own body and knows what is happening around them but cannot move or speak
- Amputations, whether they are accidental and occur at the scene or whether surgical amputation is required when a limb cannot be saved
- Serious burns, including third and fourth-degree burns
Sadly, people do not always survive trucking accidents. When this is the case, a person may be the victim of wrongful death immediately at the scene, or they may succumb to their injuries in the future.
Compensation Available After a Trucking Accident
The debilitating and life-altering injuries sustained in trucking accidents result in numerous losses for accident victims. If you have been injured, you deserve financial compensation that can help offset the financial burden of the crash and cover your losses. Some of the most common damages available in trucking accident cases include:
- Medical expenses, including hospitalizations, surgeries, diagnostic and laboratory tests, prescriptions, and medical devices
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Mental health counseling
- In-home care for a disability
- The cost of remodeling a home, including the installation of wheelchair ramps or guard rails
- The cost of job retraining or education
- Lost wages, bonuses, benefits, vacation pay, and sick pay
- Pain and suffering
Trucking accidents are often fatal, and when that is the case, family members can file a wrongful death claim. If successful with this type of claim, loved ones can receive damages for their own losses, such as funeral and burial expenses or the deceased’s income family members were dependent on.
The Statute of Limitations After a Trucking Accident
You may have the right to file a claim for damages after a trucking accident, but you will lose that right if you do not file within the appropriate time. California law places a statute of limitations, or time limit, on trucking accident cases. Whether you are filing a personal injury claim for yourself or you are filing a wrongful death claim after losing a loved one, you have two years to file your claim.
If you are filing a claim based on your own injuries, the statute of limitations starts ticking on the day of the accident. The statute of limitations on wrongful death claims, though, starts on the day of the death, not the date of the accident that caused the death.
If you fail to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires, you will likely lose your legal right to claim any compensation at all. However, there are rare exceptions to the law. At Personal Injury Legal Group, our seasoned attorneys can advise on what these are and make sure your claim is filed on time.
Important Evidence in Trucking Accident Cases
Conducting an investigation after a trucking accident presents many challenges. This task is typically best conducted by a lawyer who will know how to investigate the crash and what evidence to collect to strengthen your case. Some of the strongest evidence used in trucking accident cases is as follows:
- Eyewitness statements: Statements from eyewitnesses can greatly help your claim. A witness can testify as to whether a trucker was driving aggressively or erratically prior to the crash, whether there was an obvious failure with part of the truck, or whether anything else unusual occurred.
- Black boxes: Technically known as electronic control modules (ECMs), a truck’s black box contains a lot of important information. Information from the black box can show you how fast the truck was traveling at the time of the crash, whether the brakes were applied, and even where the truck was at the time.
- In-truck cameras: Many truck companies have started fitting their trucks with cameras that either show the truck driver, the road, or both. The footage from such a camera can help determine whether the truck driver acted negligently.
- The truck driver’s log: Under the law, truck drivers must keep detailed logs about how long they were on the road and how long their rest period was. Obtaining this log can prove a trucker violated the hours of service rule, which is an act of negligence.
The above are just a few of the most common types of evidence used in trucking accident cases. A lawyer will review the facts of your specific case to determine what evidence is most important to collect.
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys Also Focus on the Following Practice Areas:
- Car Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Train Accidents
- Slip & Falls
- Product Liability
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Uber & Lyft
- Wrongful Death
- Sports Injury
- Cruise Ship Accidents
Be Informed—Talk to an Experienced Truck Accident Personal Injury Attorney
In the event of a serious injury or if a loved one was killed in an accident that involved a large truck, it is imperative that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer IMMEDIATELY. Never speak with a representative of the truck driver, the business they work for, or their insurance carrier before you speak to a qualified injury attorney who is experienced in highly defended cases. We also recommend that you do not give any statements to an insurance company’s adjuster, as you may be unwittingly compelled to make statements that will later harm your personal injury case.
Personal Injury Legal Group is uniquely qualified to handle your high-defended truck injury case. Because all of our personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee, you pay nothing upfront. You only pay if are successfully compensated for your losses. Call now for a Free Consultation with an experienced and qualified Personal Injury Attorney to find out your options and to maximize your chances of a successful case outcome and financial award.
Personal Injury Legal Group headquarters are located in Los Angeles with additional offices throughout California. Since 1999, we have been serving clients nationwide, with a concentration in Southern California counties including Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Orange, San Diego, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial. We also serve Northern California counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Sacramento, San Mateo, Solano, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Napa, Yolo, and Sonoma.
Call Our Trucking Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles for Help with Your Case
Truck accidents are serious, and you deserve just compensation for your losses. At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles trucking accident lawyers can help you obtain it so you can focus on your recovery. Call us now at 310-388-4306 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions for Los Angeles Truck Accident
What should I do if a loved one is killed in a truck accident in Los Angeles?
If a loved one is killed in a truck accident in, you should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to damages for funeral expenses, lost income, and other losses related to your loved one’s death.
Can I file a claim with my own insurance company after a truck accident in Los Angeles?
Yes, you can file a claim with your own insurance company after a truck accident in Los Angeles, especially if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured. However, it’s important to be careful when dealing with insurance companies, as they may try to minimize your payout.
What if the truck driver was driving under the influence at the time of the accident?
If the truck driver was driving under the influence at the time of the accident, they may face criminal charges in addition to civil liability for the accident. You should contact an attorney to help you pursue your legal rights in this situation.
Can I sue a trucking company for punitive damages after a truck accident in Los Angeles?
Yes, you may be able to sue a trucking company for punitive damages if their conduct was particularly egregious, such as if they knowingly allowed an unqualified driver to operate one of their trucks.
Can I still recover damages if I was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the truck accident?
In California, failure to wear a seatbelt is not admissible in court to prove negligence or fault. However, it may still affect the amount of damages you can recover, as your damages may be reduced if your failure to wear a seatbelt contributed to your injuries.
How common are truck accidents in Los Angeles?
Unfortunately, truck accidents are relatively common due to the large number of trucks that operate on the city’s highways and roads.
Who is liable for a truck accident?
Liability for a truck accident in Los Angeles can depend on several factors, including the cause of the accident, the parties involved, and any applicable state or federal regulations. In general, however, the truck driver, trucking company, or both may be liable for a truck accident.
Can I still recover damages if I was partially at fault for the truck accident?
Yes, California follows a comparative fault system, which means that you can still recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, your damages may be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
Do trucking companies have any special regulations they must follow in Los Angeles?
Yes, trucking companies are subject to both state and federal regulations governing the operation of commercial trucks, including rules regarding driver qualifications, vehicle maintenance, and cargo securement.
How can I prevent a truck accident?
Some tips for preventing truck accidents in Los Angeles include maintaining a safe distance from trucks, avoiding blind spots, following traffic laws and signals, and avoiding distractions while driving.