TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER IN LOS ANGELES
“DRIVEN TO BE THE BEST TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER IN LOS ANGELES”
As you travel the freeways of Los Angeles, you will surely see the many large commercial trucks on the road. While these are essential parts of our economy and there are many truck drivers who prioritize safety, there are some who focus more on profit and deadlines than they do taking care of other drivers on the road. When negligence becomes a factor, it’s easy for there to be a large truck accident which often results in some of the most devastating injuries possible. The large size of these trucks and the speeds at which they travel are a recipe for disaster.
When you suffer an injury, you need to have someone on your side ready to take on the large corporation or person and insurance company responsible for your damages. At Pirnia Law Group, our truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles, handled multiple truck accident cases and have a history of success. Our truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles work to help you understand the situation in which you are involved and which options you have moving forward. It is our primary focus to help you through the complex legal matters so you can focus on your recovery.
Below, our truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles will detail some of the most common situations in which truck accidents occur and who you can hold responsible. Our truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles will also explain your options to compensation and answer some of the questions you may have. We’re here for you every step of the way because you deserve it at this strenuous time.
Reasons for Truck Accidents in California
Working with a truck accident attorney is imperative after you find yourself involved in a severe collision. These types of accidents have the potential to cause some of the most catastrophic injuries, requiring you to take the necessary steps to secure compensation. However, it’s vital to recognize the various ways to show that negligence was involved. Working with an injury attorney is one of the most beneficial things you can do to build strong evidence for your case. Here are some of the most common reasons truck accidents occur in California:
Truck company negligence:
A trucking company that encourages the violation of federal regulations can be liable for any accident when they fail in their duty to keep the truck driver or others on the road safe. This includes creating unrealistic schedules for truckers that can lead to a semi-crash. A company may also be liable for inadequate training that can lead to a big rig accident if the driver makes a mistake.
Trucks in a fleet must be properly maintained to avoid potential problems. This includes checking the brakes and tires, steering system, engine and fluid levels, and the hitch holding the trailer to the truck to prevent harm.
Truck driver mistakes:
Truck drivers are not free from liability when they do things on their own that can create problems on the road. For instance, if they drive longer than they should, it can create trucker fatigue and drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Other truck driver mistakes can include distracted truck driving, carelessness, and eating and drinking.
Adverse weather and road conditions:
When a truck driver operates in terrible weather or on potentially dangerous roads, it can create unnecessary harm. Driving through fog or rain can reduce visibility tremendously.
Federal trucking regulations dictate how much a large semi truck can weigh before it exceeds limits and becomes dangerous. A truck that has an unsafe or unsecured load creates a number of potential dangers. Unsecured cargo can push to one side of the trailer, making it heavier, potentially causing a rollover accident.
Transport of hazardous material:
One of the most dangerous factors in a potential truck crash is the presence of hazardous material. Many hazardous materials can be flammable, making explosions and severe harm highly likely.
Navigation systems, while often reliable, can prove to be problematic in an 18 wheeler accident. If the navigation system is faulty, it could cause the truck driver to try and make decisions at the last minute, putting everyone else in danger. It can also be a visual distraction, and distracted driving can be disastrous for a truck driver.
It’s important to pursue compensation should you need to cover extensive costs after a truck accident. Your lawyer can work to determine who is at fault and how to hold them accountable for their actions.
Truck Accident Law
Truck accident laws rely on numerous factors. First, you must think about the federal regulations in place to prevent a wreck from occurring because of a large commercial truck. These regulations dictate how the truck driver, the trucking company, and others within the company must operate to keep others safe. The federal trucking laws include the following:
- Weight restrictions: No commercial truck should weigh more than 80,000 pounds. Some roads have even further limits, but the maximum is 80,000 pounds including the truck itself and the cargo. Exceeding this weight limit can create a disastrous scenario, especially in a situation where the truck driver is making sharper turns, going down hill at a high rate of speed, or trying to make it up a steep hill.
- Hours of Service regulations: The laws dictate that truck drivers are only allowed to work a certain number of hours after they’ve been on break or off-duty. Depending on whether the truck driver is carrying passengers or items, this can change. However, it’s important to note that the number of hours to work is not all driving. The number of consecutive driving hours is 3 to 4 hours less than the total allowable work hours.
Truck companies or truck owners must also work to ensure maintenance and inspections are performed prior to a truck leaving the warehouse to prevent any potential harm on the road.
Identifying Cause and Fault in Commercial Truck Crashes
When you are involved in a commercial truck wreck, it’s important to work with a truck wreck lawyer. Whether you are involved in a freeway truck accident or on the streets when the collision occurs, working with someone who is aware of all possible scenarios can help you identify cause and fault in this type of case. Unfortunately, truck accidents can involve more than one person holding liability, and you must go through the process to hold each person accountable for their contribution to the crash. Here are some of the potential people you may be able to take action against after a crash:
The trucking company:
Trucking companies are often about earning a high profit, which means getting more items to their customers in a shorter period of time. Many times, this can result in the trucking company pushing their drivers to drive faster, carry a much larger cargo, or drive beyond the Hours of Service regulations to make it to their destination quicker.
The truck driver:
It’s the responsibility of the truck driver to ensure he or she is doing everything with safety in mind. If he or she is intoxicated, on drugs (prescription or otherwise), distracted, or fatigued, other drivers are at immediate risk of potential harm. The truck driver must also stop at scales where necessary to ensure he or she is not travelling with an unsafe cargo.
In some situations, certain employees have the responsibility to properly load the trailer with the right weight of cargo, as well as ensuring it’s even. If the worker fails in that regard, he or she may hold some liability in causing a crash to occur.
There are many components to a truck, and the vehicle relies on all parts to ensure it works correctly. Like in a car accident, a truck accident can arise should there be a defect and the part fails.
Compensation for Your Los Angeles Truck Accident
Because truck accidents can be some of the most catastrophic, working with a semi-truck accident lawyer can be beneficial in pursuing the compensation you need. In these cases, the types of compensation available revert to general personal injury claims. If you’re injured in a truck accident caused by negligence, you may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages for your harm.
Economic damages refer to any losses that you experience with a monetary value attached to them. In a truck accident, you may be able to recover compensation for all current and future medical bills you incur as a result of the injury. Economic damages can also cover other things you may need to pay for such as vehicle repair or replacement, physical therapy or rehabilitation, accommodations, and rental car or other transportation expenses. If the injuries you sustain are significant enough to force you out of work, you may also be able to recover compensation for loss of income or earning potential.
Non-economic damages are much different as they don’t have a direct monetary value attached to them. There’s no way for a court to determine a set amount of compensation off paper records or statements. Instead, they must work to determine your emotional pain following a truck accident. This can include your suffering and diminished interest in activities. If the truck accident takes away your ability to have the same quality of life or enjoy things you once did, you may be compensated for it. In many cases, these types of damages may also compensate you for general depression stemming from the accident.
Keep in mind, California operates on pure comparative negligence after an accident, and if you’re at fault by any percentage, your recovery may be reduced because of this factor.
Time Limit for Filing a Claim in California
Like any personal injury case, working with an injury lawyer after a truck accident is the most effective way of protecting your rights and safeguarding your ability to pursue compensation. This is especially true because there are certain deadlines you must meet. For instance, there is a time limit in California regarding how long you have to file a truck accident claim or lawsuit. After the crash, you have two years to file your claim or you may be unable to do so moving forward.
Failure to file within the time limits provided by the law can result in forfeiture of your rights. You may find it difficult to recover any kind of compensation beyond this point, which means you may be stuck with the expenses stemming from the injuries and property damage you experience. Working with a personal injury attorney helps you provide accurate documents and the necessary paperwork to start your pursuit of compensation.
FREQUENTLY ASKED TRUCK ACCIDENT QUESTIONS
What Should I Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident?
At the scene of the truck accident, you want to be sure you’re doing all you can to protect your potential claim. You should talk to the truck driver, and be sure to get valid information regarding his or her driver’s license, which company he or she works for, the insurance provider, and anything else to be used as evidence. Be sure to avoid any potential claims that can be used against you like saying you’re sorry or saying you did something that would put you at fault.
Be sure to report the accident to your insurance company and local authorities. Getting your statement on record quickly helps you provide as many details as possible. Law enforcement can also create an accident report that can be used to build your claim.
You should take some photos of the scene of the accident to give your insurance company and legal team a better idea of what happened. Showing the scene, the damages to the truck and your vehicle, and any visible injuries can only help to aid in your claim. If you need emergency medical service, do this at the scene too.
What is Comparative Fault, and How Will it Affect My Claim?
Comparative fault is a part of California law following any negligence-related act that determines how much compensation an injured person can recover. Comparative fault looks at the crash and determines the percentage of fault to assign to each party. The percentage of fault can limit recovery. For instance, if you suffer an injury in a truck accident but you’re determined to contribute to 20% of the fault for the crash, your total recovery is reduced by 20%.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim for a Truck Accident?
Depending on the circumstances involved, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death if a truck accident results in fatal injuries. The family may work to recover compensation for any potential medical bills incurred from the date of the injury to the date of death. You may also recover compensation for funeral expenses, lost income, loss of consortium, and more. It’s similar to a truck accident lawsuit in that you and your family must take steps to prove negligence occurred and caused the crash.
What’s the Common Types of Truck Accidents?
As devastating as they can be, not all truck accidents are the same. There are plenty of situations that can cause a truck accident to occur, all of which can cause a different type of accident. Some of the most common types of truck accidents include jackknife crashes, rollover, lost trailer, and more. Typically, the high rate of speed many of these trucks travel on highways makes it more difficult for them to stop, so rear-end collisions can be common as well should the truck driver not be paying enough attention as he or she approaches traffic. Rollover accidents are most often the result of the driver speeding on sharp turns or because of an uneven or overloaded cargo.
What to Do After a Truck Accident?
After a truck accident occurs, make sure you are getting medical help for any pain you may be feeling. Some injuries can take days to manifest and come to light. Waiting, however, can prove to be costly for your claim, so you want to get medical attention as soon as you can. Getting medical attention helps you start your recovery, but also provides you with a vital medical record to show that your injuries were the result of the crash.
Be sure to also speak with a lawyer who can help you understand the value of your case and your rights moving forward. Speaking with an attorney can start the process of protecting your claim so you know what to provide to the insurance company and prevent them from taking advantage of your rights.
Should I Speak with the Insurance Company by Myself?
The insurance company is a large business with a focus on their own profits. They’re not always willing to work with you to provide compensation, and they’re quick to wrongfully deny claims even if the claim is completely valid. Instead of trying to deal with this situation on your own, it’s best to have a lawyer help you handle the complex matters with the insurance company. A lawyer can help recognize the various tactics the insurance company may try to use to deny your rights and safeguard you through the process.
What is the Average Settlement After a Truck Accident in California?
There are numerous factors that come into play after a truck accident to determine the amount of a potential settlement. No two cases are the same, though, so much of the settlement is dependent on various situations including how severe the injury is, the percentage of negligence attributed to the truck driver or company, if there was malice or intention involved, and more. If you are unable to work because of your injuries, your settlement may be higher than you would receive if you were able to return to work after the injury.
When is a Commercial Driver Considered Negligent?
A commercial truck driver can be negligent in numerous ways, but there are some situations in which others at the trucking company or the company itself are responsible for the crash. A truck driver, however, is responsible for any crash he or she causes because of direct actions that create dangers on the road. For instance, the truck driver is liable if he or she is driving while intoxicated, fatigued, or distracted. Similarly, if he or she is driving recklessly (speeding or swerving), he or she can be held accountable for all damages caused in a wreck.
CHOOSE A DEDICATED PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IN LOS ANGELES
We fight for the rights of individuals who suffer injuries due to negligence. We know that truck accidents are some of the most catastrophic you can experience. Because of this, you may end up dealing with physical, financial, and emotional hardships. It may feel difficult to overcome when you don’t know where to turn. Our team stands in your corner from start to finish, answering your questions and addressing your concerns so you can have peace of mind throughout the process. We’ll focus on your best interests and pursue the most favorable outcome possible on your behalf.
We’re not afraid to take on the large insurance companies, pushing to right the wrongs you have experienced because of negligence. The trucking company or driver must be held accountable when their actions cause you harm.
Our Los Angeles truck accident attorneys at Pirnia Law Group go above and beyond because your rights depend on it. We take this time seriously, handling each case as if they were our own because we know how much you need strong and tenacious representation during this time. Even better, we operate on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay us nothing out of pocket, and you won’t unless we’re able to win on your behalf. Our fee only comes when we are successful in recovering your compensation and is a percentage of your total recovery. You can count on us to go the extra mile when you need us the most.
Call our team today and speak with a legal professional in your free initial consultation. It costs nothing to get answers to some of your most pressing questions. We’re ready to be your voice for justice.