Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer
Were you or a loved one injured in a trucking accident in the Greater Los Angeles area? You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, losses, damages, and more. By working with an experienced truck accident lawyer you can ensure your case is fought for, your rights are protected, and your compensation is maximized. Contact our firm online today or call us at (213) 985-1120.
Determining Liability in Semi Accidents
One of the pivotal aspects of dealing with semi-truck accidents in Los Angeles is determining fault. An experienced truck accident attorney understands this process is quintessential for proving negligence and demanding fair compensation from the trucking company, insurance company, and other responsible parties. Our law firm will help determine the following in a truck accident case.
- Duty of Care: This involves proving that the negligent party owed a duty of care to the truck accident victims. In motor vehicle accidents, this is typically straightforward, as all truck drivers, trucking companies, inspection companies, and other relevant entities have an inherent duty to act reasonably to prevent harm to victims.
- Breach of Duty: This step requires proving the act of negligence that precipitated the semi truck accident itself. Evidence like blood alcohol concentration tests and cell phone records from the truck driver are instrumental in a truck accident case establishing a breach of duty. If a breach of duty was involved, this could result in a serious truck accident claim worth further litigation.
- Causation: Proving negligence alone in a personal injury lawsuit is insufficient. A direct link between the breach of duty and the accident must be established to bolster the personal injury claim. Your truck accident attorney is your best advocate to prove causation.
- Damages: The objective of awarding damages in a truck accident claim is to restore the truck accident victim as closely as possible to their pre-accident condition. The full extent of damages sustained must be proven, encompassing both economic and non-economic losses. A truck accident lawyer is indispensable in these efforts.
Statistical Overview of Commercial Truck Accidents
Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reveals the grim reality of commercial truck accidents. In 2016, out of the 37,461 motor vehicle crash fatalities, 4,564 involved a large truck or bus, accounting for 12 percent of motor vehicle driver and traffic fatalities nationwide. California features prominently among the top ten states for fatal commercial truck and bus crashes. Many of these accidents were handled by experienced truck accident lawyers who filed a truck accident lawsuit to recover rightful compensation and helped restore, as much as possible, the victims to their positions prior to the accident. An accident victim typically is entitled to that level of compensation by the courts.
Additional Truck Collision Statistics
- Speed was a contributing factor in 17 percent of truck crashes resulting in fatalities.
- A notable 39 percent of large truck occupants who perished were not wearing seatbelts.
- Rural areas witnessed 61 percent of large truck fatalities.
- Work zones saw 27 percent of fatalities involving a large truck.
- Driver distraction, primarily due to cell phone usage, accounted for six percent of large truck crash fatalities.
- The Impact of Injuries and Fatalities from colliding with a larger vehicle.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety highlights the disproportionate impact on passenger car occupants in two-vehicle crashes involving a passenger car and a large truck. Of the 2,112 fatalities in 2016, 97 percent were passenger-vehicle occupants. Most of these fatalities occurred on major roads rather than freeways and interstates.
Interestingly, the peak time for fatalities in large truck collisions is between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., which indicates that many truck accidents may be related to truck driver fatigue, with weekends recording the least number of semi-truck accident deaths. This pattern contrasts with other types of vehicle collisions not involving large trucks.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Los Angeles
Truck accidents in Los Angeles can occur due to many reasons. Common causes of trucking industry accidents include speeding, fatigued driving, distracted driving, impaired driving, failure to comply with traffic laws, poor judgment, and improper turns.
Inadequate Maintenance or Defect
In scenarios where a truck accident injury claim or catastrophic injuries are a result of inadequate maintenance or a discernible vehicle defect, claims might extend to additional parties. Tire manufacturers, truck manufacturers, repair shops, and other companies could be at fault for the crash. The truck accident lawyers at El Dabe Ritter will conduct research to determine all responsible parties for inadequate maintenance or defects that resulted in the truck accident litigation.
The trucking industry has high standards for their drivers and we often know of how strict they can be with delivery dates. Drivers in a rush may choose to travel at very high speeds to get to their destinations on time. Speeding semi-trucks are extremely dangerous and can cause multi-vehicle accidents.
Drivers are often found guilty of texting while driving, eating while driving, reading while driving, along with many other forms of distractions. Seemingly minor things can lead to serious truck crashes.
Drunk driving or driving while under the influence of drugs can lead to terrible accidents. With long hours required of truck drivers, many make the poor decision to use illegal drugs to help them drive through the night or extend the time they’re able to drive.
Failure to Comply with Traffic Laws
Simple decisions to stop at stop signs, traffic lights, yield at intersections and roundabouts, and using blinkers while changing lanes are few of the many things truck drivers fail to comply with when driving their vehicles.
Making a turn too quickly or slowing down too late can lead to serious injuries, car pile-ups, and other accidents.
Trucking Company Fault
Liability for trucking accidents often extends beyond the truck driver. Trucking companies can be held vicariously liable for truck accident victims for their employee’s negligence and other negligent actions contributing to common truck accident injuries, such as improper training of drivers, driver fatigue, failure to conduct background checks, and inadequate inspection and maintenance of trucks.
Loading Company Fault
A third-party loading company improperly loading cargo could lead to an a truck accident claim, making them liable. Determining the cause of the truck crash, and identifying liable parties is a task a Los Angeles’ truck accident settlement lawyer is well-equipped to handle, ensuring rightful compensation for your truck accident.
Truck Manufacturer Fault
In Los Angeles, trucking accidents are unfortunately not uncommon occurrences. In many such cases, the blame often falls squarely on the shoulders of truck manufacturers due to defects in their manufacturing processes. When truck accidents occur, it can have devastating consequences, and truck accident attorneys are quick to investigate the root causes.
Types of Truck Accident Injuries in Los Angeles County
In Los Angeles, CA, as in many other places, most accidents involving semi-trucks or commercial trucks can lead to catastrophic outcomes. These accidents truck accident victims can suffer a variety of injuries, often with long-lasting consequences.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Burn Injuries
- Bone Fractures
- Wrongful Death
Securing Compensation for Injuries
Commercial truck accident victims may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages, depending on the nature of the trucking accident and injuries sustained. Economic damages encompass current and future serious medical expenses and bills, loss of wages, vehicle repair or replacement, physical therapy costs, alternative transportation costs, and modifications made to accommodate injuries. Non-economic damages for serious injuries, on the other hand, are intangible and include loss of career, emotional pain and anguish, and loss of interest in pre-accident activities.
Injuries from collisions involving big trucks tend to be more severe, necessitating hefty medical bills and rehabilitation costs. Some victims endure life-changing permanent injuries, such as spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis or a brain injury. This may be the case for you if you were injured seriously in a truck accident in Los Angeles. Our firm has handled truck accident claims for years and is confident in our experienced truck injury lawyers’ ability to help you recover compensation for the accident.
What to Do Immediately After A Truck Accident in Southern California
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine initially, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Injuries might not manifest immediately, and a medical evaluation can uncover hidden injuries. Furthermore, medical records will serve as crucial evidence if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.
- Contact the Police: Contact the police and ensure they come to the scene to create an official police report. This document will contain essential details about the accident, including witness statements, the officer’s assessment of fault, and any traffic violations that occurred. A police report is invaluable when determining liability in truck accident cases.
- Consult Our Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorneys: Working with our truck accident lawyers can help ensure no stone go unturned in the claims process. We’ll help you gather evidence, investigate the accident, interview witnesses, and negotiate with the insurance companies involved.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: In Southern California, it’s crucial to notify your insurance company about the truck accident promptly. Most insurance policies require policyholders to report accidents promptly. However, it’s essential to exercise caution when speaking with insurance adjusters. Consult with your attorney first to ensure that you don’t inadvertently say or do anything that might jeopardize your claim. Experienced Los Angeles truck accident attorneys can provide valuable advice on how to handle insurance companies and maximize your coverage.
Adhering to the Statute of Limitations in California
The state mandates a two-year statute of limitations from the date of injury to file a lawsuit against negligent parties. Some exceptions exist, such as delayed discovery of injury, or wrongful death, but they are limited.
Truck Accident FAQs
Are Truck Drivers Always at Fault?
When a truck accident occurs that leaves those involved with serious injuries, it can be easy to put the blame on the truck driver. And while it’s true that truck drivers’ actions often do contribute to or cause serious truck accidents, it’s important to thoroughly investigate a truck accident case before jumping to any conclusions about liability.
A truck driver’s actions–such as speeding, driving while impaired, or driving while distracted–may very well be the source of fault in a serious truck accident. In addition to a truck driver’s negligence, however, other causes of truck accidents include:
- Trucking company negligence. Often, a trucking company’s negligence is the root cause of a truck accident. Examples of negligence that can lead to crashes include the failure to perform a thorough background check on a truck driver prior to hiring, failure to properly service and maintain trucks, or the encouragement of drivers to violate hours of service requirements.
- Cargo shifts/ loading errors. When cargo is improperly loaded or secured, it may shift while in transit. Depending upon the type and weight of cargo, a cargo shift can have devastating consequences, shifting weight within the trailer so much so that the trailer swerves or tips. The party responsible for loading the cargo, or the shipper of the cargo, may be held liable for this accident type.
- Third-party driver errors. Truck drivers aren’t the only drivers on the road who sometimes act negligently; drivers of standard passenger cars cause numerous accidents every year. Third-party driver errors that might lead to a large truck collision include cutting off a large truck, engaging in “squeeze play,” following too closely, driving while distracted, impaired driving, speeding, driving in a truck’s blind spot, and more.
- Vehicle defects. Finally, while certainly not the only other cause of truck accidents, one of the more likely causes of a serious truck accident is a vehicle or vehicle part defect. For example, a tire blowout caused by defective tread, or brakes giving out mid-trip. A vehicle defect can have devastating consequences, resulting in a truck driver losing control of the vehicle.
What Qualifications Should I Seek in a Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney?
When searching for a Los Angeles truck accident attorney, consider the following qualifications:
- Experience: Look for an attorney with a proven track record of handling large truck accident cases, preferably for several years.
- Specialization: Choose an attorney who specializes in personal injury law and, specifically, tractor-trailer accident cases.
- Client Reviews: Read client testimonials and reviews to gauge their reputation and client satisfaction.
- Trial Experience: Ensure the attorney is comfortable taking cases to trial if needed, as this can strengthen your position during negotiations.
What Questions Should I Ask a Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney During An Initial Consultation?
During your initial consultation with a Los Angeles truck accident attorney, consider asking the following questions:
- How long have you been handling truck cases in Los Angeles?
- What is your success rate in securing favorable outcomes for clients in similar cases?
- What is your fee structure, and do you work on a contingency basis?
- Can you provide an initial assessment of my case’s strengths and weaknesses?
- How will we stay in touch throughout the legal process?
How Can I Evaluate the Credibility of a Truck Accident Lawyer?
To evaluate the credibility of a Los Angeles truck accident attorney, consider the following factors:
- References: Request references from past clients and contact them to inquire about their experiences.
- Bar Association: Check if the attorney is in good standing with the California State Bar Association.
- Online Presence: Review their website, online profiles, and any published articles or case results.
- Peer Recognition: Look for attorneys who have received awards, recognition, or peer endorsements in the field of personal injury law and truck accidents.
- Free consultation: Most lawyers who handle commercial truck accident cases will offer a free consultation to help you determine if you have a good case before you spend any money.
Contact Our Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Our firm has been handling truck accidents for decades in Los Angeles. You can trust our law firm to handle your case with the utmost professionalism, attention, and respect it deserves. We’re confident in holding truck companies accountable for accidents. If you find yourself in a Los Angeles truck accident, contact our injury law firm today online or by calling (213) 985-1120.
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