Finding the Right Truck Accident Attorney
There are a different set of rules and laws to govern the commercial trucks operating in venues such as the Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento, San Bernardino and the Antelope Valley. If you or a loved one were injured in a trucking accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation. These cases can be extremely complicated and require more attention than a typical auto accident, which is why it’s important to contact an experienced and qualified Los Angeles truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
The statute of limitations period on the accident claim begins the instant the accident occurs. You should make sure that all evidence is preserved, the facts are still fresh in the wetness’s’ minds, and the offending parties and their insurers are notified at the appropriate time.
Get the Facts
It’s hard to miss the large commercial trucks on the interstates, freeways, highways, and other roads while driving in the United States. It has been estimated that over 15.5 million trucks operate in the USA with the number continuing to grow each year.
They are necessary for the growth of America’s economy, but their massive size and weight are extremely hazardous and dangerous to pedestrians and drivers of passenger cars. Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded while passenger cars usually weigh only around 3500 – 4000 pounds.
Anything that collides with them does not stand much of a chance of being unharmed. The injuries suffered in a truck accident are usually serious, life-changing, or life-threatening. Surveys suggest that about 130,000 individuals are injured each year annually due to truck collisions, while 5,000 result in fatalities. It has also been observed that about 70 percent of truck accidents result in property damage.
Why do truck accidents happen?
Truck accidents can occur for a number of reasons. Some common causes include:
Approximately 90 % of the trucking accidents are caused by some sort of human error usually by the driver of the truck. Some common negligent actions by the driver are:
- Inexperience or lack of qualification
- Distractions; especially talking on their cell phone
- Violating traffic and federal trucking laws
- Speeding to shorten the delivery time or increase the number of loads
- Driving while excessively fatigued
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- Making sharp turns
- Failing to maintain the truck parts
- Overloading trucks
- Adverse weather conditions
The federal law has rules and regulations that require truckers and the trucking company to properly maintain their vehicles and its components. But many trucking companies and their drivers fail to acknowledge these rules, which often result in catastrophic accidents.
The truckloads can also have an impact on the functioning of the vehicle.
- Unbalanced loads which can cause the vehicle to tip over
- Not securing the cargo properly
- Under-loading or overloaded cargo
- Failing to properly load hazardous materials
Types of trucking accidents
Some common types of truck crashes include:
Rollover accidents are the most common type. Maintaining too high of speed, stumbling on an object on the road, taking sharp turns, steep inclines / steep declines, or trying to over-correct a drifting trailer are some of the causes for a rollover accident.
Tire blowouts are usually a result of either improper maintenance of the vehicle, overloaded trailer, or poor road conditions. Controlling the massive truck after one or more tire blows out can be extremely difficult and may lead to a deadly crash.
Jackknife accidents occur when the truck’s trailer loses traction, causing the trailer to skid and form a 90-degree angle relevant to the tractor.
An under ride collision occurs when a small vehicle gets lodged underneath the trailer. Among the different types of truck accidents, under ride accidents have the highest fatality rate.
The heavier a truck is, the more distance it requires to stop. Rear-end collisions occur when a truck crashes into the backside of another vehicle. It is usually caused by driver’s negligence and either failing to realize how much distance is needed, poorly maintained brakes, equipment malfunctions, or driver’s distractions.
Accidents Due to Lost Load
Many times the drivers or the cargo companies fail to properly secure the load on the truck. The equipment that is not properly loaded or secured can become dislodged during the drive and fall behind the truck, becoming an immediate hazard to passing vehicles.
Severity of truck accidents
Most truck accidents end in injuries which can range in their severity. Some common types of injury faced by the victim of a truck accident are:
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Responsible parties of the accident
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a trucking accident, then the question of who is to blame and /or what caused the accident is much more complex than a typical auto vehicle accident. The parties that are liable for the trucking accident include the following:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- Owner of the truck
- The company providing the lease of the truck
- The owner of the leasing company
- The owner of the trailer (if attached)
- The company leasing the trailer
- The manufacturing company of the truck or its components.
Getting Compensated for your Injuries
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to compensation which includes:
- Medical expenses: The victims of a truck collision are left with considerable medical expenses. They may also have concerns about their future due to the long-term effects of the accident. Legal assistance will help the injured individuals receive financial compensation for the following expenses:
- Emergency room visits
- Hospital stays
- Future Medical Expenses
- Physical therapy
- Vocational training
- Materials used to improve quality of life such as wheelchairs
- Lost wages: Some injuries prevent the sufferers from returning to work – temporarily or permanently. The law requires compensation for the lost wages between the time of the injury to the end of the lawsuit.
- Loss of future wages: If the victim permanently loses the ability to work, then he or she can claim compensation for the amount of money which could have been earned if the accident hadn’t occurred.
- Pain and suffering: The physical pain suffered by the victim as well as the length of time he or she is expected to suffer are all taken into account and compensated for.
- Mental trauma: Victims can be compensated for the mental anguish that they suffer due to the accidents which include fear, embarrassment, grief, nervousness, etc.
- Loss of consortium: The spouse of the injured can file a lawsuit for the loss of marital benefits including companionship, comfort, and sexual relationships.
Truck accidents can be quite severe and totally disruptive of your daily life. If the accident occurred because of a mistake on the driver’s part, then a truck accident attorney in Los Angeles will be able to assist you in receiving the compensation that you deserve for a better quality of life.
What to Watch Out For
It’s not uncommon for the offending party to deny their faults or liability for the accident. The trucking company and their insurer may immediately appear at the scene of the accident and gather evidence and statements from the witnesses. They can also contact you and your family to induce you into making statements or admissions that may be used against you later.
Often the opposing party will get in touch with the injured or their family and make a small monetary offer early in hopes of a settlement. This in turn relieves them of the claim before the victim is fully aware of his or her injuries. Furthermore, the trucking company can have their truck inspected by experts who can provide them with a favorable defense report regarding their vehicle.
The Peck Law Group – Your San Bernardino, Alameda, Sacramento, Antelope Valley, and Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney
The attorneys at Peck Law Group understand that the truck accidents are not a part of someone’s daily life and can often result in life-shattering consequences. With over 34 years of experience, our firm has successfully represented many truck accident victims. Our lawyers will work with you to develop your case strategy and reward you with the compensation that you rightfully deserve. If you are not responsible for the accident, you should not be responsible for paying for your medical bills or facing lost wages.
The trucking companies and their drivers have an obligation to the people of the United States of America, including you! It is their responsibility to follow the traffic laws, properly maintain their vehicles and employ trained and qualified drivers. Failure to do so will cause catastrophic and traumatic accidents which can change your life forever.
We at Peck Law group are ready to fight for you. Call us today at (866) 999-9085 or visit any of our three offices for a free consultation. You can also fill out our form for a no-cost, no-obligation case review.
Our Van Nuys Office: 6454 Van Nuys Boulevard Suite 150, Los Angeles, CA 91401
Our Pleasant Hill / Oakland office: 3478 Buskirk Avenue, Suite 1000, Pleasant Hill, California 94523
Our Ontario Office: 3281 Guasti Road, Ontario,CA 91761
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.