Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents on the road. Tractor-trailers are on our highways more now than ever before. Part of this is due to the increase in online shopping. People don’t go out and buy their own stuff anymore. They order it with the click of their mouse and wait for it to be delivered to their house. If you've been injured in a truck accident, it's highly recommended you have an experienced Los Angeles truck accident attorney on your side.
Truck drivers are responsible for hauling large loads of goods from one side of the country to the other. They work long, hard hours. They try to log as many miles as possible. This can lead to unsafe or negligent behavior. No matter how careful a truck driver may try to be, at some point, it catches up to them.
Table of Contents
- 1 Common Truck Accident Causes
- 2 Truck Accidents Are Among the Most Dangerous
- 3 Pursuing All Possible Defendants in a Truck Accident Case
- 4 Negotiate with the Insurance Company
- 5 Your Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer Needs the Police Report
- 6 Your Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer Will Demand You’re Compensated for Your Injuries
- 7 Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
Common Truck Accident Causes
You can’t expect to drive a multi-ton vehicle on busy highways without creating some risk. This risk increases when drivers aren’t careful. Some of the biggest causes for truck accidents are:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Excessive speed
- Careless and reckless driving
- Carrying too large a load
- Drunk driving and driving while using drugs
All of these things are a sign of driver negligence. In order to prove negligence, your truck accident lawyer has to prove the following:
- The truck driver owed you a duty of care: All drivers are required to be careful when they get behind the wheel. The same duty extends to commercial drivers. Just because they’re on the clock, they aren’t excused from obeying all traffic rules. In fact, truck drivers have an even higher standard of care. They must maintain and operate their vehicles safely. And, because of the dangerous nature of tractor-trailers, they need to be specially trained before they take to the road.
- He breached his duty: In order to show that a truck driver breached his duty, you need to demonstrate that he wasn’t careful. If a driver doesn’t follow the traffic laws, he will be guilty of negligence. The same is true if he falls into any of the categories outlined above.
- You were injured: Your Los Angeles truck accident lawyer will provide proof of your injuries. He will rely on your medical records from immediately after the accident. This is why It's so important that you always seek treatment immediately following a crash.
- Your injuries were caused by his breach of duty: This shouldn’t be too hard to prove. If you’re involved in a truck accident, it’ll be pretty obvious that the accident caused your injuries. Unless you were hurt at some point before or after the accident.
Your Los Angeles truck accident attorney is going to work hard to prove the other driver was negligent. His goal is to get you the compensation you deserve.
Truck Accidents Are Among the Most Dangerous
Imagine the size difference between a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle. Now imagine that huge machine crashing into a car. The impact will be tremendous. Very few cars are able to withstand such an impact.
This is why truck accidents cause some of the worst injuries of all traffic accidents. In fact, truck accidents cause more fatalities than any other kind. Thousands of people are killed every year in truck accidents.
In California alone, there are an average of 6,000 truck accidents every year. Los Angeles leads the state in the highest number of truck fatalities with over 2,500 per year. A lot of these accidents could’ve been prevented.
Most truck accident were caused by negligence. As far as the type of truck accidents, the most common types are:
- Jackknife tractor-trailer accident
- Overturned truck
- Overloaded truck accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Bad weather accidents
These accidents usually involve other cars. For truck drivers, although the accident is dangerous, the outcome isn’t too bad. In almost all truck accidents, it’s the car driver who is hurt. Car drivers are the victims in over 95% of all truck accidents resulting in death.
Pursuing All Possible Defendants in a Truck Accident Case
When it comes to getting you the compensation you deserve, your attorney needs to consider all his options. You may have a claim against a lot more than just the truck driver. In any case, involving a commercial vehicle, there could be multiple defendants.
Some of the parties your Los Angeles truck driver will pursue includes:
- The driver
- The company he works for
- The company who services and maintains the vehicles
- Any third-party who maintains safety logs
- A company who loaded too much cargo on the truck
- The manufacturer of the truck if there were any defects
- The insurance company for both the driver and the business
Obviously, the more parties you pursue, the better your odds for recovery. The company will probably bear the brunt of responsibility since the driver works for them. They have their own insurance policy to cover accidents such as yours.
Regardless of who will ultimately be held responsible, your truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles will help you file an insurance claim.
Negotiate with the Insurance Company
In most cases, your insurance claim will be filed and paid within weeks. Unless there are special circumstances, the insurance company shouldn’t give you a hard time. However, there are times when your insurance claim is denied.
In California, your truck accident insurance claim can be denied for many reasons, including:
- The policy wasn’t valid at the time of your accident
- The policy had lapsed for non-payment
- They believe you were at fault
- They don’t think your injuries were very serious
- They think you had a pre-existing condition
Your personal injury attorney Los Angeles will help you file an appeal. As long as the policy was valid at the time of the accident, he may be able to help get your claim approved. He’ll reach out to the insurance adjuster to discuss your claim. Once he confirms the reason for the denial, he’ll provide the necessary information to appeal your claim.
Hopefully, your claim will be approved. If not, your attorney will have no choice but to file a lawsuit. In cases such as this, the defendants know that a lawsuit can do a lot of damage:
- A lawsuit can be expensive and time consuming
- If injuries are bad, it can cause bad press for the trucking company
- They don’t want to open up their maintenance records for all of their vehicle and subject themselves to greater exposure
- They may lose in court and have to pay a lot more than the amount of your claim
- They'll have to pay their lawyers to handle the case for them
Your Los Angeles truck accident attorney knows this. He’ll use it as leverage to try to negotiate a high settlement for you. If the insurance company insists on playing hardball, your lawyer won’t back down.
Your attorney isn’t intimidated by the insurance company. As long as you have evidence to prove negligence, you’ll have a solid claim. Your attorney will stand up to the defendants and their lawyers.
Your Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer Needs the Police Report
There are a few things you need to do at the time of your accident. First, you need to seek medical treatment. You have no idea what kind of injuries you’ve sustained. You could have internal injuries. They don’t appear to the naked eye. You need to get the necessary tests at the hospital to check for internal injuries.
The second thing you need to do is call the police. There is never a good reason to agree to not call the police. Your lawyer is going to need the police report down the road. It contains some very important information, such as:
- Description of the accident and accident scene
- Pictures of the scene
- Contact information for all witnesses
- Statements made by all parties
- Insurance information for both parties
- A description of the road conditions
The police can also check for other things at the scene. If anyone is drunk or using drugs at the time of the accident, the police will find out. He'll arrest them for DUI. If the commercial driver is arrested and convicted of DUI, you can submit this as evidence of liability.
In California, in order to be guilty of DUI, a commercial driver doesn’t have to meet the regular .08 BAC level. Commercial drivers are considered drunk at just .04. This means there is a chance the tractor-trailer driver was drunk after just a drink or two.
Your Los Angeles truck accident attorney will review the police notes to see if there’s any other helpful information. The more ammo he has to prove your case, the better your odds of receiving the money you deserve.
Your Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer Will Demand You’re Compensated for Your Injuries
Most accidents cause some sort of injury. But truck accidents cause more serious injuries than most other accidents. A lot of this has to do with the sheer size of the truck. It also has to do with the impact the car suffers during the collision.
Some of the most common injuries caused by truck accidents include:
- Back injuries – It’s hard to imagine a truck accident that doesn’t cause back injuries. Your body is going to be thrown about your vehicle. You may even be ejected from the car. When a tractor trailer collides with your car, you are going to sustain back injuries. These may be as simple as disc issues or as serious as a spinal cord injury.
- Head and Brain injuries – Truck accidents often cause head and brain injuries. You could break facial bones or suffer a concussion. Or, you may also suffer something as serious as a traumatic brain injury (TBI.) TBIs occur when you experience a severe impact or blow to the head. This can happen from whacking your head on the dashboard or from having debris smash into your skull.
A TBI is one of the worst types of injuries you can sustain. Some of the symptoms and effects of a TBI include:
- Memory loss
- Impaired vision
- Inability to speak
- Impaired hearing
All of these can be life-altering. They’ll cause you to miss a lot of work. They may prevent you from working ever again. Your truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
- Internal Injuries – Along with a TBI, internal injuries can be scary. The problem with internal injuries is that you can’t see them. Often times, you can’t even feel them. There isn’t always pain associated with internal injuries. They can be minor at first. If left untreated, internal injuries can be fatal. This is why it’s crucial that you always seek medical treatment after a truck accident.
Some of the most common types of internal injuries include:
- Bleeding on the brain
- Punctured lungs
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
Your truck accident attorney in Los Angeles will make sure you’re compensated for all of these injuries.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
If you’re hurt in a truck accident, you’ll need to contact a truck accident attorney in Los Angeles. Your lawyer will sit down with you and discuss your case. He’ll help you come up with a plan to pursue the responsible parties.
When you’re hit by a commercial vehicle, it can become complicated. There will be multiple parties. There could be information available to you that only an experienced lawyer knows about. These things include:
- Maintenance logs
- Truck driver’s hours log
- The company’s history of truck accidents
- Witness statements
- Any mechanical issues in the truck
Call and schedule your free initial consultation with a Los Angeles truck accident attorney. He can review your case and let you know what it may be worth. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you win your case.