Every year, there are hundreds of fatal accidents involving large trucks reported in the state of California, and thousands that result in severe injuries. The vast majority of these accidents were completely avoidable and likely happened as a result of negligence. Indeed, most large truck accidents would never occur but for the fault of another and their deviation from the standard of care.
At the Dolan Law Firm, our Los Angeles truck accident lawyers understand what you are going through if you have been in a truck accident, or lost someone close to you in a large truck collision. These accidents often have tragic consequences, leaving victims feeling hopeless about the future. When you call our law office, our truck accident attorneys in Los Angeles will do everything they can to help you understand your options and advocate on your behalf to present the best case possible from those that have suffered from truck accidents.
Why are Los Angeles Truck Accidents so Dangerous?
Driving down any highway in California you are bound to see more than one transport truck. Every day, truck management teams dispatch employees to deliver and pick up cargo from a point of destination. Unfortunately, when these large vehicles share the road with automobilists, the risk of incidents increases. In fact, there were approximately six million commercial truck accidents in the U.S., resulting in three million injuries annually. And there are several factors why these types of incidents tend to be more catastrophic than traditional car collisions.
- Weight: According to state and federal regulations, these massive vehicles can weigh up to 80 thousand pounds and potentially even more with custom overweight permits. Automobiles on the road are a fraction of the weight of a standard transport truck. When we look at the force involved in such a collision, the heavier object (therefore the truck) releases more force than the lighter object which is why a car can be “crushed” instantaneously after impact.
- Unsecured cargo: Traveling down the Pacific Coast Highway, you have certainly witnessed trucks carrying automobiles, construction equipment, and other cargo. The chances of debris falling off trucks are relatively low due to existing safety regulations to prevent crashes of this caliber. However, the possibility still remains and the aftermath may be devastating for all those involved.
- Size: The length of a transport truck is vast, especially 18-wheelers. If a truck loses control and jackknifes, it can quickly block several lanes of traffic. The ramifications are potentially catastrophic when drivers do not have enough time to react thus resulting in a chain reaction of car collisions.
A Los Angeles Truck Accident Can Change Your Life
There is no doubt that the effects of a large truck accident can be life-changing. When a truck accident is not fatal, victims may suffer severe, disabling, and disfiguring injuries that require life saving medical care including surgeries, amputations, or additional long-term rehabilitation and physical therapy.
Types of severe injuries that are common in large truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. The brain is one of the most fragile parts of the body, and if it is impacted, the victim could sustain a traumatic brain injury that may affect cognition, sensation, emotion, and more.;
- Spinal cord injury. One of the most catastrophic injury types is a spinal cord injury, which is incurred when the spinal cord (which runs the length of the spine and transmits messages between the brain and the rest of the body) is damaged. This injury type can result in partial or complete paralysis from the site of the injury downwards and is permanent.;
- External injuries. External injuries may include lacerations, cuts, bruises, burn injuries, and anything that can be seen on the body with the naked eye. Facial injuries are very common in large truck accidents.;
- Injuries to extremities. The extremities are at high risk of injury in a crash, especially one involving a large truck as the force involved in this accident type is significant. Injuries to extremities might include bone fractures, soft tissue injuries (muscle and ligament tears), and in severe cases, crush or amputation injuries.;
- Internal injuries. Finally, internal injuries are common in large truck crashes, as force can result in bleeding of internal organs.
These injuries are painful to even think about, let alone experience.
Truck accident injuries are not limited to damage to the body that is remedied after a trip to the hospital. A person who suffers any of the injuries above–or a combination of the above injuries–will likely incur high medical costs, suffer property damage expenses, be disabled temporarily or permanently, suffer lost wages and the ability to earn an income, experience a diminished quality of life, and experience pain and suffering.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Los Angeles
If you are involved in a truck accident and you suffer any type of harm, you may seek compensation and have related medical expenses covered. California is an at-fault car insurance state, which means that the most common method of recovery is filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Unfortunately, truck accident claims can be complicated, in large part because there are so many potentially liable parties. It may prove difficult to determine fault immediately in a large truck accident, as there may be questions as to what actually caused the crash. For example, common causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck driver error – truck driver fatigue, excessive speeding, or operating a vehicle while distracted or impaired;
- Trucking company error – such as failing to service/maintain trucks, failing to properly train drivers, or asking a driver to violate the federal hours of service requirements;
- Shipper/loader error – if the accident was caused by a shift in cargo, the blame could lie on the shoulders of whoever loaded the cargo; and;
- Truck (part) manufacturer error – some truck accidents are caused by defective vehicle parts, such as defective tires or brakes. If an accident is the result of a defective vehicle part, the manufacturer or distributor of that part may be held liable.
Intoxication: Trucking is a demanding job which requires long hours and tight schedules. Some drivers may use alcohol and drugs to manage the stress of their work. Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes.
How Our Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyers Help You Obtain Fair Compensation
Our truck accident lawyers in Los Angeles are passionate about helping you recover the compensation that you deserve after a crash. In order to maximize the amount of compensation that you can recover, our lawyers start by thoroughly investigating your case to identify all liable parties and establish liability. Not only do we travel to the accident site, speak with police officers, interview witnesses, and analyze evidence and data, we also have the resources to consult with appropriate experts to help us determine and prove how your truck accident occurred.
From there, we calculate the full extent of damages you have suffered, including both economic and noneconomic losses. Then, we issue a demand letter to the appropriate insurance company, requesting compensation for the full value of your losses. If we are unable to reach an agreeable settlement, the experienced Los Angeles Truck lawyers can discuss if litigation is advisable in your case.
It’s Important to Act Quickly
The first thing you should do, if possible, is get to a safe location off the road and away from moving traffic to prevent further injury. You should call 911 as soon as possible.
Make a report of what happened to the police. Collect the insurance information of the truck driver and other drivers involved. it is important to document all key information, including types of damages incurred for the completion of a California Highway Patrol police report.
Document everything at the scene of the accident. Take photos and video of the scene and any damages and injuries. Then, during your treatment and recovery, keep track of bills, repairs, and medical costs.
We know that initiating the claims process, opening an investigation, and calling a lawyer is probably the furthest thing from your mind in the immediate aftermath of a truck accident. But exploring your legal options following a a truck accident is essential. Not only do you want to make sure that evidence for your claim is preserved, but if you fail to file your claim within the necessary time frame you will be barred from recovery per California’s statute of limitations.
Statutes of limitations differ depending on the type of case involved. Some of these time periods may be as short as six months, while others can be as long as two years. We do not have enough information to identify which statute of limitations applies in your case. In this case, you should consult with a lawyer, the California Code of Civil Procedure, internet resources, and/or visit your law library to identify the applicable statute of limitations for your matter. When you call our law firm, we will work with you to timely explore your legal options and advocate on your behalf , allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Call Our Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Truck accidents are some of the most terrifying and devastating motor vehicle accident types. If you are injured in a truck accident or lose a loved one, please call our truck accident lawyers in Los Angeles for a free consultation and knowledgeable information you can trust. Start by sending us a message, or calling our law firm directly today.
Please be advised that your potential case is governed by a statute of limitations (a limited time period in which you must begin a lawsuit). Statutes of limitations differ depending on the type of case involved. Some of these time periods may be as short as six months, while others can be as long as two years. We do not have enough information to identify which statute of limitations applies in your case. You should consult with a lawyer, the California Code of Civil Procedure, internet resources, and/or visit your law library to identify the applicable statute of limitations for your matter.
Where can I find a competent truck accident law firm in Los Angeles?
The Dolan Law Firm has over thirty years of legal experience and a list of testimonials that positively attest to our commitment to obtain justice for our clients. Our award winning attorneys combined with years of trial successes make the Dolan Law Firm a great ally in your Los Angeles truck accident.
What does a truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles typically cost?
At Dolan Law Firm, we don’t ask for upfront payments or charge hourly fees. We will evaluate your case for free, and if we agree to take it, we will only get paid a contingency fee if we achieve a verdict or a settlement. Your success is our success. Submit a contact form today so we can reach out to you.
What should I look for in a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer?
The Dolan Law firm offers trial experience, trained staff, many resources, a network of legal experts to assist with your case, and a passion for justice. As one of California’s premier truck accident lawyers in Los Angeles, Dolan Law Firm offers an outstanding record of success with 15+ injury attorneys. The Dolan Law Firm and its Los Angeles Truck accident lawyers will work on hard cases and advocate for all clients. Contact us today and we will provide you with the legal guidance you need!
What should I do if I have been involved in a truck accident in Los Angeles?
In any event regarding commercial truck accidents or truck accident injury, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible following the incident as there is a statute of limitations for filing claims. At the Dolan Law Firm, we have thirty years of experience handling commercial truck crashes in the city of Los Angeles. We will diligently work alongside you and advocate on your behalf. Not only do we offer assistance in Los Angeles and its surrounding cities, we also serve San Diego and northern California. Call us today or schedule a free case evaluation at one of our practice locations and experience the difference!