A truck accident affects a car in a way that can be compared to a large professional rugby player smashing into a newborn infant at a high speed. You know what can happen. A loaded commercial truck has so much destructive potential since it may weigh up to 40 times as much as a car and the calculation is simple; large mass equals large force. Truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries and even fatalities. Freight carried by the 18-wheelers poses additional dangers. If the cargo falls onto the road, it invites more accidents while spillage of liquid contents causes hazardous slicks. Chemical content can cause poisoning, respiratory damage, and even raging fires.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is imperative to consult with an attorney who is experienced in this type of accident as soon as possible, while the evidence remains fresh and available. Cases involving truck accidents can be complicated and therefore, you need an attorney who can navigate the complex and frustrating maze of insurance company logistics and legal procedures. A skilled truck accident attorney can be able to reconstruct the accident to help determine if you have a valid claim. At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, our legal team is comprised of dedicated professionals who specialize in personal injury cases. We are confident in our ability to get you the results that you deserve. Call us today at 424-231-2013 for a free case evaluation.
Why you Need Compensation after a Truck Accident
Truck accidents usually result in devastating injuries and this, therefore, implies that recovering compensation is probably a top priority. You cannot be able to absorb medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages associated with being injured in a collision. Your health insurance coverage alone cannot be able to cover all these expenses and you are likely to end up facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Additionally, you may need to obtain financial help for physical and occupational rehabilitation for home renovations to facilitate living with long-term injuries or disability and to help you cope with emotional trauma. After a truck accident, you are entitled to compensation to cover all the expenses and the pain and suffering. However, for this to be possible, you need to first find the right party to hold responsible for the accident. Determining the negligent party will help you access the right insurer or file a valid personal injury claim. If you have questions about liability following a truck accident, contact Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney today.
Your Recovery is based on Proving Negligence
In personal injury claims, you must be able to prove negligence through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. According to the American Bar Association, a claimant must be able to prove four specific elements in order to establish responsibility and secure compensation. These elements include:
- The existence of a duty of care
A duty of care is an obligation to act reasonably to avoid injuring others or putting them in the path of danger. Drivers have a duty of care towards other motorists and pedestrians that they share the road with. Trained and professional big rig drivers should drive in a reasonable and safe manner to keep the roads a safe place and avoid as many accidents as possible. Others parties may also owe the casualty a duty of care. For instance, it is the duty of the trucking company to ensure that they only hire well trained and responsible drivers as well as ensuring that their trucks are well serviced and maintained. The truck manufacturers must also ensure that the vehicles they produce and their parts meet the acceptable standards for safety and performance. Distributors also have the responsibility of ensuring that the potentially dangerous materials carried in big rigs are well contained.
- A Breach of This Duty of Care
The second element of proving liability is the breaching of the duty of care itself. This involves checking whether the person who owed the duty lived up to it or whether they acted like a reasonably prudent person would under similar circumstances. If the duty of care is not met,the person's action is considered to be negligent or careless. Stated simply, the defendant likely will be found negligent by creating a dangerous situation above and beyond the normal level of risk. Accident cases are different and so is the complexity of determining whether the duty of care has been breached. For instance, it is a duty of care for all vehicles, including trucks to stop at a red light. But suppose the light was red when the truck entered the intersection, witnesses can help in proving that the driver was negligent by not obeying the traffic laws. Proving the duty of care was breached in other situations is more difficult. For instance, it is obvious that all drivers must always obey a universal speed law. However, it could be that the driver was in compliance with the set speed limit but the issue now involves determining what would have been a safe speed under the circumstances leading to the accident.
Once you have shown that at-fault party breached a duty of care toward you for example by breaking a traffic law, you should be able to show that the defendant’s negligence actually caused your injuries. You can only make recovery if the accident resulted in serious injuries and damages to your car. Proving that the other party’s breach caused your injuries is not an easy process and this is why you need the skills of an experienced and resourceful truck accident attorney to guide you through and prove that the injuries are directly related to the accident.
The final element of a negligence case is damages. In legal lingo, damages refer to the types of suffering endured due to the injuries sustained and they could either be physical, financial, emotional or mental. Are the injuries you sustained causing you extreme pain that interferes with your daily life? Are you suffering from stress post-traumatic stress as a result of the accident? Is your wallet too thin to cover the vast amount of medical expenses that keep increasing with each passing day? You should not endure all this pain and suffering in silence and this is why you should take the necessary action to get the compensation that you deserve. In order to get a settlement, you must be able to prove that the damages that you had to endure as a result of another person’s negligence.
Negotiating a settlement in terms of the amount of money you need to sustain your life after the accident will be the main point of contention and is not an easy task. This is why you need to consult with an attorney immediately after the accident in order to come up enough evidence that will prove the extent of damages.
Proving negligence in a truck accident may be difficult but is absolutely essential for the victim and their families. At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, we understand the toll that a truck accident can have on your life. Our experienced truck accident attorneys are committed to employing distinct tactics to seek maximum recovery for not only the visibly obvious damage and costs but also the unseen or unforeseeable costs. Contact us today and we will give you a free truck accident case evaluation which will provide you with an idea of what your case is worth.
Possible Liable Parties in a Truck Accident
Establishing liability for a truck accident is usually difficult compared to other types of auto accidents. This is due to the fact that there are multiple parties besides the driver who could be held liable for a truck accident. A thorough investigation is required to determine what happened and why it happened. In some cases, more than one party can be held liable for the crash and therefore, when your attorney determines the exact cause of the collision, it can be easy to determine which parties to sue. The following are the parties that may be held liable for a commercial truck accident:
- The truck driver
A commercial truck driver is held to a standard that requires them to be properly qualified and licensed in order to operate the truck. A truck accident can be caused by the negligent behavior of the trucker such as over speeding, driving recklessly or erratically, distracted driving, alcohol, and substance abuse, driving while fatigued or sleepy, failing to check for blind spots before changing lanes and tailgating too closely to another vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) has very strict prohibitions in place regarding alcohol and substance abuse especially for drivers operating commercial vehicles. Truck drivers are also required to operate within a limited amount of hours as regulated by the hours of service regulations. Truck drivers can only drive a maximum of 11 hours after a rest of 10 consecutive hours. According to the FMSCA Part 392.14, the driver is responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle and loading of the cargo.
- The trucking company
A trucking is responsible for its trucks and truck drivers. The trucking company may be held responsible because they typically have more resources and insurance than the driver and therefore more likely to be able to pay for the damages. The company can also be held liable for an accident if it is proven that they put profit ahead of safety. This could be by hiring under-qualified drivers, failing to conduct random drug tests, failing to maintain the truck or pushing the driver to meet unrealistic deadlines.
- Cargo companies
In some truck accidents, the main cause of the accident or the extent of the damage is due to the damage. Improperly fitted or poorly secured cargo can cause the truck to turn over, jackknife or have difficulty braking. A cargo company can be held liable for improperly loading the cargo or overloading the18-wheeler with more cargo than they can handle.
- Truck manufacturers and the maintenance company
A truck accident can be as a result of the truck or a component part failing because it was defective from the time of purchase. This could be in the form of a tire blowout, brake failure, issues with the steering or coupling systems. This, therefore, means that the manufacturer may be liable for compensation for damages. Failure of the different components of the truck could also be as a result of insufficient or poor maintenance of the truck by an outsourced maintenance and servicing company.
- Government Agencies and Contractors
A hazard on the roadway such as a broken pavement or a soft shoulder can also cause a truck accident. In this case, the party that will be held liable is the local or state government responsible for that particular stretch of the road. Additionally, a roadway contractor hired by the government can also be responsible for the crash if their work had a problem or the work zone set up was not convenient for vehicles.
A truck accident is an unfortunate event that can leave you or your loved one in suffering and trauma especially when you discover that it was all as a result of another person’s negligence. Whether the truck was faulty or they did not fix something on time, the result is an unfair situation for you and your loved ones. The Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys understand the physical, emotional and financial stress you are experiencing. We can be able to determine the type of negligent behavior that may have been responsible for the collision and collect the necessary evidence to prove it. Do not accept a settlement for injuries and other damages in a truck accident without talking to an attorney first. Get in touch with our truck accident team today at 424-231-2013 or complete our online form for a free case evaluation. We work on a contingency fee basis; you don’t pay unless we win.