Any type of accident is scary, dangerous, and can cause serious injuries to all of those involved; however, an accident between a truck and a car can be even more serious or terrifying simply because of the difference in size between the two vehicles. This is only one of the reasons that truck drivers have such strict and demanding requirements for certifications, licensing, and regulations, but even so, truck drivers are not perfect and still get into accidents. In fact, according to the FMCSA “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2017,” there were 4,889 large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes, which was a 9-percent increase from 2016. Although this increase seems alarming, it is still significantly less than the 21st-century high of 5,231 in 2005.
Regardless of facts and figures about the safety and dangers of sharing the road with commercial vehicles, it is important that you know how to get the support that you need if you find yourself a victim of one of these crashes. Knowing that there is help out there for your medical, financial, and legal recovery is a great way to feel less overwhelmed and more positive about the entire process, even if the results and injuries from your accident have been truly catastrophic and life-changing.
Read more below to get a basic idea of what you can expect when you are working with a truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles, and contact the team at The Capital Law Firm as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation. During this consultation, we will be able to discuss your accident, the information you have gathered and steps you have already taken, as well as to give you insight about how we can help you move forward from this situation with a goal towards a positive outcome.
Truck Accident Causes in Los Angeles
There are many different ways that an accident can be caused, just like there are many different injuries and impacts that an accident can have on your life that makes it so unique to your situation. Although every accident is different, there are definitely common causes of truck crashes, in LA and beyond, that we represent victims through their personal injury cases for. Take a look below at some examples:
Overworked or Fatigued Driver
Truck drivers are held to federally-mandated restrictions on the number of hours that they may drive in any given period of time, laid out in the “Hours of Service” guide provided by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration. These regulations are intended to reduce fatigue-related accidents on American highways, and while they are proven to be extremely effective, they are no guarantee. A driver who follows the Hours of Service to the letter of the law may still be tired during their workday, just like any other worker may be tired due to issues unrelated to work.
The reality of fatigue, though, is that it is much more dangerous when driving a massive vehicle than when you are sitting at your desk. This is why driver fatigue is one of the common causes of accidents. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) reported that 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash.
Faulty or Poorly-Maintained Equipment
Commercial trucks drive many more miles than the average American passenger vehicle each year and therefore require significantly more ongoing maintenance and upkeep than these vehicles. In addition to the wear and tear that these vehicles are subject to on a fairly ongoing basis, they are also extremely complicated, to begin with. Truck drivers and their teams are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to the upkeep and maintenance of these pieces of machinery, but even so, things like tire blowouts and other easily-avoidable failures still happen.
As with the hours that they drive, truckers are required to keep meticulous logs about their ongoing maintenance to the vehicles so that, in the event of an accident or mechanical failure, there is evidence that can help investigators understand a cause. Driving next to a truck during a tire blowout can cause you to swerve off the road or lose control of your vehicle without ever making direct contact with the semi-truck.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
When a truck is carrying a significant amount of cargo, it is extremely important that it is loaded properly in order to reduce risks of shifting cargo, an overloaded vehicle, or things falling from the back of the truck in transit, to name a few. In many cases, a truck driver may pick up a shipping container from a warehouse that they did not pack on their own, but trust that the professionals who have secured the cargo did so with the appropriate measures to maximize their safety during transport.
Regardless of who loaded the cargo, any sort of failure or improper loading that leads to an accident means that the responsible party must be held accountable for their failure to adhere to safety standards. We will help you understand the failures that led to your own accident, identify the accountable parties, and pursue them aggressively to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Common Injuries after a Truck Accident
As you can imagine, there are as many, if not more, types of injuries that can be sustained as there are types of accidents that you can be involved in. Regardless of the type of injury that you have endured, we will help you get the compensation that you deserve for these injuries and ensure that you have the financial support necessary to move forward with your life and focus on recovery without fear of your bills and other economic impacts.
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Bruising or hematomas
Whether or not your situation resembles any of the aforementioned injuries, contact us as soon as possible in order to get started on your case immediately. When you require medical attention for your injuries, your bills will begin to mount, and you may be unable to complete your work as you normally would be able to, meaning that the economic impacts will be even more significant.
Truck Accident Law FAQ
During the free initial consultation that we offer to all prospective clients, we are happy to answer a variety of questions that will give you a better idea of what you can expect for your case, and how we can help you through this entire process. The following are a few examples but keep in mind that your situation will result in different answers, which is why it is so important to work with an experienced legal professional.
How much is my case worth?
In order to determine how much we will seek from the responsible party after your accident, we will need to go through a wide range of your financial circumstances in order to get a complete understanding of what you are owed. We will begin by evaluating the pure financial impacts to your accident, such as your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses, but will go further in order to calculate the monetary value of your non-economic impacts such as the pain and suffering that you have endured.
Should I settle directly with the insurance company?
While a settlement is generally an effective way to get the money that you deserve after an accident (in fact, 90% or more personal injury cases end in a settlement), it is important that you do so with the help of an experienced attorney. Insurance companies focus their claims investigation process on identifying all possible reasons to reduce damages in a settlement, meaning that you will need to have an attorney help you negotiate the amount that you deserve.