Truck drivers, trucking companies and corporations that operate large trucks for the transport of goods in Los Angeles and across state lines have a legal duty to make sure they follow all safety procedures and exercise due care in the operation of these vehicles.
Statistics have consistently shown us that when a large, 80,000-pound truck strikes a smaller vehicle, the occupants of the passenger vehicle are the ones who tend to suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries.
The experienced Los Angeles truck accident lawyers at the Vaziri Law Group have the knowledge, experience and resources it takes to stand up and fight against these corporations and their insurance companies. We are passionate when it comes to pursuing maximum compensation for our injured clients and their families.
Table of Contents
- What to Do After a Commercial Truck Accident in Los Angeles
- Truck Accident Causes and Determining Fault
- Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?
- Compensation for Truck Accident Victims in Los Angeles
- How an Experienced Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
There are a number of steps that are critical to take if you have been involved in a Los Angeles truck accident. These measures are crucial when it comes to protecting your rights and strengthening your claim.
Get Medical Attention
If you have been injured in a large truck accident in Los Angeles, it is important that you see a doctor so you can undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation. While most severe injuries are apparent, you may not realize the full extent of the damage.
The stress of a traumatic event could mask some serious symptoms. Getting prompt medical attention and care not only puts you on the path to better health, but also creates a trail of records and documentation that are integral to a successful truck accident injury claim.
Report the Accident
Soon after the accident, you should report the accident to the appropriate authorities. If your accident occurred within city limits, report it to the police agency that has jurisdiction. If your truck accident occurred on the freeway, inform the California Highway Patrol office that serves the area.
You should file an official crash report and get a copy of the report for your records.
Obtain Evidence and Documentation
Evidence and documentation are crucial in order to substantiate and prove your truck accident injury claim. Some of the most important pieces of evidence must be obtained immediately after the crash. These include truck driver logs, vehicle maintenance logs, driver's cell phone logs, photographs and videos from the scene, contact information for witnesses and other information about the truck driver and trucking company including driving record, insurance details and so on.
Here are some Los Angeles truck accident scenarios that result in personal injury and negligence claims:
- When a truck driver causes an accident because he or she is fatigued and failed to follow the federal Hours of Service rules that require truckers to take set rest breaks to prevent exhaustion and drowsy driving.
- When speeding or unsafe driving on the part of the truck driver causes an accident.
- When a truck driver operates the truck under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and causes an accident.
- When a trucking firm employs drivers who lack experience and the accident is caused by inexperience and/or incompetence.
- When improperly loaded trailers cause a jackknifing accident and result in other crashes and injuries.
- A trucking firm fails to maintain its fleet properly and the accident is a result of equipment failure.
- When a distracted truck driver causes an accident resulting in injuries.
Truck accident cases typically have their basis in the theory of negligence. In order to hold a truck driver, trucking firm or other responsible parties financially liable for your accident and injuries, you as the plaintiff, must be able to show that the individual's or entity's careless or reckless actions caused the accident.
In order to prove negligence in a commercial truck accident case, plaintiffs must show that the truck driver, trucking firm or other responsible party owed you a duty of care; that they breached or violated this duty of care; that this breach caused your accident and injuries; and that you suffered damages as a result.
There are a number of parties who could potentially be held liable for a truck accident in Los Angeles. However, in a significant number of cases, it might come down to the trucking firm. Even if the accident occurred as a result of the truck driver's negligence, in addition to the driver, the trucking company can also be held liable because the driver was working at the time.
This is known as “vicarious liability” where trucking companies are held liable for the reckless or negligent actions of their drivers. Trucking companies can also be held liable in cases where a truck, for example, loses its brakes and crashes into other vehicles due to lack of proper vehicle maintenance.
In some cases, where a truck defect caused an accident, the manufacturer of the truck or the defective part can also be held liable. An experienced Los Angeles truck accident law lawyer can help you determine the parties that can be held responsible for your injuries and damages, which is often a complex task.
A common question most injured truck accident victims ask is what their claim might be worth. The answer will vary depending on each case and the facts and circumstances surrounding it. The value of a truck accident claim will also likely depend on the nature and severity of your injuries and the level of negligence on the part of other individuals and entities.
For example, a victim who has suffered a catastrophic injury such as limb amputation will typically receive a larger settlement than someone who has suffered relatively minor injuries.
Here are some of the damages you can claim as part of your truck accident case:
- Medical expenses including cost of future treatment, care and rehabilitation
- Lost income and loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Permanent injuries and disabilities
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Truck accident claims can be extremely complex because of the variety of federal and state laws that could potentially affect your case. A knowledgeable Los Angeles truck accident lawyer can help investigate your claim and help you compile the evidence you need to prove negligence and hold the at-fault parties accountable for your losses.
The experienced truck accident lawyers at the Vaziri Law Group work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only charge you fees if we win your case and obtain compensation for you. Call us today to schedule your free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.