Los Angeles Truck Accident Injury Attorneys
Collisions with tractor-trailers, big rigs, 18 wheelers and large freight carriers can have devastating consequences even at low speeds. The sheer weight of trucks makes them capable of crushing smaller vehicles and seriously or even fatally injuring the occupants of those vehicles.
Victims of Los Angeles truck accidents have the right to pursue compensation for damages and losses but need to be sure they retain legal help that is familiar with LA courts. Unfortunately, truck accident claims are complicated, and many injured victims fail to receive the support they need.
Finding the Right Attorney
If you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of a truck driver, financial compensation should be available for all of your related losses. For example, you should be offered support for your current and future medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning potential, pain and suffering, the cost of physical therapy and all other damages related to the truck accident. Do not accept a settlement offer unless you are confident that all of your losses are adequately covered.
The experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys have a long and successful track record of dealing with trucking companies, their attorneys and stubborn insurance companies.
We understand the serious challenges our injured clients and their families face physically, financially and emotionally. We do everything in our power to ensure that these victims and their families have access to the resources and the support they need during these challenging times.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 380,000 large trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds were involved in traffic crashes in the United States in the year 2008. In those accidents, 4,229 people were killed and approximately 90,000 were injured. Despite making up only about 4 percent of all registered vehicles, large trucks are involved in 8 percent of all fatal crashes. In fact, one out of every nine fatal accidents in the United States involves a large truck. In California, this has accounted for 6.4 percent of total vehicles involved in fatal crashes in the year 2008.
Truck Accident Liability
Truck accidents are often more complicated than other traffic accidents. In addition to having to deal with the driver of the truck, victims may have to negotiate with the truck owner, the trucking company and all insurance companies associated with the potentially liable parties.
Individuals and corporations that may be named in a truck accident lawsuit include the driver, the manufacturer of the truck, the manufacturer of truck parts, the truck owner, the company that leased the truck from the owner and the company responsible for maintaining or loading the truck. It is all too common for these potentially liable parties to deny responsibility and refuse compensation for victims.
Common Causes of Los Angeles truck accidents
Some of the most common causes of Los Angeles truck accidents include:
- Driver Error: Drivers who fail to operate their truck carefully put everyone on the roadway in harm's way. All truck drivers must adhere to traffic laws and exercise due care at all times. Speeding, running a red light, making an unsafe turn or dangerous lane changes are common examples of truck accidents involving negligent drivers.
- Driver Fatigue: Driving while drowsy can be very dangerous. In order to reduce the number of fatigued driving accidents, the federal government restricts the hours of service drivers can work without rest. For example, property-carrying truck drivers can only drive for 60/70 hours on 7/8 consecutive days before having to take 34 hours off for rest.
- Speed: Truck drivers must adjust their speed relative to roadway conditions, traffic congestion and the weight of the cargo they are carrying.
- Maintenance: Drivers must perform a thorough inspection before getting behind the wheel. When a truck part failure leads to an accident, it must be determined if there was a failure to replace a worn-down part or if it was originally a defective part. Trucking companies are also required to keep vehicle maintenance records that show when parts were replaced or when vehicles were serviced.
- Improperly loaded cargo: Driving a truck that has improperly loaded cargo can be challenging. Too much weight in the front, back or side of the trailer can make it challenging to maneuver or brake. Improper loading could result in jackknifing accidents.
Proving the Cause of the Truck Crash
There are many ways in which investigators and truck accident lawyers can prove who was responsible for the crash. It is helpful to have eyewitnesses to the accident and to have photos of the crash site and the damaged vehicles.
An inspection of the accident site and the truck can prove useful as well, but trucking companies often try to have their vehicles repaired before an evaluation can take place. It will be necessary to make a formal request to preserve the vehicle for a thorough investigation. It can help to review a truck driver's log and driving history as well.
In some cases, the driver's log may reveal a history of violations and careless behavior. Lawyers may even be able to obtain the driver's cell phone records if distracted driving was a factor. All possible pieces of evidence should be preserved and reviewed when filing a claim. Recently there has been a move to begin testing commercial truck driver's hair for drug use. A number of groups have pushed for harsher safety rules to keep dangerous truckers off the roads.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in the Los Angeles area, call us at 323-238-4683 for a Free no risk consultation.