Truck Accidents Require A Knowledgeable Attorney
According to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, there were over 475,000 large truck accidents reported across the country in 2016. Of those accidents, 105,000 involved injuries and close to 4,000 of them were fatal.
In California, there were 322 large trucks involved in fatal accidents. When truck accident injuries are not fatal, they are often severe and debilitating.
Understanding Complex Personal Injury Claims
Truck accidents can be very complex due to the severity of injuries, trucking rules and regulations and the involvement of multiple vehicles.
- Severe injuries – Injuries are often devastating in truck accidents and the more serious the injuries are, the more complicated the case may be. In order to recover for severe injuries and damages, there is a lot of evidence that must be presented. Often medical experts are hired to conduct an independent medical examination for injured plaintiffs to help determine the nature and extent of the injuries and to testify when necessary. Evidence needs to be presented regarding future required medical care and treatments in order to be compensated for future medical expenses. Additional issues such as a disability, inability or limited ability to work due to injuries, and pain and suffering also must be proved.
- Trucking rules and regulations – There are many state and federal rules and regulations governing the trucking industry. Noncompliance and violations of these laws are helpful in proving a truck driver and his or her employer’s negligence. Attorneys for plaintiffs will conduct an exhaustive and thorough investigation into regulatory compliance in order to build and strengthen the plaintiff’s case.
- Multiple vehicles – When large trucks lose control and are unable to stop, they frequently take out multiple vehicles that are in the vicinity. When more vehicles are involved, there are more insurance companies, more attorneys, and more blame-shifting involved as well. Experts may be required for accident reconstruction and expert testimony.
What You Need To Know About Wrongful Death Claims
When large truck accidents lead to a fatality, California permits certain close family members to bring a wrongful death claim in order to recover damages the family members have suffered due to losing their loved ones. Things like loss of the decedent’s financial support and services may be included in recovery. Sometimes survival actions are available as well, depending on the circumstances of the case. These claims are brought on behalf of the decedent’s estate to recover for the injuries and damages the decedent suffered prior to his or her death.
Holding The Negligent Party Accountable
Due to the complexity of truck accident cases and the severity of injuries that are frequently involved, it is important to find an experienced truck accident attorney who is a skilled insurance negotiator and trial attorney. Insurance companies will settle for as little as possible and they are not concerned with whether or not you are fully compensated.
Commercial trucks that drive through Montebello, Los Angeles County, and all across California are much larger and deadlier than all other types of vehicles on our roads combined. Truck drivers owe a duty to fellow motorists to drive responsibly to avoid preventable truck accidents.
When this duty is breached, the truck driver, his or her employer (trucking company), shipping company, or even a truck manufacturer can be held liable for the crash. Due to its devastating and permanent nature, a truck accident injury can seem like the end of the world. But it shouldn’t feel this way if you are represented by an experienced truck accident attorney at The Hayes Law Firm.
A large commercial truck traveling at high speed is inherently dangerous to the drivers and passengers of all smaller vehicles around it. But a truck driver can make it even more dangerous by exceeding the speed limit, running red lights, operating a truck while intoxicated, operating an overloaded truck, or engaging in other illegal maneuvers and behaviors.
How To Avoid Truck Accidents In Los Angeles County
Commercial trucks are a common sight throughout Southern California and the nation, which is why it makes sense for drivers of smaller vehicles to learn a few basic tips to avoid truck crashes:
- Stay out of blind zones. A large percentage of road accidents involving trucks in California are caused because the trucker cannot see another vehicle in his or her mirrors. Try to stay at least 30 feet behind a truck to avoid getting into the so-called “blind zone.”
- Do not cut a truck off. Be careful when merging into a lane where there is a truck because large trucks take much longer to stop in time to avoid a collision. A rear-end collision involving a truck and passenger vehicle can cause devastating consequences.
- Anticipate wide right turns. In California, you can often see truck drivers use the middle turning lane instead of the right one because trucks require a wider turning radius when performing the right turn. The worst you can do in that situation is to linger in the truck’s blind spot or try to squeeze between the truck and the curb.
What Should I Say To The Truck Driver After The Crash?
No matter what you choose to say to a truck driver at the scene of the crash, you should not sound sorry or say anything that sounds as if you are admitting fault. The other driver could presume that you are to blame even though the accident was clearly the result of that driver’s negligence.
Remain calm at the scene, ask if the other party is fine, avoid apologizing or admitting liability and state only the facts.
What Should I Tell the Police After a Truck Accident?
It’s important to say the truth and nothing but the truth when speaking to a police report and filing a police report at the scene of your truck crash. Sure, you may have an opinion about how your accident was caused, but now is not the right time to voice that opinion. After the police report has been prepared, contact The Hayes Law Firm at 323-693-1052 to discuss your case and start developing your legal strategy.
Should I Notify My Insurance Company?
Yes, but only after you have talked to a skilled lawyer. It is vital to contact your insurance company to begin the claims process, but there are many pitfalls and legal obstacles created by insurers to minimize and deny your claim. Often, insurance companies in California stop at nothing to pay victims as little as possible.
Speak to a knowledgeable and skillful attorney first in order to not jeopardize your claim and let your lawyer handle all the negotiations with insurers to maximize your recovery and expedite the legal process.