According to the California Trucking Association, there are 77,470 trucking companies located in this state. The organization also noted that 77.5% of California communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods, which means that commercial motor vehicles of all sizes share roads and highways with passenger vehicles.
With so many trucks on state thoroughfares, they are bound to be involved in accidents, and when it happens, the outcome can be devastating for those driving or riding in smaller vehicles. Most of these accidents occur on highways like the I-5, I-10, and I-715, and the majority overall take place in Los Angeles County. In addition:
Close to 3,000 accidents involving trucks cause injuries every year
Nearly 113 of these truck crashes are fatal, killing 200 to 300 motorists
Truck accidents inflict catastrophic damage due to the size and mass of the commercial vehicle(s) involved. Passenger vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are often left with severe injuries that can cause a lifetime of physical pain and psychological trauma.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision caused by a truck driver, you should consult with an experienced injury attorney in Los Angeles, CA as soon as possible. Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP has handled a broad range of truck and automobile accidents and other severe injury cases for many years. We have the knowledge, skills, and strong track record to handle complex commercial truck accident claims and get you the financial compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Los Angeles
Accidents involving tractor-trailers and semi-trucks are typically caused by driver error. Below are some examples of operator behaviors that can lead to a crash.
Truckers often drive too fast for road conditions, especially if they are facing tight deadlines. Traveling at a rate of speed that’s too fast for road or weather conditions is especially dangerous when going along steeper grades and more mountainous terrain.
The pressure to make delivery deadlines may cause truck drivers to drive aggressively and follow other vehicles too closely. Large trucks need more distance to stop safely. Tailgating or following other vehicles too closely can lead to an accident if traffic suddenly stops. Often, large trucks collide with the vehicle in front of them because a driver follows too closely or drives too fast for the traffic conditions. A rear-end accident like this can cause severe neck and back injuries.
Entering Curves Too Quickly
Truckers entering highway entrance ramps or exit ramps may lose control of their trucks if they miss the safe speed to enter a curve. This is the primary cause of ramp accidents. When truckers approach ramps or curves too quickly, rollovers are more likely to occur and cause multi-vehicle traffic accidents.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck drivers often spend many hours behind the wheel without adequate sleep, often due to impossibly tight deadlines, company policy, or both. Dangerously fatigued drivers are less able to check blind spots or react to changes in traffic conditions in time to avoid crashes, posing a hazard to others on the road.
A distracted truck driver may cause a crash. When making deliveries, trucks travel on unfamiliar roads. Drivers may glance away from the road to consult a map, set their navigation system, or review directions to their destination. All it can take is a few seconds to cause a fatal accident.
When commercial truck drivers operate their vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the resulting accident can be more devastating than other types of motor vehicle crashes. This is an especially serious form of truck driver error that can kill victims or leave them permanently disabled.
All of these actions can lead to serious truck accident injuries such as:
Traumatic brain injury
Spinal cord injuries
A Los Angeles truck accident lawyer at Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP will determine and investigate all of the factors that contributed to your crash. Even if you were partially responsible for the accident, the truck driver may have also contributed to it and be liable for your injuries. A personal injury attorney can help you determine your legal options for pursuing compensation after an auto accident.
Liability in a Truck Accident Lawsuit in California
When it comes to trucking accidents, there are several parties who may potentially be at fault for your injuries. Below are a few examples:
Drivers may be held liable if they are found to have ignored transportation and traffic laws and rules at the time of the rig accident.
When commercial trucking companies encourage their drivers to disregard federal regulations and act in a reckless manner, such as not taking correct rest breaks, exceeding their hourly driving limits, and not performing truck maintenance during transit, they may be held liable.
If the truck malfunctioned and caused a catastrophic accident, the truck manufacturer could be held liable. Examples include bad brakes and tire blowout due to defective tires.
If the products that were being shipped weren’t properly secured or loaded, the cargo loader and shipping company may be liable for the accident due to improper loading.
Identifying who’s at fault for a devastating collision can be stressful and time-consuming. Let a Los Angeles trucking accident attorney at Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP investigate and determine liability while you focus on healing.
Compensation in a Truck Accident Claim in LA
Personal injury victims in California can pursue money damages for any losses and out-of-pocket expenses they encounter due to their injuries. These losses are generally divided into two categories: economic damages, which are quantifiable, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering, which are more difficult to quantify but are still compensable.
Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, you may be able to claim maximum compensation from the responsible party for the following:
Current and past medical costs
Future damages, such as ongoing medical expenses
Rehabilitation treatments such as physical therapy and psychological counseling
Loss of income and similar future losses
A disability that remains permanent
Loss of enjoyment of life
Loss of consortium
Wrongful death damages
If the negligent driver who hit you or the company that employed them engaged in especially negligent or reckless conduct, you may also be eligible to collect punitive damages, otherwise known as exemplary damages. The purpose of these awards is to punish the defendant for their egregious behavior. The experienced lawyers at Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP can seek punitive damages on your behalf if the at-fault party has a history of disregarding the safety of others. In this case, an example might be a truck company that regularly ignores federal safety regulations.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Injured in a Truck Accident in the LA area?
When you’ve been hit by a huge semi-truck or big rig, the risk of injury is extremely high and chances are that you’re going to want to file a personal injury claim later. What you do after the accident can set the stage for a successful legal claim. If you’re able, take the following steps as soon as it is safe to do so.
Call Emergency Services: Dial 911 and ask the operator to send the police and, if you have visible injuries, an ambulance. The responding officers will create an accident report that you can use to strengthen your claim for financial compensation.
Get the Truck Driver’s Contact Information: If the truck driver stopped after the accident, get contact information for both the driver and the company they work for. If they left the accident scene, ask any eyewitnesses if they saw the vehicle’s license plate. Collect their contact information as well, as your case will benefit hugely from witness statements.
Take Photos of the Crash Scene: If your phone was undamaged, take pictures of the accident scene, any vehicle damage, and factors that may have contributed to the crash, such as a malfunctioning traffic light.
Seek Medical Care: Always seek medical treatment after a truck accident, even if you don’t think you need it. Traumatic brain injury, whiplash, and other injuries don’t always show symptoms immediately. You also want to get medical documentation of your injuries to prove your legal claim later on.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer: In the days following a major accident, you’ll hear from insurance adjusters for the parties responsible for the crash. Even if they come across as friendly and concerned, never forget that their goal is to pay you as little as possible, so anything you say will be used to minimize or deny your claim. Let a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer handle all negotiations with insurance companies in order to ensure that you receive fair compensation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in CA?
Truck accident victims must act quickly to bring their personal injury claim to ensure they meet California’s statute of limitations, which is the deadline for taking legal action. In California, this is generally two years from the date of the accident or injury discovery. If a lawsuit is not filed within that time limit, the courts will typically throw out the compensation claim.
Do not wait to take action following a truck accident. Contact a skilled and experienced truck accident attorney in Los Angeles as soon as possible. Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP will help ensure that missed filing deadlines do not impact your right to compensation.
What if I Was Partly At Fault for My Accident?
If you believe that you contributed to the accident in any way, you may wonder if you can still seek compensation for your catastrophic injuries. The answer is yes. However, California is a comparative negligence state, which means that your financial recovery will be adjusted to reflect your degree of responsibility for the accident.
For example, if your financial losses are valued at $30,000 but you’re found to be 10% at fault for the collision, this 10% ($3,000) will be deducted from your total award or settlement. Insurance companies are notorious for unfairly assigning blame to minimize payout, but the experienced attorneys at our firm will fight to protect you from such underhanded tactics and demand a reasonable settlement.
Speak to a Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer Now
When you come to Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP after a serious truck accident, we will thoroughly investigate the incident, identify the negligent parties, and file a claim for the compensation you deserve. Additionally, we will help make sure you receive the medical treatment you need to recover from your injuries and get your life back on track.
To schedule a free initial consultation with a Los Angeles truck accident attorney, contact us today. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you only pay us if we win your case, so let us fight for your rights and interests while you recover.We offer our truck injury lawsuit services to Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, Beverly Hills, and the surrounding areas.
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All we need from you right now is a basic idea of the situation you or your loved one is currently in.
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