Large commercial trucks are common on Los Angeles County roads, and these vehicles are crucial to the economy of the state. Many businesses and communities rely on commercial truck drivers to deliver the materials and goods they need every day, and most drivers in Los Angeles are used to encountering large trucks on a regular basis as they drive through the area. It’s vital for all drivers to not only acknowledge the fact that truck accidents do occur but also what to do when they experience this type of accident.
Though less common than standard passenger vehicle accidents, truck accidents tend to result in far worse damages. They can also raise very difficult legal questions concerning liability, and fault for a recent truck accident could rest with more than one party. Recovering from a truck accident in Los Angeles may require both an insurance claim and a personal injury suit against another party, but proving fault will be an essential first step in both of these recovery efforts.
If you are struggling with the effects of a truck accident that someone else caused, a Los Angeles truck accident attorney is the ideal resource to consult to determine your most viable recovery options. The team at Amendt Law has many years of experience representing Los Angeles clients in all types of personal injury cases, and we are ready to put this experience to work in your recovery efforts.
The right attorney can have a tremendously positive influence on the outcome of the recovery efforts you pursue after a truck accident. You may face a difficult process of gathering evidence to support your claim and identify the party or parties responsible for your injuries. Your Los Angeles truck accident attorney can know how to secure the evidence needed to firmly prove liability for your injuries.
Truck accidents tend to cause catastrophic injuries and substantial property damage. While the average person is likely able to calculate immediately recognizable losses, they may struggle with assessing the full long-term impact of a serious personal injury. You can rely on your Los Angeles truck accident attorney to help ascertain the full range of damages you can seek from the defendant who caused your accident. Ultimately, you are not only more likely to succeed with an auto insurance claim and a personal injury suit with an attorney’s assistance but also more likely to maximize the total compensation you win from the at-fault driver.
Large commercial trucks are vulnerable to the same safety hazards as all other vehicles on the roads. However, they also face additional risks due to their large size and heavy weight compared to standard passenger vehicles. A few of the most commonly cited causes of truck accidents in the Los Angeles area include:
These are just a few examples of how truck accidents might happen in Los Angeles. The vast majority of vehicle accidents reported each year are the results of negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care in a specific situation. Proving negligence will require evidence that the defendant owed a duty of care that they failed to fulfill and consequently caused the damages. The plaintiff must also prove their claimed damages did not occur from any other cause.
It is also possible for a truck accident to happen because of illegal misconduct. Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is the most common illegal cause of vehicle accidents in Los Angeles, and a driver who causes an accident in this manner faces a host of criminal penalties alongside their civil liability for the damages they inflicted on others. If any type of illegal misconduct caused your recent accident, you need an experienced Los Angeles truck accident attorney who can explain how the illegal nature of the defendant’s behavior could impact your recovery efforts. You may be entitled to punitive damages or restitution alongside your compensation for your other claimed damages.
One legal issue that often complicates truck accident claims is vicarious liability. This concept comes into play when an employer shares fault for the actions of their employee, even if the employer was not directly involved in the incident. The trucking industry is heavily regulated, and all employers who hire truck drivers must ensure the highest levels of training, safety, and proper certification. They must also perform appropriate background checks on drivers before hiring them. If the employer of the driver who caused your accident shares fault for the accident, vicarious liability will apply, and they will share liability for your claimed damages.
Every driver is legally required to have car insurance, and this requirement extends to trucking companies and the drivers they employ. Filing a claim against an at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy is usually the first thing any accident victim needs to do to start recovering their damages. Trucking companies typically have more expansive insurance coverage than the average individual driver in the state, but this does not mean that insurance alone can cover all your claimable damages or that filing your claim will be easy.
Insurance companies tend to do everything they can to avoid paying out settlements whenever possible. Claim adjusters are trained to look for all the reasons they can find to justify the lowest possible settlement offers or deny claims outright, and they are more likely to attempt these tactics when a claimant does not have legal representation.
Your Los Angeles truck accident attorney can ensure the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier handles your claim in good faith. They can review the policy and verify that the insurance company has handled the claim appropriately and delivered a reasonable settlement offer. Once you secure as much compensation as the at-fault driver’s insurance provides, you can proceed with filing a personal injury claim to recover the rest of your damages.
The goal of a personal injury suit is for the plaintiff to hold the defendant accountable for all the damages they inflicted with their negligence or intentional misconduct. Succeeding in a personal injury suit requires clear evidence that the defendant directly caused the damages claimed by the plaintiff. These may include various economic damages as well as non-economic damages. Under California’s personal injury laws, your civil suit may seek compensation for:
Once your Los Angeles truck accident attorney helps you calculate the full amount of economic damages you can seek from the defendant; you may be surprised to discover that your claim is worth much more than you initially expected. However, you also have the right to claim pain and suffering compensation.
California law does not cap or limit pain and suffering damages in truck accident claims. This means you have the right to claim as much as you deem appropriate to reflect the severity of the physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma you endured from the defendant’s actions. Your Los Angeles truck accident attorney can be an invaluable resource when it comes to determining an appropriate amount of pain and suffering compensation to include in your civil suit. If you suffered any serious injuries likely to result in permanent disability, they may seek a large lump sum to reflect your diminished quality of life. If you are expected to make a full recovery, they might seek pain and suffering compensation that reflects the time it takes your injuries to fully heal.
Anyone who intends to file any type of personal injury claim must keep the state’s pure comparative negligence law in mind. If you suspect that you are partially at fault for your recent personal injury in any measure, this will be reflected in your final case award. Under the pure comparative fault rule, a plaintiff can still recover compensation for their damages if they bear partial liability for causing those damages. However, they lose a portion of their case award.
For example, if a judge determines that you were 25% at fault for causing your recent truck accident, you will lose 25% of the total compensation claimed from the defendant to reflect this shared liability. Your Los Angeles truck accident attorney will do everything they can to reduce any fault percentage assigned to you and preserve your case award as much as possible.
Ultimately, every truck accident victim will face different legal challenges as they seek compensation for their damages. Whether you do not remember the details of the crash and are unsure how to prove fault or you are uncertain as to the extent of your claimable damages, the right attorney is an invaluable asset in this situation. The team at Amendt Law is ready to provide the comprehensive legal representation you will need to reach maximum recovery from your accident, and the sooner you contact our firm, the sooner we can begin building your case.
A: If you can prove another party is directly responsible for causing the truck accident you recently experienced, state law allows you to hold them accountable for all financial losses you suffered and the pain and suffering you experienced. Your Los Angeles truck accident attorney can help prove the extent of your financial losses, including medical expenses, property damage, and lost income, and they can help make a compelling case for pain and suffering compensation that reflects the severity of your experience.
A: You are not obligated to hire legal counsel to help you recover from a truck accident, but doing so dramatically improves your chances of success with the recovery efforts you pursue. You will also be likelier to get the most compensation and be better prepared to address any potential pushback against an insurance claim or a personal injury claim filed against the at-fault driver.
A: There is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims in the state. You need to submit your complaint to the court no later than two years from when your injury occurred. You have an even shorter window for filing an auto insurance claim after an accident, so it is important to connect with reliable legal counsel as soon as possible once you receive treatment for your injuries.
A: It is possible for the driver who caused your recent truck accident to face jail time if they caused the accident through any illegal misconduct. Reckless driving, aggressive driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are the most common examples of illegal behavior that cause motor vehicle accidents in Los Angeles. Your attorney can advise you as to how the nature of the defendant’s behavior could impact your recovery.
A: The majority of personal injury attorneys representing clients in Los Angeles and throughout the state operate on a contingency fee basis. With this billing arrangement, the client pays a portion of their final case award to their attorney as their fee if and only if they win their case. There is no fee if the attorney is unable to secure compensation for their client. Review your prospective attorney’s billing policy before signing a contract with them so there are no surprises when it comes to the expense of your legal representation.
The team at Amendt Law has years of professional experience with all kinds of personal injury claims, including those pertaining to truck accidents. We take time to listen to each client’s unique story and help them develop an individualized strategy for recovering compensation for their damages. If you are struggling in the aftermath of a truck accident and need legal counsel you can trust, we are ready to help you. Contact Amendt Law now to set up your free consultation with a Los Angeles truck accident attorney to learn about our legal services.