California Truck Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in an accident involving a semi or any other type of commercial vehicle in Los Angeles or the Bay Area, you should seek the advice of a qualified California truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.Insurance companies will try to minimize the amount that you would receive, but this may not be adequate to cover your medical expenses and other losses, especially if you are suffering from a permanent injury.Century Park Law Group attorneys have extensive experience representing Bay Area and Los Angeles, California victims who have been injured in accidents involving semis, flatbeds, construction vehicles, delivery trucks and other types of commercial vehicles over 10,000 pounds.We understand the types of injuries that can occur in accidents between a passenger vehicle and an 80,000-pound 18-wheeler and know the right approach to obtaining fair compensation for our clients.
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Causes of Truck Accidents in California
When trucks collide with cars, the smaller vehicle always loses. The majority of deaths and serious injuries are suffered by the occupants of the passenger vehicles.This is due to the extreme difference in size and weight between vehicles. Trucks are often 20-30 times heavier and may have enough ground clearance to allow a car to pass underneath.Some factors which may be to blame in truck accidents include:
- Blood Alcohol Content. Although truck drivers are less likely to drink and drive than drivers of other types of motor vehicles, alcohol may still be a factor. In 2017, 3% of large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more.
- Slower braking on larger vehicles. Loaded tractor-trailers need 20-40 percent more space to stop than cars, with even more space needed if roads are wet or if the truck’s breaks are not properly maintained
- Driver Fatigue. Although federal law restricts truck drivers to 11 hours of driving before resting for 10 hours, traffic and other delays often push drivers to ignore this restriction to meet their deadlines.
The Center for Disease Control discovered that more than 1 out of every 3 truck drivers has had a serious truck crash during his or her career, and 1 in 8 has had 2 or more. Heavy- and tractor-trailer truck drivers have the highest numbers of pedestrian deaths of any occupation.
Motor vehicle accidents of any kind are terrifying. When so much metal collides at speed, fragile human bodies can only hang on and hope for the best.
Once the vehicles have come to a stop, you should:
- Check for injuries. Check yourself first, and then the others involved.
- Move your vehicle to the side of the road, if possible. If your vehicle is drivable, move it out of the flow of traffic.
- Move to a safe location. If you are able to move without pain, get out of your vehicle and out of the way of traffic. Do not move if you have been injured to the point where moving causes you pain. Do not move anyone else who is severely injured.
- Call the police and get a police report. If anyone is obviously injured or trapped in a vehicle, or if the vehicles have severe damage, call the police. Officers can coordinate the removal of vehicles from the scene and are trained to collect and report the needed details of the accident. Having a police report from the scene can be very helpful if the other party has a different memory of the details of the accident than you do.
- Take photos. A picture says a thousand words. Take photos of:
- all vehicles involved
- any visible injuries
- skid marks on the road
- accident conditions
- Get contact information from witnesses. If there is anyone nearby who witnessed the accident who might be able to help your case, you will want to know how to get in touch with them.
- Exchange vehicle information. Ask to see the other driver’s license and insurance card. Take photos, if possible, or take down their name, driver’s license number, insurance company and policy number.
Even if you feel that the accident was your fault, do not admit fault or apologize to the other driver.
After an accident, many people worry about the cost of their medical bills. For your own health, you should never skimp on your medical treatment in an attempt to save money.
If your doctor advises seeing a specialist, go to the specialist. If he or she prescribes physical therapy, you should go to physical therapy instead of attempting to rehabilitate your body on your own.
When determining how much an injury claim is worth, a common method is to evaluate the following factors:
Medical Expenses. This includes the cost of ambulance rides, emergency room treatment, surgery, treatment or therapy, prescription medication, verifiable lost income, and any other expenses incurred as a result of your semi-truck or other commercial vehicle accident.
Future Medical Expenses. If you suffered a permanent injury, your attorney can estimate your future medical expenses using your current expenses and the cost of recommended future treatment as a reference.
Property Damage. Most likely your vehicle was severely damaged or totaled by your truck collision.
Lost Wages. If you have lost time at work due to your injury, and are able to provide income verification, such as pay stubs, you can claim lost wages. Also be sure to record any sick or vacation days used while recuperating from your injury.
Future Lost income. You may claim future lost income if your injuries have affected your ability to fully return to work, or if it is likely that you will need to take more time off from work in the future to recuperate from your injuries.
Pain and Suffering. There is never any question that you suffered from your injuries, but there is often a discrepancy between what the insurance companies want to pay and what you actually deserve. Your attorney can assist you with putting a dollar amount on your pain and suffering, based on their experience and the available information. Insurance companies generally come up with their values by multiplying the total of your other expenses by a number between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of your injuries.
Liability in an accident with a commercial vehicle can be tricky. How many parties may be liable in a truck accident depends on the driver’s unique circumstances, including:
Employment scope. The employer may be liable for wrongful acts committed by an employee or agent if the acts were unintentional and were committed within the scope of employment. Even if the driver is an independent contractor, and not an employee, investigation may show inappropriate actions on the company’s part, such as if the supervisors pushed the driver to unrealistic deadlines.
Who Owns the Truck? The truck may be owned by a third party who failed to properly maintain the vehicle.
Improperly Loaded Cargo. If cargo falls from the truck due to improper loading, the cargo loaders may be liable.
Failed Parts. If equipment failure was a factor in the accident, the equipment manufacturer may be responsible.
Driver Actions. Drivers may be the sole cause of the accident if they operated their trucks improperly. This would include being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving while distracted, or driving while drowsy.
Your lawyer will be able to help determine who is liable for the truck accident.
The most important decision you can make regarding your case is who you choose to be your truck accident attorney.
Your attorney will be your guide through the entire process and he or she will be responsible for making decisions about your case that will directly affect the amount of compensation that you receive for your injuries.
When choosing your attorney be sure to consider:
- Focus. Century Park Law Group attorneys have extensive experience representing victims of Bay Area and Los Angeles, California truck accidents involving:
- Construction vehicles
- Delivery Trucks
- Other commercial vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds
- Experience. Accidents involving semis and other trucks are much more complex than other automobile accidents. Attorneys who are more experienced with other types of accidents may not know how to navigate the web of complex liability, or be able to correctly interpret evidence. At Century Park Law Group, we have a deep understanding of truck accidents. Attorney Sahm Manouchehri spent years representing trucking and logistics companies and has found the best ways to use the technology on board commercial vehicles to help prove fault.
- Investigation. We know that accidents involving semis and other trucks are often complex, so we conduct a thorough investigation into every truck accident and use state-of-the-art technology to gather digital evidence from the vehicles. We identify all negligent parties, carefully considering the viability of claims against each of them before proceeding.
The attorneys at Century Park Law Group have the knowledge and experience to get you the highest possible compensation from your truck accident.
Call Century Park Law Group today at (866) 675-0701 for a free consultation and find out how our experienced Bay Area and Los Angeles, California truck accident lawyers can help you get the compensation that you deserve.