Due to the large size and weight of trucks, truck accidents have the potential to lead to injuries and damages that are much more severe than those of a regular automobile accident. At Ghozland Law Firm, our team is devoted to representing individuals who have been the victim of a truck accident.
Our Los Angeles attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience, during which he has successfully assisted numerous truck accident victims in obtaining the compensation they deserve. No matter what the case entails, we are committed to achieving the best results possible on behalf of our clients, and we always go above and beyond to help truck accident victims get the results they deserve.
Reasons to place your confidence in Ghozland:
- 40 years of experience
- Close attorney-client relationships
- Success in multi-million dollar cases
- Contingency fee policy
- Free case evaluations
Who is at fault for my truck accident?
Semi-trucks, in comparison with regular-sized automobiles, are large, fast moving vehicles that can cause disaster in the event of a collision. A 45-ton truck barreling down the road toward you can be very dangerous and cause devastating and catastrophic injuries. If you have been injured from a truck accident, you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. There may be multiple people to blame in these accidents and bringing the liable party to justice requires the work of an experienced and dedicated injury attorney.
After a truck accident, it may be difficult to determine who is at fault. At our firm, we gather all necessary evidence including police reports, witness statements, doctor’s notes, and implement all necessary resources to help reconstruct the accident and determine who is at fault. No detail will go unnoticed as we work tirelessly to build the strongest case possible for our clients.
Common causes of truck accidents:
- Mechanical failure that could have been prevented with routine maintenance
- A distracted, fatigued, or intoxicated driver
- Improper load weights and tie downs
- Malfunctioning vehicular parts
Depending on which of these situations your accident entails, the party found liable may be the management company, truck driver, loader, or manufacturer. Whatever the situation you find yourself facing, we can help you bring the wrongful party to justice and provide you with the compensation you deserve.
Hire an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
We stand ready to fight for you! Contact our firm today
It is important that you retain legal counsel as soon as possible after your accident occurs. You deserve to receive compensation for your injuries, and our firm is ready to help. Our team has years of experience in obtaining favorable verdicts and settlements for our clients. Compensation can help you obtain medical care, replace or repair your vehicle, and supplement you for lost wages and unnecessary stress.
Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not owe us a cent if we do not win your case. Begin your claim today by contacting us to set up a free consultation. We return all phone calls within 24 hours!
Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer
Why Do Truck Accidents Happen in California?
Since truck drivers must have a commercial driver's license, or CDL, why do truck accidents happen in California? After all, semi-trucks and other larger trucks can’t be legally driven by just anyone. In California, there are special requirements to get a CDL. Drivers must be at least 18 years old and 21 years old in certain circumstances. Those who want to obtain a CDL in California must undergo a thorough application and background screening process, a medical exam, pass a vision exam and a written test for their permit, and take a driving test to get their CDL. With all the time and training it takes for drivers to prepare for the driving test, it’s no wonder it is mind-boggling that truck accidents happen.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in California
Regardless of the driver training and vetting, truck accidents still happen in California. Sadly, these accidents often result in severe, permanent injuries, and can sometimes even death. All auto accidents can be absolutely devastating and truck accidents are no exception. Victims face mounting medical bills, the inability to work, and some families lose their only provider.
Common causes of truck accidents in East Los Angeles include:
1. Exhausted truck drivers - Truck drivers are regulated by federal and California law on how many hours each day they may drive and how many hours they must rest. Most truck drivers get paid by the mile and they are given short delivery timelines. However, in order to make their deliveries on time, they may drive long past the legal mark or they may not follow the law in reference to their rest period. This increases the likelihood that the driver will cause a wreck.
2. Overloaded or improperly loaded trailers - When trailers are overloaded or improperly loaded, a truck accident is more likely to happen. This is because the sudden shift of weight, be it overloaded or simply not loaded properly, during a turn or even when a truck driver slows down can be all it takes to cause a truck accident.
3. Speeding - speeding is another common cause of truck accidents in California. Trucks are much larger and they take longer to stop. When a truck is traveling over the posted speed limit, they may not be able to stop in time if a light suddenly changes, there’s a traffic jam or stalled vehicle, or if a vehicle pulls out in front of them.
5 Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
If you or a loved one is injured in a truck accident in East Los Angeles, know that the law and the experienced accident attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm are on your side. Contact them today for a free consultation about your legal rights, including your potential financial recovery. Any vehicular accident can be terrifying and traumatizing. However, when it comes to truck accidents, things can go bad quickly. It isn’t easy to remain calm and composed in a situation like that, but it is vital to know what to do when confronted with this scenario.
Read on for the first steps to take immediately following a truck accident.
1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Of course, for severe injuries in particular, this should be the first step. Seeking medical attention is always suggested, even if injuries are not clearly visible. Why? Some injuries from truck accidents can be internal and not show symptoms until a few days later. Obtaining care from medical professionals also has benefits for your insurance or personal injury claim.
2. File an Accident Report
After you call for medical assistance for any injured accident victims, call the police to report the accident. Filing an accident report is an important step in the process, particularly if you intend to file a personal injury claim down the road. This step is also something required by law, so it’s wise to get it done soon after a truck accident takes place.
Get in touch with your insurance company and inform them about the truck accident. As an experienced truck accident attorney will suggest, it is wise to avoid admitting any form of fault or negligence on your part—just provide them with accurate facts about the incident. Speak with your lawyer prior to signing any settlement agreements with the insurance company.
4. Collect Evidence
This part can be quite crucial, particularly if you’re intending on taking your accident case to court. Images of the scene of accident can prove quite useful in a scenario where you may need to provide evidence of negligence or liability. Taking pictures of the damage to the truck from various angles, the road, people involved, any injuries, etc., is helpful.
5. Accident/Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been victim to a truck accident, hire an attorney who can help you out with the aftermath. Truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries.
Trucking Accidents Frequently Asked Questions
Trucking accidents are commonly more severe than car accidents, so they have a higher likelihood of leading to more serious injuries or death. Those who have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck may have questions about what their options are for filing a claim, how much money they can receive, and more. Though talking to a lawyer is always a good idea after any accident, below are some of the questions lawyers are asked more frequently and their answers. Read below to learn more about truck accidents, then speak with a lawyer about your situation.
Is it a Good Idea to Call the Police After a Truck Accident?
Yes. It is a good idea to have the police arrive at the scene of the accident and write a report of what happened. They’ll help with gathering the insurance information and other details from everyone involved in the accident, take note of witness statements and information, and help with directing traffic and other details that can help prevent further crashes or injuries. The police officer’s report can typically be obtained within a few days and used as evidence in a claim.
Can the Vehicle be Moved After the Accident?
It is important to leave the vehicles where they are immediately after an accident and to wait for a police officer to arrive. However, if leaving the vehicles where they are will cause an immediate risk of harm and it is possible to move the vehicle off the road, that may be advised. Ask dispatch when calling to report the accident if the vehicles can be moved from the road or if it’s better to wait for the officers to arrive. In most cases, the officers will arrive quickly, so the vehicles can be left where they are.
What is Used to Determine Fault in a Truck Accident?
An investigation may be needed to determine how the accident occurred. In some situations, it may seem obvious how the accident occurred, but after further review, it turns out that the liability is different from what is expected. For instance, it may seem like the truck driver switched lanes without looking, but after looking into it, it’s discovered the driver was not aware they were drifting into the next lane because they were forced to drive longer than legally allowed and they were getting tired. This could shift liability from the driver to their company.
Is the Company Liable or the Driver?
The specific details of the case are used to determine who is liable. In some cases, the driver will be found liable, while in others, it will be the company. The situation can differ based on how and why the accident occurred, the local laws, and other factors. A lawyer can help untangle the details surrounding the case to determine who is liable for the accident and how to get compensation from the liable party.
Who Else Can be Held Liable for the Accident?
Unlike car accidents, where the driver who caused the accident is almost always the liable party, there are a few different parties that could be partially or fully liable for the accident. This includes the driver, the company they work for, the owner of the truck, the company that maintains the truck, the manufacturer for the truck or truck parts, the company that loaded the truck, other drivers on the road, and more. A lawyer must look into these cases to determine the correct party to hold responsible.
Are Truck Accident Claims More Complicated?
Yes, truck accidents are often more complicated compared to car accidents. Beyond determining who is liable for the accident, they can be more complex due to the laws surrounding driving a truck and the way the accident happened. They can also be more complicated to obtain compensation for because of the potential for long-term injuries and death, which occur more frequently in truck accidents compared to car accidents.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
In California, drivers have two years to file a claim in most cases. There are exceptions that can extend the statute of limitations to provide more time, but those are rare. It’s also important to note that if the truck is owned by the government, the amount of time to file a claim is limited to only six months. Those injured in a truck accident will want to make sure they file in time to avoid losing out on the ability to obtain compensation from the accident.
Is It Worth it to File a Claim?
Yes. Even if someone can walk away from the truck accident, they are going to have a significant amount of expenses related to the accident. Plus, just because someone walks away from the accident doesn’t mean they won’t have injuries that need medical care as soon as possible. Compensation covers more than just the medical bills, so it is worth it to file a claim and seek compensation after being involved in an accident with a commercial truck.
Should I Speak to the Insurance Company?
It is never a good idea to speak with the insurance company for the truck’s driver or their company. Insurance companies strive to minimize the amount they pay out for each claim. When you speak with the other driver’s insurance company, they will record the call and use anything that’s said to try to minimize the claim, even if it’s taken out of context. It’s a far better idea to speak with a lawyer and let them handle the insurance company. They have the education and experience to know what to say and how to negotiate a higher settlement.
Is It a Good Idea to Accept the Settlement?
It’s not a good idea to accept the first settlement offered by the insurance company. When this is offered, you may not have all of the medical bills together or have an idea of everything else you can receive compensation for. The offer will likely not be enough to cover every expense from the accident, even if it looks like the insurance company is offering a significant amount of money. Instead, work with a lawyer to negotiate a much higher settlement that’s going to cover all of your accident-related expenses.
Will the Insurance Settlement Cover Everything?
This depends. The first settlement offered by the at-fault party’s insurance company is likely not going to cover everything. However, if a lawyer negotiates a higher settlement, that should cover all expenses related to the accident. The fees for the lawyer should be included in there, as well, so the victim of the truck accident doesn’t have to pay a significant amount of money just to get compensation for an accident caused by someone else. Talk to a lawyer to learn more about what the settlement should include.
Are Lost Wages Covered in the Compensation?
Lost wages are one of the expenses that can be covered in the compensation. After a truck accident, serious injuries are common. Depending on how your accident occurred and what injuries you may have suffered, it’s possible you’ll need to take a significant amount of time off of work to recover. The wages you miss out on during your recovery should be included in the compensation you receive, so you are made whole again and do not lose your income. In serious accidents where long-term injuries make working in the future difficult or impossible, extra compensation may be obtained to cover the loss of the job.
What Else is Covered by Compensation?
Compensation should cover any expenses related to the accident, but each accident is different, so it’s hard to put a number on the amount that can be obtained without looking at the details of the case. Compensation typically includes current and future medical expenses, purchases for medical supplies, repair bills for the vehicle, replacement of the vehicle if it cannot be repaired, compensation for lost wages, and more. On top of this, it may be possible to get compensation for pain and suffering, the loss of a loved one, or other non-quantifiable results from the car accident.
How Long Will it Take to Receive Compensation?
This question is one that is more difficult to answer. It depends on a number of different factors. Determining the liable party can take time, and then the case is file. Negotiations will begin at that point, and these can take a significant amount of time, especially if the insurance company refuses to offer a higher settlement for those involved in the truck accident. If a settlement can’t be reached, the case may need to go to court. This can take a year or longer, depending on a number of different factors. Once the case is settled, it should not take long to receive the compensation, but it can take a while to get to that point.
Will the Truck Driver Be Fired for the Accident?
If the truck driver causes the accident through their own negligence, they may be fired after the accident. If the truck driver was not at fault, they may not be fired, depending on company policy. When considering filing a claim after an accident, whether or not the driver will be fired should not be a concern. The concern is whether the insurance company will cover expenses from the accident, which can quickly add up to a significant amount of money.
What are the Main Causes of Truck Accidents?
Commercial truck accidents can occur for a variety of different reasons. These can include distracted drivers, driving under the influence, drivers who are too tired to safely drive, drivers who are not paying attention to the road, vehicles that are poorly maintained, vehicles with defective parts, poor weather conditions, and more. Truck accidents can also be caused by other drivers on the road, such as when someone quickly gets in front of a truck and the truck has no room to apply the brakes.
Can a Lawyer Explain My Options?
After a commercial truck accident, it’s common to wonder if it’s possible to obtain compensation, how much compensation can be obtained, and more. A lawyer can look into the details of the situation and provide more specific advice based on exactly what happened. The lawyer can then discuss the options available to you, so you know what to do going forward and can make an informed decision on how to handle the case. It is a good idea to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident so you start getting help immediately and can get more information on how to move forward with your case.
Is a Lawyer Needed to File a Claim?
A lawyer is not required to file a claim, but it’s a good idea to have their help. Trucking accident claims can be incredibly complex due to a variety of factors. If you sue the driver, but they aren’t liable, you won’t be able to obtain compensation from them. Worse, you may not be able to obtain compensation at all because the statute of limitations for filing a claim may have run out while suing the driver. Instead, it’s always better to let a lawyer take a look at the case and provide advice on how to handle it. This way, you know everything is done right and you’re able to get a higher amount of compensation.
Trucking accidents can be complicated to handle after the fact and many people end up missing out on the compensation they’re owed by accepting the first settlement offered or making other mistakes along the way. Instead, however, get the legal help you need by contacting us about your case right away. We’ll start looking into the details of the accident and make sure you have the advice and help you need to obtain more compensation and cover all of your expenses. Contact us now with the details of your case or to get answers to any questions you might have that weren’t covered here.