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Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney

California is the most populous U.S. state and has very concentrated areas. Los Angeles is one of those areas notorious for its bottleneck traffic and busy streets. All the commotion on the highway and other roads can sometimes lead to collisions with commercial semi-trucks. 

Large trucks can do a lot of damage and cause serious injury to the victim(s). If you are injured in a Los Angeles truck crash, contact one of the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark as soon as possible to get started on your case. 

Big Rig Accident Causes

Trucks are larger and heavier than regular passenger cars, making them more difficult to maneuver. This means that more time is needed when responding to external changes in the environment. Below are some of the more common reasons why truck accidents occur in Los Angeles.

  • Improper turns: Trucks are much longer than regular vehicles and must make wide turns to avoid collisions with corners. If a truck driver does not give themselves enough space to turn or doesn’t check in their blindspots, they could cause an accident.
  • Unsecured cargo: On top of the weight of the truck cabin, semi-trucks are often carrying heavy loads in their trailers. If the load is not properly stacked or secured, it may move around within the trailer or even fall out. This can cause the truck to tip, lose control, or create hazards in the roadway. 
  • Distracted drivers: One of the most common factors contributing to LA truck accidents is divided attention. When a driver is using a different device or not focusing solely on the road, they can miss key details which can lead to accidents with other drivers. 
  • Drunk driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or other illegal substances can affect a person’s physical and mental capabilities. Slow reaction time and poor judgment on the road can lead to severe accidents. 
  • Longer braking times: The increased mass of trucks makes them harder to stop. Depending on a truck’s speed, slamming the brakes may still involve a relatively long slide before the vehicle will stop. Even trying to slow down moving at very slow speeds, a truck hitting the rear end of a passenger vehicle can still do extreme damage. 
  • Tired drivers: Trucking companies often push their drivers to the limit to meet difficult deadlines. Sometimes, this means long hours into the night and not much time to rest. Tired drivers become a hazard to others on the road for the same reasons drunk drivers are. 
  • Speeding: Driving too fast significantly increases the danger of being involved in a severe accident. This makes trucks harder to stop and multiplies the total impact force of a collision. 
  • Vehicle malfunctions: There are many components of a semi-truck and trailer. If the truck is not properly serviced, those parts may start to wear down over time. Poor truck maintenance can lead to uncontrollable vehicle malfunctions while driving that can cause fatal crashes.

Usually more than one of these factors is at play during an LA truck accident. Determining which was the most influential in causing the collision is an important piece of assigning fault.

Assigning Fault in an LA Truck Accident

If you hope to recover any compensation for a truck accident in Los Angeles, it’s important that you prove another party was liable for your damages. It would be wonderful if everything was always caught on camera, but sometimes it’s not that simple. Unless you can provide clear evidence that another party’s negligence led to your injuries, you may be out of luck.

A good Los Angeles truck accident lawyer will conduct an investigation and factor in all relevant pieces of evidence to ensure that your case is strong:

  • Black box data: Similar to planes, many trucks have EDRs, or event data recorders that keep track of variables, such as speed, brake usage, acceleration, etc. This can be helpful to supplement other bits of evidence. If you are trying to prove a truck driver was distracted when the crash occurred, the EDR might reveal the brakes were not applied before the collision. This could help place fault on the other driver. 
  • Driving hours: Commercial drivers have specific limits on how long they are supposed to drive before taking a break. An electronic data log (EDL) will show whether or not somebody breached those limits and therefore violated hours of service regulations enforced by the Department of Transportation.
  • Police reports: An official report that documents all the details of the accident can be very helpful in proving fault. Over time, people start to forget what happened. A police report made at or near the time of the accident will be much more accurate and may even include an officer’s opinion on who should be held liable. 
  • Photos and videos: When reconstructing a scene or trying to determine what happened, footage or pictures of the accident can be integral. Whether it’s a video taken from the dash-cam of the truck, or pictures taken after the accident, visual proof of what transpired is one of the strongest forms of evidence you can have. 
  • Maintenance records: If a truck crashed due to some type of equipment malfunction, you may be able to recover compensation from the trucking company or manufacturer. Simply put, a vehicle which did not undergo proper inspections or routine maintenance should not be on the road.
  • Bills of lading: A bill of lading outlines the quantity and nature of cargo being delivered by a commercial carrier. If a cargo error led the truck to crash, this can help determine what might’ve gone wrong in the trailer.

The list of admissible evidence goes on and on. GPS data, witness testimony, cell phone records, drug test results, and other pieces of information can all have an effect on how your lawsuit plays out. Our LA truck accident lawyers will help you find the evidence necessary to assign fault to the guilty party. 

Common LA Truck Accident Injuries

Accidents with trucks tend to be more severe than passenger vehicle injuries. Due to the size and weight of semi-trucks, they can deal a lot of damage to smaller cars, even at lower speeds. 

Rear-end collisions can be catastrophic, and head-on collisions will almost always be fatal. Here are some of the injuries we commonly see in California truck accidents:

  • Spinal cord and neck injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Back injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Burn injuries
  • Wrongful death

Walking away from a truck accident with only minor injuries is rare, but possible. Regardless of the level of injury you sustain, reach out to a Chain | Cohn | Clark LA truck accident lawyer for advice on the next legal steps to take. 

Reasons to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

Filing a truck accident claim can be a long and complicated process. Trucking companies often have a legal team dedicated to taking advantage of your negotiation inexperience. Beyond the stress of determining who is at fault, you must also communicate with insurance companies and lawyers from the other party who do not want to pay you. 

After a severe accident, you shouldn’t be focused on anything but physically and mentally recovering. Let us handle the financial and legal portion of helping you. The more you win, the more we earn, so we are incentivized to truly fight for what you deserve. 

Statute of Limitations on California Truck Accidents

If you are the victim of a truck accident in California, you have a limited time period in which you can file a claim for compensation. California’s statute of limitations for truck injuries is two years from the date of the accident or the date the injury is discovered. If you do not file within this time period, your case will likely be thrown out. 

LA Truck Crash Damages

Truck accident compensation is paid out based on specific factors after an accident. Instead of one single value, settlements are often the result of multiple smaller losses being added together. If you are injured in a truck crash, you may be eligible for financial compensation for the following costs:

  • Vehicle or property damages
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages or income
  • Emotional and physical pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement or disability
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses

These are all considered compensatory damages because they are meant to pay the victim back for any issues caused by an accident. Ideally, the settlement will be able to lift the victim to a place where they can continue life as though the accident never happened. 

Truck accident cases also sometimes result in punitive damages for the victim. Punitive damages are additional fines tacked on to punish the guilty party for their negligence or ignorance. These do not affect compensatory earnings. 

Severe or catastrophic accidents typically result in more compensation than minor claims. If the victim sustains a permanently disabling injury, or dies in an accident, a judge or jury will often reward more substantial benefits.

How Much Is Your Case Worth?

Each settlement is determined individually based on the factors above. Unfortunately, there is no easy formula for estimating how much your LA truck accident case is worth. 

The best thing you can do is call a Chain | Cohn | Clark lawyer for a free case evaluation. We will let you know whether or not we think pursuing damages may be worth it and offer our services on a contingency basis. This means you don’t pay unless you win. The settlement increase earned with a lawyer compared to without almost always justifies the cost of legal assistance.

Chain | Cohn | Clark Is Here for You

Our team of experienced attorneys have been helping auto accident victims in the greater California area for decades. We have a comprehensive understanding of what needs to be done to win a case and are willing to help you through the entire process. 

The longer you wait, the harder it is to file a strong case. Reach out to us today or fill out our online contact form to get started with your truck accident claim in Los Angeles. 

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