Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck Accident Lawyer Los Angeles

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, contact Steinger, Greene & Feiner for expert legal representation. As the leading truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles, we have what it takes to win your case and secure the compensation you need to make a full recovery. But don’t just take our word for it; see what our satisfied clients have to say. Contact us today to see how much your case is worth.

Why You Need a Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer

The aftermath of a truck accident can be devastating, often resulting in lifelong losses and financial burdens for those involved. From severe injuries to the tragic loss of loved ones, the repercussions can be profound and far-reaching.

In such trying times, help from a seasoned truck accident lawyer becomes necessary. These legal experts have the knowledge and skills required to navigate the legal challenges that arise in these cases. They understand the complexities of these cases and can effectively advocate for the best interests of their clients.

With help from an attorney, truck accident victims can seek fair compensation for their losses and find a sense of support and reassurance throughout the legal process. From investigating the circumstances of the accident to identifying the responsible party, a skilled attorney can build a strong case that achieves the desired outcome.

Truck Accidents in Los Angeles

Truck accidents often cause severe injuries and can even be fatal. Large truck crashes claimed the lives of 4,714 people in 2021, a 17% increase from 2020. 48% of those crashes occurred on major roads, with 36% of them occurring on interstates and freeways. These areas are particularly high-risk and should be navigated with caution.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

In Los Angeles, truck accidents happen for a few reasons. One big reason is that truck drivers often push themselves too hard. They’re allowed to drive for 11 hours straight, but many go even longer to meet tight deadlines. This can make them tired and cause them to speed, which are two leading causes of truck accidents.

Emergency trucks, such as fire trucks and ambulances, can also cause accidents in the busy city because they rush through streets to reach people in need.

Additional causes of Los Angeles truck accidents include the following:

  • Drivers making mistakes: Sometimes, truck drivers get distracted or don’t follow the rules of the road. They might not be trained well or could be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Problems with the trucks themselves: Trucks are large and need more time to stop than the average vehicle. Even when they’re in good shape, they can be dangerous due to major blind spots. If they’re not maintained properly (i.e. if they’re carrying too much weight or if their brakes or tires are bad) they pose an even greater risk to other drivers.
  • Bad weather conditions: Even though LA usually has great weather, sudden rain, snow, or wind can make driving tough, especially for tired truck drivers. Slippery roads can cause trucks to lose control quickly, putting themselves and everyone around them in danger.

Types of Trucks Often Involved in Accidents

Different types of trucks can be involved in accidents, each with its own risks and challenges:

  • Tractor Trucks: These trucks, also known as bobtail trucks, make up the front part of a truck and have the engine and driver’s cabin. Even when not pulling a cargo trailer, they’re big and can cause severe damage and injuries in a crash.
  • Big Rigs: Big rigs are tractor trucks with cargo trailers attached. They’re also called 18-wheelers, semis, or tractor-trailers. Since they’re large and carry heavy loads, accidents that involve them are never minor. They require skilled drivers to handle them safely.
  • Tanker Trucks: Tanker trucks carry hazardous materials, making them extra dangerous. In accidents, they can catch fire, leading to even more severe injuries and fatalities from burns and smoke inhalation.
  • Delivery Trucks: With the rise of online shopping, delivery trucks are always on the road. These trucks are often rushing to meet delivery deadlines, putting them at greater risk for accidents that can result in serious injuries.
  • Utility Trucks: Utility trucks come in various forms, including street cleaners, ambulances, garbage trucks, and fire trucks. They have different functions, but all of them share the road with other vehicles. When responding to emergencies, they may exceed speed limits, adding another layer of risk.

The Role of Federal and State Regulations in Truck Accident Claims

Federal regulations play a major role in truck accident claims. They help attorneys and insurance companies determine who’s responsible and whether someone acted carelessly or recklessly. If a truck driver or company breaks these rules, the victim will have an easier time claiming compensation for their injuries and property damage.

Let’s say a truck driver keeps driving even after they’ve been on the road for more than 11 consecutive hours, and they crash because of exhaustion. In this case, they could be seen as having acted carelessly for exceeding the 11-hour limit and might have to pay for the damages caused by the accident. Similarly, if a trucking company doesn’t take good care of their trucks and one breaks down, causing a crash, they could be held responsible for the losses caused.

Determining Liability and Negligence

Determining liability and negligence can be complex in truck accident cases since multiple parties are involved. Here are three factors our lawyers consider when determining who caused the accident and who should be held responsible for the damages.

Trucking Company Responsibility

Truck accidents in Los Angeles often involve holding the trucking company accountable for what happened. These companies are responsible for their actions as well as the actions of their drivers who operate company trucks. Trucking companies must take reasonable steps to prevent accidents from happening.

These steps should include regular vehicle checks, proper hiring and training procedures, and following federal safety regulations. If a company fails to meet these responsibilities and causes an accident that could have been avoided, those in charge could be held liable for the damages.

Vicarious Liability

Under the rule of vicarious liability, trucking companies are responsible for employee negligence, including independently contracted drivers. If any employee of the company, such as a driver or cargo loader, causes an accident while on duty, the company will pay the price. Since companies typically have better insurance coverage than individual drivers, it’s often preferable to seek compensation from the company rather than the person operating the truck at the time of the accident.

Comparative Negligence

In some situations, you may still be able to file a lawsuit for a truck accident even if you were partly at fault. 

This depends on the state where the accident occurred, and your damages may be reduced based on your percentage of fault.

For instance, in California, your claim will be evaluated using the principle of “comparative negligence.” If you’re found to be 30% liable for the accident, you can only receive up to 70% of the total compensation.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

Getting in any type of accident on the road is scary and stressful; those emotions are only heightened when the accident involves a large truck. Knowing what to do in this scenario will help you stay calm and think clearly so you don’t miss any important steps.

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention: After a truck accident, it’s crucial to get medical help right away, even if you don’t feel injured. Some injuries may not present themselves for a few days or even a few weeks after the accident. Documentation from a medical professional will be important for any future legal proceedings.
  1. Report the Incident to the Police: Contact the police as soon as possible. They can investigate the scene and file charges if necessary. Police reports are also essential for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  1. Collect Witness Information: Gather contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident. Their testimony could support your case later on. Make sure to note names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
  1. Take Photos: While the police will likely take photos at the scene, it’s helpful to take your own pictures too. Capture multiple angles of the vehicles involved, as well as any tire tracks, damage, or debris.
  1. Don’t Admit Fault: Do not admit fault or engage in detailed conversations about the accident with others involved. This will protect your legal and financial interests in any future proceedings.
  1. Contact Insurance and a Personal Injury Lawyer: Notify your insurance company so they can begin the claims process. You should also reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in truck accidents. They can investigate the accident to determine negligence and see if you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries and property damage.

Compensation in Truck Accident Cases

Types of Damages Victims Can Recover

You may be eligible for multiple types of damages depending on the circumstances of your case. Economic damages are awarded for tangible, financial losses while non-economic losses are awarded for intangible, non-monetary losses. Here are some examples of economic and non-economic damages:

  • Medical Expenses: Coverage for hospitalization, diagnostic tests, surgeries, prescriptions, and other medical costs incurred
  • Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation: Expenses related to ongoing therapy and rehabilitation needed to recover from injuries sustained
  • Mental Health Assistance: Compensation for counseling and mental health services to treat the emotional toll the accident had on the victim
  • In-Home Care: Costs associated with in-home care or 24/7 medical assistance for disabilities resulting from the accident
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to time taken off work for recovery from injuries sustained
  • Job Retraining and Education: Coverage for expenses related to retraining for a new job or further education required due to disabilities caused by the accident
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress the victim experiences
  • Wrongful Death: Damages awarded to the loved one of the deceased on their behalf to cover funeral expenses and other losses associated with their death

Punitive damages may be awarded if the defendant’s actions were deemed particularly egregious. These damages don’t compensate the victim but serve to punish the defendant for their actions and discourage them from taking similar actions in the future.

How Compensation Is Calculated

When calculating how much compensation you could win for your case, your lawyer will consider all economic and non-economic damages caused as well as factors like liability. Keep in mind that every case is different and is worth a different amount of compensation. If you have questions about how much your case is worth, ask your attorney.

Choosing the Right Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer

Qualities to Look For

Choosing the best Los Angeles truck accident lawyer to represent your truck accident case starts with looking for the right qualities. Here are a few qualities that make our attorneys the best at what they do:

  • Commitment to Excellence: We’re committed to securing the maximum amount of compensation for your accident-related losses. We do this by investigating your case thoroughly, determining liability, calculating your losses, and building a strong case. If insurance companies try to pay you less, we’ll fight them tooth and nail to get the compensation you deserve.
  • Client-First Approach: Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. If your case isn’t successful, you won’t pay us a dime. This policy holds us accountable to do the best we can to achieve the outcome we want. We also offer free case evaluations to give you greater peace of mind and financial relief.
  • Convenience: We have offices spanning from coast to coast, making it easier than ever for you to meet with us to discuss your case. We can also handle your entire case online if that’s what you need. Whether you visit us in person or speak with us over the phone, you’ll receive the same top-notch legal representation our law firm is known for.

Questions to Ask A Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer

Your first time meeting with a truck accident attorney will be for a free case evaluation. Here are some questions you should ask to make sure they’re the right fit:

  • How long have you practiced personal injury law?
  • How many pedestrian accident cases have you handled?
  • What is your fee structure?
  • Do I have to pay if my case isn’t successful?
  • What’s your success rate?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of my case?
  • Will anyone other than you work on my case?
  • How will you provide status updates on my case?
  • How long will it take to resolve my case?
  • How much is my case worth?
  • Do you have testimonials from former clients that I could see?

FAQs About Truck Accident Claims

Should I accept the settlement offer?

Never accept a settlement offer without first consulting your attorney. They’ll be able to tell you if it’s a fair amount or if the insurance company is trying to lowball you. As a general rule of thumb, you should never accept the first settlement offer because you can probably get more. Our lawyers handle settlement negotiations for you so you can focus on your recovery.

What is my truck accident claim worth?

A claim’s worth varies greatly depending on things like the severity of injuries and property damage caused, liability, and negligence. Bring any questions or concerns about the worth of your case to your lawyer; they’ll be able to provide a rough estimate.

What is the deadline for filing a claim?

California’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the truck accident to file a claim against the defendant, whether it’s a truck driver or the trucking company they work for. Don’t miss this deadline, or you could jeopardize your chances of receiving compensation at all.

How long do truck lawsuit cases usually last?

Case lengths vary depending on the complexities of the case and each party’s willingness to settle. Most cases are resolved within 12 to 18 months, with some taking less time and others taking more time.

Speak With a Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Don’t settle for less than what your truck accident case is worth. Contact one of our truck accident lawyers today to discuss the details of your case and craft a successful legal strategy. We’ll start with a free case evaluation and proceed from there until we achieve the outcome you want.