In 2019, there were 344 fatal truck crashes in California, according to the California Highway Patrol.
That represents a 12.5% total increase over fatal truck crashes in 2018 and an 18.6% increase over 2015. Additionally, 7,009 truck crashes caused an injury in 2019.
In recent years there has been a substantial increase in truck crashes leading to death or other severe injuries in California. Negligence was the primary cause of many of these catastrophic accidents.
Given the increased likelihood of being injured by a truck, it is crucial to understand what to do if you are the victim of a truck accident.
Trucking crashes can be more destructive and difficult to sort out than other vehicle accidents. A truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles can help you sort through the mess.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
Taking the correct steps after a truck accident is vital to protecting everyone’s health. Knowing what to do once everyone is safe can also help you protect your rights.
1. Call 911
Protecting everyone’s health and safety is the most important step after a truck accident. The sooner medical professionals get to the scene, the better. Calling 911 will also bring the police, who will block traffic and begin compiling a police report.
2. See a Doctor
Immediately seeing a doctor will protect your health. It will also lend credibility to help your attorney prove your injuries’ severity.
3. Collect Evidence
Try to collect witness contact information, pictures and videos of the crash site, insurance information, and anything else that might provide evidence of what happened. A Los Angeles truck accident attorney can later use this evidence to prove your case.
4. Do Not Make Unessecary Statements
Avoid making any statements that could be used against you in court before talking to an attorney. Also, avoid posting about the accident on social media.
5. Call an Attorney
A truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles should identify any further steps you may need to take. They will also help you prepare your case.
6. File an Insurance Claim
Talking to a truck accident attorney in Los Angeles before dealing with any insurance company is best. An attorney can help determine the best way to approach insurance.
Who Is Liable?
Figuring out who is liable after a truck accident can be complicated. There are often far more parties involved in heavy vehicle crashes than in other car accidents. Further, more money can be at stake, so different parties may have a stronger incentive to shift blame.
A Los Angeles truck accident lawyer should know how to identify and prove which parties are at fault. Understanding the different parties who can potentially be liable is also helpful. Potentially responsible parties include:
The owner of the truck,
The owner of the cargo,
Truck component manufacturers,
Maintenance companies, and
Each of these parties can ultimately be responsible for the accident. Truck drivers must follow strict procedures and exercise a high standard of care. Sometimes the accident is not their fault. For example, faulty brakes or other mechanical equipment can easily cause a heavy vehicle to crash.
It is also often the case that multiple parties are at fault for causing a truck crash. When this is the case, the courts can apportion blame between the parties and make them pay a portion of the judgment that matches their blameworthiness.
The courts can also hold every party responsible for the entirety of the judgment separately. If this happens, a victim can collect the entire judgment from one party even if the others cannot pay.
The Los Angeles truck accident lawyers at Peerali Law can help you identify which parties bear potential liability.
Determining Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident
Several parties can potentially be liable for a truck accident, but determining which ones to sue is not always immediately apparent. Determining fault is often not easy and can require extensive investigative work and the use of experts and professionals. Truck accidents are complex, and usually, multiple defendants can be held accountable. An experienced Los Angeles truck accident lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove your claim.
Remember, the plaintiff has the burden of proving their case. Here are some common examples of evidence routinely used to establish liability.
- Police and accident reports,
- Traffic citations issued at the accident scene,
- Medical bills and records,
- Eyewitness statements,
- Photos and video from the accident scene,
- Surveillance video or red light camera footage,
- Driving and employment records,
- Accident recreation technology, and
- Expert opinion testimony.
Collecting this evidence is a challenging feat. It can be time-consuming and require legal assistance, such as subpoenas and record releases.
Our Los Angeles truck accident attorneys can help you gather the evidence necessary for a successful civil lawsuit.
Potential Truck Accident Damages
If you pursue a lawsuit, a truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles can help you succeed in obtaining the most compensation possible. The potential damages in any given truck accident case will vary depending on the facts and circumstances of the crash.
Los Angeles truck accident lawyers can provide you with a better understanding of what you can expect in your particular situation. However, several common truck accident damages are typically available to successful plaintiffs.
Medical Bills And Expenses
Truck accidents lead to severe injuries, significant medical bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses. The most common type of damages sought is payment for past and future medical costs.
Medical treatment can include emergency room care, surgical repair, pharmaceuticals, physical and occupational therapy, and more. Keeping copies of bills, lost pay, estimates, and records is also a good idea. It can make calculating your damages later much more effortless.
If your injuries cause you to lose time from work, you can seek reimbursement for those lost wages. You can also seek compensation for lost earning capacity if you cannot return to your previous job role and earning capability.
After a collision with a truck, your car is likely to be damaged, if not totaled. You can seek the cost of the vehicle repair or replacement from the defendant.
The damages and injuries after a truck accident go far beyond the calculable losses listed above. If you were involved in a truck collision and suffered emotional harm, you can pursue compensation for that noneconomic loss. Noneconomic damages cannot be tallied by adding receipts and records but are personal to each individual.
They include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and disfigurement. An experienced attorney will be well-versed in advocating for these types of damages.
At Peerali Law, our truck accident attorneys in Los Angeles will assist you in determining what records are essential and the best method for keeping track of them.
Peerali Law Knows How to Help
Here at Peerali Law, we empathize with how difficult suffering a truck accident can be. We also understand that dealing with a lawsuit is probably the last thing you want to consider during recovery.
Our boutique firm cares deeply about seeking justice for every client. If you have our firm handle your case, a knowledgeable Los Angeles truck accident lawyer will guide you through every step so you can focus on your recovery.
Peerali Law has recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We pride ourselves on crafting innovative and creative legal solutions that produce results. Contact us today so we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.