Do I really need a Trucking Accident Lawyer?
Did you know that California averages nearly 113 fatal truck crashes per year?
The truck transport industry operates 24/7 as multitudes of businesses depend on trucks to transport goods from one point to another. This means that truck accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. Though a truck accident can hit you anytime, a lawyer for trucking accidents won’t be immediately accessible to you after an incident. If you are in the business of trucking, you must know some basic information about truck accidents and how to deal with them.
Read on to learn more about this type of accident and how a truck accident lawyer can help you.
Table of Contents
What Are Trucking Accidents?
Trucking accidents are defined as collisions that involve any type of truck, such as semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and other commercial trucks. Truck accidents tend to stick out from other vehicle crashes because they usually cause significant personal injury and/or property damage. This also means that the law can deal with them in different ways based on the circumstances of the incident. Also, truck accidents generally take more time to investigate and pursue. They commonly involve more complicated and pricey procedures.
Why Are Trucking Accidents A Serious Issue?
An object as large and heavy as a truck can cause severe damage to you, your passengers, your car, and more. There are many different kinds of trucks of differing sizes, weights, capacities, and functionalities. However, most (if not all) trucks are significantly heavier than ordinary cars. In some cases, per the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a car may even become lodged beneath a truck with potentially catastrophic consequences.
According to information compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2017, the involvement of large trucks in personal injury accidents was on the rise. Personal injuries include any type of damage to your mind or body (as opposed to damage to your car, which is classified as property damage).
Various factors can also complicate the process of determining liability. For example, even if it’s just the truck driver who technically hit your vehicle, more parties can be held liable for the damages that you will sustain. Truck accident lawyers can also hold the truck owner, cargo loader, maintenance company, etc. liable, depending on the scenario.
During the investigations, other contributing factors might be uncovered, like driver’s fatigue or maintenance failure. All of which can also bring liability to other parties. Federal and state trucking laws impose standards on truck driver work hours, speed limits, and driver sleep requirements, which must be met. If investigations find any violations of these standards, more parties can become liable for the incident.
What Happens To A Truck Driver who Gets into an Accident?
The first question can be, “do truck drivers get fired for accidents?” The short answer is “yes, it’s possible.” When it comes to truck accidents, the person or entity that owns the truck can become liable for the incident. Truck drivers usually have contract-based work relationships with their employers. They can then terminate their contracts after an accident, depending on the elements of the incident.
Truck drivers can also end up in a legal mess if investigations determine that they violated trucking standards, causing the accident. Any lawyer for trucking accidents can help you check if any regulations were violated in your accident. Their expertise can be incredibly helpful to your case if you are a truck accident victim.
What To Do After A Truck Accident
Truck accidents can have overwhelming aftermaths. You must contact the police and seek medical assistance immediately after the accident. The police can help take down important details and statements for the accident report. If you are able, you can also document as many details as possible while at the scene. According to the California Department of Insurance, here are some basic steps you can take at the scene of the accident:
- Stop your vehicle immediately
- Move your vehicle to a safe location, if possible
- Call an ambulance if anyone is injured
- Call the police to complete a crash report
- Exchange information with the other drivers
- Get contact information from any witnesses
- Take pictures to supplement your evidence file
Once you are in a more stable and safe state, you may then consult a lawyer about your compensation. The best truck accident lawyers with proven track records can help you win your case. However, time is of the essence in terms of filing truck accident claims. This is why having an experienced attorney who can save you from trial and error can greatly mean the difference between getting the compensation you deserve or being taken advantage of.
What Is The Average Settlement For A Truck Or Semi-Truck Accident?
Truck accident settlement amounts can vary depending on different factors. Some victims can receive $185,000, $650,000, or more. Truck accidents can cause very serious and irreversible damages to both properties and lives. That is why settlements can reach very high amounts versus other vehicular accidents.
Economic Damages for Truck Accident Victims
There are two kinds of compensation available for truck accident victims. One type is economic damages, which is reserved for accident victims who lost money because of the accident.
Economic damages include the following:
- Repair costs: This can include costs related to vehicle damage caused by the accident.
- Medical costs: This includes costs of medical care (e.g., hospitalization, medication, therapy, etc.).
- Loss of wages: You lost income because your injuries kept you from going to work and supporting your family.
- Loss of financial support: A loved one died in the accident you lost their income, which supports you and your family.
Non-Economic Damages for Truck Accident Victims
Another type of damage is non-economic damages reserved for accident victims who were affected physically and/or emotionally for various reasons. These include the following:
- Pain and suffering: You suffered or continue to suffer because of physical or emotional damages.
- Disability: Your injuries have permanent effects, which are severe enough to impact your life.
- Disfigurement: Physical injuries left large or noticeable scars, impacting your physical appearance and/or abilities.
- Loss of society or companionship: This includes emotional distress, devastation, and emptiness because of losing a loved one in the accident.
Everyone’s accident is different. There is no “one size fits all” calculation for a truck accident compensation. This is where an experienced truck accident lawyer can help. Your truck accident lawyer can help you identify all of your damages and put a reasonable valuation on each item. Experienced truck accident lawyers can identify and find proof of compensable damages. They can even identify losses you might’ve missed.
How Can A Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Is hiring a truck accident attorney really worth it?
Though you CAN pursue the at-fault party on your own, the liable party or parties will usually have expert legal representations as they try to avoid paying you any compensation. Their lawyers — and the lawyers employed by their insurance providers — won’t hesitate to downplay your claim. These parties can either offer very low compensation or deny their liability altogether. These companies might take advantage of your vulnerability and the fact that you do not have an experienced law professional by your side. Having skilled attorneys on your team is important, but some people think that hiring them is very expensive. However, that’s not always the case.
For instance, Jacoby & Meyers works on a contingency fee basis. This means our payment is contingent on your case’s success. If we can help you recover compensation, we get a share of the award. If we can’t help you, you owe us nothing.
There is no reason to avoid getting a truck accident lawyer when you truly need one. Any experienced and skilled truck accident lawyer Los Angeles can help you:
Identify who’s responsible
Your lawyer will conduct an investigation to determine who is/are at fault.
Your lawyer’s input and collected evidence from the investigation can determine an accurate compensation amount you can receive.
Fill out paperwork
Messy paperwork can be tedious. However, submitting legal forms in the right manner can strengthen your lawsuit. Your lawyer can help you out.
Your truck accident lawyer can relay messages between you and the liable party, so that you don’t have to directly speak to them.
Fight for your money
Most cases are resolved at the negotiating table, not in the courtroom. Your lawyer can help fight for your rightful compensation.
Answer questions and give advice
Your lawyer can explain the legal process to you with all the details you need. A good truck accident lawyer can keep you informed, so you can make important legal decisions.
Give us a call today at 888-960-0480 for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you.