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Los Angeles
Truck Accident Attorney

The sheer size and weight of a commercial truck can cause an immense amount of damage in the event of an accident. Victims who have been injured in a trucking accident can be left dealing with severe or catastrophic injuries and a staggering financial burden. But if you were injured in a truck accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, a personal injury attorney can help you pursue the compensation you’re legally entitled to for the damages you’ve suffered.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, contact the expert truck accident attorneys at LA Lawyers Group today to receive a free case evaluation. Our team of personal injury attorneys fully understands the devastating impact a truck accident can have on a victim’s physical, emotional, and financial well being. Our team also has a strong understanding of the unique legal and logistical elements involved in this more complicated type of personal injury claim. Our truck accident lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and fight to maximize the compensation you recover for your losses.

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Prove negligence in a truck accident personal injury case

Determining Liability in a California Trucking Accident

There are two legal theories that frequently apply in California trucking accident cases: negligence and strict liability. When determining liability in trucking accidents, you need to consider whether negligence or strict liability applies to the accident case-- or whether both apply to the case.
Negligence in California Trucking Accidents
Per California law, negligent parties are liable for the injuries and damages that are caused by their negligence. Additionally, California is a comparative negligence state, which means that fault due to negligence can be assigned in percentages. Essentially, this means that more than one negligent party can be liable for the damages caused by an accident.
In California, there are three things you need to prove in order to demonstrate negligence in a trucking accident:
●   The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim
●   The negligence of the defendant caused them to breach their duty of care
●   The negligent actions of the defendant caused the victim’s damages

A “duty of care” refers to a person’s legal obligation to use reasonable caution when performing an act that could potentially harm others. For example, truck drivers have a legal duty to be reasonably cautious when they are driving their truck. In order to provide a duty of care to others when they are driving, a truck driver needs to be aware of pedestrians, other drivers, obstacles, their blind spots, the speed of their truck, how they navigate the road, and so on. If the negligence of a truck driver leads to them breaching their duty of care and causing an accident, they would be considered liable for the damages caused by their negligent actions. Some real-world examples of negligence that could cause a truck driver to breach their duty of care include texting while driving, driving over the legal limit of hours for truckers, or failing to obey traffic laws.
Strict Liability in California Trucking Accidents
Strict liability is a legal theory that allows victims to pursue damages without having to prove negligence. In California, a state with stringent consumer protection laws, strict liability can be recognized when a defective product causes harm. If a defective product causes harm, the party that designed, manufactured, or sold that defective product could be held strictly liable for harm caused by the product, without the injured party having to prove negligence.
To demonstrate strict liability in a product case, you need to prove three things:
●   The defendant produced a product that featured a dangerous defect
●   The victim used the product as it was intended to be used and did not alter it
●   The defective product resulted in the victim’s damages

In a truck accident case, a wide variety of products could lead to serious injury and/or property damage if they are defective. Some examples of defective products that could lead to a strict liability claim in a trucking accident case include faulty brakes, faulty engine parts, faulty cargo ties, or faulty tires.
Experienced truck accident personal injury attorneys

Who Could Be Liable for a California Trucking Accident?

The party or parties that would be liable for a trucking accident will vary based on the specific circumstances involved in an accident. Some examples of individuals and entities that could be liable for a California trucking accident include:
A Truck Driver
If the negligence of a truck driver causes an accident, they could be held liable for the damages caused by that accident. Some examples of truck driver negligence include driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, distracted driving, speeding, failing to yield the right-of-way, failing to follow traffic signals, or failing to abide by safety regulations.
A Trucking Company
Trucking companies can also be held liable for accidents caused by their negligence. Trucking companies sometimes carelessly or intentionally violate safety requirements or transportation regulations. If this type of negligent violation leads to a trucking accident, the trucking company could be held liable for the damages caused by the accident. Some examples of ways in which a trucking company could be negligent include overloading trailers, failing to properly maintain trucks, allowing overweight vehicles, knowingly retaining underqualified employees, allowing unbalanced cargo loads, or encouraging drivers to violate safety requirements.

Additionally, in California, a commercial trucking company could be held liable for a trucking accident that was caused by the negligence of a truck driver. If a truck driver works as an employee of a commercial trucking company (and not as an independent contractor), the trucking company could be held liable for their employee’s negligent actions per California Respondeat Superior laws.
A Designer, Manufacturer, Distributer, or Retailer
If a truck has a defect which results in an accident, the party responsible for the defective truck or truck part could be liable for the accident. In California, designers, truck manufacturers, vehicle parts manufacturers, or companies involved in a product’s distribution or sale could all potentially be liable for a defective truck or truck part.
City or County Governments
Truck accidents can sometimes be caused by dangerous road conditions. If the dangerous road conditions that caused a vehicle accident were the result of government negligence, a city or county government could be liable for the damages caused by the accident. Additionally, a city or county government could potentially be liable for an accident in some other situations, such as when an accident is caused by the negligence of a city employee (like a city bus driver).

Note that there is a short statute of limitations for personal injury claims involving government entities. The statute of limitations for this type of case is six months. If you believe a government entity may be responsible for your truck accident, it’s in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation.
Other Drivers Involved in the Accident
Truck accidents can be caused by the negligent actions of other drivers on the road. If another driver’s negligence caused a truck accident, they could be held liable for the damages incurred. For example, a car driver could be responsible for a semi-truck accident if their reckless driving caused them to collide with the semi-truck.
A Truck Accident Victim
A truck accident victim could be partially or fully liable for a truck accident if their actions contributed to the accident. However, note that because California is a pure comparative negligence state, accident victims that are partially at fault for an accident can still recover partial damages. For example, if you are a truck accident victim and you were 20% at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, your recovery would be reduced by 20%. But you could still receive compensation for 80% of your damages.
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Unique Elements of Trucking Accident Cases
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Truck accident cases are different from car accident cases for numerous reasons. In general, truck accidents can cause significantly more injury and property damage than car accidents, since commercial trucks like tractor-trailers and eighteen-wheelers can weigh up to 30 times more than non-commercial passenger vehicles. Auto accidents that involve large trucks like big rigs are more likely to cause severe property damage and serious or catastrophic injuries, such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or dismemberment. Additionally, truck accidents come with unique legal and logistical factors that can make navigating a truck accident case more complex. Some of the more unique elements of trucking accident cases include trucking industry laws, trucking insurance coverage, and truck accident investigations.
●   Trucking Industry Laws:
When evaluating liability in a trucking accident case, it’s crucial to consider trucking industry laws and regulations. Commercial truck drivers must follow the regulations created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA). If a truck driver or truck company did not fully comply with FMCSA, this can practically ensure that they are held liable for an accident.
●   Trucking Insurance Coverage:
Commercial trucking insurance generally comes with far more coverage than other auto insurance. If you were injured in a truck crash, a personal injury attorney can negotiate with commercial trucking insurance companies on your behalf in order to ensure you recover the maximum amount of compensation you’re entitled to you for your losses.
●   Truck Accident Investigations:
Investigating a truck accident can be considerably more challenging than investigating a car accident. But thoroughly investigating a truck accident is crucial, since it can be essential for proving liability. A personal injury attorney that specializes in truck accident cases can help ensure that your truck accident case is rigorously and swiftly investigated in order to collect and preserve valuable evidence related to your case.
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Available Damages in Trucking Accident Cases
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There are four types of damages that could be available in a trucking accident case: economic compensatory damages, non-economic compensatory damages, punitive damages, and damages related to wrongful death.
Economic Compensatory Damages
Economic compensatory damages compensate accident victims for tangible losses. Some examples of economic damages that could be available in a trucking accident case include compensation for:
●   Medical Bills
●   Future Medical Expenses
●   Rehabilitation Expenses
●   Lost Wages
●   Loss of Future Income
●   Property Damage
Non-Economic Compensatory Damages
Non-economic compensatory damages compensate accident victims for intangible losses, which are more subjective and less measurable than economic losses. Some examples of non-economic compensatory damages that could be available in a trucking accident include compensation for:
●   Emotional Distress
●   Pain and Suffering
●   Physical Disability
●   Physical Disfigurement
●   Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are rare, but they can be awarded in some cases. Punitive damages are monetary damages that are awarded by a court to punish a defendant for their particularly negligent or malicious actions. Punitive damages are awarded on top of other compensatory damages a victim may receive.
Damages Related to Wrongful Death
If an individual loses their life in a trucking accident, they can no longer file an injury claim. However, certain individuals who were close to the deceased accident victim (such as their spouse, their children, or other family members) may be able to file a wrongful death claim and be awarded damages under California’s wrongful death laws. Some examples of damages that could be available in a wrongful death case include compensation for:

●   Funeral and Burial Expenses
●   The Financial Support the Deceased Would Have Contributed During Their Lifetime
●   The Value of Household Services the Deceased Would Have Provided
●   Non-Economic Damages for the Loss of:
○   Affection
○   Companionship
○   Protection
○   Training and Guidance
○   Moral Support
○   Sexual Relations
Contact a truck accident personal injury attorney today

How Long Do You Have to File a Trucking Accident Personal Injury Claim in California?

Victims who have been injured in a trucking accident in California typically have two years to file an accident claim. But note that it’s important for trucking accident victims to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible if they want to maximize their chances of recovering damages. Successfully proving liability in a trucking accident case often requires a thorough and timely investigation. By retaining the services of an experienced trucking accident attorney quickly, you can increase your chances of recovering crucial, time sensitive evidence. A personal injury attorney that has experience handling truck accident injury cases will understand what type of evidence to look for, the protocols for gathering evidence, and the timeline they need to adhere to in order to gather as much evidence as possible.

Contact a Los Angeles Trucking Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a trucking accident in Southern California, contact LA Lawyers Group today to receive a free case evaluation. A trucking accident attorney at our law firm can fight for your right to recover compensation for the losses you’ve suffered.

Call LA Lawyers Group today at (818) 386-6777 to receive your free consultation with one of our Los Angeles truck accident lawyers.

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