Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney
Commercial trucking is a vital component of the economy of California and of the United States as a whole. Every day, commercial truck drivers deliver millions of tons of goods to communities throughout the country, and trucking is a heavily regulated industry at both the federal and state levels. Trucking companies and their drivers have a professional responsibility to ensure safe practices at all times, to verify driver experience and training, and to have appropriate insurance coverage in the event that an accident occurs. However, despite this, truck accidents are a common occurrence on Los Angeles highways, and many lead to devastating injuries for other drivers.
Legal Representation for Truck Accident Cases in Los Angeles
Truck accidents can happen for the same reasons as all other motor vehicle accidents, but large commercial trucks are prone to additional risk factors due to their size. Truck accidents are also more damaging than most other accidents involving smaller vehicles, and the likelihood of a truck accident resulting in catastrophic or fatal injuries is also greater. When a truck accident occurs, the victim may suffer not only severe damages but also a very complex series of legal proceedings in their efforts to recover their damages.
If you recently suffered injuries and economic losses from a truck accident that someone else caused, contact our firm. You need reliable legal counsel to help you recover and hold the at-fault party appropriately accountable for the harm they’ve done. An experienced Los Angeles truck accident attorney can help navigate the complex legal proceedings your recovery efforts may entail. Easton & Easton has the skill and experience you need on your side after this type of incident. We have helped many past clients secure substantial case awards from their truck accident cases and other personal injuries, and we are ready to put this experience to work for you in your case.
Benefits of Hiring a Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney
Recovery from a motor vehicle accident is likely to entail an auto insurance claim followed by a personal injury suit when insurance alone cannot compensate the victim’s damages. Most of the truck drivers and their employers in the Los Angeles area are covered by more expansive insurance policies than the average individual driver, but this does not necessarily mean that the victim of an unexpected truck accident can recover fully from an insurance claim alone.
While it’s technically possible to attempt your recovery efforts without the assistance of a Los Angeles truck accident attorney, you would face several significant challenges in doing so. First, you could make procedural mistakes during the insurance claim process or the initial case proceedings of your personal injury claim. This could jeopardize your ability to recover your damages as fully as possible. You could also unintentionally accept a lower settlement than you legally deserve, with no option to revisit the claim later and recover outstanding damages.
Ultimately, working with a seasoned Los Angeles truck accident attorney is the most effective way to maximize your recovery from a truck accident. Your attorney will help identify the party or parties responsible for the accident and guide you through the steps necessary for holding them accountable. Easton & Easton has faced the largest auto insurance carriers in the state on behalf of many past clients, so we know how to handle your insurance claim and secure optimal results. If you must file a personal injury case to recover damages that insurance won’t cover, you can rely on our team to help build your case and hold the defendant appropriately accountable for the losses they inflicted.
Determining Liability for a Commercial Truck Accident in Los Angeles
The state upholds the fault rule when it comes to resolving motor vehicle accident cases, meaning whichever driver is responsible for the accident absorbs liability for the resulting damages. This may sound straightforward, but accidents can happen in many different ways that can make it difficult for those involved to confidently assert fault. This is especially true in truck accident cases due to the legal concept of vicarious liability.
Vicarious liability applies when one party is responsible for the actions of another party, even though they may not have been directly involved with an incident. This commonly applies to trucking companies and other employers that bear liability for the actions of the truck drivers in their employ. For example, if a trucking company or other business failed to perform an appropriate background check on a driver, failed to assess the driver’s experience and training before assigning them work, or failed to enforce trucking industry regulations in any way that contributed to causing the accident, the employer is likely to face vicarious liability for the resulting damages.
Your Los Angeles truck accident attorney will be instrumental in resolving any such questions regarding liability for your recent accident that might arise. The average person would be unlikely to manage handling this aspect of their case effectively on their own. When you choose Easton & Easton as your legal counsel for a truck accident claim, we can help gather physical evidence from the scene of the accident, digital evidence from the vehicles involved and driver cell phones, traffic camera footage, and eyewitness testimony to help our client prove exactly how their accident happened.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Los Angeles
While truck accidents can happen from the same types of negligence and intentional misconduct that cause most other vehicle accidents, they are prone to a few unique risk factors. For example, distracted driving, speeding, moving violations, and driving under the influence (DUI) are all commonly cited as frequent causes of truck accidents, but a few of the unique risk factors when it comes to commercial trucks include:
- Improper loading of cargo. A truck carrying a trailer full of cargo needs to be packed and balanced correctly. Trucks that carry special cargo like construction materials or smaller vehicles require the use of specialized safety equipment. Any failure to properly pack a commercial truck in a manner resulting in an accident can mean fault for the incident falling to the party responsible for loading the truck.
- Industry regulation non-compliance. Trucking is a very heavily regulated industry. When a truck driver and/or their employer fails to uphold applicable regulations and an accident results, the at-fault party can face liability for all resulting civil damages and legal penalties like heavy fines.
- Poor visibility. Large commercial trucks have bigger blind spots than smaller passenger vehicles. Drivers should be mindful to refrain from lingering in the blind spots of a nearby commercial truck, as this can easily lead to an accident in certain situations.
Ultimately, no matter how a recent truck accident may have occurred, you will need to identify the party responsible and prove their actions directly caused your claimed damages. The attorneys at Easton & Easton have the professional resources and experience to handle the toughest truck accident claims, including those in which liability may be initially unclear. We’ll work closely with our client to learn as much as we can about the accident and help them identify the driver responsible for it.
Filing an Auto Insurance Claim for a Truck Accident
The first step in recovering from a vehicle accident is filing an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver. Once your Los Angeles truck accident attorney has helped you prove who is to blame for your accident, you can file a claim against their auto insurance policy for some initial compensation. If their insurance cannot fully compensate your damages, you can then proceed with a personal injury claim.
Every driver must have auto insurance that includes at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person injured in an accident caused by the policyholder, and this must increase to at least $30,000 in total accident liability coverage. They must also have at least $5,000 to cover property damage. These coverage requirements may be enough to resolve a minor accident, but truck accidents tend to be some of the most damaging accidents.
A Los Angeles truck accident attorney can help their client maximize their insurance claim settlement, securing as much as possible from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Then, once they have claimed as much compensation as they can, their attorney will help them construct a viable personal injury suit against the at-fault party to seek compensation for the damages that insurance can’t cover.
Having an attorney assist you with your insurance claim not only increases your chances of maximizing the settlement offer you receive, but you will also be prepared to face any unethical handling of your claim or other disputes that might arise during the claim filing process. Your attorney can help address an unfair denial or any other bad-faith handling of your claim on the part of the insurance company to ensure you receive fair treatment and a reasonable settlement offer.
Building Your Personal Injury Case for a Truck Accident in Los Angeles
After you have secured as much as legally possible from your auto insurance claim, you may still face outstanding damages the defendant’s insurance cannot cover. When this applies to your situation, you will need to prepare for a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, and having a seasoned Los Angeles truck accident attorney readily available to assist you will make recovery much easier.
To succeed with your personal injury claim in Los Angeles, you must identify the party or parties responsible for your damages, prove their negligence or intentional misconduct resulted in actual harm, and then prove the scope of the damages you are seeking with the claim. Once you have compiled your initial complaint, your Los Angeles truck accident attorney can help file the claim with the court, and they will provide the defendant with the necessary documentation to submit their response.
Your truck accident case can go in one of two directions. First, when the defendant accepts liability for the accident, the case can proceed to settlement negotiations. This will allow everyone to avoid the time, stress, and expense of litigation as they negotiate a mutually agreeable solution to the claim. Private settlement negotiations may only take weeks to conclude as long as the parties involved in the case will compromise.
If the defendant denies liability or contests the amount of compensation the plaintiff is claiming, the case will proceed to litigation, and a trial will begin. Litigation can take several months to complete, and the end result is entirely outside the control of either party. The judge will have the final say regarding liability for the plaintiff’s damages and the compensation they are legally entitled to claim from the defendant.
Claiming Recompense for your Economic Damages
Under California’s personal injury laws, the defendant responsible for a personal injury absorbs liability for any and all damages they inflicted on the plaintiff. State law allows the plaintiff to seek compensation for both immediate and future economic losses resulting from their personal injury; they may also claim compensation for their pain and suffering.
If your truck accident caused severe physical injuries, the defendant is liable for the expense of all medical care you require to reach maximum medical improvement from your injuries. Their insurance policy’s bodily injury liability coverage may compensate you for some of these expenses, but any remainder can be included in your personal injury claim. In addition, the defendant is liable for any future treatment costs you will likely incur if you suffered a catastrophic injury. Your Los Angeles truck accident attorney can consult your medical care team to help assess the full scope of the medical expenses your accident is likely to generate.
When the victim of a personal injury is left unable to work due to their injuries, the defendant becomes responsible for the income the plaintiff cannot earn during their recovery. Your attorney can help you recover compensation for vacation time and accrued time off you were forced to use after the accident, and they can also help hold the defendant accountable for future lost income in the event that your injuries caused permanent disability. In addition, when another party’s negligence or misconduct has diminished your earning power, they are responsible for repaying these losses.
Calculating Non-Financial Damages in a Truck Accident Claim
Pain and suffering are more difficult to calculate. California law does not cap or limit pain and suffering compensation in truck accident claims, so there are no restrictions when it comes to how much you can seek from the defendant who caused your accident. Your attorney can help you calculate an appropriate amount reflecting the severity of the injuries. If your physicians expect you to recover fully in the near future, they may seek a settlement that awards compensation for each day you spend recovering, or they may seek a lump sum if you were permanently disabled from your accident.
Other variables may also come into play to influence the total potential value of your truck accident claim. For example, if a plaintiff bears partial responsibility for the accident in question, this will diminish their final case award. Alternatively, if the accident was caused through illegal misconduct of the defendant, it could lead to punitive damages and/or restitution in addition to the plaintiff’s other claimed losses.
What to Expect From Your Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney
A truck accident attorney should have experience, skill, and integrity. The right attorney can have a tremendously positive influence not only with the quality of your experience during your recovery efforts but also the final outcome. When you choose Easton & Easton as your legal counsel, you are investing in years of legal experience that has helped many clients throughout the Los Angeles area and other communities recover from unexpected personal injuries.
Our firm takes a client-focused approach to personal injury counsel, learning as much as possible about each unique client’s individual needs and concerns when it comes to recovering from unexpected personal injuries. For example, truck accidents can be particularly challenging when it comes to the scope and severity of the damages involved and the legal disputes these accidents often generate. Time is a critical concern for anyone considering a Los Angeles personal injury case, and the sooner you connect with an attorney you can trust, the sooner you can start working toward the recovery you legally deserve.
Truck Accident Lawyer FAQs
Q: How Can a Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney Help Your Case?
A: Truck accidents may happen for many of the same reasons that all other motor vehicle accidents happen, but these accidents tend to generate more substantial damages and more complex legal issues for those involved. Your Los Angeles truck accident attorney can help gather the evidence needed to prove fault for your damages, assist you in understanding the legal mechanisms in play in your case, and ultimately guide you to the optimal outcome for your recovery efforts. It is likely that they will secure a larger award for you than you would have been able to manage by yourself.
Q: How Much Time Is There to File a Personal Injury Claim for a Truck Accident?
A: If insurance alone cannot repay your losses from a truck accident, you can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to recover compensation for the damages insurance won’t cover. After your accident, you have two years to file your claim, otherwise, you lose the right to seek compensation from the party responsible for the crash. Consult a Los Angeles truck accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident to ensure you meet this important deadline.
Q: How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth in Los Angeles?
A: Under state law, the driver who caused your recent truck accident is liable for any and all economic losses you suffered, plus your pain and suffering. The value of your claim hinges on the scope of these losses, and your Los Angeles truck accident attorney can help gather the evidence needed to substantiate your claim. Because of that, your case could be worth more than you initially expected, and you have the greatest chance of maximizing your recovery when experienced legal counsel represents you.
Q: What Happens if I Share Liability for Causing a Truck Accident?
A: California enforces the pure comparative negligence rule, meaning a plaintiff may lose a portion of their award in a personal injury suit if the facts show that they partially caused the injury in question. The judge will assess each liable party’s level of fault for causing the accident, assigning each a portion of fault. The plaintiff’s fault percentage is then deducted from their final case award, and they recover the remainder. For example, if the plaintiff is found 20% at fault, they lose 20% of the total compensation recovered from the defendant.
Q: How Much Does a Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney Cost?
A: The attorneys at Easton & Easton do not charge our personal injury clients any upfront or ongoing legal fees for our firm’s representation. We keep legal counsel accessible to those who need it most in Los Angeles with contingency fee billing. With this billing arrangement, the client only pays our legal fee after we win their case, and the fee is a portion of the total amount recovered. This ensures the client has the legal counsel they need while retaining the ability to recover fair compensation for their losses.
Easton & Easton, Professional Truck Accident Attorneys
Easton & Easton have years of professional experience handling a wide variety of civil suits, including personal injury claims arising from commercial truck accidents. We know how complex these cases can be compared to other vehicle accident claims and the legal challenges you are likely to encounter as you seek recompense for your damages. Our team can provide the responsive and compassionate legal counsel you need on your side to approach your recovery with confidence and peace of mind. Contact us today to set up a conference with a Los Angeles truck accident attorney you can trust with your recovery efforts.