Truck Accidents

LOS ANGELES TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER

Trucks are an integral part of our economy- but on the road, they can be deadly.  Large commercial trucks like big rigs, tractor-trailers or eighteen wheelers weigh 20 to 30 times as much as an ordinary car and are often just as many times as deadly.  That is why victims of trucking accidents are more likely to be killed or suffer brain damage, spinal injuries, amputations or other life changing injuries.

WE HOLD TRUCKING COMPANIES ACCOUNTABLE

Trucking companies employ armies of investigators, experts and other professionals whose sole job is to protect the trucking companies profit margins by denying liability and/or paying out as little as possible on all claims. You need a skilled negotiator on your side that understands exactly what tricks trucking companies will use to lower your chances at a fair and just recovery.

At Yerushalmi Law Firm we are trained in fighting the trucking companies and their insurance every step of the way, we will immediately begin investigating the circumstances surrounding your accident and build a strong foundation to make sure you get the best recovery for your claim.

HOW DOES A TRUCKING ACCIDENT DIFFER FROM A CAR ACCIDENT?

Trucking is a multi-billion-dollar industry with many strict federal regulations governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSXA).  The federal law requires trucks to be maintained and operated in a manner that provides maximum safety for other vehicles on the road.  There are a host of regulations that trucks and truck drivers must abide by including lights, brakes, weight limits and so forth.

Trucks are also required to undergo periodic inspections to ensure they are properly being maintained. In addition, truck drivers must undergo special training prior to having a license to operate these potentially deadly vehicles. For example, Vehicle Code 21702 VC, makes it a misdemeanor for a truck driver in the state of California to spend more than twelve consecutive hours on the road in a one day period.  Needless to say, a truck driver who violates these hour limits is at an increased risk of causing harm to others.

These laws and regulations, many of which are particular only to the trucking industry, makes the average trucking accident much more complicated than a typical car accident.   Therefore, it is crucial for truck accident victims to hire an attorney who is familiar with the trucking industry and to take the right steps to ensure they receive fair and full compensation for their losses.

CAN A TRUCKING COMPANY, NOT THE DRIVER, BE AT FAULT FOR THE ACCIDENT?

Yes. The actual commercial trucking company, not the driver, can also be found negligent for causing a trucking accident.  Trucking companies are often negligent or reckless with the way they abide with regulations and safety requirements.  This is because trucking companies #1 goal is their profit, even if that means sacrificing the safety of the public and their own drivers in the process. When trucking companies are caught violating these safety rules, that company may be held liable for any injuries or damages caused.

Examples of trucking company negligence include:

  • Overloaded trailers
  • Allowing overweight vehicles on the road
  • Allowing or turning a blind eye when drivers operate their trucks in violation of safety rules
  • Failing to properly maintain their trucks
  • Hiring unqualified drivers
  • Failing to properly train their drivers
  • Encouraging drivers to forgo sleep and hour restrictions
  • Failing to let go of an underqualified or underperforming employees

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BEEN IN A TRUCKING ACCIDENT? (9-Step Checklist)

  1. DO NOT LEAVE- Even if the accident is minor, you should ALWAYS exchange information with the other driver(s) and passenger(s). Driving away from the scene of an accident could also add criminal charges to your record.
  2. CALL 911- Even if no one is seriously injured, it will be beneficial to your claim to have a police report. Police can document the incident, gather information, and make it part of an official record.
  3. EXCHANGE INFORMATION- Swap names, phone numbers, and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. If you are unsure about what information to ask for, remember it is always better to be safe than sorry.
  4. TAKE PICTURES- In today’s age of smart phones, most drivers and passengers on the road have a camera on them. It is vital to take photographs of the accident scene as soon as possible- even before moving the vehicles off the roadway. If you or anyone in your vehicle have visible injuries, take photographs of those as well.
  5. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY- When speaking with the officers on the scene and with other motorists who were involved, never admit or suggest that the accident was your fault. Even if the accident was clearly caused by your own mistakes, you don’t know for sure. The truck driver may have failed to abide by federal regulations that you are unaware of. There may have been a mechanical malfunction. Distractions, like texting and driving, may have taken the other drivers’ eyes off the road. Bottom line is, there are a number of factors to analyze before anyone be determined ‘at fault’ for an accident.
  6. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION- Go to the hospital or your primary doctor as soon as possible. Far too often, people will be afraid to visit a doctor because they fear they cannot afford the medical bills or some other reason. However, by hiring a car accident attorney, you may be able to find help with medical bills without paying any upfront fee. Another thing to keep in mind is that when someone involved in a car accident does not seek medical treatment right away, the insurance company will use this against them when settling the case by arguing that their injuries must not have been severe if they did not visit a doctor immediately.
  7. CALL YERUSHALMI LAW FIRM- Even if you believe your injuries are minor, they may turn out to be more severe than you think. A slight headache could be due to a traumatic brain injury. And a stiff neck could actually be permanent damage to your spinal cord. Even before contacting your insurance company, we recommend contacting Yerushalmi Law Firm, as our Beverly Hills car accident lawyers can provide you with the proper steps and procedures for your unique situation. Remember, consultations are free and we do not get paid unless you win your case.
  8. CHECK-IN WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY- Always alert only your insurance company of any accident you’ve been in, and cooperate with adjusters and their team. NEVER speak to the other driver’s insurance company. And REMEMBER- even your insurance company is NOT your friend. Always weigh advice from your attorney before signing any papers or giving a recorded statement to your insurance agent. Your insurance company may also represent the other driver, and they may attempt to try to get you to sign a settlement that is way below “fair” value.
  9. CREATE A FILE- Keep accident related documents together and organized. Your file should include a copy of the police report, medical bills, other driver’s information, injury treatment plans, and any other documents you’ve collected regarding the accident.