Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorney
Commercial Truck Driver Negligence
Some of the most devastating types of motor vehicle collisions are those that involve commercial trucks. These vehicles outmatch the size of passenger vehicle by far, making a collision between the two potentially devastating for the occupants of the smaller vehicle. To put this in perspective, a fully-loaded commercial truck can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds while the average passenger vehicle only weighs about 4,000 pounds. While accidents can be the fault of either party, rampant negligence in the trucking industry is often the cause. If this describes an accident you were involved in, then you may be able to secure representation from a Los Angeles trucking accident lawyer from our firm.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Truck Accident in CA?
If you're involved in a truck accident in California, you may be wondering if you need a lawyer. While it's ultimately up to you to decide if legal representation is necessary, there are certainly some benefits to pursuing legal action. One of the biggest advantages of hiring a lawyer is that they can help you navigate the complex legal system and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Our Los Angeles trucking accident lawyers can also help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and litigate your case if necessary. Additionally, having a lawyer on your side can provide peace of mind and help alleviate some of the stress associated with an accident. Overall, while it's not required to have a lawyer after a truck accident, it's certainly worth considering if you want to protect your rights and get the best outcome possible.
Contacting an experienced truck accident attorney in Los Angeles as soon as possible can ensure that your rights are protected and your case is handled with the attention and care it deserves.
Federal Trucking Regulations: FMCSA
In order to decrease the amount of accidents that occur on U.S. roads and highways, the Department of Transportation enacted laws through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). One major requirement of this legislation was that, in order to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), one would have to pass the test (written and hands-on) to obtain their commercial driver's license (CDL). This is just one way that the DOT can help ensure safety. Unfortunately, many trucking companies and drivers fail to adhere to these rules, and many accidents are caused as a result.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
Being involved in a truck accident can be a traumatic experience that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of what to do next. The first step is to seek medical attention for any injuries you or any passengers may have sustained. It's crucial to collect information from the truck driver, including their name, contact information, insurance details, and license plate number. Take photos of the damages and the accident scene, and contact the police to file a report. It's also essential to contact your insurance company as soon as possible and avoid giving any statements to the other driver's insurance company until you have legal representation. By following these steps, you can protect your rights and ensure that you receive the appropriate compensation for your damages and injuries.
California Truck Accident Statute of Limitations
If you've been involved in a truck accident in California, it's important to know the statute of limitations for filing a claim. The state imposes a two-year time limit from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim, and a three-year time limit from the date of the accident to file a property damage claim. It's crucial to act quickly if you want to pursue legal action, as failing to file within the statute of limitations could result in the forfeiture of your right to compensation.
Common Types of Trucking Accidents
Some of the most common causes of trucking accidents include the following:
Fatigued Drivers (HOS Failure to Comply)
Shocking numbers of truck drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel while operating their CMVs. To remedy this problem the FMCSA has enacted Hours of Service (HOS) legislation in hopes of lessening the occurrence of tired drivers. Although drivers have mandated resting breaks and "off time" periods, many do not take them. One reason could be that a driver needs to get his cargo to its destination on time, so they skip their break. For whatever reason it occurs, fatigued driving is dangerous and against the law.
CMVs must be in good working order if they are operating on roads and highways. To enforce this, DOT and state highway patrol have implemented truck scales or "weigh stations" that inspect trucks. If a truck is in violation and needs repair, the driver may be issued a citation. Unfortunately, many drivers continue to drive despite these citations and warnings. Common mechanical failures include tire blowout and underride accidents.
To drive a CMV, an individual must possess a CDL that is not otherwise suspended or revoked. Some drivers commit something known as license fraud in order to obtain a CDL without actually taking or passing the examination. License fraud is actually incredibly prevalent, and investigations are pending in multiple states.
Driving while texting, eating, changing the radio station and the like can prove incredibly dangerous. Although changing the radio station is not illegal, it can take a driver's eyes and attention off of the road and cause an accident. Texting and driving is also illegal for commercial truckers.
Damages Available for Truck Accident Claims
If you have been involved in a truck accident in California, it is important to understand the damages and compensation available to you. In general, truck accident claims can result in both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include things like:
- cost of medical treatment
- lost wages due to missed work or disability
- property damage
Non-economic damages may include:
- pain and suffering
- emotional distress
- loss of enjoyment of life
- other similar losses
Additionally, in certain cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the responsible party for particularly egregious behavior. To navigate these complex legal issues and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve, it is essential to work with a skilled and experienced Los Angeles trucking accident attorney who will fight for your rights.
Enlist Our Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident that involved a commercial truck, you may be suffering from incredibly serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment. Martinian & Associates is here to see that you get the compensation you deserve. If you were not responsible for the accident, then we will fight to see that liability doesn't wrongfully get shifted on to you.
For more information about truck accidents, claims and lawsuits, please do not hesitate to contact a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer from our firm.
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