Truck Accidents: Insight From the Top LA Accident Attorney

The term “motor vehicle accident” encompasses various situations, from car versus car to car and pedestrian impacts. However, truck accidents fall into a league of their own. Although considered motor vehicles, trucks are classified in the specific area of “truck accidents because of the immense size and potential for serious damage.” So, finding an experienced and knowledgeable accident attorney is a must when it comes to obtaining representation.

Did you know that an average commercial truck is around sixty feet long and weighs over 30,000 pounds? Adding the loaded cargo further adds tons more weight. This means that the impact generated in a truck accident will cause exponentially more damage than a traditional vehicle accident. Generally, property damage is devastating in a truck accident. The sustained injuries to the person in the impacted car are usually more severe as well. Many truck accidents result in a total loss to the vehicles involved, and many also result in fatalities to the driver or passengers, or both, of the car or truck.

If you were involved in a truck accident, here is everything you need to know to understand what happens next. If you decide to file a lawsuit against the party that hit you, consider contacting the best accident attorney in the Los Angeles area, Hershey Law.

What can you expect?

Truck accident liability is a tricky thing to track down. What if the truck malfunctioned because of faulty brakes? Your attorney will need to investigate the manufacturer and the retailer to determine who is responsible for the defective product. What if the truck driver had been driving for more than the legally allowed amount of hours because of an unreasonable deadline? Your attorney will have to determine who set the deadline and hold them accountable as well.

In a truck accident, multiple parties may be at fault. It is the accident attorney’s job to sort through the facts and find every person or company that may be responsible, ensuring the parties are held accountable for your injuries. Because of the intricacies of this process, truck accidents often take longer to settle than regular motor vehicle accidents.

Let’s talk compensation.

Further, because of the severity and multiple levels of parties at fault, the damages awarded may be greater. In most of these cases, the injured party may receive compensation with a favorable verdict for the following:

  • Past, present, and future medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life due to physical limitations
  • Emotional suffering due to disfigurement
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Loss of consortium

The amount of compensation received for damages in any accident is contingent on the at-fault party’s insurance policy and financial situation. In a truck accident, those policy limits tend to be higher because many of these vehicles have federal requirements for the minimum insurance policies that they must hold.

Suppose you were injured in a truck accident. In that case, the attorneys at Hershey Injury Law can help you obtain compensation so you can focus less on the financial stress of your suffering and more on the road to recovering and moving forward with your life.

 

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The path of a fatal truck accident.

As mentioned, due to the extensive size and weight of commercial trucks, it is pretty understandable that accidents with these vehicles can result in fatalities. Like with any wrongful fatality, if you lost a loved one due to a truck accident, you can file a wrongful death suit to help you handle the financial loss and emotional devastation. 

While a lawsuit can never bring back your loved one, it can help you ensure that the party responsible is held accountable for their death. The compensation may also help alleviate stress by providing supplementation in the following areas:

  • Financial supplementation
  • Loss of emotional guidance, love, and counsel
  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Loss of companionship
  • Potential inheritance loss

In addition to those damages, you may also be awarded compensation for any medical expenses, pain and suffering, and mental anguish that your loved one had to suffer through before succumbing to injuries due to the accident.

Proving fault.

The intricate legalities of a commercial truck accident create a complex web of fault. These details must be sorted through to prove that sustained injuries directly resulted from that party’s negligence. In legal terms, negligence refers to someone who owed you a duty of care and failed to fulfill that duty. They were supposed to behave in a certain way that accommodated your safety, and they did not do so. The neglect resulted in your harm.

To prove a truck driver or a trucking company was negligent, there are a few things that you and your attorney have to prove. Since you filed the lawsuit, the burden of proof is on you. Proving their actions were neglectful means showing without any reasonable doubt that:

  • You, as the plaintiff, were injured or suffered a loss
  • Injury or loss was due to the defendant’s negligence
  • The defendant failed to provide reasonable actions to perform their duty of care

Each aspect of these items must be proven without doubt by your attorney, which is why it is crucial to hire an expert in trucking accident law. To prove every point, you will need to provide sufficient evidence, which your accident attorney will help you to obtain. Even one piece of missing crucial evidence is enough to insert doubt into the jury’s mind, so this is a careful process.

 

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Gathering the evidence.

Not all cases go to trial; many settle out of court through mediation and negotiations. Either direction, it is essential to complete each step as though it will continue to the courtroom. To do this, you and your attorney will work together to compile evidence. The evidence consists of documentation such as:

  • Photos, videos, and police reports of the accident, damages, and injuries sustained.
  • Medical records for treatment of injuries sustained in the accident
  • Medical bills of that treatment
  • Any “black box” or recorded data from the truck itself
  • Logbooks of the truck driver
  • Maintenance records and policies of the truck company
  • Witness statements from anyone, including the paramedics and law enforcement on the scene, that had anything to do with your accident
  • The trucking company’s personnel records for the driver in question

This basic evidence may also be reinforced through expert testimony. If your attorney feels that an area of the case can be backed up through the support of an expert witness, they may call in an independent source that is considered an expert in a specific area.

Expert witnesses are often used to provide their opinion as an authority on a subject. For example, a medical expert may comment on the extent of your injuries, or the forensic toxicologist may elaborate on how the use of drugs or alcohol contributed to the accident. Your possible medical expert depends on the details of your case.

Why obtaining an experienced accident attorney is a must.

Commercial truck accidents are devastating to those involved, the family and friends providing support. When trying to move forward with your life but feeling stuck in the complex process of getting the compensation you deserve, the stress becomes even more significant. An accident expert understands the federal regulations and state laws needed to be addressed to get the compensation you so rightly deserve. These laws and regulations differ depending on the state you are in and the requirements of the truck that hit you.

A traditional personal injury attorney may be able to learn all of the legalities during your case. However, if they are not experienced, they may not know what to expect and prepare for the next steps. It is a foregone conclusion that the trucking company involved will have a team of experienced legal experts. These experts will create a defense, making them appear, at minimum, partially not-at-fault, and you partially at fault.

 

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Because of the varying laws, challenges, and experts you will face during the process, hiring a team of proven experts like those at Hershey Law is imperative. Our track record has made us the top accident attorneys in Southern California. Knowing what is required and putting in the effort to bring justice to your case, you have peace of mind that your case is in the best, most competent hands.

 

Contact the Hershey Law Office today to schedule your free consultation by calling (310) 929-2190. We look forward to providing your family with a resolution.