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Trucking Accidents

Truck Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles

Have You Been Seriously Injured in an Accident? Ask Us How to Maximize Your Claim.

Truck drivers cover around 140 billion miles each year in the U.S., crisscrossing the country to deliver goods and supplies. Though their work is necessary, it’s also hard and dangerous. One moment of inattention can lead to a serious accident. Because they spend so much time on the road, a certain number of truckers are statistically likely to cause accidents each year. If you are in the wrong time or place, your life may be turned upside down in less than a minute.

Our personal injury attorneys at Robins Cloud LLP represent those who have been involved in accidents with large commercial trucks. We have extensive experience with these cases, so we know these accidents can cause significant destruction and even death. If you are facing these hardships, you do not have to go through this alone. Our team can help protect your rights.

Filing a claim against a commercial driver is hard enough—and when you add severe and potentially catastrophic injuries to the mix, you want to make sure you have an experienced and tough attorney on your side. Our team at Robins Cloud LLP can provide you with legal support as well as helping you deal with other issues and questions you may have after an accident. We have been working with the victims of serious injuries for more than 30 years. If you find yourself in this position, make sure you have an attorney who is willing to do everything to maximize your claim and recover for you.

Robins Cloud LLP puts in the hard work when complex cases arise. Our Los Angeles truck accident attorneys are available for a free consultation by phone at (800) 691-2363, or you can send us a message online.

Factors in Trucking Accidents

In 2018, the last year for which full statistics are available, 4,136 Americans died in accidents involving large trucks. This number marks a 31% increase in the last decade. Most of the fatalities were not truck drivers, but others who were on the road at the same time. An additional 80,000 people survived an accident but sustained injury from it.

It’s easy to understand why large trucks cause such a high number of injuries and deaths each year. A fully loaded tractor trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which is significantly more than a passenger vehicle. Because of their weight, large trucks need more than 40% more distance to stop than an average passenger vehicle. This discrepancy is even greater when road conditions are slippery or wet. Increased braking time and distance is only one factor that may cause or contribute to a trucking accident. Other factors may include:

  • Road and weather conditions;
  • Speeding;
  • Failure to comply with other traffic laws or signals;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Failure to comply with trucking regulations;
  • Driver fatigue;
  • Lack of experience;
  • Driver distraction like sending and receiving texts;
  • Improperly balanced or overweight loads;
  • Inadequate training in safety and driving technique;
  • Defective vehicles; and,
  • Improper maintenance of a truck.

Understanding Federal Trucking Regulations

Federal trucking regulations refer to the set of rules and guidelines established by the U.S. government to ensure safety, efficiency, and fairness in the trucking industry. These regulations are primarily managed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Here are some key aspects and areas covered by federal trucking regulations:

  • Driver Qualifications: Regulations specify qualifications for commercial truck drivers, including age, health requirements, licensing, and training standards. These regulations aim to ensure that drivers are physically capable, adequately trained, and meet specific criteria to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).
  • Hours of Service (HOS): HOS regulations limit the number of hours a driver can operate a commercial vehicle within specific periods to prevent fatigue-related accidents. It includes rules for driving hours, mandatory rest breaks, and daily and weekly limits on driving time.
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Inspections: Regulations outline maintenance standards for trucks and require regular inspections to ensure vehicles are in safe operating condition. This covers brakes, tires, lights, and other essential components.
  • Weight and Size Limits: Regulations set limits on the weight, size, and dimensions of trucks to maintain road safety, protect infrastructure, and prevent overloading.
  • Hazardous Materials Transportation: Specific regulations govern the transportation of hazardous materials, including proper labeling, handling, and emergency response protocols.
  • Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs): ELDs are mandated to accurately track a driver's HOS electronically. They replace paper logs and ensure compliance with HOS regulations more effectively.
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing: Regulations require trucking companies to conduct drug and alcohol testing for drivers to maintain safety on the roads.
  • Insurance Requirements: Trucking companies are required to maintain specific levels of insurance coverage to operate legally. This coverage helps protect against liabilities in case of accidents.

These regulations are designed to promote safety and fair practices within the trucking industry, ensuring that drivers, vehicles, and cargo are appropriately managed and that roads are safer for everyone.

Violating federal trucking regulations while causing a truck accident can have significant legal, financial, and safety implications for both the driver and the trucking company involved.

Here's how such violations can impact various aspects:

  • Legal Consequences: Violating regulations can lead to legal liability. If an accident occurs due to a violation—such as exceeding HOS limits, inadequate vehicle maintenance, or improper loading—the violating party may be held responsible. This can result in lawsuits, where the violator may be required to compensate victims for injuries, property damage, and other losses.
  • Insurance Issues: Insurance coverage may be affected by regulatory violations. If a violation contributed to an accident, insurance companies might contest coverage or limit the amount they pay out. In severe cases of non-compliance, insurance policies may even be voided, leaving the trucking company liable for all damages.
  • Fines and Penalties: Regulatory agencies can impose fines and penalties for violations. These can be substantial, especially for repeated or severe violations. For instance, exceeding HOS limits might result in fines against both the driver and the company, affecting their financial stability.
  • Criminal Charges: In cases of gross negligence, intentional violations, or accidents resulting from willful disregard for safety regulations, criminal charges might be brought against individuals or the company. This can lead to severe legal consequences, including fines, probation, or imprisonment.
  • Reputation and Business Impact: Accidents resulting from regulatory violations can severely damage a company's reputation. Negative publicity and a tarnished image can lead to loss of business, contracts, and future opportunities. Rebuilding trust and credibility can be a challenging and lengthy process.
  • Safety Concerns: Most importantly, violations that lead to accidents can compromise public safety. Lives can be lost or permanently affected due to negligent practices. Regulatory compliance is primarily aimed at ensuring the safety of drivers, passengers, and others on the road.

Compliance with these rules is essential for both trucking companies and individual drivers to operate legally and safely.

Establishing Liability in Complex Truck Accidents

Like other personal injury cases that involve auto accidents, successful lawsuits typically depend on whether you can prove that the truck driver or a third party was negligent. Thus, you must establish that the defendant or defendants involved owed a duty to you to exercise reasonable care so as to avoid injury, that they did not exercise that duty of care, and that the breach of that duty was the cause of your injuries.

After a trucking accident, it’s not always easy to figure out who the liable party is. There may be more than one defendant in your case.

Some potential parties who might be held liable include:

  • Truck Driver: If the accident occurred due to the driver's negligence, such as driving under the influence, exhaustion, distraction, or violation of traffic laws, the driver might be held personally liable.
  • Trucking Company: If the driver was an employee of a trucking company and the accident happened while they were performing their job duties, the company could be held liable. This might be due to improper maintenance of the truck, pushing unrealistic schedules leading to driver fatigue, or inadequate training of the driver.
  • Truck Owner: Sometimes, the truck involved in the accident might be owned by a separate entity from the company operating it. If the truck's ownership is distinct, the owner might bear some liability, especially if there were issues related to maintenance or mechanical failures that contributed to the accident.
  • Manufacturers: If a defective part or component of the truck (like brakes, tires, or engine parts) is found to be the cause of the accident, the manufacturer of that particular part might be held liable under product liability laws.
  • Cargo Loaders: In cases where improper loading of cargo causes the accident, the party responsible for loading the cargo might share liability.
  • Government Entities: Sometimes, accidents occur due to poor road conditions or inadequate signage. In such cases, liability might fall on government bodies responsible for road maintenance and safety.

Trying to defend your right to compensation may involve investigating the crash to see what factors caused it and filing one or more claims. Our attorneys can help you navigate this process and ensure no potential source of liability is left out.

How an Attorney Can Help After a Truck Accident

Trucking companies tend to have armies of attorneys and decades of experience processing accident claims. They have investigators across the country, many of whom are former police officers, who may show up at the scene of the accident to speak with the driver and the police.

It is the insurance company's sole objective to pay you less than your claim is worth to maximize its profits. Insurance adjusters are counting on your lack of experience and knowledge about your legal rights. They may try to rush an unfair settlement or frustrate you through endless delays. However, they’ll act like they have your best interests at heart because they don’t want you to talk to an attorney. As soon as you do, they’ll know the game is up.

How can you even the playing field? It is critically important that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible after a trucking accident. Reach out to us before you even speak to an insurance adjuster, because if you give them a statement, they may use your words against you. They unfairly contest claims and refuse to make reasonable offers. Our award-winning attorneys at Robins Cloud LLP would be honored to speak to you about your trucking accident, free of charge, to ensure you have a basic understanding about the claims process and your rights as an accident victim.

Additionally, lawsuits are more common after serious injuries like those can be caused by truck accidents. The bigger the potential settlement, the more incentive an insurance company has to spend resources challenging your claim. However, if you wait to contact us until after you’ve tried negotiating with the insurance company on your own, we may have a harder time finding evidence to investigate your claim. The sooner you bring an attorney in on your case, the more we can do for you.

If you’re already suffering from severe injuries, do not let yourself be victimized by a greedy insurance company. Get an experienced lawyer who will fight for your rights and pursue justice to the fullest extent of the law. We want to help you maximize your recovery and obtain fair compensation for all you have been through.

Damages You May Be Able to Recover

When you choose Robins Cloud LLP to handle your trucking accident case, our knowledgeable attorneys and experts will work hard to make sure you obtain the compensation you deserve, which may include:

  • Any medical expenses, whether they are past, present, or future;
  • The pain and suffering that you’ve had to endure;
  • Any wages that you’ve lost due to your injury or illness and any lost future earning potential;
  • Expense required to repair your vehicle and the loss of use due to the damages; and
  • Lost quality of life.

It does not matter whether you case settles outside of court or goes to trial. At Robins Cloud LLP, our attorneys will work hard to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve

Truck Accident FAQs

What Should I Do Right After an Accident with a Commercial Truck?

Contact police, assess the scene and make sure everyone is okay. Call for medical help if necessary. Then, document as much about the accident as possible—this includes:

  • Taking pictures or video of the scene
  • Photographing any injuries you may have
  • Obtaining insurance information from other involved parties
  • Getting the names and contact information of any witnesses who stop to help

It’s not unusual for trucking companies to send defense attorneys, investigators, and insurance adjusters immediately to the scene to mitigate and lessen the company’s liability., You are not required to speak to any company officials, and you should neither talk to them nor sign anything. If you do, you could unknowingly relinquish your rights or put your truck accident case in jeopardy.

Can I Receive Money for Work I Missed After a Trucking Accident?

It is possible to receive money for the time you missed work due to your injuries. Your recovery can include payment for income lost through missed work and for any lost “earning capacity” resulting from the crash.

How Much Should I Expect in a Commercial Truck Accident Settlement?

Every truck accident case is different, so don’t trust a lawyer who promises a certain amount without knowing the details of your case. A settlement’s size depends on several factors such as how serious your injuries are, how long they last, whether they cause permanent affects, and whether surgery is involved. Another key factor is be the insurance investigation, which could reveal different layers of insurance coverage, umbrella insurance policies, or sister corporations. When more entities are involved, there may be more insurance coverage available.

How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Truck Accident Case?

Each lawsuit is different, but in our experience, the time to resolution ranges from several months to three years.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident?

Similar to other personal injury cases, there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit. While this might seem like a long time, filing a claim that involves serious injuries and/or more than one defendant is not a quick process.

Steps to Take if You’ve Been Involved in a Truck Accident

At the Scene

Though it’s difficult after an accident, especially one involving a large truck, do your best to remain calm. The first thing you should do is protect the safety of anyone involved. Move your car out of the lane of traffic if possible. If anyone is seriously injured, call for emergency responders.

After that, there are a few steps you can take to help with your eventual insurance claim. If possible, it’s also a good idea to collect the contact and insurance information from any others involved in the accident and to take photographs with your camera or phone. The information you are able to collect at the scene of the accident will be useful when your attorneys are building your case, should you decide to file one.

Regarding Medical Treatment

If you have sustained serious injuries, your first priority should be seeking emergency treatment While knowing you’re incurring expenses at the hospital can be scary, we urge you to not give a statement or sign a settlement offer with an insurer. Insurance adjusters often try to take advantage of worried or frazzled accident victims to get a quick resolution where they can underpay. Legally, you do not have to speak with an insurance adjuster. Instead, call Robins Cloud LLP to represent you, and we will deal with the insurance and trucking companies on your behalf.

Schedule a Free Consultation

At Robins Cloud LLP, your first meeting with our attorneys is always free, and our clients never pay anything until we succeed in obtaining compensation. This means you can focus on healing rather than worrying about the financial implications of the crash. Accidents involving large trucks are both physically and emotionally damaging. Our goal is to make things easier for you in the aftermath of the accident. At Robins Cloud LLP, we have the knowledge and resources to stand up to large insurance and trucking companies, so you don’t have to do it alone.

Our Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help the Victims of Severe Injuries

Being involved in an accident with a commercial truck can be a terrifying event with life-changing consequences. This type of crash can put your health and ability to work in jeopardy, and your vehicle may be seriously damaged or completely destroyed. At a time when your attention should be solely focused on recovering from your injuries, there are often many things that need to be done to secure your legal rights.

Our award-winning attorneys at Robins Cloud LLP have been helping trucking accident victims around the country for over thirty years. Our philosophy is simple: We strive to do what is right for you. We work hard to provide you with the justice you deserve. We have no agenda of our own and will not force you to accept an unfair result you’re unhappy with or take a case to trial if you’d rather settle. At Robins Cloud LLP, our clients’ interests always come first. We are here to advise you and protect your rights, but you will always be in charge of your case.

Call our truck accident attorneys at (800) 691-2363 to schedule a free consultation. We serve the victims of serious accidents in an around Los Angeles and throughout California.

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