Lakewood Truck Accident Lawyers
California drivers have little choice but to share the road with 18-Wheelers. These behemoths make modern life possible, but with trucking companies pushing their drivers to traverse highways faster and for longer distances, the public faces an omnipresent safety threat. Fatigue builds cumulatively with each hour on the road, causing drivers to struggle with alertness. Even a momentary loss of attention on busy streets and packed California highways can lead to debilitating injuries or deaths.
Many truck accidents occur because tired and stressed drivers fall asleep. After all, they have not appropriately rested for days or weeks. Some truckers also try to pack more miles by breaking traffic safety laws. We’ve all seen trucks barreling down the road without regard for the speed limit. We’ve also seen aggressive truckers forcing other vehicles out of their way.
Often this behaviour has devastating consequences for the drivers they hit. Also, trucking companies bear responsibility for their employees and pressure drivers to stay behind the wheel too long.
You need legal representation if you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a truck accident. Defense lawyers have many opportunities to undermine a plaintiff’s case. Often, they argue that the injured driver caused their suffering and loss.
Our Lakewood truck accident lawyers never let trucking companies get away with transferring the blame. Instead, we fight with every ounce of our strength to prove that the reckless conduct of the truck driver and trucking company caused their injuries. We refuse to settle until our clients receive 100% of their just compensation.
Browse our website to learn more about our practice areas, or contact us at (866) 773-0222 for a free consultation with our compassionate and experienced Lakewood lawyer.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Truck Accident Claim In Lakewood?
Most truck accident claims result in serious injuries. When trucks collide with smaller vehicles, the truck “wins”. Often, the truck driver walks away without physical injury while the occupants of smaller vehicles suffer grievous harm.
Trucking companies owe large sums of money to the victims of accidents they cause. In most cases, the trucking company’s insurer handles the payment. The business model for insurers is to pay as little in claims as possible. As a result, they use California’s comparative negligence law to justify paying less than the full damages.
Under comparative negligence, the plaintiff’s awards are reduced by the percentage of fault they contributed to the accident. For example, if a court finds that the semi-truck driver was 80% responsible and the injured driver 20%, the judge reduces the injured party’s damages by 20%!
You need a truck accident lawyer to fight against the injustice of insurance companies paying less than full compensation by blaming the victim. Our Lakewood truck accident attorneys negotiate with insurers and clarify to our opponents that we are fully prepared to take cases to trial and win. As a result, insurers usually capitulate before the trial date and offer full compensation to our clients.
Why Choose Alpine Law Group For Truck Accident Claim In Lakewood?
Alpine Law Group employs talented personal injury lawyers with truck accident experience. We have seen many truck accident cases with various causes, such as overloaded vehicles and driver fatigue. They understand what causes truck accidents and how to assemble a compelling lawsuit against a logistics company. In addition, they are tenacious litigators who empathize with the pain and suffering of their clients. They never give up and pursue cases as long as necessary to win their clients the justice they deserve.
Common Type of Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accidents often cause grievous injuries. Though some accident victims escape with minor abrasions and sprains, the size and weight of trucks usually cause far more consequential injuries. Common truck accident injuries include the following:
- Facial injuries and disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Bone fractures or dislocations
- Ankle and wrist sprains (often severe)
- Spinal cord damage
- Eye injuries
- Organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Dismemberment of amputation
Common Causes of Truck Accident Injuries
The idea of suffering from debilitating injuries should make you shudder. A truck accident can easily lead to years of surgeries and rehab, permanent health problems that shorten life spans, and paralysis.
But why do these accidents happen?
In many cases, the answer is a truck driver and company negligence. The most common causes of truck accidents include the following:
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Improper lane changes
- Texting while driving
- Using a cellphone while driving
- Falling asleep
- Drowsy driving
- Medication side effects
- Drunk driving
- Drugged driving
- Poor truck maintenance
- Overloaded trailers
- Improperly secured loads
What To Do After a Truck Accident in Lakewood?
To victims, truck accidents seem to come out of nowhere, leaving them shaken. But, it can be difficult to think about what to do if suffering from serious injuries. Knowing what to do beforehand allows you to follow the necessary steps to ensure your health and protect your legal rights while under stress.
Step1: Call 911
All truck accidents must be reported, even if injuries seem minor or nonexistent. If your vehicle was hit by a truck, your 911 call starts the process of documenting what occurred.
Step 2: Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention may be axiomatic when suffering a serious injury; however, you should still have minor injuries treated and receive a full medical exam even if you seem uninjured. In addition, some physical damages are more severe than they first seem. In addition, the medical records provide key evidence establishing the link between the accident and injuries.
Step 3: Gather Evidence If Possible
You may be in no condition to gather evidence, so your focus needs to be on your safety and treatment of injuries. However, if you are uninjured, document any evidence, such as by taking pictures of the damaged vehicles and writing down the names and contact information of witnesses.
Step4: Report the Incident to Your Insurance Company
As soon as you are able, call your insurance company. Do not worry about going into a lot of detail. A basic explanation of how the truck hit you is enough.
Step 5: Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
You will certainly be going up against the trucking company’s insurance carrier. From the start, the insurer will look for ways to justify a lower settlement or no settlement. Getting an attorney involved early in the process allows them to construct the case while evidence is fresh and counteract any moves made by opposing counsel to damage or destroy your claim.
How Does the Investigation Process Work?
Our Lakewood personal injury lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident. At the same time, the insurance company conducts its investigation in search of evidence to weaken your legal position. To build an ironclad case, your lawyer will start with the following:
Collect Incident Evidence
This includes police reports, witness statements, photographic evidence, and video from the scene, your vehicle, and the truck.
Medical Records Review
Your medical records show the cause and extent of your injuries. These are key in proving the case and determining damages.
Obtain Documents from the Defendant
Safety records on the driver and truck often play key roles in litigation. For example, your claim is strengthened if the driver’s safety record is poor or they violated regulations.
Who Is Liable In Truck Accident Cases?
In contrast to other types of motor vehicle accident cases, such as car accident and motorcycle accident claims, truck accident cases tend to be very complex due to the number of potentially liable parties involved. When an accident occurs, it may initially seem obvious that the truck driver is responsible. After all, isn’t he clearly liable if a truck driver causes an accident because he is texting while driving or operating his vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
In fact, the answer isn’t so simple. While a truck driver may be liable—at least partially—for an accident, he or she is also an employee of the trucking company that owns and/or leases the vehicle. Employers in California (and throughout the U.S.) are generally liable for the conduct of their employees when they are working.
Additionally, various other factors may be at play, meaning various other third parties may be partially or wholly liable for an accident. A truck tire may have a manufacturing defect, causing it to blow out on the highway, leading to the truck driver losing control. Another driver directly in front of a large truck may swerve to avoid an object on the road, resulting in a chain reaction that leads to an accident.
In short, any of the following parties (and more) may be liable for a truck accident:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The company that owns/leases the vehicle
- The person or company responsible for truck maintenance
- The manufacturer of a defective truck part
- The entity responsible for the truck’s design (if defective)
- The party responsible for roadway construction/design
- A third-party driver
At Alpine Law Group, our attorneys understand what it takes to prove liability in a semi-truck accident. We can help you gather all the necessary evidence and strategize a plan that ensures you recover maximum compensation.
Truck Driver Regulations In Lakewood, CA
Because of the serious risk semi-trucks pose to the other drivers on the road in the event of an accident, truck drivers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA regulates many aspects of the trucking industry, including when and how long a trucker can be on the road. This rule is called the hours of service regulations, and according to this rule truck drivers can:
- Work up to 14-hours in a day, however, three of these hours must be used for rest or meal breaks, which means truckers can only drive for 11 hours.
- After the 14-hour workday is over, drivers must rest for at least 10 hours.
- Must take days off work at regular intervals. If a trucking company is open seven days a week a driver is only allowed to work 70 hours in an eight-day period before taking at least 34 consecutive hours off. If a trucking company is open less than seven days a week then a driver is only allowed to work 60 hours in a seven-day period before taking 34 hours off.
Truckers are not uncommon to break these rules, either by their own negligence or under the pressure of the company they work for. In rarer circumstances, the hours of service regulations are modified by the FMCSA in times of national emergencies, such as in the recent COVID-19 crisis. No matter the case, the result is the same, more tired truck drivers and more accidents. If you have been injured in a truck accident our firm is ready to help you today!
How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
Your truck accident case is worth everything you lost due to the accident, including financial damages, such as medical bills, and non-financial damages, such as pain and suffering. The amount varies based on the impact the accident had on the victim’s life. A claim for property damage alone may settle in the tens of thousands of dollars, while a severe injury claim can go into the millions.
These are some of the common types of damages:
- Vehicle damage
- Personal property damage
- Ambulance charges
- Emergency room bills
- Surgical procedures
- Doctor visits
- Physical therapy
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Contact Our Top-Rated Lakewood Truck Accident Lawyer Today
When you suffer injury because of a truck accident, you need a tough law firm on your side. Insurance companies are notorious for offering low settlements in the hopes of dragging out the case so that the plaintiff will take less than they are owed. Our Lakewood truck accident lawyers fight back.
We prepare your case for trial, so the insurance company knows you will win. With this leverage, we force the insurer to pay you every penny you are owed. Contact a top-rated truck accident lawyer in Lakewood today to receive the best possible result from your truck accident case.