truck accident lawyer

Accidents involving large commercial trucks and 18-wheelers usually cause more devastation and wreckage than passenger vehicle crashes. Because of this, truck drivers are sometimes unfairly blamed for causing an accident.

If you drive a commercial truck and were recently involved in a crash, you might be facing an uphill battle to get compensation for your injuries and financial losses. If this describes your situation, you may need help from an experienced truck accident lawyer.

How Does a Lawyer Help?

A truck accident lawyer builds a solid case that helps you pursue compensation for the financial and emotional losses you suffered from the accident. Also, the complexity of trucking regulations makes it hard to determine which factors can be blamed for the accident. However, contact a truck accident lawyer like Blair & Ramirez LLP or any other expert accident attorney. They will be able to investigate the accident and determine the exact elements that caused it. With the help of a lawyer, it can be easier to know where to look or which questions to ask.

While each truck accident is unique, there are several common causes of commercial truck crashes:

Poor truck maintenance

A trucking company is responsible for inspecting every truck in its fleet and performing routine maintenance when needed. Keeping a commercial truck in good working order goes a long way in keeping truck drivers and other motorists safe on the road.

Truck cargo problems

Unevenly distributed cargo can cause a truck to shift and topple over. Overloaded cargo can weigh down a truck and cause a breakdown. If an accident occurs, the truck driver may be blamed. However, an investigation may find that a failure to properly load or secure the cargo caused the crash.

Truck manufacturers or parts manufacturers

A defective truck or recalled parts can increase the risk of a devastating truck accident. Defective or recalled brakes, tires, or other components can cause crashes no matter how safely a trucker is driving.

By discovering the causes behind truck crashes, a truck accident lawyer will know who to hold legally responsible for your financial and other losses, also known as "damages."

Collecting Evidence for a Truck Accident

To further build a case, a Los Angeles truck accident attorney gathers evidence to prove how another party's negligence caused the truck accident. Collecting information helps you to develop a legal strategy to challenge defenses against you and supports your claims about the truck accident. The evidence collected might include the following:
  •  A crash report from the police
  • Photographs of the accident scene
  • The truck driver's medical records (if the driver was injured)
  • The truck driver's logs
  • Surveillance or traffic camera video (if available)
  • Trucking company's truck inspection and repair records
  • The trucking company's past violations regarding its trucks
  • Interviews with the truck driver, other parties in the accident, or eyewitnesses
  • Reports from experts such as accident reconstruction specialists
A Los Angeles truck accident attorney collects as much information as possible regarding the accident. 

Pursuing Negligence Claims

The Los Angeles truck accident attorney uses the evidence to prove negligence by the party that caused the accident.

All motorists must drive reasonably safely and avoid causing an accident. A motorist can fail to carry out this duty by acting negligently. The negligent driver's action can cause physical harm and financial losses to another motorist.

Once the attorney proves negligence, a truck driver can hold the negligent party liable for damages.

Obtaining Compensation for Truck Drivers

One of the most important jobs of a personal injury lawyer is getting compensation for a truck driver who experienced bodily injuries and financial and non-economic losses from the accident.

While this seems straightforward, getting compensation can be one of the most challenging tasks for a personal injury lawyer. Why is that?

Generally, trucking companies and insurance companies try to avoid paying out damages in a truck accident. In fact, there have been cases where motor carriers misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid paying Workers' Compensation and other benefits truck drivers may be entitled to receive from a company. Independent contractors are not eligible for Workers' Compensation benefits.

Truck drivers might only realize that their company has misclassified their employment status after an accident. Trucking companies have been taken to court in challenges over employee misclassifications.

A lawyer can help truck drivers determine their employment status because they know companies' strategies to avoid paying employee benefits.

When a truck driver is partially at fault

Evidence may show a truck driver was partially at fault for causing a crash. However, this does not mean a truck driver cannot receive compensation for physical injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Some states decrease the compensation a driver receives based on the driver's percentage of fault. So, if a driver was found to be 20 percent at fault for causing the accident, the driver would only recover 80 percent in compensation.

A personal injury lawyer ensures truck drivers are not unfairly denied their right to compensation.

Workers' compensation benefits

Regardless of which party caused an accident, truck drivers who are trucking company employees may qualify for Workers' Compensation benefits. These benefits include payments for:
  • Medical expenses include hospitalization, doctor visits, diagnostic tests, and rehabilitation.
  • A certain percentage of wages is lost while the employee recovers from the injury.
  • Funeral and burial costs for the employee's survivors if the injury resulted in the employee's death
If you are a truck driver and qualify for Workers' Compensation, a lawyer can help you file a claim for benefits or appeal the denial of a Workers' Compensation claim.

A Truck Driver's Legal Representative

Another lawyer's job is to serve as the truck driver's legal representative. This means the lawyer speaks to insurance companies, other parties, and their lawyers on the truck driver's behalf. Talking to legal professionals, insurance adjusters, medical experts, and other professionals may be intimidating as a truck driver. But having the Los Angeles personal injury lawyer represent you to parties involved in your truck accident takes the pressure off you.

As a legal representative, your lawyer can also negotiate settlements to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses from the accident. You may be able to recover damages that include your:
  • Medical expenses, including hospital bills, doctor visits,
  • Current and future lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and Suffering
When parties refuse to negotiate fairly, West Coast Trial Lawyers may recommend filing a civil lawsuit on your behalf and taking the case to trial.

If you are a truck driver involved in an accident, contact West Coast Trial Lawyers, who can help you build a case and secure compensation for your damages.