truck accident lawyer

Accidents involving large commercial trucks and 18-wheelers usually cause more devastation and wreckage than crashes involving passenger vehicles. 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. There are several steps involved in building a case. One of the steps a lawyer takes is determining what caused the crash.

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

Poor truck maintenance

It is a trucking company’s responsibility to inspect every truck in its fleet and perform 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 truck parts can increase the risk of a devastating truck accident. Defective or recalled brakes, tires or any other components can cause crashes no matter how safely a trucker may be 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 build a case even further, 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:
  •  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
  • 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 on the part of the party that caused the accident.

All motorists have a duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner and avoid causing an accident. A motorist can fail to carry out this duty by acting in a negligent manner. 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 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 difficult 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 not realize that their company has misclassified their employment status until after an accident has occurred. 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 the strategies companies use 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. This does not mean, however, that a truck driver cannot receive compensation for physical injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Some states decrease the amount of 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 makes sure truck drivers are not unfairly denied their right to compensation.

Workers’ compensation benefits

Regardless of which party caused an accident, truck driver’s who are employees of a trucking company may qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits. These benefits include payments for:
  • Medical expenses, such as hospitalization, doctor visits, diagnostic tests, rehabilitation.
  • A certain percentage of wages lost while the employee recovers from the injury
  • Funeral and burials costs for the employee’s survivors if the injury resulted in the employee’s death

If you are a truck driver and you 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 job of a lawyer is to serve as the truck driver’s legal representative. This means the lawyer speaks on the truck driver’s behalf to insurance companies and other parties and their lawyers. As a truck driver, speaking on your own to legal professionals, insurance adjusters, medical experts, and other professionals may be intimidating. But having Los Angeles personal injury lawyer represent you to parties involved in your truck accident takes the pressure off of 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 and have been involved in an accident, contact West Coast Trial Lawyers who can help you successfully build a case and secure compensation for your damages.