Not all motor vehicle accidents are alike. While any accident has the potential to inflict some serious, even fatal injuries, that potential is even higher in motor vehicle accidents involving trucks. The sheer size and weight alone make them inherently more dangerous than most other motor vehicle accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), accidents that involved large commercial trucks accounted for about 287,000 property damage claims, 77,000 injuries, and 4,321 deaths, spanning across a single year.
Causes of Truck Accidents
The causes of truck accidents also make settlement disputes markedly more difficult than those involving automobiles, since they are usually less than straightforward. In a typical motor vehicle accident, a common cause is human error. In trucking accidents, more than one party can be implicated in the cause of an accident, from the trucking company and employee, to a company that might have been contracted to ensure the truck was properly maintained.
Aside from driver error, equipment failure often plays a role in the causation of trucking accidents, though this does not mean the driver is free of liability. Drivers should also conduct pre-trip inspections to make sure everything is functioning properly. If there was a piece of equipment that should have been examined by the driver, which resulted in an accident, he or she might still be held responsible.
Compensation in Truck Accident Cases
As is the case with motor vehicle accidents, injured parties have a right to pursue compensation for damages incurred in truck accident cases. Compensation can cover medical expenses, rehabilitation, domestic services, loss of earnings, and lost earning capacity. It also involves non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional suffering, loss of enjoyment, disfigurement, and loss of consortium or diminishment of relations with a spouse. Depending on the state in which an accident victim lives, there might be a cap on the non-economic damages he or she is allowed to receive.
Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accident injuries are also often much more severe compared to those sustained in car accidents. Consider this: a fully loaded semi-truck can weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds, compared to a car, which weighs about 3,000 pounds. Given the drastic difference in weight alone, it is easy to see how collisions involving trucks can result in some serious damage. Due to this fact, truckers are required to carry insurance with higher than usual liability limits, which also means there is more money available for the injured party. That said, insurance companies tend not to make it easy for injured victims to recover damages, so hiring a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney is crucial to ensuring you receive just compensation.
Special Truckers Licenses and the Possibility of Negligence
State and federal regulations govern commercial trucking, so it is more than likely a truck driver involved in an accident would have had to undergo certain specialized education and training and formalized instructions associated with the particular loads he or she transports. Additionally, all commercial truck drivers must possess a commercial driver’s license that is reflective of the training they received. Why is any of this important for you to know? If an accident occurs and the truck driver does not possess the proper qualifications, you can hold the trucking company liable for negligence in the area of hiring and training.
Why Involve an Attorney?
It is true that you can deal with the insurance company or companies on your own, but that does not mean you should. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to reduce or eliminate the compensation injury victims deserve and need in the aftermath of an accident. These cases are also often incredibly complex, making it difficult to navigate on your own. When you hire an attorney who is not only familiar with the law, but has experience handling such cases, you stand a much better chance at securing a favorable outcome. Given the injuries that are often associated with such accidents, compensation can help relieve the financial burden of having to pay for medical costs and time off work.
Helping Victims in Pasadena and Glendale
At Tedford & Associates in Pasadena, our truck accident attorneys have been proving negligence in trucking accident cases to obtain maximum compensation on behalf of our clients. Since 1994, we have represented victims involved in truck accidents in the Los Angeles County area. We understand the severity of these accidents and know they can lead to life-altering injuries and trauma that can reverberate throughout a person’s life, often impacting the injured party’s family as well. You should not suffer in silence or pay for someone else’s negligence. You have a right to pursue compensation and we would be honored to fight for you and ensure justice is served.
When you choose Tedford & Associates, you will receive compassionate and aggressive legal advocacy, backed by decades of experience. In fact, we have been successfully handling truck accident cases for nearly 20 years and will be able to do the same for you, whether inside or outside of a courtroom. Attorney Tedford is a former auto accident victim himself, so he understands firsthand the importance of having sufficient funds to cover future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Contact our office today at (626) 325-0142 for effective legal representation and a free case evaluation.