Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer
Big rigs are a necessary part of living in a big city such as Los Angeles. They bring food to downtown restaurants, transport props and wardrobes to movie sets, and shuttle all manner of goods that make the City of Angels such a vibrant and happening place. They also sometimes create traffic headaches when they cause accidents or brush fires. Truck drivers are professionals, but they also make careless mistakes and cause accidents that result in another party’s injuries. And given the size and weight of eighteen-wheelers, commercial truck accidents tend to be quite serious.
Truck accidents also tend to be much complicated to sort out, since so many parties are involved in most cases. It’s always a good idea to consult with a Los Angeles truck accident attorney if you’ve been injured in a big rig accident. Walch Law is the team of attorneys you want fighting for you following a serious truck accident—we have the experience and track record of success you want on your side.
Below we’ve summarized some of the main points regarding these accidents below, including how liability is established and the types of injuries for which you may claim damages.Who’s Responsible for your L.A. Truck Accident?
Even when it’s clear that you were struck by a careless truck driver on one of L.A.’s busiest freeways, it’s not always so clear who’s liable. For instance, the driver in many cases is employed by a trucking company, which in turn may lease the truck from yet another party. Meanwhile, the truck may be serviced by another party that failed to service it properly. Also, there may be instances where faulty brakes or tires were the culprit.
Let’s first consider the main types of truck drivers:
- Owner-operators (drivers own their trucks and either work as independent contractors or lease their truck from a trucking company)
- Company drivers (drivers are employees of a trucking company, which owns the truck)
- Fully independent owner-operators (drivers own their trucks and haul their own loads)
For these reasons, determining which parties are liable for your truck accident injuries is rarely that simple. For instance, let’s assume the driver fell asleep at the wheel right before the accident. It may seem like a clear case of driver error, but is it? Perhaps the trucking company didn’t properly vet its drivers or imposed too demanding of a schedule. And if the driver is an independent contractor, as opposed to an employee, then the company will have less liability.
Negligence is the most common cause of action for any injury claim including truck accident claims. The elements of a negligence claim are as follows:
- The defendant (at-fault party) owed a duty of to the plaintiff
- The defendant breached that duty
- The plaintiff’s (injured party’s) injuries were in fact caused by this breach
- The defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of the injury(ies), meaning the injuries would not have occurred if not for the defendant’s negligence
- The plaintiff has suffered actual damages (legally recognized injuries), such as bodily injury
It’s your Los Angeles truck accident lawyer’s job to prove the existence of these elements, which they’ll establish through analysis of the evidence. And although the vast majority of truck accident claims are settled out of court, the work of a skilled attorney to build the strongest case possible will help you obtain a high-dollar settlement for your claim.Damages for Los Angeles Truck Accident Injuries
As you can imagine, the injuries resulting from an accident involving an 80,000-pound commercial big rig (the maximum loaded weight allowed by federal law) vs. a 3,500-pound automobile can be devastating. And even more so when a truck accident involves a motorcycle or pedestrian. These types of accidents often result in paralysis, loss of limbs, or even death. When someone dies because of a truck driver’s negligence, the surviving family members may sue for wrongful death and these cases can be worth a lot of money when handled by us.
When you file monetary claims for your injuries, they’re referred to as damages in legalese. Damages typically involve medical expenses and lost wages, but also may include:
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished future earning potential
- Loss of consortium (intimacy and affection)
Claims for damages can get tricky when you’re dealing with multiple defendants and counterclaims. For instance, you may be trying to collect damages for your substantial injuries while various other parties counter one another’s claims of who’s actually responsible. An attorney can help straighten it all out so you’re not left holding the bag.Get Compensated for Your Los Angeles Truck Accident Injuries Today
Truck accidents can be devastating and life-altering no matter where they occur, but the speed and frenetic pace of L.A. traffic can make it that much worse in the City of Angels. These are often complex claims; f you try to do everything yourself, you may come up short. If you’re involved in an L.A. truck accident, contact the seasoned pros at the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation and get some peace of mind. We have over 45 years of experience helping victims of truck accidents. We take all of our cases on a contingency fee basis meaning you don’t pay a thing until we get you paid. We are ready to get started when you are—it only takes one call!