Torrance-Based Attorneys Representing Truck Accidents Victims Throughout California
As our nation’s population grows, so does the desperate need for goods to be delivered through the use of trucking companies. As the number of commercial vehicles increases on the highways, so do the odds of being involved in a big rig accident.
Due to the overall size of a commercial truck, an accident victim typically will sustain significant injuries that may take months or perhaps even years to heal, if they even heal at all. Medical bills can quickly pile up, especially if you suffer severe injuries. Catastrophic truck accident cases can leave you permanently disabled and unable to provide for yourself and your family. Even minor injuries sustained in a commercial truck accident can cause you to lose time at work as well as deal with the mental anguish that can accompany your recovery period.
KRA Legal, PC, of Torrance, California, is a personal injury law firm that provides assistance to truck accident victims. We are confident in our ability to recover a settlement verdict that can pay your medical expenses and other costs associated with your recovery.
Get Your Case Underway
No one ever wants to think that they will be injured and become a truck accident victim. However, if you find yourself involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you will need a personal injury law firm that can fight for your rights and the financial compensation you deserve. Our goal at KRA Legal, PC, is to obtain a financial settlement that is in your best interests in helping you recover financial losses and provide for your future needs.
Often when you file a truck accident claim, the insurance company will try to undervalue or even deny you the settlement you deserve. This is because trucking companies are big businesses and, in most cases, have teams of trial lawyers working to find reasons why they should not pay the full value of your claim.
It is crucial that you retain a personal injury lawyer in Torrance who is not afraid to stand up to the insurance company and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve during insurance negotiations. You can be assured that the trucking company will have strong legal representation as your personal injury case works its way through the civil courts.
If you have been injured in a truck crash, you need to hire an experienced truck accident attorney who will work to ensure that the insurance companies do not try to offer you a settlement that is not in your best interests. Contact our law offices and ask to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your legal rights.
What Are The Main Causes Of Truck Accidents?
Although the cause of a truck accident can be unique based on the conditions and circumstances that surround your particular case, there are several commonly cited factors in collisions. Some of the most common examples include the following:
- Driver fatigue is one of the deadliest causes of trucking accidents. Federal regulations stipulate how much time a driver is allowed to be on duty. These regulations are meant to combat the potential of truck driver fatigue. Often truck drivers are pushed to the limits of their trucking companies to get loads delivered early and lack sleep. As a result, a truck driver is more prone to falling asleep and being involved in an accident.
- Distracted driving is also another potentially deadly element that contributes to truck accidents. In a majority of cases, it is discovered that the truck driver was looking at their cell phone or texting and driving. However, truck drivers may also find themselves distracted by looking at their navigation system or other conditions that may be occurring on the road in front of them.
- Driving too fast is a persistent problem in tractor-trailer crash cases. Due to the size of the truck and the sheer amount of weight that may potentially be on the trailer, it takes significantly longer for a commercial vehicle to stop. If a truck driver exceeds the posted speed limit, this can result in a deadly collision for occupants of passenger vehicles. The failure to comply with vehicle weight restrictions can also be a factor when a driver is traveling at a high rate of speed. As the weight of the vehicle increases, so does the required distance that it takes for the tractor-trailer to come to a complete stop.
- Driver errors can include the trucker not checking their blind spots when changing lanes. This can cause them to side-swipe other vehicles. Another common error is not getting out to look and see what is actually behind their tractor-trailer before backing up. Individuals in passenger vehicles can still experience significant injuries even when hit by a semi truck at a low rate of speed.
- Driving under the influence is, unfortunately, still a serious problem in the trucking industry. Even though there are strict rules and other safety regulations that prohibit the use of alcohol and drugs, and even some types of prescription medications, while driving a large truck, there are still numerous trucking accidents attributed to these factors. Drunk driving or driving under the influence of narcotics can have deadly consequences for all parties involved in a truck crash.
- Equipment failure can be caused by poor maintenance or defective parts. Most trucking companies have a dedicated schedule of when they should perform the required service for their vehicles. However, if a trucking company or driver fails to maintain their vehicles properly, they could be liable for negligence if an accident occurs.
With our years of experience, we are skilled at discovering the truth about how a truck accident happened.
What Types Of Evidence Can Help Prove Fault After A Truck Accident?
A thorough investigation may include a combination of some or all of these types of evidence:
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Evaluation of wrecked vehicles
- Surveillance camera footage, if available
- A truck driver’s log, whether it is the official one or a collection of unofficial notes, and whether it is electronic or handwritten
- Black box data, which can provide information about a truck’s speed and more
The black box found in many big rig trucks is a computerized device that documents a semi’s driving record, movements and location at any time.
What Are The Most Common Injuries Suffered In Commercial Truck Accidents?
People injured in truck accidents are most often occupants of passenger vehicles struck by a big rig. Other victims of truck accidents include motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians on the road. Injuries caused by truck accidents tend to be extremely serious or even labeled as catastrophic. The weight and momentum of a truck can prove to be a deadly combination in collisions with other vehicles. Common truck accident injuries can range from slight bumps and bruises to life-threatening injuries depending on the impact of the truck crash.
Some of the most commonly reported injuries by truck accident victims include the following:
- Brain injuries can include mild concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
- Spinal cord injuries are some of the worst injuries that can be sustained in a truck accident. These types of injuries can cause temporary or permanent paralysis. They also can result in truck accident victims having to undergo years of painful and costly therapy and rehabilitation. If the accident victim experiences permanent paralysis, they will require consent to medical care and treatments for the remainder of their lives.
- Broken bones, compared to other substantial injuries, may seem to be minor in nature. However, they still take a great deal of time to heal or may fail to heal correctly. Broken bones are also painful and, once damaged, may be prone to refracture in the future.
- Neck injuries are often thought of as being related to whiplash. Whiplash can be very painful and hard to treat. Neck injuries can also cause an injury victim to suffer from headaches as well pain in the shoulders and upper back.
- Internal injuries can be extremely dangerous as they are frequently not evident immediately after the accident occurs. Common internal injuries sustained by a motor vehicle driver involved in an accident with a large truck include damage to the kidneys, liver, spleen or bladder.
Frequently, we have seen firsthand the results of when motorists have been seriously injured in catastrophic truck accident cases. Catastrophic injuries include extensive burns, loss of a limb or use of a limb. A traumatic brain injury, disfigurement, and spinal cord injuries involving paralysis also qualify as catastrophic injuries due to their devastating and negative life-altering effects.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Even if you do not think that you have been seriously injured, it is best to be checked out by a medical professional. A trained medical practitioner can properly evaluate you and write a report stating your injuries. This could prove invaluable should you file a claim against the truck driver or trucking company at a later date.
What Types Of Damages Can I Recover After I Have Sustained Truck Accident Injuries?
Under California law, you may be entitled to recover compensation after you have been injured in a truck accident. Large truck accidents can be particularly deadly due to the difference between the size and weight of a tractor-trailer versus that of a smaller passenger vehicle.
You may be able to recover both economic and noneconomic damages after the truck accident. Economic damages refer to the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket or money you have lost or may lose due to the accident. Even if the accident victim has health insurance, the cost may be overwhelming, and there may be procedures that their insurer does not want to cover.
Some of the most frequently awarded economic damages in California include:
- Medical expenses include all hospital bills such as emergency room visits, therapy, rehabilitation, the cost of prescriptions, and X-rays. Future medical expenses are also calculated based on the extent of your injuries and by having a medical professional evaluate you. These types of damages can also cover medical supplies costs and if you need to have your home or vehicle altered to accommodate a wheelchair.
- Lost wages are one of the main concerns of victims of trucking accidents, as they often have to miss work due to the extent of their injuries. Generally, lost wages are calculated by simply figuring out how much time you have missed from work and the money that you have lost as a result.
- Loss of earning capacity occurs when an individual injured in a big rig accident is unable to return to work. Several key factors are used to determine loss of earning capacities, such as your age, the type of profession in which you are employed, potential promotions that you may be ineligible to receive, and any physical limitations brought on by your injuries. A skilled truck accident lawyer may also argue that you should be reimbursed for any bonuses or pay incentives you lost due to being unable to return to your job.
- Property damage is meant to compensate for losses you have sustained to your passenger vehicle. This can also include items that may have been in the car at the time of the accident, such as prescription glasses, electronics, or even clothing that may have been ruined.
Noneconomic damages are most subjective in nature and do not have a monetary value attached to them. Noneconomic damages are awarded by civil courts based on your particular circumstances and the various factors that surround your case. They can include the following:
- Loss of enjoyment of life can be awarded if you can no longer participate in activities that you once enjoyed before your accident.
- Pain and suffering are damages that are awarded to compensate a victim for the physical pain they experienced or continue to experience after sustaining a truck accident injury.
- Mental anguish is often sought to make amends for the trauma that the victim has suffered. Often victims of truck accidents suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which leads to other mental health conditions.
- Loss of consortium refers to the loss of intimacy, companionship, or moral support as the result of a personal injury to a spouse or legally registered domestic partner in California. In order to be eligible to recover this type of damage, the personal injury lawyer handling your case must be able to prove that the loss of consortium occurred as a direct result of another person’s negligence.
If you have suffered the loss of a family member who was killed as a result of a trucking accident, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Trucking companies that employ negligent drivers who cause a fatal truck accident can be held accountable for the death of your loved one.
Some of the damages that families are able to recover as part of a wrongful death settlement include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of income and financial support.
- Loss of guidance.
- Loss of love, affection, companionship, protection, as well as emotional and moral support
It should be understood that just because your loved one was killed in an accident with a semi truck does not automatically mean that you will be entitled to file a claim. There are four elements that must be proven in order to win a wrongful death claim. They are as follows:
- Negligence: On the driver’s part, that caused a loved one’s death.
- Breach of duty: Any action or omission that a reasonable party would not have committed. In terms of trucking accidents, this could include the fact that the driver was knowingly operating the truck under the influence of drugs, or alcohol or sleep deprivation.
- Causation: Proving that the death of a loved one would not have occurred without the defendant’s breach of duty.
- Damages: Families must be able to prove that their loved one’s death results in damages such as funeral expenses, medical bills and other expenses.
Additionally, the deceased’s loved ones should be aware that only certain family members can file a wrongful death claim. You must be able to prove that you were financially dependent on the deceased. Those who are considered to be eligible under California law include:
- Surviving spouse
- Domestic partner
- Dependent parents of the deceased
You should also be aware that California has a strict statute of limitations law when it comes to filing wrongful death claims. A family has two years from the date of their loved one’s death in which to file a claim. However, you should not delay in speaking with a qualified truck accident lawyer. Often witnesses move away, or their memories fade. Evidence can quickly become lost or unavailable.
If you feel that your loved one died as a result of wrongful death due to a truck accident, you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You need a personal injury firm that has experience in handling truck accident fatalities. The aftermath of a truck crash and the loss of a loved one can have far-reaching consequences on you and your family. Contact KRA Legal, PC, to schedule a free case evaluation.
How Can The Lawyers At KRA Legal, PC, Help You After A Truck Accident?
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer who has previously handled truck accident claims. All trucking companies are required to have insurance coverage in the event that one of their drivers is involved in a truck accident case. However, the trucking industry seems to be more interested in profit than accountability. As a result, most large trucking companies have teams of lawyers whose only job is to find legal loopholes as to why they should not pay maximum compensation in personal injury cases.
At KRA Legal, PC, our legal team has a vast amount of experience in handling truck accident litigation. Our main objective is to ensure that the at-fault party is held accountable for their actions. Many of our new clients tell us that they do not really enjoy the idea of having to file a lawsuit to recover damages. However, often filing a lawsuit is the only way to ensure that the negligent parties who are responsible for your injuries are held liable.
Discovering the cause of a truck accident can significantly affect the outcome of a claim brought by an injured person or surviving family members. We are committed to asking hard questions, such as, was the truck driver fatigued? Or were the truck’s safety features not working as they should? In addition, was the truck’s load unbalanced due to poor driving techniques on the part of the driver?
If the truck accident was caused by a truck manufacturer defect, you may also be able to file legal action against the company that originally produced the truck as well. An investigation into these and other potential causes is essential as you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
Our law firm recognizes that you have a wide variety of personal injury lawyers to choose from in Torrance and the Los Angeles County area. Not all personal injury lawyers have the skill and experience necessary to handle truck accident claims successfully. It should also be noted that not all trial lawyers have the qualifications necessary to obtain the financial compensation that is in your best interests.
When KRA Legal, PC, is on your side after a big rig crash or any other type of commercial vehicle accident, you can count on a thorough review of all evidence. You can also depend on the fact that we strive to provide each of our clients with a strong degree of representation and legal advocacy to help you cope with serious or catastrophic injuries or the loss of a loved one. As a truck accident victim, we understand that you want the negligent parties who are responsible for your injuries to be legally accountable for their actions.
Request A Free Consultation After A Truck Accident
We will be happy to sit down with you, listen to your side of the story, and answer any legal questions you may have as we provide you with a free case review.
If you have been injured or suffered the death of a loved one due to an accident with a semi truck or any other type of commercial vehicle, you need to contact our law office by calling 310-774-4260 or emailing us to request a free consultation.