Accidents involving semi trucks often involve severe injuries or even death. If you suffered injuries or losses related to an accident with a semi-truck, learn how a Los Angeles semi truck lawyer can help you with your legal rights. Contact our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation.
Causes of Semi Truck Accidents
The term semi-truck is often used interchangeably with tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers. Officially, the term semi truck actually refers to the portion of the large vehicle that contains the engine. Regardless of which term a person uses, accidents involving semi trucks are typically devastating and cause serious damages. While every accident involving a semi truck is different, some causes of these types of accident include the following:
- Speeding, or failure to obey road signs or rules of the road
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driver inexperience, or the failure of the trucking company to provide proper training
- Driver fatigue, due to failure to adhere to federal regulations for truck drivers regarding mandatory rest periods, coupled with unreasonable schedules
- Improperly loaded cargo or overloaded cargo, causing rollovers due to shifting or improperly balanced weight
- Reckless driving, including unsafe turns, tailgating, or failure to check blind spots before changing lanes, which can lead to jackknifing or sideswiping accidents
- Failure to maintain trucks properly, according to maintenance schedules
- Manufacturer defects or flaws in semi truck parts or components
- Hazards or debris in the roadways
- Poor weather conditions
Types of Lawsuits
An investigation into the accident will determine the cause of the semi truck accident and who is liable and responsible for the victim’s injuries and losses.
It is important to conduct an independent investigation, as insurance companies working on behalf of the trucking company or manufacturer may have teams of lawyers attempting to remove liability from their clients for any injuries or losses. As a victim of a semi truck accident, you have the right to file a claim against any party that was directly negligent or responsible for your injuries and a Los Angeles semi truck lawyer may be able to help.
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your particular accident, you might file a claim against the following persons or entities:
- Semi truck driver: If the driver operated the semi truck under the influence of drugs or alcohol, while speeding or fatigued, or in any other negligent way, you may have the legal right to file a claim directly against them.
- Trucking company: Under the legal theory of respondeat superior, a trucking company has the legal responsibility for all of their employees if they behave negligently during the course of their employment.
- Manufacturer: If an investigation determines that a defective part or component of the semi truck caused the accident, or caused the accident to be more severe, a victim may have the legal right to file a claim directly against the manufacturer.
- Government: In some cases, a construction site or potholes in the roadway are under the jurisdiction of a city or state governmental entity. When an investigation reveals that a governmental entity either caused or contributed to an accident in some way, the victim may file a claim against the governmental entity.
For a free legal consultation with a Semi Truck Accidents Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
In some cases, a semi truck accident is so catastrophic that it results in the death of a victim. In cases where a loved one dies due to an accident, the family may file a wrongful death case against the appropriate negligent party on their behalf, according to California Code of Civil Procedure §377.60.
The family is often left with unexpected funeral expenses, remaining medical bills, the loss of future wages, and the loss of consortium due to their family member’s death. All of these might be types of losses you can recover compensation for with the help of a Los Angeles semi truck lawyer.
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Types of Compensation
If you suffered injuries related to a semi truck accident, there are many ways to receive compensation for your resulting injuries, damages, and losses.
In many cases, victims of a semi truck accident will suffer severe injuries requiring emergency room treatment, hospitalizations, surgeries, ongoing physical or occupational therapy, mental health therapy, diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation, medications, and medical equipment such as wheelchairs, shower rails, or the installation of ramps on their property.
In cases where a victim suffers injuries, they might be unable to return to work immediately. In these instances, a victim might be able to recover the wages they lost.
In addition to daily wages, victims might also be able to recover lost earning potential from their injuries. If a victim’s injuries are so severe that they are unable to return to the same type of employment in the future, they may have a permanent loss of wages for the remainder of their career.
Pain and Suffering
If a victim suffers physical or emotional injury following an accident with a semi truck, they likely have pain and suffering related to these injuries. Every case is different, and the more severe the injury, the greater the possibility of additional pain and suffering compensation. An attorney might be able to help you calculate how much you are entitled to for your pain and suffering.
A victim can receive punitive damages under California Code of Civil Procedure §3294. If the negligent party’s behavior is so egregious and reckless, the judge or jury might want to award additional compensation to punish that negligent behavior.
Not every semi truck accident will result in punitive damages. However, it is possible, depending on the facts and circumstances of your accident.
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Consider Working with a Los Angeles Semi Truck Lawyer
If you were in an accident involving a semi truck, consider calling Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation to learn how a Los Angeles semi truck lawyer can help you determine and understand your legal rights.