If you or a loved one were a victim of a truck accident in Los Angeles, you may feel uncertain about what to do or where to turn next. Large medical bills, potential funeral costs, and other monetary obligations after the accident can pile up quickly. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the average cost of a truck accident is $90,000 or more. If the accident was not your fault, you should not face the burden of paying these expenses on your own.
Instead of trying to handle these costs alone or filing a claim with your insurance company and watching your premiums skyrocket, consider filing a lawsuit against the parties who are liable for the accident. There are multiple parties who can potentially be sued for your truck accident case, and you should discuss this with your truck accident attorney. Depending on the specifics of your situation, your lawyer could build a case against the following potential responsible individuals or entities:
If another driver is liable for the accident, then your accident was likely caused by some form of negligent driving. Examples of negligent driving include:
- Fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Reckless driving
Operating a large commercial truck such as an 18-wheeler, dump truck, garbage truck, or others requires extensive training and regulations. Sometimes, a driver can become distracted or use substances to try to stay awake. When those substances wear off, they may become fatigued or fall asleep at the wheel and not stop in time to avoid hitting your vehicle. Reckless driving, texting while driving, or speeding can also impede a driver from being able to stop.
An inexperienced driver, even after going through training, may not have the experience needed to avoid an accident. A recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that less experienced drivers were more likely to crash, especially older truck drivers with minimum experience. Regardless of age, the first year of driving is the most dangerous for any truck driver.
If the driver is indeed liable, then you can name them in your claim and pursue compensation for any injuries or damages that were caused by the accident.
Trucking Companies or Part Manufacturers
Often, drivers are not the only liable party in a trucking accident. The trucking company and/or part manufacturers could hold blame as well. The trucking company is responsible for any drivers they decide to put on the road. The company may not have properly trained the driver or failed to put proper inspection procedures in place. This would likely place liability on the company, meaning they can be sued for the accident that injured you or caused the death of a loved one.
Additionally, part manufacturers may be liable if they built a faulty part that contributed to the accident in some way. For example, air brakes can malfunction or tires can blow out prematurely. If a malfunctioning part caused the accident, then the manufacturer may be included in your claim.
Large commercial trucks need to be inspected routinely. It is the job of truck mechanics to ensure that the truck is operating properly by checking the brakes, tires, and other parts of the truck. If they fail to complete their inspection or miss something that should have been replaced, there may be grounds to include the mechanic in your claim.
If the truck accident happened because the cargo load was improperly secured or not put in the right place—causing the truck to drift over or lose control and crash into you—the cargo loaders may also be named in your case. Cargo loads are supposed to be thoroughly inspected by multiple parties to ensure they are put in correctly. When someone fails in their duties, it can make them liable for your accident.
Potential Types of Compensation
When you file a truck accident lawsuit, there are several types of compensation that you may claim. These types include, but are not be limited to:
- Wrongful death
- Lost wages
- Future earning potential
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
To file for compensation, you will need to prove that the driver, company, or other party was negligent and that their negligence led directly to the accident and your injuries.
Find Out How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Having a truck accident lawyer on your side can benefit you in many ways. A lawyer can help you decide which negligent parties to include in your suit and what types of compensation to file for. They can also compile all the necessary evidence—such as witness statements, police reports, and photos of the scene—and negotiate with all parties on your behalf, so you can concentrate on your recovery.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we help the victims of Los Angeles truck accidents recoup damages. To learn more, contact us today at (800) 223-5115 for a free consultation.