Trucking Accident Lawyer in Sherman Oaks, California
Most of the cases we handle come from victims, some prior clients or their family members and frequently from other California lawyers. More than three accidents a minute take place where an individual is killed in a truck accident. On top of that, there are thousands of people within the United States that are injured or lose their lives being involved in trucking accidents where tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, eighteen wheelers, or other big commercial vehicles were involved. A great deal of these accidents occurs on California’s most frequently used roadways.
The most dangerous highways within the State of California that claim the most lives are I-10, I-15, I-8, I-5, and I-40. The top spot on the list is earned by I-15 in San Bernardino, California which was comprised of eight hundred and thirty-four automobile accidents during the years of 1994 to 2008. Within these findings one thousand sixty-nine were fatalities. I-15 alone is responsible for more than one thousand deaths. I-10 in Riverside County had a total of four hundred and forty auto accidents which resulted in five hundred and fifteen fatalities. In Los Angeles County, I-5 had four hundred and thirty-four accidents on its pavement which leads to four hundred and ninety-four deaths. I-10 located in Los Angeles is a little further behind the other highways with two hundred and ninety-nine auto accidents which also contributed to three hundred and twenty-seven deaths. You get the picture. California roads alone claim a magnitude of lives and sustain injuries due to all the auto accidents that take place.
Often, poor driving or overworked and overstressed drivers that are being compensated by the mile, sometimes carrying oversized truckloads or a great many other unsafe practices add to the dangers of operating these giant trucks. These machines can weigh up to eighty thousand pounds. However, many truck accidents are caused by simple driver error. The margin of error is much slimmer when operating a large truck.
However, our staff knows that it is not right to had a trucking accident just like any other motor vehicle accident. California has particular laws that are designed mainly to help victims of truck accidents. Our semi-truck accident lawyers have the necessary familiarity with the tiny details of state and federal trucking laws. The truck operator possibly violated a particular statute or broke a regulation rule in respect to the freight the driver was carrying or for the duration of hours the driver had been driving before the accident. For example, a driver could be extremely fatigued from not stopping or resting due to his rate of pay for how fast he can make deliveries or pickups.
To add to these considerations, when our tractor trailer accident lawyers investigate truck accident claims in California, we look at all of the factors and finer details specific to truck accidents because they have such a distinct language and nature. For instance, most big rigs contain “black boxes” that measure numerous parameters that can help the lawyer when constructing a case. Just like “black boxes” on planes, this can aid in determining what caused the wreck or accident.
Another consideration that our lawyers take into account is the preservation of relevant evidence, such as the black box. It is apparent that truck drivers and the larger companies that own them have a need to destroy evidence that will not aid their case. It is a top priority for this law firm to make sure evidence stays intact, and that correspondence is sent to the defendant as soon as possible. In California, any alteration or deletion of evidence by a party sends up many red flags that make those that tampered with evidence look very unfavorable. So seeing as those the trucking industry is a $671 billion dollar business in the U.S. alone, one would assume that they too have extremely competent truck accident attorneys there to fight against injury victims of trucking accidents. Our experienced truck accident lawyers have to knowledge and determination to stand up against these truck companies. Our lawyers can gain access to receipt forms, logbooks, and many other forms of critical evidence.
Within the state of California, there are four main risks that lead to truck accidents that are not generally present when dealing with passenger automobiles.
- Large trucks usually have a much harder time stopping which leads to numerous rear-end accidents. Now with this said, the defendant’s lawyers may make a claim that the road was slippery and the truck jack-knifed. But, our truck accident lawyers will use the full investigation made and often can prove that there was no outside force that made the truck unable to stop. Jack-knifing can also be when a truck slams on brakes and the load inside the trucks shifts, causing the trailer to slide sideways and can even cause it to roll or flip. Trucks do not have to be speeding for jack-knifing to occur.
- California truck operators also have difficulties with turning their long truck trailers. In many instances, it is necessary for the driver of the truck to use more than just one lane of traffic during these turns. When these turns are made, the trailer often swings out wide and unsuspecting other cars are hit in passing.
- A report was done by the Federal Highway Administration’s Driver Fatigue and Alertness Study that basically showed how fatigue and lack of sleep within drivers could cause truck accidents. Most human beings require seven and a half hours of sleep a day, whereas the average truck driver is usually driving on about 4.8 hours of sleep. The 10-hour break typically required for each truck driver gets reduced quickly when unloading takes several hours, and a parking place with a spot to rest still has to be found. One can see how quickly a 10-hour break can turn to five.
- The margin of error has much less allowance than that of a car, so being alert and careful is a must when driving these big rigs. Not to mention many drivers tested for drugs after an accident tested positive for alcohol or other drugs. When the difficulties of driving a large truck are combined with outside substances, the chances of a trucking accident exponentially increase.
Deciding just and fair compensation for truck-related accidents can require in-depth analysis and dutiful follow-ups after the accident. Truck-related injuries can also be post-acute, meaning that they do not appear immediately after the accident. Being just another reason to trust our truck accident lawyers to make the difference in compensation for damages and injuries in your case. This may come in the form of immediate compensation such as the costs of your immediate medical needs, long-term medical expenses, and the amount of care and support during your needed recovery. But for most involved in trucking accidents the consequences can be long-term and sometimes even life-long. Our dedicated truck accident lawyers are here for you and willing to put in the working hours in calculating possible long-term compensation through detailed research and documentation. Compensation can be awarded for many reasons in a tractor-trailer collision.
Compensation can be sought regarding pain and suffering, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, and lifestyle changes, but are not restricted to only those things. Pain and suffering compensation can be awarded by determining the actual costs associated with the extremeness, nature, and amount of time to heal this injury due to the accident. These costs include most aspects of your everyday life like being able to work and continue living as you have normally been. Due to the extent of certain injuries and long recovery times that can occur after an impact with a large truck carrying thousands of pounds of cargo, lost wages can quickly become the primary issue in deciding compensation. And one sustains an injury that is lifelong or long-term their reduced earning capacity is taken into consideration. With permanent or long-term injuries some injured parties may not be able to perform at occupations as done before the accident. Thus, the injured party most likely will not be able to earn the same amount of pay or be able to move up within the place of business. When a major accident causes disabilities or limits one’s previous ability to enjoy life and pursue the life they had prior to the truck accident this is known as compensation for lifestyle changes.
Also, damages can come in the form of life care. Life care is when an individual’s injuries are so severe due to a truck accident that a person needs physical and medical assistance for the rest of their life.
Punitive damages are typically awarded to a plaintiff for blatant wrongdoing or incredibly reckless and negligent behavior on the part of the defendant. It is unusual to see punitive damages for truck and auto accidents; however, if the driver of the truck was breaking the law at the time of the accident, these damages could be awarded. Sometimes this can be seen as the defendant’s negligence in maintaining the vehicle or if the trucking company continuously employed a driver that had a history of speeding or substance abuse issues.
Needless to say, there are multiple potential causes for a trucking accident case, and each one will is treated and investigated to reveal the individual causes that resulted in injuries and damages. Our competent Sherman Oaks truck accident attorneys will listen and handle your truck accident cases professionally and work diligently to get you the compensation you and your loved ones deserve.