Los Angeles Truck Accident Guide
Truck accidents can change your life forever. It's important to know how to navigate a lawsuit against a trucking company.
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Our guide will help you begin the legal process or how an attorney will be able to help you with a legal claim.
- What should I do following a truck accident in Los Angeles?
- Will my injuries be covered?
- What should I do if multiple parties are involved?
Download the guide using the form below and then get in touch with one of our attorneys to get started on your case.
No one wants to be in a truck accident. Unfortunately, with 1,892,672 cars registered in California in 2019, many crashes happen daily.
Los Angeles drivers experienced 1,026 car crashes in 2019.
Of all the fatal collisions in California in 2019, 11% involved a large truck.
A collision with a large truck (a semi-truck, delivery truck, or any vehicle over 10,000 pounds) can be even more dangerous than a crash with another car.
This guide explains what to do after a truck accident based on our experiences with our clients. If you have questions, contact us today.
1. Call Law Enforcement
It’s normal to feel scared and not know what to do when an accident happens. First, see if anyone in your vehicle is hurt. Then, if you are able, move your vehicle to a safe place to stop.
Then call 911.
Not only is it the law to report accidents to law enforcement, but they will also send paramedics and firefighters if needed.
The reporting officer will help direct traffic, make a police report, and collect information from witnesses.
You’ll need a copy of the police report later on as the official report of the accident.
2. Document the Scene
Before anyone leaves after the accident, you should document the scene. Collect contact information from the truck driver and any witnesses.
Be sure to get insurance and employment information from the truck driver.
You should take photos and videos of the scene and any damage, including traffic signs, debris, or skid marks.
Include photos of the police officers and paramedics that responded.
If you are injured, ask someone else to take photos.
When assessing responsibility for the accident, the insurance company, a judge, or the jury will review this evidence.
3. Seek Medical Care
Seek emergency care for you and anyone in your vehicle immediately.
Nationwide in 2019, there were 5,005 people killed and an estimated 159,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks.
Don’t be afraid to seek medical care.
Medical bills are a common loss after an accident. Even if you don’t need emergency care, you should receive a medical evaluation.
Injuries like whiplash often appear or worsen in the days or weeks after an accident.
Further, the adrenaline of the crash can lessen the feeling of pain.
When you reach the recovery stage, a professional opinion can help explain your need for future medical care.
4. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
California law requires the at-fault party to pay for the damages they cause in an accident.
Although the truck driver may be responsible for the damages, you should also report the accident to your insurance company.
Your insurance policy likely requires you to alert them to the accident “in a reasonable time.”
Under California law, drivers must report accidents to the DMV within 10 days.
Your insurance agent may do this for you.
Finally, if your insurance company covers any of your losses, they can seek reimbursement from the truck driver’s insurance company.
5. Call Your Lawyer
As you begin recovering physically and emotionally from your truck accident in Los Angeles, you might see bills start to accumulate.
Maybe you can’t return to work or you need ongoing care.
Your truck accident attorney is here to help.
Immediately after your accident, you’ll likely receive settlement offers from the truck driver’s insurance company.
However, insurance companies aren’t usually willing to pay large sums or cover all your damages. They’ll pressure you to accept less than your damages are worth.
We know that you deserve to receive complete reimbursement for your losses. Don’t accept a low settlement. Only an attorney can calculate the actual value of your claim.
In addition to valuing your damages, your attorney can help you prove fault in the accident.
Proving fault in truck accident cases is complicated for many reasons.
Truck Accidents Often Involve Multiple Parties
Your attorney can help collect evidence and testimony from all parties involved.
They may contact other drivers injured in the accident, the driver’s insurance agent, or the driver’s employer.
Your attorney can collect the truck driver’s logbook and take statements from the driver, their employer, and their coworkers. Your attorney may also subpoena any of these documents:
- Dispatch instructions,
- Bills of lading,
- Delivery documents,
- Weight tickets,
- Driver logs,
- The truck’s onboard systems,
- The driver’s CDL license history checks,
- Drug screening results, and
- Company manuals, policies, and procedures.
While you may not collect this information from the driver at the scene, your attorney has experience contacting trucking companies to obtain these documents.
The Trucking Industry Is Complex, with Many Rules and Regulations
Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring their drivers have proper training and qualifications. For example, the truck driver must have a commercial driver’s license.
The driver must undergo specialized safety training and an extensive background check for prior accidents, violations, and criminal convictions to obtain a commercial license.
A trucking company must also properly maintain its trucks and load cargo. Your attorney will need to collect evidence before you can claim that the trucking company was negligent in hiring or maintaining its trucks.
How Can Starpoint Law Help When a Los Angeles Truck Accident Happens?
If you’ve been in a truck accident in Los Angeles, you need a good lawyer on your side. A truck company’s lawyers and insurers can bully individuals injured by their drivers.
They can attempt to hide behind layers of corporate bureaucracy. When our clients are injured, the truck attorneys at Starpoint Law, LC don’t back down. We have a record of winning results for our clients.
Our attorneys value their relationships with their clients and make themselves available at all hours of the day. After an accident, call Starpoint Law, LC for a free consultation. Let us negotiate with the insurance companies and fight to secure the compensation you deserve.