Trucks come in all shapes and sizes, from 18-wheeler big-rigs to box trucks, and everything in between. Here in Greater Los Angeles and beyond, commercial trucks dominate the roads and highways, delivering goods from the Port in Long Beach to warehouses and your local stores. While trucks provide many benefits to society and our communities, the fact is many drivers are overworked and companies sadly value profit over safety, leaving the rest of us in danger every time we get in our vehicles. Because of most trucks’ sheer size and mass, when accidents happen, the effect on others is often catastrophic. If you or a loved one has suffered a truck injury accident, you only have one shot at maximizing your recovery to ensure that you are taken care of. Choosing the right truck accident lawyer is essential to make sure you get the best medical care and maximum compensation.
How truck accidents happen and key statistics.
Truck accidents happen in a number of ways. Some of the more common include:
- Driver error
- Driver fatigue and drowsy driving
- Lack of proper training
- Distracted driving
- Drivers that are forced to make unreasonable deadlines
- Failure to properly load the trailer
- Failure to anticipate traffic, changing road conditions, or weather
- Taking turns or corners too fast
- Blind spots and viability issues that obscure other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists
- Alcohol and/or drug use
Truck accidents often are some of the deadliest and most severe, as these statistics show:
- 1 in 10 highway fatalities involve a large truck
- 3,986 deaths were a result of truck accidents nationwide in 2016
- 97% of fatalities in truck versus passenger vehicle accidents were the occupants of the passenger vehicle
- 92% of deaths occurred on highways, freeways, or major roads
If I’ve been involved in a truck injury accident, what should I do?
Truck accidents can impact occupants of other vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians as well as the driver and occupants of the truck. If you are injured as a result of a truck accident, no matter which victim you are, here is a checklist of action items you should do if you are able:
- Report the accident by calling 911
- Seek or demand medical treatment, even if your injuries seem minor at the time
- Get witness contact information, including the name of the driver and trucking company
- Take photos of the scene, the road or highway, the truck, your and all involved other vehicles’ damage
- Do not give any statements to any truck representatives or insurance reps
- Enlist the help of a proven powerhouse truck accident personal injury lawyer immediately
It’s very important to follow these guidelines after a truck accident to make sure your rights are preserved and start off on the right foot.
What are some of the most common injuries that result from truck accidents?
Truck accident injuries are often severe because of the sheer size and mass of trucks, especially when a multiple-axle, tractor-trailer truck is involved. The various types of injuries can include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Wrongful death
- Spinal cord injuries, up to and including paralysis (full, partial, permanent, and/or temporary)
- Fracture broken bones
- Whiplash injuries
- Cervical, thoracic, and lumber spine injuries
- Back pain, including strain and sprain
- Nerve injuries and damage, numbness, and radiculopathy
- Cuts and lacerations
- Crush injuries
- Scarring and burns
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental illnesses
If I don’t have insurance and can’t afford medical treatment, can you help me?
Yes. After your injury accident, the number one, most important thing is for you to get the medical treatment you need without delay to start the healing process. If you do not have health insurance, or if you have substandard health insurance, we can help you access top-rated doctors and medical facilities in your community who will provide treatment to you that is secured by a lien on your case. Your medical lien will then be part of your demand for compensation that we make of the at-fault parties. The lien will be paid back from the proceeds of your case. Also, if applicable, our staff might be able to help you obtain free or low-cost coverage from Medi-Cal, Medi-Care, and other similar programs.
If my injuries make me unable to work, can you help me get by?
Yes. We have relationships with lending companies that can help you get by while your case is pending with a loan secured by a lien on the proceeds of your case. When it comes time to demand a settlement or go to trial, we will include your inability to work and lost income (past and future) as part of your demand for compensation. Also, in certain circumstances, we can advance you money to help you through tough times that will be paid back once your case is completed.
Who is typically responsible for causing trucking accidents?
Parties that can be potentially at-fault for causing truck injury accidents include:
- The truck driver (whether an employee or owner-operator)
- The corporation, business, commercial enterprise, non-profit, or public entity that owns and/or operates the truck, or employs the driver
- The owner and/or lessee of the tractor
- The owner and/or lessee of the trailer
- The owner, seller, distributor, and/or buyer of the goods being shipped
- The operator and/or lessee of the tractor and/or trailer
- Maintenance companies that serviced the truck if a mechanical issue caused the accident
- The designer and/or manufacturer of the truck and/or trailer if there was a mechanical or recall issue
- The driver and/or entity that owns another vehicle (that causes or contributes to the accident)
- A public entity for roadway design or maintenance issues
How long do I have to file my lawsuit after a truck injury accident?
In most cases, if you are suing only non-governmental parties, you have two years to file your lawsuit after the accident. If you are suing a public entity or any part of the government, then you have six months to file your claim, and then must follow strict rules to bring a lawsuit under the California Tort Claims Act. This is a highly technical and tricky area of law and therefore it is essential that you retain the services of a top-rated personal injury lawyer to help you navigate these murky waters.
How long do truck lawsuit cases usually last?
In most jurisdictions, once you file a lawsuit the trial date will be set 12 to 18 months into the future, which typically marks the longest time frame your case should take. In some cases, especially if your injuries are severe, it might benefit you to wait until your injuries have stabilized to file your lawsuit, which can add time to the total length of your case.
How does your firm prove negligence and win truck cases?
We pride ourselves on having 24/7 staff and investigators that can hit the ground running once you retain our firm on your injury case. We believe immediate and intensive investigations and fact-finding is integral to build the foundation of a winning case. Our top-rated, award-winning personal injury lawyers have a roll-up-their-sleeves mentality and dig deep into the facts of a case when developing their strategy to successfully win it. Our attorneys have a keen grasp of the interplay of federal, state, and local laws and regulations that govern truck operation. We also have the resources to retain truck accident experts that offer opinions as to the cause of the accident and your injuries.
In many cases, we look beyond the facts of the accident itself to determine if a company pressures its drivers to engage in unsafe practices that put profit over safety. Unfortunately, these types of systemic problems are more pervasive than you can imagine, and we target all potential at-fault parties to hold them accountable for the injuries, pain, and loss they cause.
We also have great success because we have our proven, in-house trial team that stands at the ready to take your serious injury case all the way to trial, before judge and jury. With a $29 million verdict and several $10 million settlements to their credit, our trial team is an industry leader that strikes fear in opponents.
What types of damages and monetary claims can I make in my case?
In addition to having to prove liability, you must also prove your damages. “Damages” is a term used in the law to categorize all of the medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses you have suffered from your accident in the past and in the future. These include the following:
- Medical costs
- Lost earnings
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage and loss of use of vehicle
- Out of pocket expenses, including medical insurance co-pays
- Re-training or re-education to find a job you are able to do if you’ve become disabled
- Any other expenses or lost opportunities you’ve incurred as a result of your accident
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death (loss of support, loss of companionship, loss of love, and many others)
- Loss of consortium (for the spouse of the injured victim)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health illnesses
- Any other non-economic loss that you’ve suffered a result of your auto accident
Proving damages typically takes a coordinated effort between your medical team of doctors and providers as well as life care planners, vocational experts, and accident reconstruction experts, among others. We are adept at putting a winning team of experts together to champion your case and maximize your compensation to the fullest extent of the law.
Factors Affecting Your Settlement
Factors that contribute to the value of a truck accident settlement include:
- Severity of your injuries
- Magnitude of the property damage to your vehicle
- Length of hospital stay
- Prognosis, amount of time, and costs of your anticipated recovery
- Whether there’s a permanent disability or life-long injury
- Time away from work and/or inability to continue working
- Your health and lifestyle pre-accident
- Your age
- The negative impact on your life
Truck Accident Settlement Amounts
While you and your accident are unique, the below settlement ranges provide insight as to what you might expect:
Up to $15,000: little to mild property damage, mild injuries with no ambulance or emergency room treatment; and minor injuries
$15,000 – $100,000: mild to moderate property damage; transported to hospital; and mild moderate injuries
$100,000 – $250,000: moderate to moderately severe property damage; transported to hospital; and moderate to moderately severe injuries
$250,000 – $500,000: moderately severe to severe property damage; transported to hospital; and moderately severe to severe injuries
$500,000 – $750,000: severe property damage; transported to hospital; and severe injuries with major procedures such as surgeries, long road to recovery as well as significant life impact
$750,000 and above: severe property damage; transported to hospital; and severe injuries with major procedures such as surgeries, long road to recovery and possibility of permanent disability, as well as major life impact
The above ranges are estimates and should be used only as a general guide as there are no guarantees for your settlement. Many other factors may vary the above amounts higher or lower. There are no guarantees and each case is different with different results.
Selecting A Law Firm To Represent Me
Over our 30 plus year history, we have amassed over $500,000,000 in total recoveries for injury victims in nearly every type of injury case you can imagine, thousands of which have been truck injury accidents. We have a 96 percent success record that puts us at the top of the industry when it comes to success, far over more than three decades.
We always put the client first and we approach each case with empathy and compassion. We not only handle all of the details of your case, but we also help you with all of your needs along the way. We think of the client-lawyer relationship as more like a team, where teamwork yields the best results. To that end, we are with you every step of the way and will keep you informed about your case, answer any questions you might have, and include you in all major decisions.
Our three core values are: dignity of the individual, service, and excellence. We apply these values to every single case and every single client. At The Dominguez Firm, you are not just another number or case. We take tremendous pride in providing you with the best service in the industry. Our team of lawyers and professional staff work tirelessly on your case, and if your case requires a jury trial, our in-house, award-winning trial team stands at the ready to take your serious injury case to verdict. We have the fire power and resources to fight back against major insurance companies and defendants, which allows us to hold them accountable for the injuries and wrongs they have caused. When someone injures you, it’s our mission to make things right by maximizing your financial recovery to restore you to the life you had before their negligence harmed you.
The Dominguez Firm has experienced truck injury lawyers to assist and get you the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has suffered a truck injury accident, call us at any hour for a no-cost consultation at 800-818-1818. There is no obligation. If there is no recovery, there is no fee!
My experience was good. They made sure to kept me in the loop and made sure to let me know what was going on the whole time. My mom has used other attorneys and this experience was beyond better. I would definitely recommend them!
— Ashley Magana
The attorneys were always available and answered my questions. I would recommend them to anyone. Zoe is the best!
— Janet Salazar
My experience with The Dominguez Firm and the attorneys was really good. They were very informative and always returned my calls.
— Jocelyn Gonzalez