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Personal Injury Blog

How Truck Accidents Differ From Standard Auto Accidents

Thursday, February 01, 2018

 

Los Angeles Auto Accident Attorneys

Accidents between automobiles happen every day, and in most cases, they are pretty straight-forward. Unusually one party is at least mostly responsible and their insurance covers the damages of the other party. Unfortunately, if you have been involved in an accident with a truck, you will fight getting that coverage for your damages, and your injuries will be just ever so more likely complex. This is why when in an accident with a truck, there are a few extra things to consider.

Extra Factors in Truck Accidents

The most obvious new factors to consider are that trucks are much bigger than cars and are often hauling heavy loads of freight. Obviously, this will result in more serious accidents for the auto driver involved while the truck might be relatively unscathed. Bigger injuries, bigger damages, and because of that, bigger costs are involved. However, if those were the only factors to consider, truck accidents would still be more straight-forward, the problem lies with the lesser known factors to consider in trucking accidents.

Dealing With Bigger Insurance Policies

Unlike your standard auto policy, the insurance policy on a commercial truck is much larger due to the size of the vehicle and the amount of damage that one can inflict on a smaller vehicle. As these insurance policies can be worth so much more to those involved in an accident, the insurance company will put infinitely more effort in escaping liability.

You can be assured when dealing with an insurance adjuster in charge of the truck's insurance, they will be their most experienced employee and well-versed in complex tactics to leave you with nothing or, at least, much less than you deserve.

Different Regulations

As trucks often work interstate, the company will be under the thumb of a number of different regulations administered by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Regulations dictate specific maintenance of the truck, inspections, and logbooks of the driver. These regulations are many and complex in nature, which can open up new avenues for compensation, but also make determining liability for the uninformed motorist very difficult.

Multiple Liabilities

As mentioned above, the many regulations that govern trucks mean that it might not just be the truck driver that is liable. The truck driver might have been on the road too long by falsifying their log book, but the trucking company could have also been neglectful in their maintenance or inspections that lead to malfunctions. Furthermore, if a specific part was faulty, the manufacturer of the truck can also bear some of the blame.

For this reason, you need to be diligent in determining what caused the accident and who can be held liable for it, or otherwise cut yourself off from potential compensation. This is where the help of a skilled attorney comes in.

Need Legal Representation?

While standard auto accidents can benefit from legal representation, it becomes a must for trucking accidents. While lawyers who handle auto accidents also do trucking accidents, dealing with trucking accidents often requires slightly more experience. A good truck accident lawyer will know how to navigate the complex waters of trucking regulation to find true liability and they will also be well-versed in the new tactics that trucking insurance will employ in order to escape paying you what you are owed.

If you were involved in an accident with one of the many trucks that use the roadways in the Los Angeles area, contact us today. Let the Law Firm of Freeman & Freeman put our years of experience to work making sure your likely substantial damages are covered in full so you aren't stuck with the bill.

 

Truck Accidents: Let The Professionals Handle This!

Thursday, November 02, 2017


Protect Yourself From The Dangers Of The Road

Deteriorating road conditions. Road rage. Drivers under the influence. And now self-driving vehicles. What else do you have to be concerned about? Oh, of course. Truck accidents..........

Truck Accidents Are Caused By:

A multitude of things. Perhaps road conditions had deteriorated to the point that traveling them was unsafe. Possibly the truck wasn't maintained properly and was unable to stop in time. Or the truck had a defective part from the manufacturer that caused the collision. Even improperly secured cargo causes truck accidents. 

However, in many truck accidents, the driver is at fault. Maybe the driver was on their cell phone, texting or talking with someone. Or possibly under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Or driving too fast for conditions or in violation of the speed limit. Because of demanding work schedules, some who drive professionally are tired to the point of falling asleep at the wheel!

What A Victim May Suffer

The immediate damage of truck accidents is obvious physical issues: broken bones, lacerations, etc. However, long-lasting unseen damages need to be considered. Among these are psychological trauma that afflicts indefinitely, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And some problems that are physical, such as heart problems brought on by the stress, deserve fair compensation. 

What A Qualified Law Firm Will Do

In a nutshell, they investigate all factors to make sure the innocent victim isn't victimized again by unfair (or no) compensation. The victim of a truck accident is best served by accident scene investigators, if necessary. Top-notch attorney representation provides this. And if a case is accepted but not won, there is no fee. 

If you were involved in a truck accident, before you talk to anyone, contact us for a free consultation!

Does Texting Raise The Punitive Damages in a Truck Accident?

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Getting into an accident with a commercial truck is traumatic enough. Often your little car doesn’t escape with just minor damages. When you discover the accident wasn’t just from a bad call or poor weather, but from texting, it can be almost infuriating. However, the good news is that if the truck driver was texting, it could raise the amount of punitive damages you receive.

The question is, how can the simple act of texting raise punitive damages? The first and primary reason is that texting is now being considered akin to drunk driving. In fact, when a phone is in the hands of a trucker and they are using it to text, it actually becomes 23 times more likely that they will cause a wreck on the road. This statistic is so staggering that it is even now put in CDL manuals to remind truckers how important focusing on the road is. So if they are texting, it is not as if they weren’t warned not to text and drive just like normal drivers.

Furthermore, by not acknowledging the warning in the CDL manual, by their employer, or even from a state law that dictates no cell phone use while driving, this is proving to be direct negligence on the truck driver’s part. All of that combined means that amount of punitive that you can receive from an accident.

If you have been involved in a trucking accident and need representation to make sure you get an amount to cover all your medical and repair needs, contact us today.

Trucking Accidents and Hazardous Chemicals

Friday, August 25, 2017

Commercial trucks haul a lot of cargo, and on occasion, the truck driver might not even know what they are hauling. In many cases, it doesn't matter. However, the cargo can matter if they get into an accident with another driver, particularly when that truck is hauling hazardous chemicals.

Hopefully, a trucking accident is not major enough to bring the cargo into play. While many times the other vehicle sustains significant damage due to the large nature of commercial trucks, typically the commercial trucks don't come out with huge amounts of damage themselves. However, in major accidents, commercial trucks can tip and spill their cargo everywhere. What happens if that cargo was hazardous chemicals?

If you were in a trucking accident and were exposed to hazardous chemicals, that isn't the truck driver's fault, it is the shippers. Particularly if the shipper failed to tell the driver the sensitive nature of the chemicals, they can be held responsible for any adverse effects from exposure. However, if the driver was in full knowledge, then the trucking company is still responsible but drivers can also go after the shipper for chemical-related injuries as well.

In general, truck accidents are extremely dangerous and that fact is compounded by the occasional dangerous nature of their cargo. If you were hurt in a trucking accident, or worse, hurt by the hazardous cargo of a truck, contact us today. The Law Offices of Freeman and Freeman are dedicated to representing the rights of the injured to make sure they get the justice and compensation that they deserve.

Truck Accidents: Jackknifing Is A Major Concern As The Weather Turns And Roads Get Wetter

Thursday, December 29, 2016

With winter weather coming, you can expect the highways to get slicker and harder to navigate. You can also expect to see something else: more jackknifed 18-wheelers leaving injured people in their wake. Learn more about why this specific problem happens and what you should do if you become a victim of someone's carelessness.

What are the dangers of a jackknifed truck?

When an articulated vehicle has a cab attached to a trailer in the back by a jointed hitch, a driver that loses control of the truck can end up with the trailer folded up at a right angle from the cab, like a partially open jackknife. This can end up causing chain reaction accidents among vehicles anywhere in the truck's wake. The truck can even force smaller vehicles off the road or smash into other vehicles in its path.

What causes a truck to jackknife?

Most of the time, jackknifing is caused by nothing more than wet roads and driver error. A driver who isn't prepared to hit a slick spot on the road will put the brakes down on the drive axles too hard and too fast. The drive wheels will lock, stopping the cab, while the back end of the truck continues rolling forward.

A careful driver can prevent jackknifing by staying conscious of the weather as he or she moves through different areas and watching the road ahead. He or she can also prevent the problem through basic safety measures:

  • not tailgating and generally maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, especially in wet or snowy weather
  • breaking slowly and carefully to avoid locking the drive axles 
  • slowing down in advance of turns, bends, ramps, and curves in the road, all of which require careful deceleration of the vehicle 

In addition, an experienced driver who realizes that his or her vehicle is swinging out of control should know to aim for the burn of the road, away from other vehicles, in order to minimize the potential injuries to others.

Why should you consider talking to an attorney?

Inexperienced drivers and negligence are the primary causes of jackknifing, which means that the truck driver and trucking company failed to take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of others on the road. Other causes can include mechanical failure, which may indicate that the trucking company hasn't been properly caring for its vehicles, and loads that are improperly packed, which shift suddenly or provide too little traction on the back half of the truck.

If you're injured due to a truck that jackknifed, you may be suffering from serious injuries that can take a long time to heal or alter your life forever. In order to receive fair compensation, talk to an attorney who is familiar with the complexities of truck accidents and their causes. You may have to press a lawsuit against more than one person or company in order to be fairly compensated in the end.


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