Truck drivers are responsible for the transportation of more than 80% of all cargo in the United States. In order to carry out this seemingly herculean task and haul billions of tons in cargo every month, trucking companies employ over 3.5 million truck drivers across the U.S.
Needless to say, not all of these drivers are skilled or competent enough to drive a massive machine that instantly turns into a deadly weapon in the hands of a fatigued, drunk, sleep-deprived, undertrained, inexperienced and otherwise unqualified truck driver.
Since truck accidents are on the rise in Los Angeles and all across California, where nearly 300 people die in truck accidents and tens of thousands more get injured each year, we brought our best Los Angeles truck accident attorney from the Compass Law Group, LLP to outline seven things to consider before seeking compensation for your injuries and damages.
- Can you really prove that the truck driver or his/her trucking company was negligent or reckless and breached the duty of reasonable care? Unless you can prove that the at-fault truck driver’s negligence or the negligence of his/her trucking company caused your injuries, you may not be entitled to compensation. Let a skilled truck accident lawyer collect sufficient evidence proving breach of duty.
- What types of damages will you recover? Depending on the circumstances of your particular truck accident, recoverable damages include but are not limited to medical expenses, vehicle repair expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and others. Here at the Compass Law Group, LLP, our truck accident lawyers can estimate the full value of your injuries and damages in a free consultation on the phone.
- How many parties can be named as defendants in a truck accident lawsuit if your case ever goes to court? Identifying all liable parties from the very beginning is vital to maximize the value of your claim and increases chances of legal success in the long run. Keep in mind that the more negligent parties you sue, the bigger the compensation. Parties to sue in truck accidents usually include the at-fault truck driver, his/her trucking company, contractors, mechanics responsible for the maintenance of the truck, employers, insurance companies, and others.
Do NOT report your truck accident to insurance companies before consulting a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer first. It is not uncommon for insurers in California to employ unfair insurance claim practices in order to minimize the value of your claim or deny your claim altogether. Keep in mind that insurance companies are always looking out in their best interests. Your lawyer, meanwhile, will be by your side at all times.
- However, waiting to file a truck accident claim too long can ruin your chances of winning the case. That is because crucial evidence can be destroyed by trucking companies or the at-fault truck drivers if you wait too long after the accident to file a claim. Under federal and state laws in California, trucking companies are required to keep all relevant documents after any accident involving their drivers. But these documents can be trashed after the retention period – which is usually six months – has passed. Hiring a truck accident attorney will help prevent such documents from being destroyed.
- There are more than 1,000 federal regulatory requirements for trucking companies. Not knowing at least one of them may ruin your chances of winning your truck accident claim. That is why it is highly advised to seek legal help of an experienced truck accident lawyer who knows all trucking regulations in Los Angeles and all across California like the back of his/her hand.
- Beware of surveillance. It is not uncommon for defense lawyers acting on behalf of the truck driver and the insurance company that you are suing to conduct surveillance on you. Any legal process can turn into a dirty game and hide-and-seek, which is why it is highly recommended to be legally represented.
Here at the Compass Law Group, LLP our attorneys have handled hundreds of truck accidents and provided our clients with aggressive and comprehensive legal strategies to get the maximum compensation for their injuries and damages.