Semi-trucks differ from 18-wheelers in that they do not carry trailers. While the vehicle may not be as long, semi-trucks are still massive vehicles with the potential to cause detrimental injuries in an accident. There is a lot of confusion surrounding semi-truck accidents. You will have to determine who was liable and how you’re going to cover the cost of damages.
Truck drivers and their insurance company will be quick to shift the blame on you. So retaining the service of a personal injury attorney is vital if you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a semi-truck accident.
Semi-Truck Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
Dealing with the aftermath of a trucking accident is cumbersome. Let Yarian & Associates, APC carry the burden for you. Our attorneys have years of experience working with trucking companies and insurance carriers. As your legal counsel, we will do everything we can to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Call (844) 291-1911 to schedule a time to speak with Yarian & Associates, APC. We represent clients in areas across Los Angeles County and Tulare County.
- Semi-Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents
- Who is Responsible for My Injuries?
- How is Compensation Determined?
- Additional Resources
Semi-Truck Accidents Vs. Car Accidents
Semi-trucks are massive vehicles. On average, these vehicles weight 80,000 pounds, which is 20 times the weight of a passenger vehicle. Due to the size of a semi, getting into an accident with one is vastly different than a standard car accident. Not only are the injuries more severe, but you will also experience much higher medical cost and increased property damage.
Listed below are some of the major differences between a semi-truck accident and a car accident:
- Higher chance of death: Accidents with a commercial semi-truck are far more likely to end in death than a crash between two passenger vehicles. According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck accidents take the life’s of nearly 4,000 people a year.
- Injuries are more severe: There is a greater chance of sustaining more life-threatening injuries in a semi-truck accident than a passenger car accident. Common injuries can include brain trauma, severe cuts, broken bones and whiplash.
- Expensive medical bills: The amount of medical treatment needed to recover from a semi-truck accident tends to be far greater. Those injured in a truck accident are usually unable to return to work for extended periods, leaving them without a way to cover these costs.
- More property damage: Semi-trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles. Because of this, property involved in the accident is likely to sustain more damage than in a collision involving two cars.
- Larger insurance policies: The insurance coverage for semi-truck drivers tend to be nearly 50 times larger than car accident policies, putting the value of insurance in the millions. The trucker’s insurance carrier will do everything they can to prove they were not liable.
Who is Responsible for My Injuries?
Many parties could be held liable for you or your loved one’s injuries. Determining liability will not be an easy task, especially since these parties will deny fault and try to shift the blame onto someone else. Individuals and entities who may be responsible for the accident include:
- The semi-truck driver
- The trucking company
- Owner of the semi-truck
- The company leasing the semi-truck
- Truck manufacturer
Depending on the cause of the accident and extent of the injuries, you may have grounds to file a personal injury or wrongful death suit. Personal injury claims are based on negligence. Common indicators of negligence include overloading a truck, failing to obey traffic laws and not keeping the truck in safe, working conditions.
To prevail in a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove the following:
- The truck driver had a duty of care to other drivers on the road
- The driver breached that duty through negligent action or failure to act
- An injury was sustained
- A breach of duty caused the accident
Many truck accidents are so severe the victim does not survive. In some cases, the surviving family may be able to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one. Wrongful death claims require the family to prove the same facts as in a personal injury claim.
How is Compensation Determined?
Anyone injured by the negligence of another deserves to be compensated. The type of compensation available to those affected by the accident fall into two categories: non-economic and economic damages. Listed below are examples of damages that may be awarded in a personal injury or wrongful death case:
- Medical cost
- Future medical cost
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages may also be awarded in addition to economic and non-economic damages if the defendant’s action were intentional harm or out of extreme recklessness. Punitive damages are not based on what was lost in the accident. Instead, this form of compensation acts as a way to punish the defendant for their actions.
Wrongful Death | California Civil Code – Read through the section of the civil code over wrongful death to learn more. You can find a list of individuals who can file a wrongful death claim and gain access to other state statutes. The code can be read on the California Legislative website.
Damages for Wrongs | California Civil Code – Follow the link provided to gain access to the state’s personal injury laws. The extensive statue includes information on damages uninsured drivers can receive and caps on certain claims. You can also learn about medical malpractice and compensation for pipeline injuries.
Semi-Truck Lawyer in Los Angeles
You should not be left covering the cost of damages caused by someone else. Yarian & Associates, APC has been representing clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases since 2001. In that time, we have been able to recover millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
Call (844) 291-1911 to schedule a free case evaluation. We represent clients in areas such as Los Angeles, Visalia, Riverside, Fresno, Irvine and San Bernardino.