Long Beach Truck Accident Attorneys
Truck accidents are worse than other types of motor vehicle crashes. When you consider that a commercial truck carrying a full load can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, and that passenger vehicles weigh about 3,000 pounds, it’s easy to see how catastrophic truck vs. car accidents can be. The sheer size of a truck can cause an immense amount of damage to other vehicles it collides with. Sadly, these accidents can cause severe injuries or be fatal for the drivers and passengers in the other car.
Have you recently been injured in a Long Beach large truck accident? Have you lost a loved one due to a trucker’s reckless and negligent driving? Are you suffering pain, racking up debt, and unsure what to do next? If so, the time to call The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV is now. Don't wait for the at-fault trucking company or its insurance company to make a measly offer. Get the compensation you deserve today, before it is too late. In the state of California, there a statute of limitations on filing a claim, and it is a ticking clock. Don't lose out on this opportunity; the company responsible for your pain would like nothing more than for you to disappear, taking your ability to recover money along with you.
The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV won't let this happen - so long as you call today. Dial (888) 454-5569 to get the facts in a free and confidential case evaluation with a top Long Beach auto accident lawyer.
Commercial trucks - also known as tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, 18-wheeleers, or big rigs - are not only dangerous because of their size and weight, but also because of their design. Let’s look at some traffic accidents that are unique to semis.
- Jackknife Accidents: As the name “tractor-trailer” implies, big rigs are made up of two components: the trailer (in some cases, two trailers) where the cargo is carried, and the tractor or cab, which tows the trailer. Jackknife accidents occur when the trailer swings out to the side and is no longer under the control of the driver. Jackknifing is often caused by slippery road conditions, braking or turning at high speeds, and driver inexperience.
- Overloaded Trailer Accidents: Legally, a tractor-trailer combo cannot exceed 80,000 pounds, and smaller classes of truck have to adhere to lighter weight restrictions. These limits are in place to reduce wear and tear, as well as prevent crashes and protect other vehicles on the road. However, many trucking companies will overload trailers to increase profits. Overloading can make braking more difficult, and increase the chances of rollovers and jackknifing.
- Underride Accidents: Underride accidents occur when a passenger vehicle slides under a trailer, either from the back or the side. They can be extremely deadly for the occupants of the passenger vehicle. While there are side and rear underride guards for big rigs, only the rear guards are required by law and they are often too weak to be effective.
- Hours of Service Violations/Fatigued Drivers/Impaired Drivers: For the safety of all who use America’s roadways, the hours a tractor-trailer operator is allowed to drive per shift and per week are strictly limited. However, many trucking companies encourage their drivers to work longer hours and skip breaks in order to make deadlines and increase profits. This can result in fatigued and sleepy drivers, who sometimes resort to using amphetamines and other stimulants to say awake. Impaired driving is a recipe for disaster.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Semi-trucks travel thousands more miles a year than passenger vehicles do. Because of this, commercial trucks require constant maintenance. If a trucking company tries to save money by not performing regular maintenance on brakes, steering mechanisms, clutches, or replacing worn-out tires, windshield wipers, hoses, etc., accidents are more likely to happen.
After a crash with severe damage to the passenger vehicle, it’s an incredibly stressful time. While victims often know that there’s a lot that needs to be done, they don’t know where to start. Or they’re simply too overcome with the emotional trauma of the situation to think about their next steps. The most important things to do after a truck wreck are to:
- Call the police. The police need to be called any time there’s an accident resulting in property damage, injury, or death, so this is the first thing that needs to be done. The police can also organize the scene of an accident, and get victims the help they need.
- Get medical attention. Your injuries are likely to be serious after a truck accident, but if by chance you feel fine, it’s still important to get medical treatment as soon as possible. There could be injuries that can’t be seen or felt right away, like a concussion or internal bleeding, but the symptoms can show up at a later time when you’re in danger.
- Contact an attorney. You will need to speak to a lot of people in the days following the collision. This will include your own insurance company, the trucking company, and possibly even the trucking company’s insurance company. Before you speak to anyone, you should hire an experienced Long Beach truck accident lawyer.
Assuming you have received the appropriate medical treatment, whether it was emergency care or a quick examination, Attorney Joseph H. Low IV highly recommends against speaking with anyone other than the police, health practitioners, and your family. Specifically, you and your family will want to avoid speaking with the negligent trucking company and the insurance adjustors assigned to the accident. It is imperative that you avoid these leeches for a number of reasons:
The Bottom Line - Trucking companies, quite literally, have a tremendous amount riding on their shipping performance. Even the smallest incident can result in economic complications for their shareholders. More importantly, the insurance agencies providing coverage for the fleet have a large investment to consider as well. When accidents occur, these agencies stand to lose a significant amount of money. The end result is increased premiums for the trucking company and an overall net loss for the insurance company that holds the policy. This is something that both parties will attempt to avoid in every way.
Your Recovery - Because both trucking companies and their insurers have a great deal of money on the line, they will do everything in their power to avoid serious losses after a crash. This means getting the people who were harmed to accept the lowest settlement amount possible. This can be accomplished in a number of underhanded ways, from bullying you into signing a one-sided deal or prying into every corner of your personal life to dig up potentially harmful information. In every case, they will attempt to manipulate, cajole, and harass victims in hopes of securing a low settlement deal.
Your Compensation - A qualified truck accident attorney in Long Beach can help you get the compensation you deserve after a wreck. Compensation may be granted to cover medical expenses, lost income due to an inability to work, pain and suffering, future medical expenses and therapy, and any loss of future earnings. These expenses can quickly add up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s easy to see why the trucking and insurance companies don’t want to pay these claims, but we will fight to get you and your family everything you deserve.
While it’s logical to assume that the truck driver was solely responsible for the accident, that’s not always the case. There are a number of people who could also be responsible, including:
- The trucking company
- The manufacturer of the truck
- Individuals who loaded or unloaded the truck
- Mechanics who performed work on the truck
There are many parties involved, and even the relationship between the truck driver and trucking company may play a part. For instance, if the truck driver was an employee of the trucking company, the company could be partially to blame. However, if the driver was an independent contractor, he could be wholly at fault. Determining who to hold liable for the accident can be complicated, and this is another way a qualified Long Beach truck accident attorney can help you.
The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV is ready to stand by your side and represent your needs both in and out of the courtroom. The Long Beach personal injury attorneys at our firm have had years of experience taking on the companies that want to quash your settlement and let you live on in pain and crushing debt. We won't let them - call today to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal options.
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