What Do Pasadena Truck Accident Lawyers Do?
Because filing a truck accident claim is often more complex than other types of car accident claims, it is vital for truck accident victims to seek guidance from an experienced truck accident lawyer–not just personal injury lawyers who are familiar with truck accident cases. The most common areas in which truck accident lawyers benefit clients include:
- Knowledge of trucking laws and regulations: Knowledge of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, which is essential for investigating accidents and proving negligence
- Established effective methods in handling truck accident claims: Proven approach to investigating the truck accident scene, gathering evidence, obtaining black box data, and negotiating with the trucking company
- Access to key resources: Collaborate with personal investigators and expert witnesses, like accident reconstruction experts, medical specialists, and more
- Experience dealing with multiple at-fault parties: Awareness that more than one party may have caused the truck accident, including the truck driver or anyone associated with the trucking company
The knowledge and experience of a Pasadena truck accident attorney provide clients with clarity and guidance in navigating the complex legal system. Not only does this improve the odds of a successful truck accident claim, but it also increases the amount of recoverable compensation.
What Qualifies as a Truck Accident in California?
Trucking accidents fall under personal injury law, allowing an injured victim to seek compensation from the party that caused the truck accident.
However, the common understanding of what a truck crash is versus a crash involving trucking companies is very different. Depending on the type of truck accident, varying actions will have to be taken in order to recover damages.
The terminology used in auto accident cases sometimes holds different meanings than their casual use in everyday life–“truck accidents” being a prime example.
Standard motor vehicle accidents between multiple passenger vehicles, like a crash between a sedan and a pick-up truck, wouldn’t qualify as a truck accident in a personal injury case. Instead, commercial motor vehicles would fall under this category.
Because commercial trucks are so large and heavy, they are subject to more regulations, typically involve more liable parties, and often result in severe injuries and damages.
This is why they are categorized differently from other car accident cases. It is also the reason why representation from a Pasadena truck accident attorney is so important.
Differences Between Commerical Trucks and Other Trucks
Based on the type of motor vehicle accident, working with a Pasadena truck accident lawyer may not required. Here are some of the main distinguishers between commercial truck accidents and regular truck accidents when it comes to personal injury cases:
In a commercial truck accident, there may be more than one liable party. This may include the truck driver, the trucking companies, the cargo owner, the people who loaded the truck, the vehicle manufacturer, and more.
Whereas, in a regular truck crash, there are typically fewer liable parties. For example, either the truck driver or the other vehicle driver could be at fault.
Cause of the Accidents
A standard vehicle-on-vehicle accident is typically caused by driver error. However, commercial truck accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. For example, if an employer pressures their truck drivers to skip rest periods in order to meet deadlines, fatigued driving accidents can occur.
Or, if the cargo is not secured properly, the transferred goods can become loose and spill onto the roads. In this case, the truck driver may not necessarily be at fault, but the trucking companies could be.
Based on the cause, individuals who may not be liable in a regular auto accident can be liable in a commercial truck crash.
Severity of Injuries
Commercial truck accidents often result in more debilitating and life-changing injuries than regular truck accidents. This is because commercial trucks are larger and heavier than smaller passenger vehicles.
Because injuries will be more severe, the medical treatment will be more extensive, consequently resulting in higher medical expenses. In this case, help from an experienced truck accident lawyer will ensure that medical bills are reimbursed by the insurance company after filing a claim.
Amount of Damages
Recoverable damages often hold a higher value than smaller car accident cases. This is often attributed to higher medical bills, more vehicle repairs, and more time missed from work, resulting in lost wages.
Generally, financial losses are significantly higher in commercial truck crashes versus smaller auto accidents.
The Statute of Limitations
In most personal injury cases in California, the time to file a claim is two years. However, if a government vehicle, like a garbage truck or postal service delivery truck is involved, the amount of time to file is only six months.
Regardless of the circumstances, if the filing period is missed, the courts are not typically lenient in extending the deadline to file a claim.
Types of Evidence
Truck accident cases will require similar evidence in other motor vehicle accidents in addition to other unique evidence.
One of the most important forms of evidence is the truck’s black box, which logs vehicle information, like movements. This may include speed, tire pressure, if the brake pedal was depressed, and how much time had passed since the vehicle made its last stop.
What Is Considered a Large Truck?
Large truck involvement in motor vehicle accidents has steadily increased since 2014, reaching one of its highest spikes in 2021.
In personal injury cases, large trucks are defined as any medium or heavy truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or more. The most common types of large trucks include:
- Tractor-trailer – also referred to as a semi-truck, big rig, or an eighteen-wheeler
- Dump truck – usually used around construction sites
- Heavy hauler – used to transport very heavy loads short distances
- Flatbed – has no sides or roof used for transporting building materials
- Tanker – used by fuel companies to carry liquefied loads or gas
- Garbage truck – large operational trucks
- Auto hauler – specifically designed to haul cars
Common Types of Truck Accidents in Pasadena, CA
Depending on the type of truck crash, help from a Pasadena truck accident lawyer will vary. Typically, anytime trucking companies are involved (directly or indirectly) in a case, strong legal representation will be needed. Specifically, truck accident attorneys can handle the following types of truck crashes:
- Truck rollover – turning sharply, forcing the trailer to flip onto its side
- Rear-ending – colliding into a preceding vehicle due to speeding or tailgating
- Head-on collisions – running a red light or swerving into opposing traffic
- Jackknife – abruptly braking or turning too sharply, causing the trailer to swing forward
- T-Bone – crashing into the side of another vehicle, creating a “t” shape
- Sideswipe – failing to check blindspots before switching lanes, colliding into another vehicle
- Wide turn – forcing tight turns, causing the trailer to swing into the next lane
Were You Injured in a Commercial Trucking Accident?
Differentiating the varying types of automobile accidents and how to go about taking legal action is difficult. No matter the type of truck accident you were involved in, Rose Accident Lawyers can help.
Our truck accident attorneys have extensive experience in dealing with trucking copmanies and their insurance companies. To reach a successful outcome, we will investigate the truck accident and identify all liable parties, holding each accountable for damages.
Schedule a free consultation with our Pasadena personal injury law firm to get started. At no cost to you, we will assess your accident and estimate a case value. Feel free to call us or contact us online.