Collisions involving commercial or semi-trucks can result in damage far more severe than the average car crash. They typically involve multiple vehicles and cause serious and extensive injuries to other drivers and passengers in the vicinity. In these situations, it may be appropriate to seek compensation for your harm from those who caused the accident. Los Angeles truck accident lawyer Vann H. Slatter has been representing vehicle collision victims against truckers, their employers, and their insurers for over 30 years. We have extensive experience in this complex type of litigation and understand the nuances of bringing claims against multiple parties to determine liability.Holding Negligent Truckers and Trucking Companies Accountable
Truck accidents may be caused by a wide range of negligent conduct, such as distracted or aggressive driving, speeding, insufficient cargo loading and balancing, faulty equipment or brakes, inexperienced drivers, and many more examples. Depending on the circumstances, there may be several legal claims that arise out of these collisions and many parties that are potentially liable for your injuries. These include basic negligence claims against the truck driver or another party that caused the collision, a claim of negligent hiring against the truck driver’s employer, a claim against the owner of the truck or a maintenance contractor for failing to properly maintain the vehicle, a product liability claim against the manufacturer of a defective truck part, a wrongful death lawsuit, and others.
To establish a basic claim of negligence, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the victim a duty, the defendant breached that duty, the defendant’s actions were the cause of the injury to the victim, and the plaintiff incurred damages. Generally, each person operating a vehicle has a duty to others to use reasonable care to avoid injury. The plaintiff must demonstrate that the trucker breached that duty, or failed to use reasonable care while driving. The plaintiff must also show that there was a direct causal link connecting the defendant’s carelessness to the accident. This requires proof that the victim would not have been hurt if the defendant had met the appropriate standard of care and that there was not an intervening cause responsible for the crash.
Finally, the plaintiff has the burden to establish the damages that arose from the defendant’s negligence. These tend to include both economic and non-economic forms of compensation. For example, an accident victim may seek lost wages, past and future medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.
In many instances, a trucking company may be held accountable for negligent conduct by one of its drivers or another of its employees. Under the theory of vicarious liability, an employer may be liable for a worker’s carelessness if he or she was acting within the scope and course of employment at the time of an accident.What to do at the Scene of a Truck Accident
It is normal to be shaken up after an accident but you should try to remain calm and collect all the information you can. Make sure to get the other driver’s name, license information, insurance information, phone number, and address. Details of the scene are important as well; make note of the crossroads, speed and direction of vehicles, lanes each vehicle was in, as well as any other information that seems relevant. If there are witnesses to the collision make sure to get their contact information so that your attorney can speak with them. Language is not an issue as translators can be hired. Most importantly, call the police. Without a police report it may be impossible to prove anything happened at all. Any and all information about the accident will help your attorney build a better case and get the best outcome possible.Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Collisions Claim with a Lawyer
Victims of semi-truck crashes frequently suffer debilitating injuries, significant financial losses, and in some unfortunate cases, a tragic death. Seeking advice from a knowledgeable attorney after a devastating truck or car accident may help you understand your legal options. Los Angeles truck accident attorney Vann H. Slatter has decades of experience representing individuals and families in personal injury claims and wrongful death actions. He can answer any questions you may have about your case. We also serve people in Reseda, Lancaster, South Gate, Long Beach, Bellflower, and many other cities across Southern California. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office by phone at (310) 444-3010 or online.