Fiercely Fighting for Truck Accident Victims in L.A.
Office Location: 3600 Wilshire, Ste. 1136 Los Angeles, CA 90010
Semi trucks roll all over Los Angeles highways and streets, and businesses across the country rely on them to transport all sorts of cargo. Unfortunately, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, over 160,000 truck accidents happen every year. Nearly 5,000 of them are fatal. The problem is a grim and persistent one: Between 2009 and 2018, the number of large trucks and buses in fatal accidents increased by 45%!
Trucks might be essential for our day-to-day lives, but when there are poor road conditions, inconsistent maintenance habits, or careless drivers behind the wheel, these vehicles become dangerous machines. Crashes leave chaos in their wake, but our local Los Angeles truck accident lawyers are dedicated to helping victims recover.
If you live or work in the Los Angeles area and have been the victim of an accident involving a large truck such as an 18 wheeler, you may have the right to collect compensation.
The experienced LA personal injury accident lawyers at Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, can help.
Stop by our office at 3600 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, or connect with us any time — it’s free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week — at 800-898-4877, or submit your case for a confidential review online by CLICKING HERE.
Table of Contents
- Challenges After Truck Accident
- Common Truck Accident Injuries
- Steps After Your Truck Accident
- Causes of Truck Accident
- Statistics About Truck Accidents
- Recoverable Damages
- When Can I File?
- Why Choose SJG
National Trucking Accident Attorney Stewart J. Guss discusses trucking safety on national news with Mike Papantonio on America’s Lawyer
The Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorneys at Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers
Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers isn’t just one lawyer. While Attorney Guss is our founder and leader, we’ve built a whole team of attorneys, paralegals, and case management specialists stationed across California, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, and beyond. They spend every day fighting for the rights of people just like you injured in truck accidents.
A typical truck accident causes a huge mess on the road and in a victim’s personal life. It’s important to have experienced, hard-working, streetwise lawyers on your side who can investigate and litigate even the most complicated case. Over the years, the lawyers at Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, have recovered MILLIONS of dollars in settlements and winning jury verdicts for their injured clients. While every case is different, our team pledges to fight aggressively for the best possible outcome for each and every client.
Speak to a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer ASAP. We’re here to listen to your story and inform you of your legal rights and options after a truck crash.
Truck accidents are no ordinary traffic accidents. Because trucks are so heavy and large, they cause untold destruction on Los Angeles roads. In addition to causing substantial property damage, a truck accident can badly injure vulnerable drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles. If you’re lucky, you walk away from a truck accident with just bumps and bruises. Unfortunately, many Los Angelenos aren’t so lucky in truck accidents, and they end up with massive injuries or a tragic loss of life.
For victims and lawyers unprepared to tackle the most complicated cases, truck accidents can present huge challenges. Here’s why:
- Size difference. The United States gross vehicle weight rating system classifies heavy trucks as those that are 13 tons and above. Meanwhile, the average car weighs only 2 tons! Due to this difference in size, truck accidents usually involve widespread damage. It’s a matter of basic physics: when trucks crash into other smaller vehicles — not to mention into cyclists or pedestrians — they cause a huge amount of destruction. Truck cargo also adds additional weight, and cargo spillage creates a new hazard for drivers who are approaching the scene of the accident. In some spillage cases, like when a wrecked tanker has a chemical leak, a fire may break out.
- Massive damages. Catastrophic truck accidents usually involve costly damages than many of the liable parties may be unable to pay for. As a victim, your bills will pile up fast. In order to give yourself the best chance of getting paid, you’ll need a lawyer who can dig into the accident and uncover all of the potential parties who might have legal liability to you. Why? Because it’s easier to spread damages across a large number of parties than to hope one party (or its insurance company) will have the resources to pay every penny you deserve.
- Multiple liable parties. Truck accidents usually involve multiple parties on both sides, and widespread damages mean widespread injury claims. Anyone from occupants of motor vehicles to nearby property owners can be harmed when a truck’s cargo spills. Plus, the trucks themselves usually have multiple associated parties who might have liability for causing an accident, from the driver and truck owner to the owner of the trailer and the mechanic who services the truck regularly. The list goes on and on. When choosing a lawyer to represent you after a truck accident, make sure you pick a law firm with the resources and the know-how to get the job done, no matter how many parties are involved. A talented investigative team can determine liability for you and set your case up for success.
- Lots of laws to consider. Truck accidents usually involve local, state, and federal laws. For example, cargo trucks that travel across state lines are often subject to three bodies of law and regulation: the local laws of the place where the accident happens, the laws of the state(s) where the truck operates, and the federal laws that govern “interstate commerce” (a.k.a., doing business across state lines). Sometimes, there are even so-called “international” laws and treaties that come into play because the truck entered the country from Canada or Mexico. As the victim of a truck accident, you need a lawyer who knows the legal terrain and isn’t afraid to dig in and dissect how these complicated laws affect your rights to compensation.
If you were unfortunate enough to be sharing the road with a truck when an accident happened, you don’t have to throw in the towel. You have options. The truck accident injury team at Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, has the resources and experience to tackle even the most destructive, multiple-party, legally-complex truck accident matters. Our attorneys, paralegals, and investigators dig deep on every case to uncover hidden information and insights that can make or break your case.
If you’re in need of a California truck accident attorney, look no further. Our goals always align with yours — because we don’t get paid until you do!
When semi trucks crash into smaller vehicles, the results are tragic. At Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, we’ve seen the kinds of injuries truck accidents cause and how they can throw families into disarray. We know our clients often face a lifetime of disability and pain, not to mention immediate financial distress.
That’s why we’ve made it our mission to help our clients gain financial stability so that they can focus on healing and achieving maximum recovery.
Common truck accident injuries and health challenges seen by Los Angeles truck injury attorneys include but are not limited to:
Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis After a Truck Accident
The violent impact of a truck accident can cause massive trauma to the structure and nerve endings of the spinal cord, resulting in partial or total paralysis. Make no mistake: these are life-changing injuries. They can cost more than a million dollars to treat in the first year alone, not to mention the lifetime of unplanned expenses and modifications they require victims to shoulder. No one deserves to bear the burden of those expenses alone. When someone else’s negligence or recklessness causes a truck accident and leaves our clients in a wheelchair, we stand up for our spinal cord injury clients and fight diligently for every penny of compensation they need to adjust to their “new normal.”
Traumatic Brain Injuries and Brain Damage From Truck Accidents
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen in a truck accident when the victim sustains a blow or penetrating injury to the head. In most of the cases we’ve handled, that victim is the occupant of a vehicle that collided with the truck, but traumatic brain injuries can also happen to the truck driver or a bystander. Whoever the victim may be, the consequences of a TBI are serious. Even a “mild” TBI can cause long-term impairment of a person’s mobility, speech, or reasoning. In severe cases, TBI victims face permanent disabilities or loss of consciousness. Long-term treatment for a TBI is expensive, from occupational and physical therapy to ‘round-the-clock care. Let us help you recover the money you need to cope with a traumatic brain injury after a truck accident.
Crushed or Amputated Arms and Legs From Trucking Crash
Trucks, as we said, are large and heavy. You didn’t need us to tell you that. But did you realize smaller vehicles that collide with trucks can end up crushed or pinned beneath the truck body? The limbs of the vehicles’ occupants could also end up crushed or pinned. As such, truck accident survivors frequently end up with serious injuries to their limbs that leave doctors no choice but to amputate. Even when doctors save a limb, the damage is so severe that the limb barely functions. At Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, we’ve seen far too many of these sorts of injuries, and we don’t take them lightly. Just because science has made huge strides in artificial limbs doesn’t mean our clients will have easy lives. We fight hard to get them the money they deserve after these traumatic events.
Orthopedic Injuries and Soft Tissue Injuries After a Semi Truck Accident
Even if you manage to escape a truck wreck without life-threatening injuries, your pain still deserves to be taken seriously. Don’t let insurance companies dismiss you or invalidate you. Pain from broken bones, whiplash, and other soft tissue injury is real and, if not properly treated, can lead to a lifetime of complications and suffering.
No matter what kind of truck accident injury you’ve suffered, you deserve compensation. At Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, we won’t tolerate it when insurance companies give our clients the cold shoulder. We MAKE THEM PAY ATTENTION, and then MAKE THEM PAY.
If you’ve gotten this far down the page, it probably means you or those close to you were the victim of a Los Angeles truck accident, and you want to know what you should do next. Here is some general advice we’d give anyone in your position:
- First, seek immediate medical attention. When a big rig truck slams into a smaller automobile, the results aren’t pretty. Injuries are almost always guaranteed. We know many clients are anxious about the potential costs of medical bills, but your health is more important than anything else. Healing can take time, but it shouldn’t have to take money, too. When you open a case with us, we can connect you to healthcare providers at no upfront cost. Plus, when you receive medical care, it generates medical records we can use to show insurance companies how much money they owe you! Get examined ASAP and follow the doctor’s orders, because any gaps in treatment could complicate your case later on down the line.
- Second, collect evidence. Take photos of the scene and exchange information with the trucker. In addition to getting the name and insurance information of the truck driver, note the trucking company and license plate number. Collect contact information for any witnesses as well.
- Third, file your claim. Next, you’ll need to report the accident to your own insurance company, but if someone else’s insurance company comes along and offers you money, beware. This usually means the insurance company knows its policyholder has a legal liability to you and wants to do damage control by tricking you into settling quickly for far less than you truly deserve. Do not sign any documents or provide any recorded statements to an insurance company until you’ve consulted a Los Angeles truck accident attorney first! Which brings us to step four…
- Fourth, CONTACT a lawyer. Call the 18 wheeler accident lawyers at Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers at 800-898-4877 or contact us online. When will you know the time is right? Definitely call us if somebody else’s insurance company calls you, but also call us if you haven’t heard anything. You deserve to have the best lawyers on your side after suffering injuries in a truck accident.
Don’t delay, and don’t wait to call a lawyer, even if you decide we’re not the team for you. You have a limited amount of time to take legal action for injuries sustained in a truck wreck; the statute of limitations for truck accidents in California is two years. Let your 18 wheeler accident attorney get to work right away to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
You can’t drive too far on California’s state highways without spotting bad semi wrecks, but have you ever wondered what causes them?
According to the FMCSA’s Pocket Guide, the top three truck driver violations are:
- Not keeping their logbooks current. (Truckers must log their service hours and allow appropriate rest periods.)
- Speeding 6 to 10 miles over the speed limit. (Note: the maximum speed limit on all California highways for large trucks (big rigs) is 55 miles per hour.)
- Not wearing a seat belt. (According to FMCSA data from one recent year, 14% of large truck occupants in fatal crashes were not wearing seat belts.)
In addition to these driver errors, large trucks are difficult to operate because they require more time to stop and have plenty of blind spots. Due to their size, 18 wheelers are also prone to rollover accidents.
Below are some more common causes of truck accidents in California:
- Reckless driving. Sometimes, in an attempt to meet a deadline for work, truck drivers take risks. They may drive aggressively or speed.
- Sleep deprivation. Again, in their efforts to meet a tight deadline, truck drivers may violate the service hour regulations and overwork themselves. Drowsy driving can be just as deadly as drunk driving! Head-on collisions often occur because a driver has nodded off.
- Improper lane switching or turning. Trucks make wide turns, and jackknife truck accidents can easily happen this way. Additionally, if truckers do not check their blind spots before changing lanes, they could sideswipe a car in a neighboring lane.
- Driving under the influence. Although trucking companies are required to administer routine drug tests, they don’t always follow this rule. Truck drivers may drink or use drugs to combat boredom on long drives.
- Tailgating. This mistake is more often made by another driver, not the trucker, but it can still cause an accident! If you get stuck behind a truck on the road, be patient or safely pass them. Never linger in their blind spots or trail them too closely.
As recent accidents in Los Angeles have shown, violation of any traffic law, commercial motor vehicle law, or FMCSA regulation can end in disaster. If you’ve been the victim of a truck accident in California, contact us now. Our California truck accident lawyers are ready to leap into action and guide you to victory.
Did you know?
- According to data collected by the FMCSA, California ranks second on the list of states with the most truck and bus accidents. (Texas takes the cake.)
- California has over 100 fatal truck crashes every year.
- Nearly 3,000 more leave survivors with devastating injuries.
- Most California truck accidents occur on highways I-5, I-10, and I-715, and within Los Angeles County.
Below you’ll find answers to common questions we hear from victims of Los Angeles 18-wheeler crashes:
Do I need a lawyer for a truck accident?
Let’s put it this way: trucking companies have legal teams on their side, so why shouldn’t you?
Filing a claim and fighting for compensation is difficult, especially when it involves big bills and multiple responsible parties. Insurance companies won’t play nicely with you either. Instead, they will try to wear you down and avoid paying you the full amount you deserve.
A dedicated Los Angeles truck accident attorney can guide you through the entire process. They can even enlist the help of an expert witness to support your case. Plus, if you need to take the issue to court and file a truck accident lawsuit, your lawyer will be ready.
How much does a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer cost?
Nothing. Zip. Zero. Not a single penny will leave your bank account, because we don’t get paid unless you do!
Most personal injury firms work for a contingency fee. This means when your case is successfully closed, your lawyer deducts an agreed-upon portion from your final settlement award. Their payment depends on your victory. If they lose the case, they don’t get anything.
Still having doubts? Contact with a live expert now for a free, confidential case evaluation and learn more about your options.
How does a truck accident injury claim work?
After you report an accident to your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company, a claim will be opened and an investigation will begin to determine who was at fault. Your lawyer then collects evidence to prove the other driver was responsible for your injuries. As the investigation continues, you will complete any medical treatments you need during this time. When your treatment is finished, your losses and damages can be more accurately calculated and your lawyer can draft a demand letter to obtain a settlement for you. Typically, after presenting the demands, you will receive a settlement offer and your lawyer will enter negotiation.
Beware: insurance companies have ulterior motives when they reach out to truck accident victims. They may ask you for a recorded statement or present you with a lowball settlement offer. They want to close your case quickly and protect their bottom line, or, even worse, they want to find a way to blame you for the accident and dismiss your claim entirely! Never speak to the insurance company by yourself. Review all offers with your truck accident lawyer and direct all further communication to them.
Who is liable in a commercial truck accident?
To hold someone accountable for damage, you have to determine liability. Theoretically, this is done by proving the following:
- There was a duty. The at-fault party owed you a “duty of care.” This means they had a duty to behave responsibly and avoid harming anyone.
- There was a breach of duty. The at-fault party violated the duty of care with poor behavior.
- There were damages. You suffered damages, injuries, or expenses as a result of the breach of duty.
- Proximate cause: The at-fault party’s poor behavior can be clearly connected to the damages you suffered.
There can be multiple liable parties in a truck accident case, from mechanics to drivers to the trucking company. Los Angeles accident attorneys will investigate all possible sources of compensation.
First and foremost, in commercial truck accidents, trucking companies can be held liable for the actions of the truck drivers they employ. Trucking companies are responsible for adhering to federal trucking safety regulations and conducting background checks, vehicle inspections, and adequate training. Most trucking companies and their drivers are well-insured. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll be eager to hand over the compensation they owe you for an accident. You may need to file a truck accident lawsuit to get the money you need.
Additionally, third-party defendants may be involved. A third party defendant is a person or entity not directly involved in the crash but who still contributed to it somehow. Some examples of third-party defendants would be an auto parts manufacturer who produced a defective part for the truck or a fleet mechanic who failed to notice a problem while inspecting the truck.
How can you prove liability after a truck accident? By collecting evidence that uncovers negligence, misconduct, or downright criminal activity by any of the parties mentioned above. This evidence may including the following:
- Witness statements. When it comes to determining fault, witness accounts from bystanders or other drivers on the road can be vital. Your Los Angeles truck crash attorney collects these stories. They also consult expert witnesses like doctors and crash reconstruction specialists to strengthen your case even more.
- Truck black boxes. The black box devices in semi trucks and 18 wheelers record important data about the truck’s movements over time. This data can be used to determine speed, paths, drive times, break times, and more. (In December 2015, the FMCSA made it mandatory for all trucks manufactured after 2000 to have electronic logging devices in them.)
- Truck camera footage or other video. In recent years, many trucking companies have added cameras to their fleets. Whether the camera faces the road or the driver, the footage can be replayed to understand exactly how the accident happened.
- Log books and company records. Your truck accident injury lawyer can gain access to the trucking company’s records and driver log books and review them for any red flags.
As you can see, truck accidents are complex, so it’s imperative that you review all the details with a skilled Los Angeles truck accident lawyer. By conducting a thorough investigation, they can determine fault and pursue the maximum possible compensation for your claim. Get help from a trucking accident law firm as soon as possible!
How long does a truck accident lawsuit last?
So now you know more about how the investigation works, but how long does a truck accident injury settlement really take?
The length of a truck accident lawsuit varies. From start to finish, it could take anywhere from a few months to a few years.
As a general rule of thumb, all medical treatment should be completed before a truck accident injury claim’s value is calculated. If you’re still undergoing treatment, it could take several more months to receive a settlement check. However, you should never rush through your recommended treatments. You don’t want to reinjure yourself or get stuck with future medical bills and no help in sight!
If the insurance companies are particularly stubborn, they’ll stall in an attempt to wear you down and make you settle for less. A skilled Los Angeles 18 wheeler accident lawyer won’t fall for their tricks!
What is comparative fault, and what does it mean for my claim?
California is a comparative fault state, also known as a comparative negligence state. This means even if you were badly injured in a truck accident, you might still be found partially at fault, and any compensation you receive from your case will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if a truck driver made an abrupt stop on the highway for no reason but you were driving above the speed limit when you crashed into the back of the truck, the trucker may be found 70% at fault for the accident but you may be found 30% at fault for the accident. In the end, your final settlement award amount would be reduced by 30%, i.e. if your damages totaled $100,000, you would only receive $70,000.
How much is my truck accident case worth?
There’s no easy answer to this one. Compensation for Los Angeles truck accident victims will vary depending on the specifics of their case, the severity of their injuries, and how their accident happened.
Settlements for truck accident cases can be life-changing, sometimes reaching millions of dollars. Rest assured we’re ready to handle big truck accidents today and every day!
The losses and expenses we can help you recoup in a settlement are called “damages.” Find more details below.
Wondering how much your truck accident case is worth? The value of the case will depend on the estimated total of all the losses you’ve suffered. These losses, called “damages,” include economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to losses that are easy to quantify or prove with receipts, bills, and other records. Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses for treating accident-related injuries. This includes surgeries, prescription medications, x-rays, physical therapy, and much more.
- Property damage such as repairing or replacing your vehicle or other damaged belongings.
- Rental vehicles while your car is in the shop.
- Lost wages if you had to take time off of work to recover from your injuries.
- Home renovation if a new disability required you to make your home more accessible.
- Home health care and mobility devices like wheelchairs, whether you need these temporarily or permanently.
Non-economic damages refer to the more abstract hardships you are enduring after the truck accident, like pain, suffering, anxiety, and the inability to enjoy your old hobbies. While these things cannot be easily proven with a paper trail, they are still valid and you deserve to be compensated.
An experienced semi truck accident attorney knows how to secure compensation for all of these damages and more.
Truck Accident Wrongful Death Claims
Statistics show large trucks like 18 wheelers and big rigs account for only 3% of vehicles on the road in America, but are involved in more than 12% of the country’s traffic accident fatalities.
These fatal truck crashes devastate victims’ families and can leave them struggling to stay afloat in a sea of financial hardship.
In the case of deadly truck crashes, surviving family members may be eligible for wrongful death lawsuits. If you’ve lost a loved one, our Los Angeles truck crash attorneys want to help. You’ll be treated with the compassion and sensitivity you deserve, every step of the way.
Like all personal injury claims, truck accident claims are subject to a strict time limit called the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations for truck accidents in California is two years, but it takes time to build a strong case. The sooner you begin, the better. Don’t delay. Team up today with trucking injury lawyers who can help you get the money you need.
Contact a Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Due to greater damages and multiple liable parties, truck accident personal injury cases can get messy. Insurance companies will fight tooth and nail to keep you from getting the settlement you deserve.
Luckily, help is here. Our Los Angeles truck accident lawyers have the best of both worlds: national recognition and local expertise. We are equipped to handle even the most catastrophic semi truck accidents. Reach out now to get your free consultation and learn how we can help YOU.
Our Los Angeles truck accident attorneys have over 20 years of experience helping personal injury victims get their lives back on track. Over the course of our career, we’ve seen it all: garbage truck accidents, big rig accidents, Amazon truck accidents, FedEx truck accidents, and even Los Angeles food truck accidents!
Next time you’re zooming down the Golden State Freeway, rest assured knowing a free consultation from a Los Angeles 18 wheeler accident lawyer is only one call away.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, we can help you by:
- Preserving and collecting evidence
- Determining liability by investigating your accident with the help of expert witnesses
- Handling communication with insurance companies and trucking companies
- Connecting you to medical treatments, therapy, rental vehicles, and more
- Calculating your damages/losses and estimating the value of your claim
- Negotiating with insurance companies to secure the maximum possible settlement for you
- Filing a truck accident lawsuit and going to trial, in the event a fair settlement offer cannot be reached out of court
For a free case evaluation from local 18 wheeler accident attorneys in Los Angeles, call us ASAP.
Los Angeles Truck Accident Injury Attorneys
The law firm of Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers has all the experience, resources, and street smarts a legal team needs to GET RESULTS, even in the most complicated truck accident injury cases. We’re not afraid to stand up to the biggest trucking corporations or the greediest insurance companies.
If a truck accident in the Los Angeles area has left you with physical, emotional, and financial trauma, contact us NOW to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal rights and hear more about how we can help.
The legal team of Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured in a truck accident, call our office right now to schedule a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“I was very pleased with how Stewart handled my case. He acted professionally at all times and really had my best interests at heart. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome too! I would definitely recommend my friends and family to use him as their lawyer.” – Joshua L.