Long Beach Truck Accident Lawyer
Any motor vehicle crash can be harrowing and seriously damaging for those involved but car accidents involving large trucks or tractor-trailers are particularly devastating. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that thousands of Americans suffer serious injuries or die from truck accidents. It’s vital for drivers in Southern California to understand the laws surrounding tractor-trailers and other trucks so victims of accidents have some idea of their options. Speak with a qualified Long Beach truck accident lawyer at Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP to learn more about the specific legal options pertaining to your case.
Why Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Many people mistakenly believe that they don’t need legal representation if a case seems very straightforward and the odds seem to be in their favor. However, it’s important to remember that the law is impartial, and successful lawsuits hinge on much more than simply stating your side of events. Without the proper legal training, plaintiffs are very likely to miss important deadlines for filing certain documents with the court and meeting other procedural requirements.
Attempting a lawsuit on your own, without legal counsel, may result in having your case thrown out before it even reaches trial. An attorney will not only help you navigate the procedural issues surrounding your case but will also help establish the defendant’s negligence. Additionally, a truck accident lawsuit may not have a clear defendant, or it may involve several. Your attorney will be able to assess the proper course of action after analyzing the facts of your case, and a good Long Beach personal injury attorney experienced in truck accident claims will explore every possible avenue of compensation for your lawsuit.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Tractor-trailers are a staple of the U.S. economy, moving trillions of pounds of goods across the country every year. Since tractor-trailers are primarily commercial vehicles and drivers act in the capacity of employees, truck drivers must adhere to a higher standard of care than drivers of typical passenger cars. When an accident happens, it could be the fault of the driver, another motorist in the vicinity, or someone else entirely.
Truck drivers must not only follow the traffic laws, but also maintain situational awareness and be mindful of the size of their vehicles. A standard four-door sedan may only weigh a few thousand pounds at most, while a fully-loaded tractor trailer can weigh tens of thousands of pounds. Losing control of such a massive vehicle at high speed can spell doom for many people on the road, so truck drivers must exercise care while behind the wheel. The companies that hire and dispatch truck drivers on their routes must take care to ensure the drivers have completed all required training and vehicles meet all applicable regulations.
Some of the most common causes of trucking accidents our Long Beach truck accident attorneys have seen include:
- Truck defects/defective maintenance. Trucking companies must ensure that their vehicles meet acceptable safety standards and that all maintenance follows approved guidelines. A poor maintenance check could leave a tractor trailer vulnerable to road hazards, potentially resulting in accidents.
- Driver error/negligence. When truck drivers push themselves for too long without adequate rest, they are more likely to make mistakes while driving. Additionally, some truck drivers may use drugs or alcohol to combat road fatigue creating an extremely dangerous situation for other drivers.
- Cargo. Many tractor-trailers carry thousands of pounds of cargo during each of their trips. Trucking companies must ensure that trailers’ cargo will not throw the vehicle off-balance. Since tractor-trailers sit higher than other vehicles, unbalanced loads can cause trucks to tip over while making turns or after hitting bumps or road debris.
- Third parties. Some drivers do not exercise appropriate caution around tractor-trailers, and dangerous maneuvers can create accidents with the vehicles and cargo. Large trucks are not as agile as other vehicles and require much more time and distance to stop or to avoid hazards.
Seek Justice and Hire a Long Beach Truck Accident Lawyer
At Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP, we believe in holding negligent parties accountable for the damage they cause. If you’ve suffered an injury in a truck accident, it’s important to connect with a reliable attorney to handle your case and navigate you toward a successful outcome. Reach out to our team to schedule a free case evaluation about your trucking accident case, and we will let you know how we can help.