The devastation of a trucking accident can reach into every corner of your life. And it happens in the blink of an eye.
One day, you’re going about your daily routine. The next, you’re dealing with severe injuries and facing a future of medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. You may have even lost someone you love.
No one thinks a tractor-trailer accident will happen to them. But when it does, you need the best legal representation in Hawthorne, CA to protect and defend your rights.
The Los Angeles County accident attorneys of Frost Law Firm, PC serve Hawthorne and surrounding communities in Southern California. If you were involved in an 18-wheeler crash, contact our office right away. We’ll pair you with a top personal injury lawyer on our legal team for a free consultation. Your Hawthorne truck accident lawyer can advise you of your rights and legal options for recovery.
How Often Do 18-Wheeler Crashes Happen in California?
Catastrophic truck crashes may seem like a rare occurrence. And in fact, commercial motor vehicle (CMV) collisions are comparatively infrequent when measured against passenger car vs. car accidents.
However, the small percentage of truck accidents make up a much larger percentage of fatalities. When tractor-trailers do crash, the destruction is much more severe. More people are injured. Injuries are more catastrophic. And more people die.
Truck accident injury and fatality rates are on the rise in Hawthorne, Los Angeles County, California, and the nation as a whole.
- FMCSA data showed that truck accident fatalities increased by 31% from 2010 to 2020.
- California Highway Patrol statistics found that CA truck accident injury and fatality rates increased by over one-third in just five years.
Los Angeles County consistently sees the highest number of truck accidents of any county in the state of California. In the California Highway Patrol’s latest comprehensive data report, there were 2,656 truck accident injuries among people in Los Angeles County in a single year. This far exceeds any other county in California. Even in the county with the second-highest injury rate, San Bernardino County, there were only 878 injuries.
How To File a Hawthorne, CA Truck Accident Claim
If you were injured in a Hawthorne big rig accident, your first step should be to seek medical care. Once your physical wellbeing has been attended to by health care professionals, and you are on your way toward recovery, important questions will begin to arise.
- How long will I need medical attention?
- Will I ever fully recover from my injuries?
- How long will I miss work?
- Will I be able to return to my previous job position?
- How will I afford the medical care I need while I’m also losing income?
These are critical questions. The answers have an enormous impact on the future of your life.
Securing the compensation you need, deserve, and are entitled to under California law can give you the means to put your life back on track. A fair settlement can never erase what happened to you. But it can provide a path forward, right an injustice, and prevent future occurrences of trucking industry negligence before they happen.
Those injured in a Hawthorne semi-truck wreck need to know how to file a truck accident claim in California. In broad terms, the process will look something like this:
- Investigate and gather evidence proving liability
- Document proof of your damages and calculate compensation
- File the necessary documentation with the at-fault party’s insurer
- Negotiate with the insurance company to try to reach a fair settlement
- Take your case to trial in a California courthouse if an out-of-court settlement can’t be reached
Of course, the process will be much more complicated in a real-life scenario. Truck accident cases are known to be some of the most complex personal injury cases—typically more so than car accidents or other motor vehicle accidents. This is because there are several factors that complicate the process of filing a truck accident claim, including a network of federal and state regulations, multiple insurance policies, and a large number of involved parties.
Filing a truck accident claim in California is not something you can do on your own. You’ll need a skilled and experienced truck accident lawyer to help you. This can be a long process. It’s critical that you find a Hawthorne truck crash attorney you trust to see you through to a successful case outcome.
How Long Does It Take To File a Truck Accident Claim in California?
Filing a truck accident claim in Los Angeles County can take years. It’s rare to see a truck accident case reach a conclusion in under a year.
You should be prepared for this. While you won’t obtain a settlement award immediately after your Hawthorne truck accident, your legal representative will make sure every way your life has been impacted is calculated in your claim for compensation.
The Hawthorne truck accident lawyers at Frost Law Firm, PC are committed to helping injured clients win justice. We take trucking industry negligence seriously. We know how much power a truck driver holds in their hands when they grip the steering wheel. When truck drivers and trucking companies abuse their power and injure or kill another person, we take action.
Our truck accident attorneys have years of experience successfully handling complex truck accident claims. If you were injured or lost a loved one in Hawthorne, CA to the negligent actions of a trucker or trucking agency, we are the advocates you need.
Frost Law Firm, PC offers free consultations to provide potential clients with an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about their legal options.
Types of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Part of filing your Los Angeles County truck accident claim will involve describing how the accident occurred. There are several common types of big rig collisions that are specific to large trucks, caused by their size and shape. The most common types of tractor-trailer accidents are:
- T-Bone Collisions. Also called broadside collisions, this is when one vehicle makes impact with the broad side of another, usually at an intersection.
- Sideswipe Accidents. When the side of one vehicle scrapes along the side of another moving or stationary vehicle, it is known as a sideswipe accident.
- Front-End or Head-On Crashes. This is one of the most dangerous types of accidents, a situation in which two vehicles traveling toward one another collide head-on.
- Underride Accidents. If a truck brakes suddenly, the following car may travel under the trailer and become trapped, causing an extremely dangerous situation for vehicle occupants.
- Override Accidents. Similarly, if a tractor-trailer drives over the top of a car in front of it, the driver and passengers of the car can be crushed beneath the semi-truck.
- Rollover Accidents. A rollover accident can be fatal to the driver and other motorists. Rollovers often happen due to tire blowouts, unstable loads, or sharp turns taken too quickly.
- Jackknife Accidents. A jackknife shape forms when the trailer moves away from the truck cab at an angle. Improper braking can cause the trailer to swing away from the forward pull of the truck.
What Causes Hawthorne Truck Accidents?
With so many parties involved in the long-haul trucking industry, it’s no surprise that there are several different entities who may be held liable for a Hawthorne trucking accident. Those entities are most commonly:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company that employs the driver
- Another separate party whose actions contributed to the crash
How Do Truck Drivers Cause Accidents?
When truck drivers are reckless, inattentive, fatigued, intoxicated, or just simply careless, accidents happen. A CMV can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. It takes a lot of skill, judgment, and caution to drive one without incident.
Truck drivers can cause accidents by:
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while using illegal drugs, alcohol, marijuana, or prescription drugs
- Breaking traffic laws and regulations
- Driving recklessly or aggressively
- Not paying attention to weather conditions, changes in traffic patterns, blind spots, or right of way laws
How Do Trucking Companies Cause Accidents?
A truck company (and their insurer) is usually named as a responsible party for a truck accident, even when the actions of the driver directly contributed to the crash. But trucking companies can also engage in behaviors and practices that greatly increase the likelihood of a big rig accident.
Trucking companies can cause accidents by:
- Following negligent hiring practices
- Allowing drivers without the proper licensing (CDL and necessary endorsements) to drive
- Assigning drivers unreasonably long routes
- Encouraging drivers to break FMCSA hours of service laws
- Having lax inspection and maintenance policies
- Not following safety and emergency policies that are in place
- Not providing drivers with the training and education they need
- Not keeping proper records, or altering or falsifying records
What Other Parties May Be Liable for a Truck Accident in CA?
In a Hawthorne truck accident claim, another party named as the defendant may be:
- Another passenger vehicle driver
- A loading or shipping company
- A truck maintenance company
- The truck owner, if not the driver or truck company
- A truck parts manufacturing company that produced a defective product
A Hawthorne Truck Accident Attorney From Frost Law Firm, PC Is Here for You
No matter which party’s actions caused your Hawthorne truck crash, our lawyers will find evidence to prove liability. Working with a dedicated accident lawyer like the ones at Frost Law Firm, PC is the best way to hold a negligent party accountable.
We fight hard to make sure our clients are considered at every stage of the legal process. We investigate deeply to understand how your accident occurred and how it impacted your life. We’ve helped secure millions in compensation for clients who are struggling under the weight of steep medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, permanent disability, or the tragic aftermath of a wrongful death.
A free consultation with a compassionate and experienced Hawthorne truck accident attorney is free to you at the office of Frost Law Firm, PC. Contact us today to set up a no-obligation case evaluation.