Due to their larger size and heavier weight, trucks can cause more damage in collisions than regular vehicles. They can cause more serious injuries, more substantial property damage, and even death.
Long Beach, like many other places in California, is no stranger to truck accidents. Unfortunately, this means you could be involved in one as well. If this ever happens to you, know that you have the legal right to seek compensation for your losses. Let us discuss how you can get compensated and why you might consider hiring a Long Beach truck accident lawyer from Greenberg Gross.
Long Beach Truckers Must Follow Motor Carrier Safety Laws
A Long Beach truck accident lawyer from our firm stays updated on the laws relevant to your situation. These include federal and state trucking regulations, which can help determine how the Long Beach truck driver or employer is at fault for the crash.
Some of these motor carrier rules include:
Hours of Service
Drivers must take mandatory breaks after working for a specific length of time. This helps reduce their exhaustion and thus lowers the risk of lapses in judgment or falling asleep on the road.
Trucking companies must have the trucks regularly maintained and inspected to prevent breaking down during trips.
As with all California truck drivers, Long Beach truck drivers must also have commercial driver’s licenses to operate motor carriers legally.
California also has weight limits for trucks traveling in the state. The Long Beach truck must carry a special permit if it exceeds these limits.
Long Beach truckers must properly secure their cargo before transporting it to prevent them it from shifting, falling off, or spilling on the road.
Drug and Alcohol Restrictions
Long Beach truck drivers must not use drugs or alcohol before or while on duty. Moreover, employers must conduct random testing throughout the year and whenever they suspect the driver is under the influence.
You can use this failure to comply with such rules as proof of the trucker’s liability in the trucking collision. Of course, your lawyer will also consider other possible factors affecting the crash, such as traffic violations, roadwork hazards, and other negligent motorists.
Filing a Truck Accident Liability Claim in Long Beach
Long Beach trucking companies are mandated under California Vehicle Code Section 34631.5 and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to carry liability insurance. This will help pay for the damages they cause should the truck get involved in an accident. Some of these damages include:
- Medical expenses, such as medications, hospitalizations, and medical tests
- Income lost while unable to work
- Auto repairs
- Psychological trauma
- Chronic pain
When filing your liability claim, your lawyer can assist with tasks including:
- Gathering evidence of the accident, such as dashcam videos and photographs
- Compiling your expenses to estimate your total damages
- Presenting your claim to the insurance provider
- Negotiating a fair settlement
When Is the Driver Not Covered by Their Employer’s Insurance?
The truck owner’s liability coverage generally covers the driver if they cause the accident within their scope of work. Should they, for instance, crash into a car while using the truck for a personal errand, their own liability coverage would apply.
Accident Lawsuits as an Alternative
Depending on the circumstances, your lawyer might advise you to file a lawsuit instead of a liability claim. For example, the truck owner or driver’s liability coverage might not be enough to compensate for your accident-related damages fully. They may also be uninsured.
Civil courts are not restricted by how much liability coverage the at-fault party has. As such, they could award you damages greater than the other side’s policy limits. Lawsuits generally take longer to conclude due to the filing processes and court proceedings involved, though. However, your lawyer can represent you for the whole duration until you get a verdict.
Since the trucking accident occurred in Long Beach, you can file the suit with the Long Beach Superior Court.
Other Laws to Consider in Your Los Angeles County Truck Accident Case
Since California follows a pure comparative negligence rule, you could recover a smaller settlement amount if you are partly liable for the accident. As such, it would be best to have your accident reviewed by our truck accident lawyer to determine your claim’s validity. They can also check your evidence to see if they can adequately support your case.
To illustrate the comparative fault rule, let us say you are 25 percent at fault while the Long Beach trucker is 75 percent at fault. That also means they only owe you 75 percent of your total damages.
Truck Accident Statutes of Limitations in California
Your Long Beach truck accident case also has filing deadlines, which vary depending on what damages you want to recover. For instance, if you file an action for injury-related damages, you must do so within two years (California Civil Procedure Code Section 335.1).
Besides ensuring your case progress is on schedule, your lawyer can also check for tolling exceptions. These are special situations that can move your deadline. For example, if you file for damages on your child’s behalf, the statute clock will only start when they are of legal age.
Our Lawyers Are Here for You
Truck accident victims here in Long Beach can approach Greenberg Gross for a consultation anytime. We handle trucking collision cases and other injury cases throughout California. Our team has the knowledge, experience, and resources to assist you with the steps involved in seeking compensation for your expenses and other losses.
For a free case evaluation with a team member, call or send us the incident details through this website. You can also call for other inquiries regarding our legal services.