Truck accidents are among the most deadly type of motor vehicle accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2016, the last year for which totals are available, there were 3,986 fatal truck accidents in the U.S. This is 27% higher than 2009, the year that saw the lowest number of fatal truck accidents on record.
The NHTSA reports that 66% of the fatalities in truck accidents in 2016 were occupants of smaller vehicles and 16% were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists. By comparison, 17% of the victims of fatal injury in accidents involving a big rig truck were occupants or drivers of the cab itself.
Truck accidents are not always fatal, however. In fact, a majority of truck accidents in Redondo Beach and surrounding areas primarily result in serious injury such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Fractured, broken, or pulverized bones
- Internal organ damage
Victims of some of these truck accident injuries may be able to achieve full recovery through medical services and rehabilitation. Others, such as those dealing with TBI, SCI, or amputation may face a lifetime of struggle and require round-the-clock assistance and monitoring. In both the case of permanent and impermanent damage, having a truck accident attorney on your side is the best way to protect your rights.
Call Kirtland & Packard at 310-536-1000 to set up a free evaluation at our Redondo Beach office and learn how we can help.
Truck Accident Liability
Liability following a truck accident is often difficult to establish. This is because a number of people are involved in the process of shipping goods. A trucking accident may be the fault of the truck driver. This is often true in cases involving:
- Speeding or erratic driving
- Unannounced lane changes and aggressive behaviors like tailgating
- Drug and alcohol use
As is the case with drivers of smaller vehicles, these types of behavior imperil everyone on the road. Distraction, in particular, has become a large concern as more and more evidence links general inattention to accidents. Truckers may become distracted by cellphones, food and drinks, on-board electronics, and even taking in the scenery. So too might the drivers of smaller vehicles. Avoiding distraction is a shared responsibility. Sharing the road requires attention from all parties.
While speeding, aggressive driving, and drug use may seem to implicate the trucker, these actions may actually be spurred by policy from the trucking company itself. Unrealistic schedules placed on truckers can force them to choose between job security and driving dangerously - even in the face of federal regulations that limit driving hours. In these cases, the trucking company may be liable for any damages caused by the trucker. Liability may also be shared between these two parties.
Other areas that your truck accident attorney will need to investigate to establish liability include:
- How the load was packed and secured
- Vehicle maintenance and service reports
- Parts recalls for cab or trailer
Liable parties may include the company that packed the trailer, mechanics and parts manufacturers, and even government entities who fail to prevent dangerous, tired, or intoxicated truckers from continuing on their way.
Our Redondo Beach truck accident attorneys take every care to uncover all contributing factors. In this way, we can work to hold each liable party accountable for the role they played while seeking maximum compensation for your injuries.
How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
If you have a legitimate claim, Kirtland & Packard can help protect you against the predatory tactics of insurance companies who often try to manipulate victims of injury into accepting settlements that are woefully lacking. They know that if you accept their offer, you cannot take further legal action.
Big rig accidents demand an investigation. This investigation, performed by your truck accident lawyer, allows all liable parties to be identified and enables us to begin building your case. Once established, we will prepare your case for trial during which we can fight for compensation for:
- All medical and rehabilitation costs
- Adaptive technology and home modifications
- Current and future lost wages
- Personal pain and suffering
An insurance settlement may cover some of your medical expenses, but it is ill-advised to accept any offer until you have shown it to an experienced truck accident attorney. Once you accept an offer from an insurance company, you cannot seek further damages, even if your injury continues to result in financial losses.
Why Choose Us
Kirtland & Packard was established in 1932. In our more than 85 years in operation, we have helped thousands of truck accident victims in Redondo Beach and beyond. Skilled, attentive, and respected, our truck accident lawyers are fully committed to helping victims of injury and family members dealing with the loss of a loved one get justice.
Our attorneys take time to fully understand how an injury has and will continue to impact the lives of all involved. We are not afraid to hold powerful corporations or even government entities accountable for their negligence - and we are prepared to take legitimate cases as far as needed to help victims get every penny they deserve.
If you are in need of an attorney following a collision with a big rig, we are here to help. Call Kirtland & Packard at 310-536-1000 to schedule a free consultation and learn more. Our truck accident attorneys serve the South Bay area including Torrance, Manhattan Beach, and Rolling Hills from our conveniently located Redondo Beach office. If your injuries have made travel difficult, one of our attorneys can come to you to listen to your story and provide you with information on how best to proceed.