Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorneys
Aggressively Protecting the Rights of Truck Accident Victims
Anyone on the road is at risk of suffering serious injuries in a devastating truck accident. Statistics show about 97,000 people suffered injuries in 2015 in the United States in accidents involving large commercial trucks—and more than 3,800 of those accidents resulted in fatalities. Truck accidents regularly ruin or end lives in the worst possible ways. Victims who survive often face lifelong injuries and overwhelming losses.
Yet all too often, trucking companies treat accidents as part of the regular course of business and simply budget for insurance and potential liability costs. They try to limit these costs to protect their profits whenever possible. On the other hand, no truck accident victim plans ahead for the costs of a life-altering injury or the sudden loss of a loved one.
No Injury Is Too Serious for Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP
Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP is dedicated to representing clients with severe and life-changing injuries—and will take on even the most challenging cases. We understand that these injuries can result in a lifetime of losses and expenses—and we know how to handle the unique legal issues involved in these claims. We dedicate our work and resources to protecting the best interests of clients who have suffered devastating injuries or lost loved ones in accidents.
While many firms handle cases involving relatively minor injuries, most lack the resources and experience to handle highly complex, catastrophic truck injury cases. Going up against a trucking company’s lawyers and insurers can prove nothing short of intimidating for accident victims—and many law firms. The award-winning lawyers of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP have a proven track record of recovering six-, seven-, and even eight-figure verdicts and settlements for severely injured victims of truck accidents and their families.
Why Our Truck Accident Attorneys Outrank All Others
We have fought trucking companies and their insurance companies time and again—and won. We have achieved these successes because our firm has the necessary resources and our attorneys understand how to use evidence and legal strategies in complex, catastrophic trucking accident cases to maximize our clients’ recoveries.=
- We have won multiple seven- and eight- figure verdicts for clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one in devastating trucking accidents.
- Our past successes enable us to provide the resources to invest in our clients’ cases and perform exhaustive investigations of truck accidents, which can be extremely expensive and complex.
- Our skilled truck accident investigators work diligently to compile and develop the extensive, substantive evidence necessary to establish liability in truck accident cases—and win.
- When appropriate, we retain authoritative experts to reconstruct truck accidents and perform testing necessary to unearth evidence of negligence or vehicular defects or failures.
- Our attorneys have the skills and expertise required to develop and present compelling evidence in negotiations and at trial to win cases against large trucking companies, truck manufacturers, and commercial insurers.
- We provide the resources to diligently investigate trucking accident cases, demonstrating our investment in our clients who face serious injuries or the loss of a loved one.
- Our reputation as a trusted, hard-working, successful catastrophic California personal injury litigation firm and our track record of multi-million dollar victories provides considerable weight and advantage both in negotiations and litigating catastrophic trucking accidents cases at trial, which a small-claims litigation firm cannot offer.
- We commit our time, energy, and our firm’s resources to helping victims who have suffered catastrophic injuries and lost loved ones and maximizing their recovery of compensation from the careless parties at fault, to ensure victims have the critical care and resources to cope with the aftermath of a traumatic truck accident and move forward with their lives.
Our Firm Knows How to Get the Results Our Clients Deserve
Most importantly, our attorneys give every one of our clients the full care and attention they deserve. We are here to help and we treat our clients like family. Thoroughly getting to know our clients and understanding the challenges they face after a traumatic truck accident, as well as their specific needs moving forward, helps us to provide the highest quality of representation available in truck accident cases. We dedicate our efforts and the necessary resources to help those who have suffered egregious injuries recover just compensation from the careless truckers and trucking companies responsible for their enormous losses.
Over $50 Million Won for Victims of Catastrophic Truck Accidents
Victories we have achieved for clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries or lost loved ones in truck accidents include:
- $14.4 million verdict – An improperly serviced and inspected asphalt truck caused a chain collision that resulted in brain damage to a nephrology surgeon and the deaths of her husband and 81-year-old mother.
- $8.8 million verdict – A truck collided with a passenger vehicle, causing a severe brain injury to 14-year-old girl on a 4H-sponsored camping trip.
- $7 million settlement – A tractor trailer hit a car, resulting in the amputation of the left arm and traumatic brain injury to 47-year-old man.
- $5 million settlement for a passenger in a truck when the truck driver lost control and rolled down an embankment into traffic lanes.
- $5 million settlement for a young homemaker and mother who suffered serious head trauma while a passenger in a car that was struck by a Caltrans vehicle.
- $4.5 million verdict for the wrongful death of a 34-year-old husband and father killed when a recycling truck jumped the median and collided with a passenger vehicle head-on.
- $3.65 million settlement for a worker who suffered traumatic injuries when pinned by a truck in a loading area.
- $2.5 million verdict for the wrongful death of a college student who hit a metal object that fell off the trailer of a truck in front of him.
- $2 million settlement for the family of a young girl killed when a garbage truck backed over her.
If you need assistance after a serious truck accident in Los Angeles or across California, contact our office today at (310) 576-1200 for more information about our legal services.
Truck Accidents and Catastrophic Injuries – Commercial truck accidents typically cause catastrophic injuries to occupants of smaller vehicles. Catastrophic injuries affect the most vital parts of the body—often the brain or spine—and cause the permanent impairment of bodily functioning or death. Some catastrophic injuries that truck accidents victims often incur include:
Spinal cord injuries – A truck accident can severely injure or sever the spinal cord, completely disrupting the central nervous system, cutting off signals to nerves, and causing total and permanent paralysis below the location of the injury. A complete spinal injury to the neck can paralyze all four limbs and even parts of the trunk, which is referred to as tetraplegia or quadriplegia. A lower spine injury can result in paraplegia, which affects the pelvis and legs.
Paralysis victims can lose the ability to move and feel sensations. They can also lose certain functions in some organs, such as the bowels, bladder, and sexual organs. Quadriplegia victims may lose respiratory and swallowing abilities and may require breathing and feeding assistance.
Spinal cord injuries can leave victims with limited abilities and the need for extensive medical equipment, ongoing treatments, and assistance with even the most basic tasks. Victims may lose the ability to work or even live unassisted. Their losses can quickly reach into the millions and continue adding up throughout their lives.
Severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) – Because of the tremendous forces involved in a truck accident, traumatic brain injuries are common, resulting in a wide variety of long-term impairments. TBIs often cost victims and their families dearly—both to their quality of life and finances.
One common effect of a severe TBI is an extended period of unconsciousness. A coma from a brain injury can last months or continue indefinitely, and often requires around-the-clock care in an intensive care unit. Some people never return to full consciousness after a severe brain injury. Instead, they remain in a persistent vegetative state and require constant life support.
In rare cases, severe TBI victims may suffer locked-in syndrome, a nightmarish condition that allows them to think and remain aware of their condition and surroundings—but without the ability to move or communicate except through eye movements.
About one-third of severe brain injury patients never regain consciousness and succumb to their injury.
Even if a victim wakes from a coma and regains awareness, severe brain damage can cause permanent cognitive, physical, and behavioral impairments. Victims can experience multiple disabilities damaging basic communication skills, movement, speech, memory, information processing, emotional control, and much more. Many victims never return to life as they previously knew it, including their jobs, education, activities, or personal relationships. The astronomical costs of living with a severe brain injury can include ongoing therapy, medical treatments, and home assistance.
Third and fourth-degree burns – Truck accidents often result in fires or explosions that cause catastrophic burns. Third- and fourth-degree burns are called “full-thickness burns” because they destroy all layers of skin tissue, sometimes including the nerves, muscles, or even bones. Many people may not know about fourth-degree burns, because they are so severe that the few people survive them.
People who survive full thickness burns endure painful and lengthy recoveries, which may include a lifetime of burn care and reconstructive surgeries. They may need to spend months—or years—in a burn center to prevent dangerous infections and undergo multiple skin grafts and other painful surgeries. Many full thickness burn patients require amputations and suffer from widespread disfigurement.
Amputations – Some truck accidents so completely shatter or crush the bones in a victim’s limb that doctors cannot repair them and must surgically remove the limb. Others may suffer irreparable burns or severed limbs that even the best surgeons cannot reattach.
No matter how or why an amputation occurs, losing an extremity or a limb will completely disrupt a person’s life and result in significant physical and psychological harm. An amputation can significantly limit the abilities of a victim, who may need to stop working or hire home care assistants. Others may choose to use prosthetics, which can prove incredibly costly, painful, and difficult to learn to use. Even with a prosthesis, an amputee rarely regains full abilities. Amputees will also have to endure constant medical care and rehabilitative therapy—possibly for the rest of their lives.
Wrongful death – Many truck accident victims do not survive their catastrophic injuries. In 2015, 3,598 fatal truck crashes occurred in the United States. The next year, 322 truck-related fatalities took place in California alone—and only 49 of those were occupants of a commercial truck. The large majority of people killed in truck accidents were motorists in smaller passenger vehicles.
Some victims may die at the scene, while others may receive a substantial amount of costly medical care in an attempt to save their lives before they pass away. In any event, families of fatal truck accident victims are left with devastating personal and financial losses.
Protect Yourself—Do Not Wait to Discuss a Possible Case
Our attorneys know that dealing with a catastrophic injury or an unexpected death can prove all-consuming. However, putting off calling the right law firm for too long can potentially damage your case. The trucking company has its own investigators and legal team who will begin building a defense almost immediately after a crash. They will conduct their own evaluation of the crash and take any possible preemptive actions to minimize or avoid liability—long before a claim is ever filed.
These companies have their own aggressive legal teams, and so should you. If you wait too long to protect yourself by hiring an attorney, evidence can be lost, making it more challenging to identify and prove fault in an accident.
We do not waste any time working to build a strong case for our clients. The sooner someone calls, the sooner we can begin protecting their rights. The trucking company will have aggressive lawyers. Seriously injured trucking accident victims deserve at least the same on their side.
Negligence in the Trucking Industry
Determining the cause of your truck accident is an essential part of your claim. When appropriate, our firm employs our significant resources to investigate truck accidents and uncover any negligence on the part of the truck driver, trucking company, or truck manufacturer. While each crash is unique, common causes of truck accidents include:
- Violating traffic laws – Traffic laws exist to keep everyone safe on the road. When truck drivers speed, fail to yield, run red lights, or violate other important traffic safety laws, they can cause serious crashes.
- Violating federal trucking regulations – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces many regulations for trucking companies and drivers. These include conspicuity (or safety) requirements, inspection and maintenance requirements, and commercial driver’s licensing and training requirements, among many others. When a company or driver violates any of these regulations, it puts other motorists at serious risk of harm.
- Driver fatigue – Because long hours on the road can lead to fatigue, drivers must comply with hours of service regulations to combat fatigued driving. If drivers violate these regulations or drive when they know they are overly tired, they can lose focus or fall asleep and cause severe injuries to others. Sometimes, companies even knowingly allow or encourage drivers to extend shifts to meet deadlines despite the serious risks of fatigued driving.
- Aggressive driving – Some truck drivers think they “own the road” because they spend so many hours behind the wheel of a giant vehicle. This powerful feeling, combined with impatience with traffic, can lead truck drivers to speed excessively, tailgate, pass other vehicles in dangerous ways, and engage in other reckless and aggressive driving behaviors that cause them to crash.
- Impaired driving – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and dangerous for any driver—and completely inexcusable for drivers of large commercial trucks. Sadly, DUI trucking accidents happen all too often. We work to hold impaired truck drivers liable to the fullest extent of the law.
- Improper loading – Those who load and secure cargo must do so according to FMCSA requirements. Any mistakes or violations during the loading process can cause a trailer to become imbalanced and the driver to lose control.
- Negligent hiring and supervision – Trucking companies should always hire safe drivers who follow safety policies and regulations. When a company hires a driver with a history of dangerous driving or fails to supervise employees, the company can face liability for negligence if the driver crashes.
- Truck defects – A manufacturer that produces and sells a defective truck part can cause devastating accidents. When brakes, tires, or other defective parts malfunction, a driver can easily lose control, and others may suffer life-threatening injuries.
We strive to hold the trucking industry completely accountable for negligent acts and regulatory violations—not only to obtain full compensation for our clients, but also to improve safety and prevent future harm to other motorists.
Investigation and Evidence in Truck Accident Cases
Investigating a truck accident is no simple task. As soon as our lawyers learn of an injured client, we begin conducting a thorough investigation to determine whether a driver or company violated any safety regulations. These investigations may include sending investigators and expert consultants to the scene of the accident and obtaining any possible evidence of negligence and fault. This evidence often includes:
- Witness statements – Witness accounts of the accident can prove critical in corroborating negligence claims. Witnesses can testify as to whether a truck driver was driving erratically or aggressively, whether part of the truck failed, or whether anything else unusual occurred.
- Electronic control modules (ECMs) – Also known as event data recorders or “black boxes,” these devices record information about the speed of the truck, whether the driver applied brakes, and additional information from just before an accident. Crash experts can retrieve and analyze a truck’s ECM data to assist with accident reconstruction.
- Truck cameras – Many trucking companies have started installing cameras inside their trucks, either facing the road, the driver, or both. If a truck had a camera, footage can help us determine whether the truck driver engaged in negligence or misconduct.
- Electronic logging devices – The FMCSA requires truck drivers to keep track of their hours using electronic logging devices (ELDs). Examining these ELDs can help determine whether a driver exceeded hours of service limits, risking fatigue.
- Trucking company records – Trucking companies should keep accurate records regarding the hiring and supervision of truck drivers. For example, records that indicate a company failed to perform the necessary drug and alcohol tests before an impaired truck driver crashed can constitute evidence of negligent supervision.
Obtaining all of the necessary evidence in a truck accident case is not easy. However, whether we handle an insurance claim or lawsuit in civil court, our lawyers have the resources and strategies to find the information needed to pursue liability for our clients’ truck accident injuries.
Proving damages stemming from a catastrophic injury is highly complex. Damages can involve extensive past treatment costs, but also the financial support you need for the long-term. This often requires the careful analysis and testimony of medical and economic experts.
Obtaining the proper settlements or verdict for catastrophic injuries requires a comprehensive approach to every case. We bring every appropriate resource to the table, including investigators, expert consultants, evidence and document analysis, and anything else needed to fully pursue each claim.
Contact Our California Truck Accident Attorneys Today
The experienced law firm of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP is ready to help victims who have suffered catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one in a truck accident. We represent clients and consult with attorneys in and around Los Angeles, Southern California, the state of California, and nationwide. Contact our office online or call (310) 576-1200 today to schedule a free consultation and discuss a possible case.