Distracted driving truck accidents are incredibly dangerous, often causing severe injury and death. Truck drivers have more technology than ever. The more sophisticated the technology, the more distraction truck drivers have at their fingertips. Despite driving 80,000-pound commercial trucks, many truck drivers continue to text and make phone calls while driving. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of devastating truck accidents. Every year, distracted truck drivers cause the injuries and deaths of many innocent victims.
If you’re involved in a distracted driving truck accident, you need an experienced Los Angeles lawyer. Under California law, negligent drivers are liable for the personal injuries they cause. At SoCal Injury Lawyers, we have a reputation for fiercely advocating for our clients. We also have extensive experience in negotiating with insurance companies. When necessary, our trial-ready lawyers will take your case to court. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how to help you advocate for your right to compensation.
Common Causes of Truck Driver Distraction
Truck driver distraction is a common cause of devastating truck accidents. While distracted driving is always dangerous, it’s even more dangerous while driving a massive tractor-trailer. When a semi-truck drives off the road or collides with another vehicle, a multi-vehicle pile-up can occur. The following activities are common causes of distracted driving:
- Texting while driving
- Cell phone use while driving
- Eating while driving
- Reading emails while driving
- Adjusting the radio station or GPS device while driving
- Reading text messages while driving
- Daydreaming while driving
- Looking at passengers in other vehicles
- Using a hands-free phone device
- Looking down at a map
- Reaching for something
- Talking to a passenger
Texting While Driving a Truck Is Extremely Dangerous
Texting while driving a commercial vehicle is illegal, but many truck drivers still do it. Truck drivers risk receiving a fine for texting and driving, but the temptation is always there, especially on long-haul drives. Drivers who text while driving are over 23 times more likely to cause a dangerous crash, or near-crash, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). When commercial drivers are texting, they take their eyes off of the road ahead of them for an average of 4.6 seconds. When drivers are driving at a speed of 55 miles per hour, they travel approximately the length of a football field while looking down at their phones. Additionally, commercial Vehicle drivers who dial a phone number while driving are six times more likely to be involved in a safety-critical accident. When truck drivers use hand-held devices while driving, they put their own safety and the safety of other drivers and passengers at grave risk.
Proving Liability in a Distracted Driving Truck Accident Case
If you or your loved one has suffered a personal injury in a distracted driving truck accident, you may be entitled to damages. The first step in recovering damages is to prove that the truck driver acted negligently or recklessly, causing the accident to occur. Proving that a truck driver was distracted can be challenging, especially when no one took a picture of the truck driver before the accident, or saw what was distracting him or her. In many cases, you will have to obtain trucking company records after filing a complaint in a Los Angeles court.
At SoCal Injury Lawyers, we have the resources and extensive network needed to investigate truck accidents thoroughly. We frequently work with an expert accident reconstructionist to obtain evidence that proves the liability of the truck driver. Our skilled attorneys obtain personal phone records as well as company phone records, which often show proof that the driver was texting or making phone calls before or during the truck accident. We know how to prove negligence when it comes to Los Angeles trucking accidents.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Accidents involving large commercial trucks often cause severe injuries, property damage, and even death. Insurance settlements involving commercial truck accidents can range from $500,000 to millions of dollars, depending on the victim’s injuries. Typically, the best place to start when it comes to obtaining damages is with the truck driver’s insurance company. Commercial insurance companies are for-profit companies, focused on making a profit, not on fairly compensating victims.
Commercial truck insurance companies will typically notify their insurance companies immediately after an accident takes place. The insurance companies usually have teams of rapid response adjusters, photographers, accident investigators, and attorneys who will immediately go to the scene of the accident and gather evidence. Their focus is to avoid liability for the truck accident, and they often try to shift the blame unjustly onto the victim of the accident.
When commercial trucking insurance companies attempt to speak with you, it is wise to avoid providing a statement until you speak with your own personal injury lawyer. While we recommend communicating with police officers, you mustn’t discuss the case with insurance companies. Many victims inadvertently apologize for the accident, even though it wasn’t their fault.
Damages Available in a Distracted Driving Truck Accident
In addition to proving that the truck driver’s negligence caused your injuries, you will need to establish the amount of your damages. Damages include all personal and financial losses you’ve sustained due to the accident. The following types of damages are available in motor vehicle accident cases
- All of your medical costs related to your injuries
- Lost income, including lost time off, lost sick time, and lost vacation days
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Compensation for your pain and suffering.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
The sooner you speak with an experienced Los Angeles truck accident lawyer, the better. Whether you decide to file an insurance claim or to file a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, you need a skilled lawyer on your side. Contact SoCal Injury Lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.