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What You Should Know About Truck Accident Laws in California

Truck accidents are not like car accidents. The difference between being involved in a collision with a truck instead of a typical passenger vehicle will change the way a personal injury claim is handled. There are different rules and accident investigation procedures that are unique to truck accidents. Knowing how truck accident laws are different is crucial to achieving the best possible outcome.


Below, our experienced truck accident attorneys will discuss the legal and procedural differences between a truck and car accident. If you have suffered injuries as a result of a truck crash in California, West Coast Trial Lawyers is always here to answer any questions you may have about truck accident claims and damages.

Truck Driver Rules and Regulations

Pedestrian Deaths in Los Angeles

All trucks are subject to state and federal laws and regulations to minimize accident risks. However, some truck drivers and commercial trucking companies will ignore safety laws in order to meet their deadlines and maximize profits.

Because of their potential for danger, commercial trucks are required to abide by special regulations to help maintain safety on the road. If you were the victim of a truck accident, you need a truck accident attorney who understands commercial trucking laws and regulations. Handling a claim on your own is not recommended, and will likely reduce the damages you may be entitled to.

Trucking Accident Liability

Commercial trucking companies and drivers will do everything in their power to not accept liability for negligence. This is because their very livelihoods will negatively be affected by car accidents. Police will arrive at the scene of all truck and car crashes to prepare an accident report. However, this police report can be fought by insurance companies.

Commercial trucking companies and insurance providers will conduct their own investigations in order to fight liability. Truck accident victims are often frustrated when commercial trucking companies blatantly deny their claim, regardless of what the police report says. Therefore, it is a good idea to consult with a skilled truck accident attorney.


Due to how large and powerful commercial trucks are, truck-related accidents will typically cause more significant injuries and property loss, resulting in much greater damages. And precisely because the potential damages are so much greater, the insurance and commercial trucking companies will fight very hard to pay you much less than you deserve. A truck accident attorney understands the way these companies work and will fight to recover all the damages you may be entitled to.

Commercial Trucking Companies

Commercial trucking accidents require special investigations to determine how the crash happened, and ultimately, who is liable. A truck accident investigation will examine whether the commercial trucking company took reasonable care in training, hiring, and supervising their drivers. For example, was a truck driver working with enough rest? Did the commercial trucking company follow all safety regulations?

Also, commercial trucking companies are responsible for proper truck maintenance. If a truck that wasn’t adequately maintained causes an accident, the trucking company may be held liable.

Insurance Coverage

A truck accident victim needs a truck accident attorney to make sure that the insurance companies are offering all possible forms of coverage. When it comes to truck accidents, the damages owed to a victim are much higher than the amount of insurance coverage available. Therefore, it is crucial to retain the services of a truck accident attorney who knows how to recover all forms of compensation.

A truck accident attorney may also understand how to uncover other potential sources of recovery, such as damages for health insurance, medical payments, and workers’ compensation. Other avenues of recovery include insurance coverage for product liability claims and defective roadway issues.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Punitive Damages
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

Contact Us to Find Out How We Can Help

If you have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a truck accident, an attorney at our firm can help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call West Coast Trial Lawyers today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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