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Looking at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s statistics, light and large trucks accounted for a high number of crashes in 2016.

  • Fatal Crashes – 24,282
  • Injury Crashes – 1,639,000
  • Property Damage Only – 3,849,000

The cause of a truck crash varies. For smaller passenger trucks it could be just about anything from an impaired driver to speed. For large trucks (tractor-trailers), these five reasons were most common:

  • Brake issues
  • Not driving for the road/weather conditions
  • Not knowing the roadway
  • Problems with the roads
  • Over-the-counter medications

This covers any crash with a tractor-trailer. When it comes to crashes between a passenger car and tractor-trailer, the most common causes are:

  • Sudden traffic flow changes
  • Not knowing the roadway
  • Not seeing vehicles in blind spots
  • Speed
  • Illegal maneuvers

What do you do if you’re in a crash with a truck? There are three important steps to take straight off. Get the other driver’s information, take plenty of photos, and seek medical treatments. Those are just three of the things you need to do. Here are others.

File an Accident Report

Damage in a truck crash can be extensive. You probably need to call the police, but if you didn’t, make sure you file an accident report. You can do this at a local police station or some states allow online reports. You’re required to by law if the damage if over a certain amount. Repair costs can add up fast. According to Insurance.com, these are the five most common auto body repairs and their costs:

  • Bumper repair – $350 to $450 on a small sedan
  • Deep scratches – $1,000 to $3,500
  • Rear bumper replacement – Up to $10,000 if the frame is also bent
  • Suspension repairs – Up to $5,000 depending on what is damaged
  • Windshield replacement – $300 to $400 for most cars, upwards of $4,000 for some luxury vehicles

Even what seems like a minor repair can quickly put you up to the monetary limit that makes an accident report required. If your state’s laws require you to file an accident report if the damage is $1,500 or more, the cost of a new tire, rim, and bodywork to the side fender could easily put you up over that amount.

Talk to Your Insurance Company

Start the claims process by calling your insurance company. They often handle the preliminary negotiations with the other driver’s insurance. Expect a call from that insurance company who will ask for your side of the story.

During the call, you’ll be asked to share the details of the accident, the accident report number if you have it, the name of the officer and any injuries. You’ll give out the other driver’s name, contact information for any witnesses, and the other driver’s insurance information. You also need to know where your car is now. A claims adjuster will want to look at your car and determine the damages.

Keep Track of Everything

When possible, try to interact with claims agents via the email. You’ll have written documentation to help you know exactly what’s been said. Plus, it makes it easy to send photocopies of bills that get added to the claim.

Hopefully, you managed to get photos of the accident scene. If you have dash cam footage, that’s also helpful. Store that on a separate thumb drive and in a cloud-based storage option like Dropbox or Google Drive. If you have the files stored in a couple of places, you’re less likely to lose anything. It also makes it easier to share with agents and attorneys if you decide to sue.

Keep a journal of who you’ve talked to over the phone and take notes during the call. The more information you have, the more helpful it is if you need to file a personal injury claim.

Should You Sue?

Court trials take time. You shouldn’t let this keep you from getting a fair settlement. Insurance companies base their settlement offer on the value of your vehicle, your medical bills, lost wages or time from school, and sometimes pain and suffering. That offer may not look into the anxiety you feel weeks or months later that prevents you from driving. It may not consider the amount of time you have to take off work for therapy to deal with PTSD following a crash.

What you should do is talk to an attorney with expertise in truck crashes. KJT Law Group offers free case evaluations. We’ll give you an honest assessment and tell you if the insurance company’s settlement offer is fair or if you have a valid personal injury case. Call us today (818) 507-8525.

Sources:

https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/SASStoredProcess/guest

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/large-truck-crash-causation-study-analysis-brief

https://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/coverage/insurance-for-auto-body-repairs.html

Semi Truck Accident

Looking at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s statistics, light and large trucks accounted for a high number of crashes in 2016.

  • Fatal Crashes – 24,282
  • Injury Crashes – 1,639,000
  • Property Damage Only – 3,849,000

The cause of a truck crash varies. For smaller passenger trucks it could be just about anything from an impaired driver to speed. For large trucks (tractor-trailers), these five reasons were most common:

  • Brake issues
  • Not driving for the road/weather conditions
  • Not knowing the roadway
  • Problems with the roads
  • Over-the-counter medications

This covers any crash with a tractor-trailer. When it comes to crashes between a passenger car and tractor-trailer, the most common causes are:

  • Sudden traffic flow changes
  • Not knowing the roadway
  • Not seeing vehicles in blind spots
  • Speed
  • Illegal maneuvers

What do you do if you’re in a crash with a truck? There are three important steps to take straight off. Get the other driver’s information, take plenty of photos, and seek medical treatments. Those are just three of the things you need to do. Here are others.

Continue reading “What Should I Do After A Truck Accident?”

Auto Accident Attorney Los Angeles

You may think you have a valid complaint against a business or person. Yet, you’ve called a personal injury attorney and they didn’t seem interested in your personal injury case and recommended someone else. You’re surprised. Don’t be. It’s not as uncommon as you’d think. There are several reasons why law firms refer out personal injury cases.

There’s a Conflict of Interest

One of the common reasons for a lawyer to refer out personal injury claims is due to a conflict of interest. It can be as simple as the person you want to sue for damages is a regular client of the attorney you’re trying to hire.

The Restitution Isn’t Enough to Justify the Time They’ll Spend

The legal fees for many personal injury cases are paid only if the lawyer you hire wins the case. In the U.S., American Tort Reform says the average contingency fee is 33.3%.

Say your lawyer wins the case, but you only end up receiving $1,000. The lawyer would get around $333 of that. If it’s taken days of preparation and hours in the courtroom, $333 isn’t really enough money to justify taking the case.

The Complexity of the Case is Too Much for Their Lawyers

Continue reading “Top Reasons Why Law Firms Refer Out Personal Injury Cases”

Auto Accident Checklist

Under California’s Fair Claims Settlement Regulations, you should hear from an insurance company within 15 days of filing a claim. The company must accept or deny the claim within 40 days after fathering the proof. If you’re waiting on a settlement payment, this can seem like an unbelievably long period of time.

In order to understand why it can take so long, it’s important to look at the things that go into a settlement. Here’s a step-by-step look at what happens after a car crash.

Immediate Steps to Take

Continue reading “How Do Car Accident Settlements Work?”

Doctor Cheeck Up after car accident

Every day in the U.S., approximately 6,438 drivers and passengers are injured in car crashes. Another 102 or so are killed in car crashes. Car accidents occur all the time, but when you’re in one, panic takes over and often keeps you from rationally thinking about what you need to do.

 

One thing that people overlook is the importance of a trip to the hospital after a car accident. Some worry about the cost. Remember that auto insurance pays for medical care after a car accident. Don’t let that keep you from seeking medical care. You may feel okay and think it’s a waste of time and money. It’s always best to go to a hospital, and here’s why.

 

There May Be Hidden Injuries

Continue reading “The Importance Of Going To The Hospital After A Car Accident”

Auto Accident Checklist

You’ve collided with another vehicle. No matter who is at fault, there are several steps you should take immediately after the crash. They are:

 

  1. Do not admit fault. Let an experienced accident investigator look at the conditions and impact and determine if you, the other driver, the conditions, or a mix of issues led to the crash.
  2. Take photos of your vehicle, other vehicles that were involved, the road conditions, and the area around you. If there is a busy intersection, take photos of the design, lights, and signage.
  3. Call police to have them complete an accident report.
  4. Ask to be seen by paramedics.
  5. Get the other driver’s insurance information.

Continue reading “When To Call An Attorney After A Car Accident”

Emergency Room after an Auto Accident

Every hour, there are around four fatal vehicle crashes in this nation. That’s just crashes involving fatalities. Of the almost 7.3 million crashes in 2016, only 34,439 of them were fatal. More than 2.1 million of these crashes caused injuries that range from mild to severe.

When the crash is not your fault, the stress, time away from work, medical expenses, and cost to replace your car add up. Crash prevention is key, but some crashes are hard to avoid. Whether it’s a single-vehicle crash or a multi-vehicle crash, people can sustain serious injuries. If you’re in a car accident and don’t feel any discomfort, you may wonder if you should really go to the hospital. Yes, you should!

While there are many reasons you should seek medical care, four main reasons stand out.

Four Reasons Why You Immediately Need to Go to the Hospital

Continue reading “Should I Always Go To The Hospital After A Car Accident?”

Statute of Limitations in California

Between 2015 and 2016, many statistics for car accidents in California saw increases. The number of fatalities related to accidents went up by 7 percent. Fatalities involving impaired drivers, motorcyclists, and passengers not using seat belts all increased. Even fatalities involving cars vs. bicycles, cars vs. pedestrians, and teen drivers increased.

That’s just fatal accidents. The number of injuries also saw increases. In just Los Angeles County, the total number of injuries, including fatal injuries, increased by more than 9,000 people between those years.

When you’re in a car accident, you have certain responsibilities. You need to stay at the scene. You should call police if there is significant damage. Even an accident that seems minor can be costly, so it’s often best to get an accident report filed. You should see a doctor to make sure you don’t have bone fractures, muscle injuries, head injuries, or internal injuries.

It’s also important to know what your legal requirements are. These are the deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. In California, there are statutes of limitations you need to know and adhere to.

What Are the Statutes of Limitations Regarding Car Accidents?

Continue reading “What is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in California?”

Los Angeles Intersection Accident Attorney

Any number of situations can lead to an auto accident. Distracted driving, speeding, and equipment failure are just a few of the reasons car crashes occur. Sometimes, the design of an intersection also plays a part in auto accidents.

Using 2017 statistics gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 854 of the crashes in that state occurred in intersections. Left turns in an intersection are the most common crash. Incorrectly judging another driver’s plans, misjudging the speed of oncoming traffic, and turning with an obstructed view are the common reasons driver’s ended up crashing.

Take a Closer Look at the Five Most Dangerous Intersections in California

The dangerous intersections in California have multiple lanes for traffic going straight, some have right turn lanes, and there are also left turn lanes. Add crosswalks and sometimes parallel parking spaces to the mix, and it’s not hard to see why the intersections are filled with hazards. The five intersections on the list have seen dozens of crashes per year and some of them have been fatal.

#5 – Los Angeles: Lindley Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard

Situated on main roads between Northridge Middle School and Cantara Street Elementary School, this dangerous intersection in California sees a lot of traffic. Van Nuys Airport and a hospital are just a few blocks away, too.

In 2015, two fatalities occurred at this intersection. In one of them, a 19-year-old college student was driving her Ford Mustang when a Honda Civic crashed into her vehicle. The driver of the Civic was arrested for DUI. She didn’t survive her injuries.

#4 – Downey: Firestone Boulevard and Lakewood Boulevard

All around this dangerous Downey intersection are stores, banks, restaurants, and hotels. Stonewood center is on one corner, a hospital is nearby, and lots of residences are within a block or two, which increases the number of cars going through the multi-lane intersection.

This intersection made it to fourth place due to NHTSA records showing there were 36 crashes. Of those crashes, there were 32 injuries received at that intersection during 2015.

#3 – Northridge: Balboa Boulevard and Nordhoff Street

Northridge has several dangerous intersections. Balboa and Nordhoff are surrounded by fast food establishments, entertainment venues, banks, gas stations, and the Balboa Nordhoff Shopping Center. In 2017, the intersection was the site of a fatal crash. Also, additional fatalities happened near the intersection in 2015 and 2017.

The 2017 fatal crash occurred when the driver of a vehicle crashed into an 18-wheeler. The passenger in the car was taken to the hospital in critical condition but survived. Tera Wilson died at the scene.

#2 – Playa Del Rey: Imperial Highway and Vista Del Mar

This end of the Imperial Highway meets Vista Del Mar, a highway that hugs the Californian coastline. With Los Angeles International Airport, Hyperion Treatment Plant, and Dockweiler Beach right there, the amount of traffic that intersection sees is tremendous. Between 2015 and 2017, three fatal crashes have taken place near this intersection.

To try to prevent some of these accidents, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation added another travel lane in areas and put in angled parking areas to help people parking to go to the beach avoid opening car doors into traffic.

#1 – Northridge: Devonshire Street and Reseda Boulevard

The most dangerous intersection in all of California is in Northridge. Devonshire Street and Reseda Boulevard meet at an intersection surrounded by the Devonshire-Reseda Shopping Center, Northridge Shopping Center, fast food establishments, and gas/service stations. With a load of traffic passing through, the posted speed limit of 40 doesn’t help prevent accidents. In a 10-year span, researchers found records of 108 crashes.

What Do You Do If You’re in a Crash?

When you’re in a crash, try to stay calm. Fear and panic can make it hard to think clearly. It’s important that you do three things: File a police report, seek medical care and call an attorney who specializes in auto accidents. If you can, get photos of the scene, damage to your car, and record or jot down notes regarding what happened.

Insurance companies are going to offer a settlement that’s in their best interests. KJT Law Group protects your interests. You don’t have to negotiate a settlement on your own. Get a free case evaluation from an experienced attorney.

Sources:

https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/STSI.htm

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/811366

https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2018/01/31/northridge-calif-most-dangerous-intersection/

https://www.abc10.com/article/news/local/california/most-dangerous-intersections-in-california/351775385

https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2015/06/21/police-investigating-fatal-northridge-crash/

https://www.safestreetspdr.org/vdm/

https://abc7.com/1-killed-1-critically-hurt-in-northridge-crash/2439124/

https://mynewsla.com/crime/2017/06/12/driver-killed-after-rear-ending-big-rig-on-nordhoff-in-northridge-a-van-nuys-woman/

http://www.thedowneypatriot.com/articles/firestone-and-lakewood-fourth-most-dangerous-intersection-study-says

Drunk Driver Accident

Drunk driving is still a leading cause of death in vehicle crashes. Per National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, every 48 minutes a person dies as a result of a crash involving a drunk driver. If you’re involved in a crash with a drunk driver, call the police and seek medical care. You might feel fine, but adrenaline can mask the pain and discomfort for a few hours.

In California, a DUI is charged if a urine, blood, or breathalyzer test finds a BAC of 0.08% or higher and a person is 21 or older. For underage drivers, the BAC needs to be 0.01% or higher. Urine tests are typically only used if drugs are suspected.

Calling police is your first goal. Getting checked out at the hospital is second. What do you do after that? Don’t take the amount of damages the other driver’s insurance offers. They will offer the lowest amount they feel is acceptable. You are not obligated to agree. You have every right to fight for more. Here’s a quick guide into the steps you need to take after a crash with a drunk driver.

Continue reading “I Was Injured by a Drunk Driver. What Should I Do?”

Trial

Black’s Law Dictionary estimates that only four to five percent of personal injury cases ever make it to trial. Very few cases ever do make it into a courtroom. Most reach an out-of-court settlement. This is due to two things. First, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), about half of all civil cases lead to a positive outcome for the plaintiff. Second, it’s time-consuming. It can take months or even years to battle a personal injury case in the courts.

Even if you do go to court, it’s uncommon to win a large amount of money. The BJS estimates that about 4 out of 100 trials actually result in compensation of more than $1 million. The median award is around $28,000. Personal injury cases involving products tend to have better outcomes.

Does this mean you shouldn’t bother filing a personal injury lawsuit? Not at all. If you’ve been injured or harmed and it’s clearly someone else’s fault, you should never have to suffer financially. It’s important to talk to an experienced attorney about your situation and see what the attorney has to say.

Continue reading “Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?”

Self Driving Car

You may have heard the news: An Uber Technologies Inc. autonomous vehicle was involved in an accident in Arizona. A human driver in a Honda CRV turning left at a yellow light hit the self-driving Volvo as it was crossing the intersection. Though the Volvo flipped onto its side after hitting a pole, no serious injuries were reported.

Accident investigators found the human driver to be at fault. The artificially intelligent (AI) vehicle was traveling just under the speed limit, and the employee “behind the wheel” stated he saw the Honda driver but did not have time to react.

Continue reading “Yes, Fully Self-Driving Cars Are Coming To California”

Truck Accident

Despite what you may have heard or read, all motor vehicle accidents are not treated equally by the law. A truck accident is defined as vehicle crashes involving 18-wheelers, tractor trailers, semi-trucks and other commercial motor vehicles that cause personal injury and/or property damage.

It was reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “accidents that involved large commercial trucks accounted for 287,000 property damage claims, 77,000 injuries and 4,321 deaths over the course of a single year.” Comparably, medium to large trucks are responsible for a very small segment of the accidents that take place on highways; but their large size causes more serious damage and the accidents are more likely to be catastrophic. Motor vehicles that collide with large trucks see much more damage to their vehicle. Another big difference is in terms of settlements after an accident. The amount of effort and costs associated with investigating and pursuing the remedies in a trucking accident are more complex and more expensive.

Continue reading “Truck Accidents Versus Auto Accidents What You Need to Know”

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