Over the last 40 years, the law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman has aggressively and successfully served several hundreds of truck accident victims and their families, obtaining maximum compensation and earning a track record of success against negligent trucking companies and operators.
Overall, our team of attorneys has handled thousands of cases and secured over $4 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients across all of our areas of practice, including truck accident litigation.
If you or a family member were involved in a trucking accident, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced truck crash attorney about your case. Contact us or call toll-free 800-827-0087 for a free case evaluation.
How to Find the Right Semi-truck Accident Lawyer
Selecting the right personal injury attorney to handle your truck accident case can be a daunting task. Many law firms advertise themselves as truck accident lawyers, but few possess the experience, skill and resources necessary to obtain the justice and results you and your family deserve.
The truck crash attorneys at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman have helped hundreds of victims and their families in trucking lawsuits, obtaining millions in verdicts and settlements on their behalf. With decades of experience, we have gone up against virtually all of the major insurance carriers throughout the nation; we know their defense tactics and how to effectively prepare a solid claim on your behalf.
A Tradition of Success
We Get Results:
- $20 million commercial vehicle verdict for wrongful death against Ride the Ducks International
- $15 million tractor trailer vs. pedestrian for catastrophic injury
- $8.5 million truck accident verdict for wrongful death against Tyson Foods
- $6.9 million truck accident settlement during trial against a major truck company
- $6 million truck accident settlement for a wrongful death case in a truck crash
- 62 truck crash lawsuits settled for $1 million or more
Why Hire a Semi-Truck Accident Attorney?
Unlike a car accident lawsuit, truck crash lawsuits commonly involve several parties—including the trucker, the truck owner, the truck manufacturer, and the owner of whatever load is being transported at the time of the accident—as well as complex laws unique to truck accident cases. An experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to reconstruct the crash to determine the cause (or causes) of your accident and the parties responsible.
Trucking companies have an interest in protecting their bottom line. As such, they will be prepared to mount a rigorous defense to limit their exposure in litigation. Some of the difficulties in trying a truck accident lawsuit often include:
- The parties involved will move quickly to mount a strong defense. This includes sending representatives to the scene of the crash in the immediate aftermath to start building their case. Retaining an experienced attorney as soon as possible to start building your case is the best way to counter the opposition.
- Falsifying log books. Truck companies have been known to pressure their drivers to falsify their log books denoting their time spent behind the wheel. Drivers often feel that pressure and remain behind the wheel despite being overworked and overtired. Driver fatigue is a substantial factor in truck accidents. An experienced lawyer will know how to review truck driver log books for any red flags and examine company training manuals for any subtle messaging meant to convey unrealistic (or illegal) expectations for drivers.
- Preservation of key evidence. Trucking companies may destroy driver logs after only six months. These logs are vital to reconstructing the accident and determining cause. A lawyer will be able to obtain these records while they are still available.
- Deep pockets and an abundance of resources. Truck companies often have financial reserves to defend themselves in litigation. To give yourself the best opportunity to prevail in court, you need legal representation that can finance technical experts or medical experts to prove to a judge or a jury that you are entitled to certain damages.
- Numerous parties involved. Truck accidents commonly involve several parties. An experienced truck accident lawyer will have a team of investigators that know how to determine cause and identify any and all responsible parties.
Diane Marger Moore – Board-Certified Truck Accident Attorney
Diane Marger Moore of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman is one of the first lawyers in the country to receive board certification as a Truck Accident Law Advocate from the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA). The accreditation for truck accident law is the first and only in the United States recognized by the American Bar Association. She has a career spanning four decades filled with vast experience, including hundreds of jury trials. While she now focuses on commercial transportation accidents, she has had an outstanding career of accomplishments including trial lawyer, public servant, magistrate, prosecutor, educator, mediator, arbitrator, lecturer, writer, editor, and community service volunteer.
Many law firms market themselves as semi-truck accident lawyers. But only a select few board-certified truck crash lawyers have passed the six-hour board certification exam,which requires extensive knowledge of the complexities of truck accident cases, including extensive knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act, proof that a significant percentage of one’s practice is dedicated to truck accident litigation, passing a thorough vetting process, and a demonstrated a track record of handling many truck accident cases. In fact, Diane is one of a select few semi-truck accident attorneys in the nation to receive NBTA board certification as a Truck Accident Law advocate.
Reasons for Truck Accidents
Large commercial trucks—or big rigs, semis, tractor trailers and 18-wheelers, as they are known—are involved in thousands of accidents every year. On average, commercial trucks weigh 20-30 times more than passenger vehicles. They are also taller than passenger vehicles with greater ground clearance, which means passenger vehicles are vulnerable to devastating underride crashes.
The sheer size and weight virtually guarantee that any accident between a car and a truck will cause severe damage, and potentially catastrophic injury. According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), 97% of vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle crashes involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck are occupants of the passenger vehicle.
Truck accident lawyer Ron Goldman inspects wreckage from a major truck crash.
10 Common Causes of Truck Crashes
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the following are the 10 most common factors in tractor trailer accidents:
- Brake problems: According to the FMCSA, brake problems are the primary cause of most large truck accidents.
- Traffic flow issues (congestion): A traffic jam can be a recipe for disaster for truck crashes. Congestion caused by road work or previous accidents can result in unsafe lane changes or rear-end collisions.
- Prescription or over-the-counter drug use: Trucking companies are required to investigate any driver’s prior history before they are hired and monitor them after they are hired to minimize the potential for substance abuse. FMCSA notes that prescription drug use is a common factor in truck accidents.
- Driver unfamiliar with roadway: More than one in five trucking accidents occurs when truck drivers are unfamiliar with the roadway, per FMCSA statistics.
- Problems with road: One in five truck accidents involves roadway problems.
- Driver inattention or distraction: Driver inattention is a factor in roughly 10% of all truck accidents. Distraction (cell phone use) is a factor in roughly 8% of crashes.
- Improper maintenance: Brake issues or tire issues can be aggravated by poor vehicle maintenance.
- Inadequate surveillance: This occurs when a driver either fails to look in the appropriate place or looks but does not see something in time to avoid an accident. Inadequate surveillance most commonly occurs when truckers fail to see a passenger vehicle when changing lanes, merging, or making a turn.
- Truck driver fatigue: Truck drivers are required to comply with established regulations for the amount of time they spend behind the wheel per day and/or week. Even with these hours of service requirements, truckers owe it to themselves and other motorists to not drive tired. According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), truck drivers who remain behind the wheel for longer than eight hours are twice as likely to be involved in a crash.
Why File a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
In the wake of a devastating semi crash, victims may be left with serious injuries, or worse, the loss of a family member. If negligence on the part of a trucking company, operator or manufacturer was a factor in causing the accident, victims may file a truck accident lawsuit to recover damages.
Compensatory damages are intended to compensate a victim (or victims) for losses incurred as a direct result of the accident. Damages in a trucking accident lawsuit include both economic (losses where a dollar value may be assessed) and non-economic damages (physical and emotional suffering,where it’s difficult to attach a dollar value to losses).
Economic damages in a truck crash may include:
- Medical Bills
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Wages
- Diminished Earning Power
- Vehicle Repairs
- Loss of Consortium
Non-economic damages in a trucking accident may include:
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of Enjoyment/Quality of Life
- Physical Disfigurement/Disability
Plaintiffs in truck accident lawsuits may also be eligible to claim punitive damages if the trucking company and/or other entities responsible for the crash acted with malice, oppression or fraud, or caused injury or death through extreme recklessness. Punitive damages are designed to deter and punish the responsible parties for reprehensible conduct and deter similar behavior in the future.
In our experience, big rig crash victims understand that filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties goes a long way toward deterring the behavior that caused the crash; in a sense, they are helping to prevent another tragedy from happening.
California Truck Crash Lawyer with National Presence
Headquartered in Los Angeles with additional locations in Bakersfield, Ontario, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Francisco, the California truck accident lawyers at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman are here to help you navigate the legal process and to obtain justice for our clients.
While our main office is located in Los Angeles, California, our semi-truck lawyers have represented clients in nearly all 50 states. We are proud of our commitment to providing personalized support and attorney accessibility to our clients regardless of where they live. We keep clients informed of the status of their trucking accident lawsuit and keep in regular contact with them so that they are confident that we are working diligently on their behalf. We promptly address concerns and answer questions as they arise. Whether our client is in Los Angeles, Dallas, Orlando or New York, we instill confidence that we are here to provide the individualized attention each client needs.
Filing Lawsuits for Truck Accidents
Filing a lawsuit against a trucking company and their insurance carrier can be a complex endeavor involving multiple jurisdictions and choice of law issues. In order to obtain justice and secure maximum compensation for you and your family, it is imperative that you choose legal counsel that is an experienced trucking accident lawyer.
Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman has a proven track record of success litigating against many of the largest transportation companies in the country. Our team of attorneys have diverse backgrounds and offer a unique combination of skills that are useful in commercial trucking accident investigations. Many truck accident attorneys on our team have served on plaintiff steering committees in complex multi-district litigation arising from transportation disasters.
Our firm also works with some of the nation’s leading truck crash experts to help determine liability and investigate whether a trucking company, operator or manufacturer took shortcuts that resulted in violations of the law. With resources at our disposal, you can be assured that your truck accident lawsuit will be pursued with the vigor necessary to obtain the best possible result.