Truck Accident Investigation and Litigation

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A car crash and a truck accident are very different. For starters, in a car crash involving two passenger vehicles, one of the drivers alone usually bears responsibility for causing the accident. Unless a passenger vehicle had a mechanical defect, the fault lies with the driver who somehow did not follow the laws of the road.

Commercial truck accidents, on the other hand, can involve far more nuance with multiple at-fault parties. For example, a trucking company could be held responsible for a truck wreck by failing to perform due diligence and hiring an unqualified truck driver. A trucking company could also be held liable for an accident by failing to properly train a driver or failing to properly load cargo.

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Truck Accident Attorneys Paul Hedlund and Ron Goldman take part in a truck accident investigation after a major truck crash.

The board-certified truck accident lawyers at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman understand the intricacies of trucking claims. We vigorously pursue justice on behalf of clients from investigation to litigation. In every truck case we take, we investigate the causes of the collision beyond the actions of the driver. Our goal is to  obtain the best possible outcome for our clients. To achieve this goal, we access the data and hire experts where the facts require. Some of the tools that we employ may include::

  • Preserve all evidence during the truck accident investigation
  • Obtain police and other agency reports
  • Obtain witness statements
  • Acquire coroner reports
  • Obtain the black box data if the truck was equipped with an ECM (Electronic Control Module)
  • Obtain the subject vehicle’s black box data if it was equipped with an EDR (Event Data Recorder) or SDM (Sensing and Diagnostic Module)
  • Acquire the truck’s GPS (Global Positioning System) data
  • Obtain the vehicles’ camcorder and other video recordings
  • Learn about the motor carrier and its licenses, insurance, safety record, etc.
  • Get the full background and driving history of the driver
  • Secure a truck accident reconstruction expert
  • In many cases the truck driver committed a criminal act which caused the accident, and it is, therefore, very important to communicate closely with the prosecuting attorney in charge of any criminal proceedings against the truck driver.
  • Determine the best legal venue determined by substantive law and choice of law issues
  • Prepare and file claim forms against governmental entities, if necessary
  • Prepare and file the lawsuit
  • Begin discovery to obtain information and documents by interrogatories, requests for production and subpoenas
  • Depose the defendants and witnesses
  • Prepare the case for trial
  • Try or settle the case depending, first, on the needs of the client, and then on the behavior of the defendant(s).
  • Try the case to jury

Why a Truck Accident Lawyer Should Investigate Your Case

Commercial trucking companies (and their insurance carriers) face significant costs if they are held liable for personal injuries or fatalities caused by a trucking accident. Therefore, most trucking companies will send their own investigators, lawyers, and other personnel to the accident scene almost immediately. It is their job to control the accident scene and preserve evidence in a light most favorable to their clients.

It is important for truck accident victims and their families to understand that no matter how nice an insurance adjuster may be, or what amount of money they may offer — the insurance company and commercial trucking company are not looking out for your best interests.

Our law firm has witnessed the devastation caused by trucking accidents. Whether you have suffered a serious injury, a loved one has been severely injured, or a family member has died in a catastrophic truck accident, you deserve nothing less than representation from an experienced law firm that is truly committed to you and to obtaining the best possible results. Our goal is justice for every victim and to make trucking companies safer.

Truck Crash Lawyers with Decades of Experience Investigating Accident Causes

In our experience litigating trucking claims, there are usually one or more weak links in the chain of events leading up to a semi-truck accident:

  • Negligent truck drivers
  • Negligent hiring of an incompetent truck driver
  • Negligent supervision
  • Poor maintenance
  • Design flaws
  • Failed parts
  • Delivery requirements that are unreasonable and unsafe

Each individual or group responsible for one or more factors may be called upon to pay a portion, or even all, of the compensation due the injured person or family members after an 18-wheeler accident. Each of those persons or entities may be situated in a different state, and the harm may have occurred in yet another state, which makes filing a truck accident claim far more complex than an everyday car crash claim.

Due to the size, nature, frequency of travel, and speeds of trucks, federal and state laws strictly regulate trucking companies and driver performance to ensure safety. Many accidents can be traced to violations of these regulations on weight requirements, speed limitations, or restrictions on the number of hours a driver can be on the road without rest. Lawyers who do not regularly represent truck accident victims may be unfamiliar with these added requirements.

At Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, our team of trucking lawyers can assist you with any of the following:

  • Driver log falsification
  • Distracted driving (including texting and calling)
  • Training and licensing
  • Smith system
  • Federal regulations
  • State regulations
  • Medical records of drivers
  • Truck driver fatigue
  • Speeding
  • Truck accident fatalities
  • Catastrophic injuries
  • Construction zone accidents
  • Weather-related accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Wrongful death law
  • Personal injury law

Trucking Companies with the Most Accidents

According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the following trucking companies are among the most dangerous in the U.S. (by virtue of total crashes and safety violations).

UPS 

UPS is the largest package delivery and supply chain management company in the world. Over a recent two-year period, UPS trucks were involved in 2,362 accidents (54 were fatal and 858 caused injuries). UPS ranks the highest among all U.S. courier service providers in accidents per year.

FedEx

FedEx is the second-largest multinational courier delivery company in the U.S., providing service to more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. On an average business day, the company delivers more than 15 million packages around the world.

FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx Express trucks are involved in hundreds, if not thousands of truck crashes every year.

Our accident attorneys successfully resolved a wrongful death case and several truck injury cases arising from a crash between a FedEx truck and a tour bus in Orland, California. We also successfully investigated and litigated a wrongful death case against FedEx Ground after a delivery truck struck and killed a pedestrian in Olympia, Washington.

J.B. Hunt 

According to government data, J.B. Hunt received more than 7,000 citations for safety violations over a recent two-year span. During that time, J.B. Hunt trucks were involved in over 1,500 truck crashes. Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has obtained justice and compensation on behalf of clients in litigation against J.B. Hunt.

XPO Logistics

XPO Logistics is one of the largest transportation and logistics companies in the world. Over a recent two-year stretch, XPO trucks were involved in nearly 1,000 truck accidents throughout the country. A Logistics company may own tractors of their own but also may broker jobs to other trucking companies.  Our accident attorneys have investigated and litigated against XPO Logistics.

Knight-Swift Transportation 

Swift Transportation merged with Knight Transportation in 2017 to form Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings, Inc. Knight-Swift is now the largest full-truckload carrier in the industry. Over a recent 24-month period, Knight-Swift trucks were cited by law enforcement more than 8,000 times for maintenance failures, and its commercial vehicle drivers were cited more than 3,000 times for unsafe driving violations. Our firm has obtained justice on behalf of clients in litigation against Swift Transportation.

Schneider

Schneider National, Inc. is a transport company that provides truckload, intermodal, and logistics services throughout North America and China. It is one of the largest truck companies in the U.S.

Over a recent 24-month period, Schneider trucks were involved more than 900 crashes, including 22 fatal accident and 275 injury accidents. Our truck crash attorneys obtained justice on behalf of an Ohio family in a wrongful death lawsuit against Schneider National Carriers.

YRC Worldwide

YRC Worldwide is a holding company for brands including Holland, HNRY Logistics, New Penn, Reddaway, and YRC Freight. According to FMCSA data, YRC subsidiaries are involved in hundreds of truck crashes every year.

Landstar System 

Landstar System, Inc. provides integrated transportation management services in North America and around the globe. The company has been involved in a long list of horrible accidents, including a 2012 pedestrian accident that resulted in a lower leg amputation for a 19-year-old man. A lawsuit stemming from the accident proceeded to trial, and in the end, a jury awarded the victim more than $34 million in damages. 

Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.

Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. is a large American shipping company that offers less-than-truckload shipping through regional and national service. This means that they may take a partial load from one location and then stop and collect other loads along the way.  This sometimes results in loading errors that can cause the trailer to become dangerous and uncontrollable. According to the FMCSA, Old Dominion was involved in 721 motor vehicle crashes over a recent two-year period. Of those, 21 were fatal and 196 involved injuries.

TFI International 

TFI International is a multinational courier and cargo delivery service. The company and its subsidiaries operate 7,465 power units and 26,487 trailers. TFI commercial vehicles, either owned directly or through a subsidiary, are involved in hundreds of truck accidents on an annual basis.

Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman Is the Right Firm to Handle Your Truck Crash Lawsuit

From our years of experience handling complex truck accident investigation and litigation, we know how to effectively detect negligence and causes of the truck wreck, such as:

  • Negligent truck safety
  • Negligence in securing cargo
  • Speeding
  • Truck driver fatigue
  • Driver distractions
  • Defective road design
  • Bad weather
  • Failure to enforce training procedures
  • Other factors

Families affected by truck wrecks continue to come to our trucking accident law firm for answers, guidance, and support. Our track record of success in obtaining more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients demonstrates our dedication to obtaining results. We are respected among former clients and colleagues not only for our successes in litigation, but also for our commitment to advocating for trucking safety improvements aimed at preventing future harm.

The truck accident law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has the experience and resources necessary to take on trucking companies of any size. Based in Los Angeles, we represent clients in Southern Californiathe Central ValleyNorthern California, and across the U.S.

If you or a family member was involved in a truck wreck and have questions, we can help you. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney if you are interested in investigating the cause of a trucking accident or want to know more about industry laws. We will aggressively pursue claims against negligent drivers and companies who violate state and federal laws and regulations.