Panel Truck Accidents

Motor Vehicle Crash Attorneys Helping Victims in the Los Angeles Area

Panel trucks are cargo vans that are used to deliver products to consumers. They are slightly smaller than a tractor-trailer, but they must be operated with more care than a traditional passenger car. There are no windows, which means that a driver has less visibility with regard to other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists sharing the road. A panel truck accident can be devastating to anyone around it. Not all Los Angeles truck accident lawyers understand the ins and outs of recovering damages from a truck driver or their employer. At Sharifi Firm, PLC, our experienced attorneys are ready to help.

Injuries Caused by Panel Truck Accidents

It is increasingly common for consumers to utilize local and national delivery services on a daily basis. Many companies use panel trucks for efficiency purposes. Unfortunately, drivers may be under pressure to make timely deliveries or may not have the skill to drive these vehicles. They may be fatigued, inattentive, or aggravated. They may not check their blind spots or may stop suddenly when trying to locate their destination.

Recovering from bone fractures, whiplash, spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injury, or back injuries can be painful and expensive. If you were injured in a panel truck accident, you may be able to hold the driver, the truck owner, or the employer of the driver liable for the accident under a theory of negligence.

A driver may be found negligent if they fail to use reasonable care to avoid causing an injury to others on the road, and this failure results in an accident. Reasonable care consists of the actions and behavior of a prudent person in a particular situation. The failure must be the legal cause of the accident — it cannot be too remote.

When a driver is in the course and scope of employment, the employer can also be held accountable under the doctrine of vicarious liability. However, some companies hire drivers as independent contractors specifically to avoid being vicariously liable for their accidents. Each factual situation is different, and it is possible that a driver has been mislabeled as an independent contractor. However, it might be possible to hold an employer directly liable under a theory of negligent hiring, negligent training, or negligent supervision. Negligent hiring could occur, for example, when a driver has a history of drunk driving, but the employer ignored the red flag and put him on the road in a panel truck anyway, and then he got into a drunk driving accident.

Sometimes the owner of a panel truck can be held liable. All truck owners should have inspections performed of their vehicles so that their vehicles remain safe. If the panel truck malfunctioned or did not work for some other maintenance-related reason, we can look into whether the owner failed to meet the standard of care with regard to maintenance.

Damages in a panel truck accident case may include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, lost earning capacity, household services, property damage, out-of-pocket costs, and pain and suffering. The scope of the damages will hinge on how severe the injuries are and the treatment that is necessary to make you "whole." Compensatory damages are designed to put you back in the place where you would have been had an accident not happened. For example, if you have visible disfiguring scars, you may be able to get the cost of future revision surgery as part of your damages. You may also recover noneconomic damages, based on how much discomfort the jury associates with scars of the type that you suffered.

Retain a Knowledgeable Los Angeles Attorney Following a Truck Accident

Panel truck accidents can be devastating, and it is important to retain a motor vehicle collision attorney who understands these major crashes, since recovering damages is typically less straightforward than in car accident cases. At Sharifi Firm, PLC, our experienced Los Angeles attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation from the parties responsible for your injuries. Contact us online or at 1-866-422-7222 for a free appointment. We also represent victims in Temecula, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, and San Bernardino, among other cities.

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