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San Diego Fatal Truck Accident Lawyer
Have you lost a loved one in a San Diego truck accident? Are you concerned about what your loss may mean for your financial future? Are you wondering whether you have any options to hold the negligent truck driver responsible for the tragedy? Is your family so consumed with grief that you haven’t had the chance to review your options? If these questions reflect what’s going through your mind, you need a truck accident lawyer with the knowledge and skill necessary to effectively advise you of your rights.
We are The Levinson Law Group
We are a dedicated San Diego motor vehicle accident law firm with extensive experience working with families of those who have been killed in fatal truck accidents.
We are The Levinson Law Group, a dedicated San Diego truck accident law firm committed to families who lost a loved one in a preventable truck accident. Our founding attorney, Gordon Levinson, spent years learning the intricate details about the insurance industry by working as an insurance defense lawyer. Now he dedicates his practice to advocating on behalf of accident victims.
You need a law firm that will aggressively stand up for your interests. You need an advocate who will aggressively pursue justice on behalf of your loved one. Our San Diego wrongful death lawyers are here for you.
The Prevalence of Fatal Truck Accidents in California
While semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles are imperative to the nation’s economy, they also pose a significant risk to everyone on the road. Semi-trucks are enormous vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo. These trucks require skill and attention to operate safely, which is why the law requires truck drivers to obtain a special license. While most truck drivers are conscientious and realize the importance of remaining vigilant while on the road, that is unfortunately not always the case.
According to the most recently available data from the California Highway Patrol, there are have been more than 6,000 truck accidents each year over the past three years. While most of these accidents do not involve fatal injuries, more than 300 people per year are killed in California trucking accidents.
The number of fatal truck accidents in California is steadily increasing
- 2013: 278 people killed in truck accidents
- 2014: 310 people killed in truck accidents
- 2015: 315 people killed in truck accidents
- 2016: 362 people killed in truck accidents
- 2017: 367 people killed in truck accidents
San Diego County sees more than its share of fatal truck accidents every year. For example, in 2017, there were 20 fatalities stemming from truck-involved collisions.
Learn more about truck accidents with our infographic.
Causes of Fatal California Truck Accidents
A fatal truck accident shouldn’t ever occur. However, history proves that these accidents happen far too frequently. Often, fatal truck accidents are the result of a truck driver’s negligence when the truck driver engages in some prohibited or irresponsible action that caused or contributed to the accident.
Most truck accidents are entirely preventable.
The California Highway Patrol keeps track of all fatal truck accidents through its Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. According to the most recent data, the most common causes of truck accidents where the truck driver was determined to be at fault include the following:
- Improper turning
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Traffic violations
Drowsy and Distracted Driving
Notably, these statistics do not take two major causes of fatal truck accidents into account: drowsy and distracted driving. Truck drivers spend long hours on the road, often, by choice. This is because trucking companies pay drivers by the mile. So, the more mileage a truck driver can cover in a day, the more they get paid. Additionally, trucking companies apply tremendous pressure on drivers to get to their destination as quickly as possible. The result is that truck drivers will often push themselves past their limits.
Given the tedious nature of long-haul drives, truck drivers will often try to keep their minds off the seemingly endless miles they need to cover. These activities remove a driver’s attention from the road, increasing the likelihood of a serious accident:
- Installing a television in the cab
- Frequently using the radio or changing station
- Playing games or using social media on a phone
Pressure to Defy Regulations
Federal regulations require truck drivers to take short breaks every few hours and to take longer breaks in between trips. To enforce this requirement, truck drivers must keep a log detailing their rest breaks. After a fatal accident, reviewing these rest logs can often provide crucial insight as to whether a truck driver was on the road too long, which may indicate they were too tired to drive safely.
Unfortunately, there have been many instances where truck drivers inaccurately fill out rest logs in an attempt to cover more mileage. An experienced San Diego truck accident lawyer will know where to look for red flags related to falsified rest logs.
Due to the nature of the industry, truck drivers can feel compelled to break the rules. Truck drivers and trucking companies can—and should—be held accountable after a fatal trucking accident.
We command an in-depth understanding of all relevant laws and regulations and put that knowledge into each of our clients’ cases.
California Wrongful Death Cases Following a Fatal Truck Accident
If you recently lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident, your family is confronted with tremendous grief. Nobody would ever expect something so senseless to happen and, of course, you may not know what to do next. As time goes on, you may begin to realize that your losses are not limited to the emotional impact of the accident; your family may also be suffering financially.
In the wake of a fatal California truck accident, you can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit seeking to hold the at-fault driver accountable. A wrongful death case is similar to other personal injury claims, except that it is filed by the accident victim’s surviving loved ones instead of by the accident victim themselves.
The compassionate attorneys at The Levinson Law Group understand the pain you and your family are experiencing. For decades, we’ve been helping families overcome their grief and move on after tragic accidents.
Wrongful Death Claims
Under California law, any of the following family members can bring a wrongful death claim:
- Domestic partners
- Any other party who is entitled to the accident victim’s property under the California intestate laws
Damages in a California Fatal Truck Accident Claim
California law allows families who lost a loved one in a preventable accident to recover significant compensation to help offset their losses. Of course, no amount of money will ever change what happened. However, by bringing a claim, you may be able to obtain much-needed compensation for your family while holding the negligent driver accountable for their actions.
Damages in a wrongful death claim come in two types: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages provide compensation for the out-of-pocket expenses your family incurred as a result of the accident. Non-economic damages compensate you for the emotional and psychological losses you sustained.
The following are all types of economic damages:
- The financial support the accident victim would have provided to their family
- The loss in value of gifts or other benefits the family could have expected from the accident victim had they lived
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The value of household services the deceased accident victim could reasonably have been expected to provide to their family
Non-economic damages—although just as important as economic damages—are more subjective in nature and depend on how the accident impacted you and your family. Examples of non-economic damages following a fatal truck accident include:
- Loss of society and companionship
- Loss of affection
- Loss of protection
- Loss of training and guidance
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of moral support
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages cannot be proven through receipts, paychecks and economic forecasts. At The Levinson Law Group, we have extensive experience bringing compelling claims for both economic and non-economic damages on behalf of our clients. Over the past two decades, we’ve recovered more than $40 million in compensation for families.
One of the most common mistakes families make in the wake of major tragedy is waiting too long to file a claim. Of course, this is understandable, as few families are up for taking on the additional burden of preparing a claim or arguing with insurance companies about the value of their family member’s life.
However, if you wait too long, you may miss your opportunity to pursue a claim against the responsible parties.
Proving Your Case
To successfully bring a wrongful death claim in California, you must prove several elements, including:
- The truck driver owed your loved one a duty of care;
- The truck driver violated that duty; and
- The truck driver’s actions caused the death of your loved one.
We can help. We command an in-depth understanding of all relevant laws and regulations and put that knowledge into each of our clients’ cases.
Reach Out to the Levinson Law Group Today
Losing a loved one in a fatal California truck accident is one of the most difficult things any family can experience. You should not be left on the hook for a lifetime of loss. At The Levinson Law Group, we have extensive hands-on experience working with families to hold negligent truck drivers and their employers accountable. Over the decades we’ve been working with accident victims and their families, we have developed an effective and compassionate approach to handling these difficult cases.
When you bring The Levinson Law Group onto your team, you will have someone in your corner throughout the process. We begin by explaining the recovery process in understandable terms and promise to make ourselves available to you whenever you need us. We will diligently investigate the accident, obtain all necessary evidence, develop an effective strategy and file a compelling claim on your behalf.
Our skilled attorneys will then negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, seeking appropriate compensation for what you’ve been through. However, if the insurance company is unwilling to make a fair settlement offer in your case, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial. To learn more about your options, give The Levinson Law Group a call at 760-840-2304. We accept cases on a contingent fee. That means that if there is no recovery in your case, you pay no fee. And in most cases, we even advance the costs.