In most cases, a commercial truck accident is a catastrophic event. The crash could involve numerous vehicles, traumatic injuries, and fatalities. The moments after a truck accident can be chaotic, so the last thing you are thinking about is filing a police report for a Los Angeles truck accident.
However, a police report is an essential document to have after a truck accident in Los Angeles. The crash report provides the information you need to file an insurance claim. It might also contain information that helps prove causation for a personal injury claim.
When Do I Need To File a Police Report for a Los Angeles Truck Accident?
California Vehicle Code §20008 requires drivers to report accidents resulting in injuries or death to the California Highway Patrol or other local law enforcement agencies within 24 hours. The quickest and easiest way to report a truck crash is to call 911. The emergency operator dispatches police officers, first responders, and EMS to the crash scene.
Additionally, California law requires drivers involved in a crash to file a Report of Traffic Accident within 10 days if the crash caused more than $1,000 in property damages. Drivers file the report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The driver, an attorney, an insurance agent, or other representatives may file the report for the driver.
What Does a California Truck Accident Report Include?
When the police investigate a truck accident, they create a written crash report. The police report includes many details about the accident, including:
- A description of the vehicles involved in the accident, including the name and address of the owner of each vehicle
- The names and addresses of each person involved in the accident
- The date, time, and location of the truck accident
- The names of eyewitnesses and statements taken from the witnesses
- Whether one or more drivers were cited for traffic violations or contributed to the cause of the truck accident
- The road and weather conditions when the accident occurred
- A diagram of the accident scene, including the location of the vehicles, the point of impact, and measurements of distances
- Insurance information for the vehicles and drivers
Because a truck accident involves a commercial vehicle, the accident investigation is very detailed and comprehensive. Numerous state and federal agencies may be involved in the investigation. An attorney can monitor the progress of these investigations and obtain copies of the final accident reports.
However, the conclusions of the accident investigation might not be accurate. A Los Angeles truck accident lawyer conducts an independent investigation to determine how the accident occurred and who is responsible for causing the collision.
Identifying each party who contributed to the cause of the truck crash is crucial. Each at-fault party could be liable for the damages caused by the truck accident.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident in Los Angeles?
Unfortunately, large truck accidents cause catastrophic injuries and traffic fatalities. Therefore, the first priority is to seek medical treatment for your injuries. In many cases, truck accident victims require emergency medical treatment.
If your accident injuries permit you to do so, it can be helpful to document the accident scene. Taking photographs and making a video of the accident scene could provide evidence for your personal injury case. However, truck accident scenes can be very dangerous, so always be cautious and do not put yourself or others in danger.
As soon as possible, contact a Los Angeles truck accident attorney. A lawyer handles all matters related to the personal injury case while you focus on your recovery.
The trucking company and its insurance provider have substantial resources to investigate the crash and fight liability claims. Therefore, hiring an attorney evens the playing field. Attorneys can move quickly to gather and preserve evidence proving the accident was not your fault.
What Damages Can I Receive for a Los Angeles Truck Accident Case?
Your lawyer also documents the damages you sustained because of the truck accident. Truck accidents cause life-threatening conditions and permanent impairments.
In addition to physical injuries, victims incur substantial economic damages. Financial losses caused by a truck crash include medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. You might also be entitled to damages for long-term care and decreased earning capacity.
You could also receive compensation for non-economic damages. These damages include physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress. You might also receive compensation for a decrease in your quality of life, permanent disability, and disfigurement.
The police report after a Los Angeles truck accident is the beginning of a complex legal process. Having an experienced legal team on your side helps ease your stress and gives you an advantage during legal proceedings.
Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles truck accident lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.