Being involved in a truck accident can be one of the most traumatizing and devastating life experiences. And unfortunately, these types of accidents are quite common, especially in the state of California.
Due to their size and weight, commercial trucks tend to cause more destruction than any other type of motor vehicle in the event of an accident. The risk of serious injury and death is usually higher for the occupants of the other vehicle involved in the accident.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of the negligence of a truck driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost income, and other damages resulting from the accident. However, victims of trucking accidents often face a lot of resistance from trucking companies and their insurance companies when trying to seek compensation.
This is because paying huge sums in compensation means bad news for the company’s bottom line. However, with the assistance of an experienced Fullerton truck accident lawyer, you can get the compensation you need to help you restore your life.
The Fullerton personal injury lawyers at Crockett Law Group we have a team of highly skilled truck accident attorneys who are prepared to help you with your case. Call us today at (800) 900-9393 to schedule your free consultation.
What Are Some Truck Accident Statistics in California?
California ranks high on the list of states with the highest number of fatal truck accidents per year, right behind Texas. Each year, the state of California sees about 113 fatal truck crashes, on average. Over 3,000 truck accidents in California result in injuries.
Most truck accidents in California happen on the highway ( I-5, I-10, and I-715). Call Crockett Law Group today to speak to a Fullerton truck accident lawyer today for help with your personal injury case.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
There are some important steps that you need to take immediately after a truck accident. These will not only help to protect your health and wellbeing but also help ensure success in your case:
It is crucial that you report the accident to law enforcement as soon as possible. This will ensure that you get the necessary assistance that you and others need. Also, an official accident report from the police might be required by the insurance company when filing your claim.
If possible, check on others involved in the accident and offer help where necessary. However, don’t attempt to leave or flee the scene regardless of whether you think you are at fault or not.
The law requires motorists involved in a traffic accident to stop and provide their names, contact details, and insurance and vehicle information to the other driver.
Document the Scene, Speak with Witnesses
If you can, use your smartphone camera to take photos and videos of the scene of the accident. Take images of your visible injuries, the damage inflicted on the vehicles, and other things like skid marks that may help your case.
Seek Medical Attention
Ensure that you get medical attention as soon as possible after leaving the scene of the accident. This will not only help to reveal your injuries and speed up your recovery but it will also ensure that your injuries are documented.
Contact a Fullerton Truck Accident Lawyer
For the best outcome, it is highly advisable that you get an experienced truck accident attorney involved as soon as possible following an accident. There is a lot that a Fullerton truck accident lawyer does to help you secure success in your case, from collecting evidence, handling the paperwork, communicating and negotiating with the insurance company, to fighting your case in court.
What Are the Laws Regarding Truck Accident Liability?
Commercial trucks must follow many laws which include:
- Having a commercial driver’s license
- Hours of service: How long a commercial truck driver is permitted to drive without taking a break and resting.
- Maximum weight allowed. For example, two-axle trucks can carry up to 34,000 pounds while single-axle trucks can carry up to 20,000 pounds.
- Quality control for truck manufacturing and repair
- Safety regulations for transporting hazardous materials.
To have a successful truck accident case, you will need to prove that the truck driver or other parties such as their employer are liable for your injuries. The trucking company can be held liable for damages caused through the legal theory of vicarious liability – employers are responsible for accidents caused by their employees while performing their work duties.
Any party can be held liable if they broke the law or through various legal theories that apply to your situation. Your Fullerton truck accident lawyer will help you to determine these.
How Can a Fullerton Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Your attorney will start by conducting a thorough investigation into your case. They will collect all the necessary evidence to support your claims.
Filing a Claim
Your attorney will ensure that all the necessary paperwork is filed properly and within the set deadlines. Keep in mind that even a simple innocent mistake can jeopardize your chances of securing compensation.
Your attorney will handle all communications with the insurance company. This includes negotiating a favorable settlement agreement on your behalf. Besides having exceptional negotiation skills, your attorney will be able to determine how much your case is worth and will ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of.
If the negotiations don’t bear the desired results, your attorney will prepare your case for trial and fight your case before a judge or jury. Our attorneys have extensive experience tackling cases in court.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
Damages awardable in Fullerton truck accident personal injury cases are classified into the following three groups:
- Economic: These are meant to compensate injured victims for monetary losses suffered as a result of the accident. These can include medical expenses, in-home care, lost income, loss of earning capacity, and so on.
- Non-Economic: These are meant to compensate injured victims for subjective and non-monetary losses suffered as a result of the accident. These can include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of limb function, etc.
- Punitive: Punitive damages are only awarded in cases the defendant’s behavior is found to have been reckless, malicious, or grossly negligent. These damages aren’t meant to compensate the victim but rather to punish the wrongdoer. There is no cap on punitive damages in the state of California.
How Much is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
Unfortunately, the answer to this isn’t as straightforward as you might expect. There are a number of different factors that will determine how much your case is worth including the type and severity of your injuries, the extent of property damages, and so on. Your Fullerton truck accident lawyer will consider all these factors when determining how much your case is worth.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
In California, you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a truck accident personal injury claim. Once this time window lapses, you may permanently lose your right to pursue compensation. Call a Fullerton truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to get your claim started.
How is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
Fault or liability in the state of California is governed by the law of negligence. This means that to hold any party liable, the following elements of negligence must be present:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- The defendant breached their duty of care
- You were injured as a result of the defendant’s actions
- You suffered compensable damages as a result of the accident
Can a Fullerton Truck Accident Lawyer Prove the Truck Driver was Negligent?
As earlier mentioned, your Fullerton truck accident attorney’s first task will be to investigate your case collecting all the relevant evidence and information. To prove that the truck driver is at fault for the accident, your attorney will seek to obtain evidence like:
- Dashcam footage
- Statements from witnesses
- Testimonies from expert witnesses
- Police reports
- Photos and videos from the scene
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Truck accident cases are usually more complex than regular car accident personal injury cases. This is because they can involve multiple parties including:
The Truck Driver
A truck driver who violates traffic safety regulations and causes an accident can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused.
The trucking company is responsible for the maintenance and inspection of its trucks as well as the hiring and training of its drivers. Trucking companies are also expected to abide by the FMCSA hours of service (HOS) limits. The company can be held liable if found to be negligent in any of these areas.
Company Who Loaded the Truck
If the accident was caused by a cargo shift or other issues with the cargo, then any party involved with the cargo – including the cargo originator, shipper, loader or transporter – can be held liable if negligent.
Vehicle or Parts Manufacturers
Sometimes, truck accidents are caused by parts or systems that were already faulty or defective from the start. In such cases, a product liability claim may be raised against the manufacturer.
Speaking with a Fullerton truck accident lawyer will be able to help you to determine who is liable in your personal injury case. Call Crockett Law Group today for a free consultation.
What Are Some of the Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
After years of experience, our Fullerton truck accident lawyers have discerned what are some of the most common causes of truck accidents:
Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in California. Truck drivers often have to drive long distances over long hours. However, there are regulations regarding the number of hours a truck driver is allowed to be on the road before taking a break and resting. If the trucker or trucking company fails to abide by these regulations, it increases the risk of driver fatigue which can potentially lead to an accident.
After driving long hours without any kind of stimulation, a truck driver may engage in other activities such as texting, daydreaming or other things to fight off boredom. By taking their eyes, minds, or hands-off their driving, even for a few seconds, the truck driver significantly increases their risk of an accident.
Speeding, passing recklessly on a two-lane road, ignoring traffic signals, and tailgating are all examples of reckless driving.
Alcohol and drug use are another common cause of truck accidents. Truck drivers are held to stricter standards of intoxication than other drivers. If a truck driver is found to have a BAC of 0.04% or higher, they can be arrested for drunk driving.
Oversized or Improperly Secured Freight
Poor loading of cargo can cause it to fall into the roadway or cause the truck to lose control or balance. The driver has a responsibility to at least check their cargo to ensure that it is properly secured. However, the trucking or loading company may be held liable in the event of an accident caused by issues with the cargo.
Poorly Trained or Inexperienced Drivers
Trucking companies hold accountability for the hiring and training of their drivers. If a driver isn’t adequately qualified for the job, the trucking company may be held liable if the driver causes an accident.
Lack of Truck Maintenance
Poor truck maintenance is another cause of serious truck accidents. Lack of proper maintenance can lead to issues like blowouts, and brake and lighting failure leading to severe consequences.
Manufacturing or design errors may lead to defects in the truck’s steering, braking, transmission, and other crucial systems increasing the risk of an accident. Poor vehicle maintenance can also lead to equipment malfunction.
Poor Road Conditions
Poor road maintenance, lack of proper warning signs, and road construction can lead to trucking accidents.
Get in Touch With an Experienced Fullerton Truck Accident Lawyer!
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in Fullerton, you need all the financial support you can get to pay for your medical bills and other losses. Multiple parties can be held liable in a truck accident personal injury case.
To maximize your compensation, you need an experienced truck accident lawyers who is familiar with all applying trucking laws and has a proven track record of successfully tackling truck accident cases. Crockett Law Firm is a 5-star rated personal injury law firm with a highly skilled and dedicated team of Fullerton truck accident lawyers. We understand the extent of damage a truck accident can cause to the victims.
We believe that you shouldn’t bear the burden of someone else’s alone. We will seek to identify all responsible parties and help you pursue the maximum possible compensation to help ease your problems and help you restore your life. Call Crockett Law Firm today at (800) 900-9393 and let us help you get the justice and compensation that you deserve.