If you were seriously injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, a truck accident lawyer can help protect your rights. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and other emotional and financial losses. Moreover, a seasoned lawyer can help relieve the emotional stress involved in a claim and let you focus on your recovery.
Why Are Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
Compared to a car or pickup truck, semi-trucks and eighteen wheelers are heavier and less responsive in dangerous situations. It takes longer for a truck to stop or maneuver around a hazard. And, their increased weight and size lead to greater impact forces during a collision. All of these factors result in a greater likelihood of serious injury or death during a truck accident.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Commercial truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road. This can lead to increased risk of:
- driver fatigue,
- speeding, and
- distracted driving
Truck drivers are also just as likely to engage in reckless behaviors (such as drunk driving or substance abuse) as other drivers.
Sometimes, accidents are the result of trucking company decisions. Many trucking companies pressure their drivers to drive for dangerously long periods of time or may insist that they work in dangerous conditions (such as hazardous weather or while seriously ill). Other causes include:
- Defective truck parts and equipment,
- Improper truck maintenance, and
- Poorly or overloaded trucks.
Remember, California has a fault-based negligence system. If someone (such as a negligent driver, trucking company, or manufacturer) causes your injuries, their insurance company must cover your losses.
What You Should Do After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, you may be emotionally overwhelmed and in physical pain. However, it is important that you:
- Call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement
- Seek immediate medical care (if necessary)
- Document the accident scene
- Contact a skilled truck accident lawyer
It is also important that you act quickly. Under California law, you only have two years to file a truck accident lawsuit. If you file after this deadline has expired, you automatically lose your right to compensation.
Truck Accidents Can Lead to Complicated Litigation
It can be difficult to navigate your way through a truck accident claim. While many cases are due to the driver’s negligence, you may also have claims against other parties, such as the company that owns or maintains the vehicle or truck and equipment manufacturers and retailers (in a product liability or defective product claim). Your claim may also involve multiple insurance companies.
Additionally, truck accident cases involve extensive technical and legal knowledge. During litigation, you or your Orange County truck accident lawyer may have to:
- Read and interpret medical records,
- Analyze accident reports and driving logs,
- Apply California’s motor vehicle and negligence laws to your case,
- Hire expert witnesses and prepare their testimony,
- Calculate your damages and negotiate with the insurance companies, and
- Prepare your case for presentation at trial.
It can be incredibly difficult to handle these tasks on your own — especially when you are recovering from traumatic injuries. Unfortunately, insurance companies try to take advantage of unrepresented motorists by offering excessively low settlement offers or improperly denying their claims.
An experienced Orange County truck accident lawyer can help you handle the complexities of your claim, provide emotional support, and ensure that you receive fair compensation. A lawyer will advocate on your behalf and should meticulously prepare your case for settlement negotiations and (if necessary) trial.
Speak With an Orange County Truck Accident Lawyer
When you work with a truck accident lawyer from Russell & Lazarus APC, you will receive personalized attention and advice. Our experienced lawyers will evaluate your claim, advise you of your rights, and tirelessly work on your behalf. Contact us for a consultation today by calling (888) 998-2318.