Handling All Types Of Truck Accidents And Injuries
Commercial over-the-road freight companies, delivery vans and other businesses using California roads and federal highways are required to obey regulations overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), as well as California state regulatory agencies. When a motor vehicle accident involves an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck or van, it is important to determine whether the trucking company or driver was in violation of any federal or state regulations.
An Orange County truck accident attorney is an essential ally after you or a loved one sustained injuries and other losses from a collision with a large commercial truck. These vehicles are inherently more dangerous than most of the other vehicles on California roads simply due to their sheer size. A fully loaded 18-wheeler can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and stand over 13 feet tall off the road. This means a much higher center of gravity and greater difficulty in maneuvering. When these large vehicles crash, the incident is likely to involve multiple other drivers, especially if the collision occurs at high speed on a busy road.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for My Recent Truck Accident?
A truck accident is far more likely than a typical car accident to cause serious injuries, costly vehicle repair and replacement costs, and fatalities. Due to their size, many tractor-trailer accidents in California wind up injuring multiple other drivers. Hiring an Orange County truck accident lawyer can help you navigate the many different complexities that can arise from a multi-vehicle truck accident.
Your attorney can help you gather evidence to determine liability in your accident claim. An Orange County truck accident attorney is also a great asset when it comes to issues of vicarious liability. For example, if you sustained injuries due to the actions of a truck driver employed by a trucking company, the company may be liable for your damages in some situations. An experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to accurately determine an injured driver’s best opportunities for financial recovery in these complex situations.
Hiring an attorney also means you no longer need to fear any procedural or administrative errors with the courthouse jeopardizing your claim. If you attempt to handle a personal injury claim for a truck accident on your own, you will need to file various forms with your local courthouse accurately, in full, and on time. Missing court filing deadlines could lead to a judge throwing out your case before it even reaches the trial phase.
If the defendant in your claim is a large trucking company or major distributor, you should expect them to have an experienced in-house legal team ready to defend their interests in court. An experienced Orange County truck accident attorney will know how to navigate your claim, deal with the defense, and ensure all of your paperwork is filed correctly and on time with the court.
Three Things You Should Know After A Truck Accident
Get the contact and insurance information of the other driver.
Do not talk to the insurance company or give a written or recorded statement to the insurance company without talking to the Easton & Easton, LLP.
Call Easton & Easton, LLP as soon as possible so we can advise you what to do next.
Experiencing a serious truck accident can be a life-changing event. Your attorney can become an invaluable resource for you during your recovery, handling legal efforts on your behalf, and fighting for your recovery so you can rest and focus on healing from your injuries. It’s vital to seek legal counsel as soon as possible following a truck accident and to have some idea of what to do immediately following an accident.
Once you secure legal representation for your truck accident claim, you and your attorney will begin building your case. The first step in recovery from a truck accident that someone else caused is to identify the party responsible for causing your damages. Next will be thoroughly exploring and proving the full extent of those damages. Insurance is typically the first step toward recovery after any motor vehicle accident. However, the reality is that most insurance companies will work hard to avoid paying out on claims or paying them out in full whenever possible.
Securing legal representation immediately after your accident means you don’t need to face insurance companies alone. We have handled hundreds of cases for Orange County clients and have dealt with many different insurance carriers. Once an insurance agent notices that an accident claimant has legal representation, the likelihood of the insurance agent pushing back against a legitimate claim drops significantly.
Seek Medical Care Immediately
Truck accidents typically cause serious injuries that require immediate hospitalization, but some drivers are lucky and emerge from truck accidents with seemingly mild injuries. No matter how severely you believe you were injured, it’s vital to seek medical care as soon as possible after your accident. Your doctor can check for internal injuries that may not have any noticeable symptoms yet, and the medical report your doctor provides will be essential to building a personal injury claim against the party responsible for your accident.
How to Build a Truck Accident Claim
In addition to the medical report from your doctor, you should also secure a copy of the police report from your accident. These two reports, combined with evidence from the scene of the accident and eyewitness testimony, will form the backbone of your personal injury claim. Once your legal team has determined the party or parties responsible for your damages, you can start to establish the four elements of negligence to succeed with your personal injury claim:
- Duty of care. Your attorney needs to prove to the court that the defendant in your claim owed you a duty of care. For example, a truck driver has a duty of care to operate their vehicle safely and never under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Breach of duty. Your attorney must then prove how the defendant in your claim failed to uphold their duty of care. An example of this would be a truck driver driving under the influence of alcohol or a trucking company’s failure to train a driver or maintain FMCSA compliance fully.
- If you did not suffer damages, you have no claim. Your attorney will help you prove the full extent of the losses you incurred due to the defendant’s negligent behavior. California law allows civil claimants in personal injury lawsuits to claim compensation for various types of compensatory damages, and some plaintiffs may receive punitive damages depending on the nature of the defendant’s behavior that caused the accident.
- The court only allows plaintiffs to recover compensation for the direct results of a defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff’s attorney has a responsibility to prove that the claimed damages in the case would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligence, and that those damages did not accrue from some other cause.
The defendant in a truck accident claim could be a truck driver, a truck driver’s employer, a company, or a third-party driver that caused an accident with a large truck and your vehicle. A successful personal injury claim could allow you to secure compensation for all of your medical bills, any income you lost during your recovery, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Truck accidents can cause severe injuries, including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and bone fractures, among other wounds. These kinds of injuries not only take a long time to heal but also may result in permanent disability and inability to work. Hiring an experienced Orange County truck accident attorney as soon as possible dramatically increases the chances of holding the party responsible for your damages accountable.
People Injured In Truck Accidents Have A Human Story — Call Us To Tell Yours
If you were injured or lost a family member in a truck accident in Southern California, talk to an attorney at The Easton Law Firm before you talk to an insurance company. From our offices in the South Coast Metro Area of Orange County, our attorneys represent people injured in truck accidents in Orange County and communities in nearby Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and San Diego County. Call us toll free at 800-461-8259 or contact our offices by email to arrange a free case evaluation with one of our Orange County truck accident injury lawyers today. We handle all personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency-fee basis.
$2.75 Million Wrongful Death Settlement
We recently settled a wrongful death case for $2.75 million where the decedent was 55 years old with no wife or children, just two surviving parents in their 80’s. The defendants’ insurance carrier initially expected to pay no more than $250,000 to settle the case of these 80-year-old parents who had no economic losses as a result of their son’s death. But because we demonstrated the unique bond these parents shared with their son by persuasively telling their family story, we were able to significantly increase the value of their case. After seeing how we would present this elderly couple’s case before a jury, the insurance company knew that taking the matter to trial could result in a substantially higher verdict based on our advocacy. Consequently, we were able to settle the case for an amount far in excess of our clients’ wildest dreams without them having to go through the pain and ordeal of a lengthy trial.The defendant was operating a commercial street sweeper at the time he caused the accident that killed our clients’ son.