California Truck Accident Lawyer
Trucking is an essential industry across California, but the large nature of these vehicles, paired with negligence, is a recipe for disaster. In 2020, over 4,800 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents. This is a small decrease from the previous year but an 18% increase from the last decade overall.
If you or someone you love was injured in an accident involving a large truck, you have the right to seek out compensation for your sustained injuries. This process can be a lot more difficult if you journey through it alone. The experienced legal team at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law can be your knowledgeable advocates, guiding you through each step of litigation.
Every personal injury claim has a statute of limitations, so getting started sooner rather than later is typically advised. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with a trusted member of our team who can help you get started by scheduling a consultation with an attorney. All consultations are carried out by a trusted attorney, and we speak English, Hindi, Punjabi, and Spanish to serve as many families as we can.
What Services Can a Truck Accident Attorney Provide?
A truck accident can leave victims seriously injured, and the related care can get expensive. As the victim of the incident, you may not have to pay for your damages. By filing an injury claim, you can instead seek to recover these damages from all negligent parties. The best way to fully understand the process of your unique case is to contact a trusted legal team, like our firm at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law.
Managing the aftermath of a California truck accident can be daunting, especially if you are walking through each step without any prior experience. A personal injury attorney has the knowledge and previous experience that can help accident victims better understand the steps of their litigation process. Without an attorney, your pressing questions are left to online forums and other outside resources with varying levels of credibility. Our legal team at Singh Ahluwalia can answer all of your legal questions while helping you craft a solid legal strategy, so you can feel more confident moving forward.
Other services that the Singh Ahluwalia legal team can provide include:
- Communication management: When you have an attorney on your side, you rarely have to worry about communicating with the other party. Your attorney can speak on your behalf, ensuring that no statement can be used to harm your case later. An attorney knows what you have to say, should say, and should never say during litigation, and we’ll use these communication skills to protect your best interest.
- Document organization: It can be tedious to review, process, sign, and return lengthy legal documents. A legal team is trained to efficiently process and complete these documents, saving our clients hours — if not days — of time during their recovery process.
- Help you understand the laws, regulations, and standard processes around boating accidents in California: Each state has its own unique laws and processes for personal injury claims, meaning that there is a sea of information out there that can get easily jumbled up. An attorney can help you understand what your legal process will look like, what state statutes or prior rulings could affect your case the most, and how the law may benefit you in any way.
- Thoroughly investigate your accident, including claims of negligence: The evidence of your case will help everyone involved paint a clearer picture of the course of the events. Your attorney can review all evidence and extract information that may be beneficial during later steps of the litigation process, such as during negotiations or a possible jury trial.
- Negotiating a settlement on your behalf: One of the most difficult aspects of litigation is arguably negotiating the final settlement. After the evidence has been gathered, investigated, and damages are determined, it becomes time to decide the actual worth of said damages. This can be a complicated process when you work on your own, but a skilled attorney like the team at Singh Ahluwalia can speak on your behalf, representing your best interest with facts and evidence from your case.
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident
After an accident, one of the most important factors is to determine the liable party. Sometimes, a simple assessment of the accident is enough for the proper authorities to solidify this detail, but in other cases, it isn’t so simple.
To prove liability, there must be evidence of negligence. Establishing negligence can be a simple process, but other times, it isn’t so easy to prove.
There are 4 points of negligence that must be demonstrated in order to hold another party accountable for the damages caused. An attorney can help you investigate the evidence of your accident with the intent of finding information to prove another party’s negligence.
The four main elements of negligence are:
- Duty of care: Drivers on the road have a duty of care to act responsibly while operating their vehicles. Truck drivers are professionals tasked with exercising care in the course of their job duties. Likewise, carrier employers and contracting organizations have a duty to ensure driver safety and equipment integrity while promoting the safety of others on the road.
- Breach of duty: Next, it must be provable that the driver breached their duty of care and acted with negligence, failing their responsibility to you as another person on the road.
- Causation: Evidence must show that the breach of duty directly caused the accident and the corresponding injury.
- Damage or injury: Finally, the victim must establish that the accident and their injuries led to damages.
Who Can Be Considered Liable in a Truck Accident?
While the truck driver can be seen as the liable party in an accident, they are not the only person that has a responsibility to maintain the safety of the vehicle. Truck safety is an important aspect of the trucking industry, protecting not only employee drivers and the cargo they carry, but also other drivers on the road.
Further, carriers are responsible for the safe conduct of employees and their contracted drivers. In many cases, the company that ordered the haul could be seen at-fault even when they allege that the driver in question was an independent contractor operating outside the scope of their control.
Because many different parties can potentially be involved in commercial trucking accidents, a truck accident lawyer can be a valuable asset that represents you and your best interests during the recovery process. With so many loud voices in the room, your needs may get drowned out, but an attorney can ensure that you are heard throughout the litigation process.
The following are examples of parties that can be held responsible for a trucking accident:
- Trucking company: The company responsible for the truck that caused your accident could be seen as liable for the damages caused. The company has a responsibility to the public to inspect and maintain their vehicles, so they function at a meets-expectations level. A company can also be held responsible if they allowed the driver to break safety regulations like break and rest period requirements.
- Truck manufacturer: In production, parts may unknowingly end up dysfunctional, which is extremely unsafe when brought onto the road. A truck manufacturer that distributed defective parts could be held responsible for their negligent actions in some cases.
- Truck driver: Truck drivers carry a lot of responsibility while they are on the road. While every truck driver must train for a special license before they start hauling, that can’t completely stop accidents from happening. Oftentimes, trucking accidents include a tired or impaired driver, as many truckers use substances to temporarily fix their sleepiness.
- Contracted maintenance company, trailer provider, etc.: While carriers are considered responsible for vetting the safety of the contractors they use, there are some cases where a contracted third-party company, such as a vehicle maintenance service provider, is determined to hold significant liability because of their negligence.
What Damages Can I Recover from a Truck Accident?
The details of your settlement depend on many factors, like your injuries, the severity of the accident, and what happens during the negotiation stage of the litigation process. The damages you recover will likely include both categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are considered monetary losses that have an objective value. Economic damages make up a large portion of settlements because there is no cap on the value of these losses.
The most common economic losses include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Continued treatment
- Property damage
- Other incurred expenses
Non-economic damages are described as losses without a standard price of value. These are oftentimes not physical losses, but rather an unpleasant experience the victim was forced to go through. Because of their more-complex nature, non-economic losses may be more difficult to secure, especially without an attorney.
Non-economic damages can include payments for things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment
- Mental anguish
Punitive damages are also awarded in certain cases, but only by decision of a trial jury. Punitive damages are payments typically meant to make an example of the defendant and deter other people from partaking in similar behavior. Punitive damages are rare and are only awarded in extreme situations, but they can substantially impact the final value of a case.
Common Injuries Sustained in a Truck Accident
Unfortunately, accidents happen, and crashes involving large vehicles like tractor-trailers can cause severe injuries. The NHTSA reported that there were over 146,000 people injured from accidents involving large trucks in 2020.
You should never have to pay for damages caused by a negligent party, and a California truck accident attorney can help you prove the other party’s liability, and represent you in your litigation process.
A crash and related injuries affect everyone differently, but there are some injuries that are treated more commonly than others. Because of the heavy impact forces generated by large tractor-trailers, severe injuries can also be more common in these situations.
Medical professionals see a wide variety of accident-related injuries, but some of the most common include:
- Neck and spine injuries
- Nerve damage
- Broken bones or fractures
- Tissue damage
- Head trauma or concussions
What Steps Should I Take After an Accident?
The unique details of every truck accident are different, but there are some universally accepted steps that you can take to protect the validity of your claim moving forward. By following this set of steps, you may have an easier time proving your side of the story, which can help your attorney advocate for your interests.
Seek Medical Attention
It is important to receive medical attention immediately after a collision with a large vehicle. Vehicles like tractor-trailers can create heavy impact forces, which can inflict major damage to the head, neck, and spine. It is typically advised to see a medical professional sooner rather than later, as your injuries can worsen over time.
During an accident, adrenaline is released into your body, possibly blocking any sensation of pain, leaving you unable to identify your injuries for hours after the accident. On top of that, waiting to receive medical attention and leaving your injuries to worsen could give the negligent party’s insurer a way to argue that the extent of your injuries was not due to their policyholder’s negligence so they cannot be held liable for the cost of full treatment. Because of these risks, it is advisable to receive a medical evaluation soon after your crash, even if you don’t feel pain or feel injured.
Document All Evidence
If you are physically able to, take as many photos and videos of the scene as you can before debris is removed. It is important to remember that after the scene of the accident has been cleaned up, pictures and videos are the only way to depict it with accuracy. If it is possible, you should even take photos of small details like tire marks, license plates, and debris that flew into the surrounding area. You should also take photos of your injuries, as well as of the accident scene as a whole to establish location. When it comes to evidence, more is better.
Witness statements can also supply valuable evidence; request anyone who comes to the scene to render aid to provide a recorded statement and their contact information.
Be Careful About What You Say at the Scene
It is essential that you never admit fault; even an empathetic “I’m sorry” could negatively affect your case. Likewise, avoid getting angry or trying to assign blame in the heat of the moment. Try to remain as calm as possible, because sometimes we as humans let our emotions get the best of us and might say something that could be used to the other party’s benefit.
Never Speak to an Insurance Representative Without an Attorney
It is advised to retain legal representation before dealing with any insurance company. You are expected to file notice of a claim within a few days of the accident in most cases, but you can hold off on providing details like the nature of your injuries until a later date. Sometimes, an insurance representative may reach out for a general statement about the events of the crash. You are not legally required to answer their questions and are allowed to let them know that you will have your lawyer contact them soon. The legal team at Singh Ahluwalia can manage this communication for you.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Call a California Truck Accident Lawyer at Singh Ahluwalia!
If you or a loved one were hurt by the negligent actions of another person who caused a trucking accident, Singh Ahluwalia may be able to help you on your road to financial recovery. We have years of experience helping California families like yours get back to their normal lives after being affected by a vehicle collision, and we’re here to help you, too!
Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with a trusted member of our team who can help you get started by scheduling a consultation with an attorney. All consultations are carried out by a trusted attorney, and we speak English, Hindi, Punjabi, and Spanish to serve as many families as we can.