At Kalfayan Merjanian, LLP, our Newport Beach truck accident lawyers are standing by, ready to review your case. If you were hurt in a commercial tractor-trailer collision that was not your fault, having an experienced legal advocate on your side can be extremely beneficial. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation and case review with a California truck accident attorney, please contact our Newport Beach law office today.
Commercial Trucks Cause a Disproportionate Share of Catastrophic Motor Vehicle Injuries
When carrying a full load, a tractor-trailer in California can weigh up to 80,000 pounds — that is 20 to 40 times as much as a passenger car. When commercial truck crashes happen, the consequences can be devastating and catastrophic. The National Safety Council (NSC), reports that nearly 5,000 people were killed in large truck collisions nationwide in 2020. The NSC found that large trucks make up just 4 percent of registered motor vehicles, but were involved in 9 percent of fatal accidents. Given the inherent safety risk that they pose to the general public, trucking companies must operate with the highest standards of safety.
Know the Steps to Take After a Large Truck Accident in Orange County
A truck accident can result in severe, even catastrophic injuries. The aftermath of a tractor-trailer collision can be chaotic and overwhelming. Victims need to know what to do to protect their best interests. Here are four things one can do after a truck accident in Orange County:
1. Get Medical Care from a Doctor: The most important thing to do after a large truck accident is to seek medical attention. Truck accident victims should get help from a qualified doctor right away. Not all serious injuries are readily apparent. In California, medical records are imperative to a personal injury claim.
2. Report the Truck Accident: California law requires the reporting of all injury crashes. Be sure to report your collision to the local city Police Department, the County Sheriff’s Department, or another local or state law enforcement agency. A police report is a key form of evidence in a tractor-trailer accident claim.
3. Thoroughly Document the Crash: Commercial truck accident liability is based on fault. The more evidence that can be gathered, the better. This includes:
4. Speak to a Truck Accident Lawyer: The trucking company, a truck company’s insurer, or even the victim’s insurance carrier may not be operating with the best interest of the victim in mind. It’s helpful to consult with an Orange County trucking accident attorney before making major decisions that may impact a case.
Understanding Truck Accident Laws in California
While commercial trucks that operate in interstate commerce are subject to several different federal safety regulations, the truck accident claims process is largely regulated at the state level. A truck accident victim in Orange County should understand their rights and options under California law. Here are four key details to be aware of:
1. Many Parties May Be Liable for a Truck Accident: Modern trucking operations are complex. Any party involved could potentially be held liable for contributing to the accident, including truckers, trucking companies, and vehicle manufacturers.
2. Fault Must be Proven to Establish Liability:California uses a fault-based standard of liability. To hold a truck company responsible for a collision in Orange County, one must prove that their failure to take proper care contributed to causing the accident.
3. California Uses Comparative Negligence: California is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. Each party involved in a collision in Orange County will be liable for their proportionate share of the fault. Compensation may be reduced if one is found partially at fault for the truck accident.
4. A Two-Year Statute of Limitations (With Exceptions): California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1 sets a two-year statute of limitations for truck accident claims. However, exceptions do apply and, in some instances, the statute of limitations can be as little as 6-months. An Orange County truck accident lawyer should be able to confirm the statute on a particular case.
An Overview of the Compensation that May Be Available in a Tractor Trailer Accident Claim
In California, injured victims have the right to pursue a settlement for both economic and intangible losses. However, there is no general guarantee of financial recovery. Compensation for a truck accident is always determined on a fact-specific basis. A truck accident lawyer can review a potential case and help to assess the facts. Examples of damages available in some commercial truck accident claims include:
- Vehicle repairs or replacement;
- Emergency medical bills and related costs;
- Hospital bills and other health care costs;
- Lost income and loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering & mental distress;
- Permanent disability or disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death of a family member.
We Handle Truck Accident Claims in California on a Contingency
At Kalfayan Merjanian, LLP, we represent Orange County truck accident victims on a contingency basis. As our clients pay no out-of-pocket costs or upfront fees, our interests are aligned with theirs every step of the way. Our Newport Beach truck accident lawyers are only paid if we win or settle a case
Get in Touch With Our Newport Beach, CA Truck Accident Attorneys Today
At Kalfayan Merjanian, LLP, our Newport Beach truck accident lawyers are experienced, solutions-driven advocates for victims and families. Across our areas of practice, we have helped clients secure more than $1 billion in financial compensation. Reach out to us by phone or contact us online for your free consultation with a top personal injury lawyer. We handle truck accident injury cases in Orange County and communities beyond.
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