Big rigs are everywhere on our highways and roads. Trucking is one of the largest industries in the country, which means 18-wheelers are out in force these days. While we all appreciate the important service they provide in hauling the goods that we use, there is nothing more dangerous than a careless truck driver. If you are injured in a truck accident, get the law on your side with a California truck accident lawyer from Kalfayan Merjanian, LLP.
What To Do In Case of a Trucking Accident
In the event you are in a truck accident on a California roadway, it is important to know what to do. Remember these key steps to protect the safety and the rights of you and others involved in the accident.
- After an accident, turn on your hazard flashers. If your car is in a traffic lane and you can safely move to the shoulder, do so.
- Check for injuries then call 911 to report the accident and any injuries.
- Gather evidence. Take photos of the scene, of your car, of the truck, and talk to any witnesses. If possible, get photos of the other driver’s identification and insurance information.
- Call a trucking accident lawyer in California to protect your rights and pursue just compensation.
What Your California Truck Accident Attorney Can Do
Sometimes the insurance company, the truck driver, or the trucking company may contest your claim. This is where a good attorney makes all the difference. They can determine who to hold liable and seek negotiations for compensation on your behalf. Your lawyer may be able to find any of the following that others may have overlooked:
- The truck driver is liable due to impaired driving, high-risk behavior on the road, or driving more consecutive hours than they are allowed by law.
- The trucking company is liable due to long shift requirements, cutting corners on safety or training, or failing to maintain a safe vehicle. Your trucking accident attorney may also pursue the trucking company if the driver has no assets.
- Both the truck driver and trucking company are liable due to negligence or carelessness, such as loading the truck improperly, falsifying the driver’s logbooks, or otherwise violating California state trucking laws.
What To Expect From Your 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer
If the insurance company is not taking your claim seriously, then having a truck attorney from Kalfayan Merjanian on your side may help tremendously. They will thoroughly investigate your potential claim and negotiate with the company to get you compensation. If that fails, a lawsuit may be filed in court. Sometimes the cause of the accident is so egregious that a semi-truck accident lawyer will file a suit immediately, regardless of the insurance company’s position. This may occur if the driver was clearly driving under the influence or to gain access to potentially important evidence that the truck driver or trucking company may be withholding. Whether in pre-litigation negotiations or at trial, your KM semi-truck accident attorney will be ready and prepared to represent you and fight for compensation on your behalf.
What Types of Damages Can You Receive?
There are different types of damages you may be eligible to receive in the event of a truck accident. Your 18-wheeler accident attorney will carefully assess the extent of your damages to determine how best to approach your case. Some of these damages may include:
- Compensation for pain and suffering. This can be physical, emotional, or mental suffering.
- Lost wages. If the accident caused you to take time off work to recover from your injuries, you may receive an amount equal to the pay you lost.
- Lost future earnings. Permanent injury or disablement may mean that you cannot work at all or have a reduced capacity to work. In this instance, you may receive money for what you would have made in the future.
- Past and Future Medical costs. Receive compensation for any accident-related medical treatments you have had or may need in the future.
- Wrongful death. If a family member in your car dies in the accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the loss of their love, companionship, comfort, and care as well as funeral and burial expenses, and their lost wages.
- Punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the driver or the trucking company for their actions and are, therefore, not always pursued. To receive punitive damages your big rig accident attorney will have to prove that the truck driver or trucking company acted with malice, oppression, or fraud. Your truck accident attorney will be able to assist in determining whether you may be entitled to punitive damages.
What If You Were Partly at Fault in the Accident
California has a comparative fault law, which allows you to seek damages even if you were partially at fault in the accident report. It’s especially important to hire a big rig accident lawyer in this case as the laws surrounding comparative liability can get a little tricky. If a case involving comparative liability goes to court, and both you and the truck driver are found at fault, the jury will assign respective fault percentages. For example, a jury may find the truck driver to be 75% at fault. In this scenario, the truck driver would be liable to pay 75% of your damages. Given the current comparative liability laws in California, if an insurance company is denying your claim or claiming that you are at fault, it is important to have your case assessed by an experienced truck accident attorney. The truck accident attorneys at Kalfayan Merjanian always offer a complimentary case evaluation, free of charge.
What To Do Now
If you were in a truck accident and believe that the driver or the company was at fault, you should speak to a big truck accident lawyer at California Trial Attorneys powered by Kalfayan Merjanian and learn about your rights. A statute of limitations bars a person from the right to seek compensation if they fail to settle their claim or file a lawsuit within the specified time. In California, there are many factors governing the statute of limitations for filing a truck accident lawsuit, and the time frame to settle a claim or file a lawsuit may be as little as six months from the date of the accident, so it’s best to not delay.
No Fees Unless You Win
It’s common to be concerned about legal fees when considering an attorney for your personal injury. Our highly-rated lawyers at CA Trial Attorneys powered by Kalfayan Merjanian never charge a fee unless we reach a settlement on your behalf.
That’s right. Once you become a client, you do not owe us any legal fees unless we win your case.
Rest assured that you will never pay us a penny out of your own pocket until your case is successfully settled. This ensures that you can focus on recovering from your injuries without worrying about the cost of pursuing legal action.