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When to Consult a Lawyer for a Truck Accident

Published November 23, 2023 by Harker Injury Law

A truck on the road.Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries that have a permanent impact on a person’s life. After being harmed in a California truck accident, personal injury attorneys can offer valuable legal guidance as well as assistance to win you maximum compensation for your losses.

It is recommended to consult a lawyer and set your truck accident case in motion as soon as possible. Holding the at-fault party liable can be complex and involves a series of steps, such as collecting evidence. The sooner you begin to build your case, the greater your chances of a successful outcome.

Start pursuing your compensation by completing our online contact formOur representatives, standing by 24/7, would be happy to help you schedule a free case consultation with the Harker Injury Law team.

It Takes Time to Determine Liability in a California Truck Accident Claim

All too often, the party liable for a truck accident will not readily admit fault.

Your truck accident lawyer will need to gather evidence to prove fault and liability. Since evidence can quickly be lost or destroyed over time, make sure to consult a lawyer as quickly as possible after your accident.

In some situations, more than one party may have contributed to the collision and be financially liable for damages.

One or more of the following parties may be liable in a California truck accident case:

  • The trucking company: If the truck driver was on duty at the time of the crash, the trucking company he or she is employed by could bear liability for the accident. Trucking companies are responsible for performing background checks on the drivers they hire and making sure they are properly trained.
  • The truck driver: Truck drivers must adhere to specific laws and regulations regarding vehicle maintenance, traffic rules, the length of time they can operate a truck without sleep, how many breaks they need to take, and more. Failure to follow these rules could result in the driver being held accountable.
  • The truck manufacturer: The manufacturer of the truck could be liable for the collision if there is a defect in the truck’s design or if a defective auto part caused or contributed to the accident.
  • The cargo shipper and loader: Sometimes, trucking companies hire contractors to load and ship goods. If the cargo is loaded improperly, it may shift during transport and contribute to an accident.
  • Government agency or contractor: If a road hazard, such as broken pavement, contributed to the truck accident, the government agency responsible for that stretch of highway may be responsible for damages. Road maintenance contractors could have contributed to the accident if the work they did on the road was poor.

Contact a Lawyer If You Sustained Truck Accident Injuries That Require Medical Treatment

When a passenger vehicle collides with a semi-truck, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are usually the ones who are seriously injured. Truck accident statistics show that 71 percent of injuries occurred to occupants of other vehicles.

If you were harmed in a California truck accident, a lawyer can help you get the medical care you need.

Seeking medical attention immediately after a truck crash provides you with the best chance at a full physical recovery. Going to the hospital right after the accident is also beneficial to your case when you go to pursue compensation. It provides evidence that the truck accident was the cause of your injuries.

A truck accident lawyer will take into consideration the complete cost of your medical expenses when determining the value of your claim. This helps ensure that you can afford all the treatment you need.

Your lawyer may consult with doctors and other medical experts for assistance in calculating the cost of your future medical expenses.

Medical bills, such as the following, may be incurred after a truck accident:

  • Ambulance rides: If you were involved in a collision with a truck, it is likely that you needed to be transported from the accident scene to the hospital. The cost of an ambulance ride can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars if not covered by insurance.
  • Emergency room visit: Your trucking accident injuries may be so severe that you need emergency medical care. Emergency room physicians often treat life-threatening conditions.
  • Hospital stays: Some truck accident injuries take days, weeks, or even months to heal from. Victims may need to stay in the hospital to receive round-the-clock care.
  • Physical therapy: Injuries from a truck accident may require rehabilitation therapy to recover your range of motion and mobility.
  • In-home care: Tragically, some people sustain truck accident injuries that require long-term care. A lawyer can help you recover compensation to receive in-home nursing care and assistance.

Contact a California Truck Accident Lawyer If Your Injuries Prevent You From Working

Are you unable to return to work because of your trucking accident injuries? If so, it’s time to contact a personal injury lawyer.

An attorney can estimate compensation for lost wages that you are due to receive. For example, a person who is a firefighter probably cannot return to work right away if he hurt his back in a truck accident. A back injury could require months of recovery, and the accident victim should be compensated for these lost wages.

A truck accident lawyer can also help you pursue damages for loss of future earning potential if your injuries are so severe that you are unable to return to your previous career.

Consult a Personal Injury Attorney If You Experienced Physical Pain or Emotional Distress

While being involved in any car accident can be stressful, truck accidents are especially traumatic. Many truck accident victims are left with catastrophic physical injuries and emotional distress.

If you have suffered pain and suffering as a result of a truck crash, an attorney could help you recover money for these damages.

This may include compensation for:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring or disfigurements
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress and more

These types of damages can be worth a lot but are difficult to calculate and prove by yourself. A lawyer can help determine if you qualify to recover these damages and accurately calculate their value.

Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help If the Insurance Company Will Not Cover Your California Truck Accident Losses

Have you filed a claim with the insurance company, and they are refusing to pay? If so, this means it is time to hire a truck accident lawyer.

Insurance companies often deny claims, hoping that accident victims will give up and pay for their damages out of pocket. Personal injury attorneys are familiar with the tactics that insurers use to try to avoid paying accident claims. Insurers are more likely to take your claim seriously if you have a lawyer on your side.

A truck accident lawyer can send a demand letter to the insurer detailing the losses you suffered as a result of the crash. The letter will include the types of damages and compensation you seek. If the insurance company refuses to pay the amount on the demand letter, your personal injury attorney will negotiate with the insurer until a fair settlement amount can be reached.

Some truck accident cases are not resolved through negotiations with the insurance company. If this is your situation, your lawyer may advise you to file a truck accident lawsuit. If your case goes to trial, a judge or jury will decide the outcome of your case.

Schedule a Consultation If You Were Partly to Blame for the California Truck Accident

It is important to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer if there is a chance that you played a part in the crash.

California follows the rules of pure comparative fault in truck accident cases. A person responsible for an accident compensates you depending on your degree of fault. For example, if you were found to be 30 percent liable for the accident, then the other party would only have to compensate you 70 percent.

You can be sure the trucking company and those representing them are going to try to assign you as large of a degree of fault as possible. When you have a personal injury lawyer representing you, he or she will fight to protect your legal rights and make sure you are not assigned a larger percentage of blame than you deserve.

You Have a Limited Time to File Your California Truck Accident Case

Personal injury cases must be filed before a certain deadline. In California, truck accident cases must be filed within 2 years from the date of the collision.

Failure to file a personal injury case within the statute of limitations means that you may lose your right to recover compensation for your injuries. After 2 years, California law can bar you from pursuing compensation from the negligent party who injured you.

While 2 years may seem like a long time, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your truck accident. The clock does not stop while you are negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

The insurance company knows the deadline for your truck accident case. Some claims adjusters may drag out the negotiation process intentionally, hoping that you do not know about the statute of limitations. One tactic adjusters use to delay the settlement is to ask for second opinions from doctors or additional proof of injury.

Truck accident lawyers are familiar with the tactics that insurance companies use. They also know how long you have to file your case and will make sure that everything is properly submitted within the allotted statute of limitations.

Most Truck Accident Lawyers Offer a Free Consultation and Work on a Contingency Fee Basis

After suffering serious injuries in a trucking accident, you may have a pile of medical bills and be unable to return to work. Likely, the last thing you want is the added financial expense of hiring a truck accident attorney to represent you.

The good news is that most truck accident lawyers offer an initial free consultation and take cases on contingency. During your first consultation, the lawyer can determine whether you have a valid claim, offer legal advice, and answer any questions you have.

This means that you will not be charged any upfront costs or fees, and neither will you have to pay for anything out of pocket. Your lawyer only gets paid if your case is successful and you are awarded a settlement. Then, the lawyer’s fee will be a percentage of the amount you received.

What to Look for When Choosing a California Truck Accident Attorney

You don’t want to make a quick decision when deciding what law firm you want to represent your truck accident claim. There are many personal injury law firms in California, and you want to choose the right one for you and your case.

Consider these factors when choosing a lawyer to represent your case:

  • The firm’s practice areas: Not all personal injury lawyers have experience handling truck accident claims. You want to select a lawyer who has experience relevant to your particular case.
  • Location: If your truck collision occurred in California, you want to hire a lawyer who practices personal injury law in that state. Choosing a law firm close to where you live is convenient, and the lawyer’s knowledge of the local court system could be valuable.
  • Personality: Ultimately, you want to choose a law firm and attorney with whom you communicate well. You may want to read client reviews about a law firm and then schedule a free case consultation to see if they are the right fit for you.

Contact Harker Injury Law to Schedule a Free Consultation

You have a limited window of time to seek compensation after a California truck accident, and holding the at-fault party liable takes time. Cases involving truck accidents can be complicated and difficult to win on your own.

Your best chance at a successful outcome is having experienced truck accident lawyers on your side representing your best interests. However, your legal representatives will still need time to gather evidence, file documents, and calculate damages. The sooner you consult a personal injury attorney, the better.

Our truck accident lawyers are here to help. Call Harker Injury Law today at 760-INJURED to schedule a free consultation or complete the contact form.

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