Leading Truck Accident Lawyer in California
If you’ve been injured in a truck vs. car accident, turn to a Krasney Law’s experienced Truck Accident Lawyer and staff to navigate the complicated laws of California. We can help you recover the maximum amount in damages to help you as much as possible and to get justice in the face of negligent or careless drivers and their insurance companies.
Unfortunately, because of the negligence of some truck drivers, the roads can be dangerous. Many drivers simply don’t pay attention to what is on the road ahead of or around them. Trucks can be quite dangerous to a driver and passengers in a car. Driving is perilous enough as it is considering all of the distractions such as cell phones, radios and children yelling in the back seat that many drivers have to contend with.
Trucks are extremely dangerous for motorcycles, too. But even a car is no match for a cumbersome tractor-trailer going at highway or even city speeds because they weigh several tons and take a long distance to brake to a stop. And California has more trucking traffic than most other states.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, call the team at Krasney Law for a complimentary consultation.
How Can Our Truck Accident Lawyers Help?
We can help if you get injured in an accident with a truck. We can help you with your claim for compensation from the responsible truck driver and his or his employer’s insurance company for the damage or injury caused. If you are injured, call the team at Krasney Law for a free initial meeting with an attorney experienced in the area of truck accidents.
We have attorneys and investigators capable of dealing with insurance companies that try to pay as little as possible, even less than what you have coming. Also, some truck accident victims may need to file a lawsuit to get the insurance company to pay. Keep in mind, getting you back to good health is the No. 1 priority.
Krasney Law’s expert attorneys and staff can investigate the circumstances of an accident and file suit for maximum damages to see that our clients get what they need to cover medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Or, we can negotiate with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement in exchange for your injuries.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
As with any type of vehicle, trucks can get into accidents on freeways and surface streets. When you are involved in an accident with a truck, you’ll need a California truck accident lawyer to help ensure you are compensated for your injuries where appropriate. There are many possible causes of truck accidents, and your attorney can help you make the most of the options available to you.
Like drivers of any other type of vehicle, truck drivers can make mistakes while out on the road. These mistakes can often put other drivers in danger. Driver error accidents can include things like:
- Failing to use turn signals
- Waiting too long to start braking
- Not following rules of the road
- Driving under the influence
- Driving while drowsy
- And more.
In some cases, accidents can be caused not by the drivers themselves, but rather by their employer, the trucking company. Trucking companies may neglect their vehicles, skimping on repairs and general maintenance in order to save money. This can make the trucks more prone to malfunctions and other complications that can lead to tire blowouts, jackknifing and equipment failure. In these scenarios, there is often nothing the driver could have done to stop the accident.
Aside from neglecting the trucks themselves, trucking companies can also be deemed negligent in their hiring practices if they fail to properly screen drivers before offering them jobs. Employers sometimes require their drivers to stick to unrealistic schedules, ignoring Department of Transportation regulations regarding the number of hours drivers are permitted to stay on the road each day.
In other situations, the accident is not the result of any action of the driver or their employer. Sometimes, hazardous road conditions, like potholes, construction debris and even wandering wildlife can result in truck crashes. Because there are so many different possible causes of truck accidents, it is crucial that you hire a California truck accident lawyer to help you make sense of the legal options available to you in your particular situation.
Tips for Preventing or Avoiding Truck Accidents
In many scenarios, there is not much you can do to avoid an accident with a truck, for example, if a drunk truck driver suddenly swerves into your lane or a tire blowout causes the trailer to jackknife. There are, however, certain precautions you can take to minimize your risk while around trucks:
- Always drive defensively. While there is no need to be overly paranoid around trucks and other vehicles, it is always a good idea to keep in mind the possible dangers. When your mind is aware of the things that could possibly go wrong, it is much easier to react to them quickly.
- Don’t drive under the influence. To ensure your own reaction times are as quick as possible, it is never smart to drive while under the influence. Even a single drink can dull your senses and lower your reaction speed. Keep a clear head to stay safe on the road.
- Stay out of trucks’ blind spots. Every vehicle has blind spots, and a truck’s blindspot is much larger than that of a standard passenger car. Whenever possible, avoid driving directly beside or behind a truck. Do your best to pass trucks as quickly as possible so that they won’t inadvertently change lanes while you are hidden in their blind spot.
- Don’t brake-check trucks. If you need to change lanes directly in front of a truck, try to avoid hitting your brakes until there is a large amount of space between you and the truck behind. Because trucks are so large and heavy, they take a while to come to a stop, so the truck won’t be able to slow down suddenly if you hit your brakes.
- Follow the rules of the road. Even though many other drivers may choose to ignore common courtesy on the road, you should always do your best to obey road laws. This includes things like not speeding, always using your turn signals, maintaining a safe following distance and other general activities of safe driving.
While it is virtually impossible to prevent all accidents, driving safely can certainly minimize your risk, especially around trucks and other large vehicles.
What To Do in Case of a Trucking Accident
Notify your insurance company that you have lost a loved one. Also, get a copy of the police report. The next thing you should do is retain the legal counsel of a knowledgeable California wrongful death attorney. A Krasney Law attorney will ask you questions to find out how the accident or crime that resulted in your loved one’s death happened, the location and what the victim was doing there. If you have access to witnesses, newspaper articles or accident reports, gather them and provide them to the attorney.
What Not To Do In Case of a Trucking Accident
At the scene, first check on your passengers, if you have any. Then check drivers and pedestrians involved. If they need medical help, summon an ambulance immediately. Don’t move anyone who is unconscious or reports neck or back pain.
Call the police to report any deaths, injuries or significant property damage and request a police report on the accident. Get the names and badge numbers of officers who come to the scene. It usually takes a couple of weeks to get the local police, sheriff or California Highway Patrol (CHP) to complete the report and make it available for pickup. Most law enforcement agencies charge a fee for the report.
Ask all the drivers for their names, driver’s license numbers, telephone and address. Take down license plates and insurance information from every driver involved. Also get passengers’ names, addresses and phone numbers. This is a great time to start snapping pictures on your cell phone to help you with disseminating all of this information once you are calmed down. If there are witnesses, write down their version of what happened and their information too. Again, you can’t take too many pictures.
Make sure that you:
- Don’t admit to any degree of fault.
- Don’t speak with the other side’s insurance company without first calling our office. Please keep in mind, the insurance company will want to take a recorded statement to protect themselves, not you. They represent the people that injured you, and they are trying to reduce their financial liability.
- Don’t give a recorded statement to anyone, especially insurance companies, they will use your own word against you later on in the case
- Don’t let your car, truck or motorcycle be towed to their tow yard. Instead get it towed home.
Determining Fault in Truck Accidents
When it comes to arguing your case in court or during settlement negotiations, your California truck accident lawyer will first need to establish who is at fault in the accident. This critical decision will play a major part in how much you receive in compensation for your injuries and for the damage to your vehicle, so it is important to understand how the court will assign fault and who fault can be assigned to.
For starters, fault could lie with the driver. This is often the case in situations involving driver error and other common road mistakes. Particularly in scenarios involving drugs or alcohol, it is almost certain that the driver will be considered to be at fault.
The court can also assign fault to the trucking company, like if the organization put unrealistic requirements on its drivers or failed to fully vet them before hiring. The trucking company can also be held liable for failing to adequately maintain its fleet. Issues with the trucks themselves can also be the fault of the truck’s manufacturer, like if an engine component was defective. If a crash was the result of items falling off of the truck due to improper loading and securing, the court could even assign liability to the loading company or the workers who were responsible for loading the cargo.
Of course, each party involved in the accident will likely have their own insurance policies to protect them in the event of lawsuits. This makes it even more important that you have a truck accident attorney working on your behalf. Negotiating with insurance companies can be notoriously difficult, as each party will do everything in their power to avoid having to pay out any settlements. Your attorney can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve, no matter who is at fault.
What To Do After You Go Home
When you go home or soon after, contact your insurance company and let them know you were in a truck accident. Don’t lie or misrepresent the truthful facts of the accident or they may deny coverage if you’re caught. Obtain a copy of the police report or contact our office and we can help you with that.
Photograph your vehicle and any damage to it. It can help a case to show it before the accident, too.
If you are injured, make sure to record visits to doctors and other medical practitioners, the drugs and treatments they prescribe and what you spent on them. Pain and suffering are harder to quantify and qualify, but take notes on how you feel physically and mentally because of the impact of the crash.
Also write down all time lost at work, note what activities at work or home that you can no longer participate in. In your journal, tell how the aftermath of the wreck has affected your family and marital life.
When Can It Be Considered Neglect?
The driver of a vehicle who injures another party may be considered negligent when he acts in a careless and thoughtless manner. Negligence comes in two forms: when the driver failed to do something that would have prevented the accident, or when the driver did something he should not have done. A lot of distractions are usually considered negligence. For example, using a cell phone while driving is both forbidden by law and considered negligent behavior..
California law requires drivers to be careful, and they may be considered negligent when they fail to act carefully. A person bringing a lawsuit must prove he was injured through the defendant’s actions, and that he suffered injuries or losses.
Hire Krasney Law—California Personal Injury Specialists
To get a free evaluation of your case, speak with an attorney who understands the complexities of trucking accident claims. We have been winning big awards for our clients for years. We have experienced attorneys and expert staff who will go all out to represent you for maximum damages wherever you live in California and wherever in California the accident happened. Call the team at Krasney Law for a free initial consultation. We will charge you nothing for an initial consultation, and we may arrange payment on a contingency basis. That is, we don’t get paid unless you get paid by either accepting a settlement or we go to trial and win your case. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.