A typical large commercial truck that is fully-loaded can weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds. When compared to the mere 3,000-pound weight of an average passenger vehicle, the reasons why passenger vehicle operators frequently suffer serious, catastrophic, and even fatal injuries in the wake of collisions with large commercial trucks are self-evident. What is not always self-evident is why truck accidents occur, be they single-vehicle or multi-vehicle crashes. Additionally, identifying which party or parties involved in the crash (not to mention third-parties that may also have played a role) may be held legally liable for an injurious truck accident is not always a straightforward process. As a result, if you have recently been involved in an accident with a commercial truck – whether you are a motorist or a truck operator – it is critically important to avoid making any assumptions about your legal situation until you’ve scheduled a free, strings-free consultation with our firm’s personal injury legal team. Once we’ve learned more about the circumstances surrounding your crash, we’ll be able to provide you with personalized legal guidance that will allow you to make whatever informed legal decisions make the most sense for you and your family at this time.
Experienced Representation for Injured Motorists and Truck Operators
Every year, thousands of people sustain injuries on California’s freeways and surface streets as a result of accidents involving large commercial trucks. Due to their population sizes, notoriously congested traffic conditions, and expansive network of freeways, California’s Riverside, Los Angeles, and Orange Counties all experience a truly significant number of injurious truck crashes on an annual basis. As a result of this disturbing reality, our firm has extensive experience advocating on behalf of the rights of both motorists and truck operators alike. We have handled straightforward cases and unusually complex cases efficiently, effectively, with dedication and focus, and with great respect for the accident victims involved.
When you schedule a no-cost, risk-free consultation with our legal team, we’ll welcome any questions you may have about our approach to representation, the personal injury lawsuit process, the insurance claims process, and any other concerns you may have at this time. After you’ve received a detailed, objective case evaluation from our team, you’ll have a greater understanding of what your legal options are, how those legal options are likely to “play out,” and what to expect generally from each option available under the circumstances. At that point, you’ll be able to make an informed commitment to whichever plan of action suits you, your family, and your situation best.
We take great pride in advocating on behalf of accident victims and their families. It is always our aim to treat each client as we would hope our loved ones would be treated, should they ever find themselves in need of legal counsel. When you work with our firm, we’ll handle as much of the legal “heavy lifting” and stresses related to your case ourselves as possible, as we want you to be able to focus on recovering from your injuries. We’ll strive to have you rest easier, knowing that you have experienced, knowledgeable, passionate, and compassionate advocates on your side.
Considerations if Your Accident Was Work-Related
Whether you’re a professional truck operator or you drive a passenger vehicle, if you were engaged in work-related activities at the time of your collision, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim related to the harm you have suffered. You’re likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits unless you operate as an independent contractor. If you’re an independent contractor, you may be able to seek compensation through certain insurance and employment-related means related to the company you provide services for. If this is the case, please bring a copy of any employment-related agreements and contracts that may be relevant to your case along with you when you attend your free consultation.
If you’re eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits in the wake of your crash, it is especially important that you act quickly when contacting our firm. The timeline for successful workers’ compensation claims in California is exacting. If you miss a time-sensitive deadline – and some of these deadlines will come up in less than a month after your accident takes place – you may be barred from filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If you’re unsure of whether you were engaged in qualifying “work-related activities” at the time of your crash, that’s okay. Let our team know the details of your circumstances and we’ll be able to provide you with personalized guidance accordingly. Generally, you can be said to be engaging in work-related activities if you were “on the clock” or traveling for express work-related purposes at the time of your crash. However, there are some unique circumstances under which you may be considered to be engaging in work-related activities even if you weren’t “on the job” at the time of your accident. For example, if you’re a truck operator and you were deviating from your route to observe a mandatory rest period while driving your company vehicle, that may be considered a qualifying work-related circumstance. Similarly, if you were commuting to work from home and your boss asked you to pick up some office supplies on the way, engaging in this errand at the time of your crash may qualify you for benefits.
Can You Sue the Truck Company for the Harm You’ve Suffered?
The California workers’ compensation system limits employer liability in the event that an employee sustains work-related injuries or is impacted by an occupational illness. This means that if you’re a truck operator eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and your accident occurred while you were engaged in work-related activities, you almost certainly cannot sue your employer as a result of your injuries. You may be able to hold others accountable for your injuries but not your employer.
On the other hand, if you’re a truck operator who earns a living as an independent contractor or you’re not a truck operator, you may be able to sue the truck company that owns and/or directs the employment of any truck driver involved in the crash. Whether the truck company can successfully be liable for the harm you’ve suffered will depend upon a few factors. The most notable of which is the answer to the following question – Did the trucking company behave in negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous ways that directly caused your injuries? If the trucking company in question directed a truck driver involved in the crash to disregard federal safety guidelines in an effort to pad their bottom line and the driver’s disregard of those safety violations caused your injuries, you’ll have solid grounds upon which to file legal action against that company. However, the very existence of the trucking company in question doesn’t make that business automatically liable in the event that one of their drivers crashes. The company must have somehow behaved in violation of the law in ways that directly caused your injuries in order to be held liable.
You don’t need to know for sure whether you can hold a trucking company or any other party liable for your injuries to explore your legal options with our team. Understanding the nuances of state and federal law that may affect your case is our job. The only thing you need to know before you schedule a no-cost, risk-free consultation with our firm is that you’ve been injured in an accident.
If Insurance Company Representatives Contact You…
Most of the time, insurance companies try to act quickly in the wake of an injurious crash so that they can control as much of the claims process as possible. Insurance companies have to remain profitable to remain in business. As a result, they generally like to offer settlements valued at the lowest amounts possible under the circumstances to those who have been involved in motor vehicle accidents. It is their hope that accident victims will be so eager for the settlement money and so eager to avoid legal stress and “fuss” that they’ll simply agree to take far less compensation than they deserve.
If an insurance company representative contacts you – whether you hold a policy with their company or not – please consider not picking up the phone (or answering any questions if you’ve already picked up) until you receive your free case evaluation from our legal team. We have extensive experience successfully negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of our clients. If you give us permission to do so, we can advocate on your behalf so that you’re not placed in a position to feel pressure to take a settlement that is undervalued. Also, allowing us to speak on your behalf will keep you from unintentionally saying something that could damage the strength of your case down the line.
Preparing for Your Free Consultation
Before you arrive at our offices, please take some time to write down your questions and concerns regarding your case, a potential attorney-client relationship, insurance, and whatever else is currently weighing on your mind. We want you to leave feeling confident that you have all the information you need to make informed decisions about your situation. The best way to do that is to ensure that you’re prepared to ask any and all questions that you may have at this time.
Additionally, please gather any information that you believe might help us make the most complete evaluation of your case possible. For example, accident reports from the scene, discharge notes from the hospital, witness contact information, pictures or photos from the wreck, etc. will all give us the opportunity to assess your case in a detailed, knowledgeable way.
Finally, it can be helpful to write down your account of the accident or to record these memories. This information can serve as a powerful reference for our team as we seek to build the strongest possible personal injury case and insurance claims possible on your behalf.
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a large commercial truck – whether you were driving the truck or not – please contact our firm today to schedule your no-cost, obligation-free case evaluation. California law protects the rights of accident victims to seek compensation under certain circumstances for one primary reason – if another party or parties unlawfully caused your injuries, you shouldn’t be burdened with the costs associated with those injuries. You’re already hurt. The last thing you need now is for the bills to start piling up and for it to be “on you” to find a way to pay them. Please allow us to assess your case so that you can make informed choices about opportunities to receive any compensation to which you’re entitled. We look forward to assisting you with your legal needs during this challenging time.