Razavi Law Group are top-rated truck accident attorneys in California and surrounding areas. Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of the laws that govern semi-truck accident cases. They can help you determine how to proceed when an unfortunate accident occurs. We fully dedicate ourselves and our resources to help you fight for fair and just settlement during difficult times.
According to 2019 data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), California has the second-highest rate of fatal truck accidents in the country. The vast majority of fatal accident victims – 83 percent, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) – are occupants of passenger vehicles, motorcyclists, big rigs, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
When a car accident occurs with a semi-truck involved, very often, those involved do not walk away unscathed. They tend to experience broken bones, brain trauma, soft tissue damage, and other life-altering injuries. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, the attorneys at Razavi Law Group will help you pursue maximum compensation for your lost income, medical bills, and other damages you have incurred.
Several negligence factors contribute to truck accidents in California. Truck drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely. They breach this duty when they speed, violate Hours of Service Regulations, make illegal turns, or engage in other reckless behaviors. Trucking companies also have a responsibility to provide adequate training to their drivers and supervise them. This duty is breached when the company fails to supervise its drivers adequately. Based on the details surrounding your accident, you may be able to hold the following parties liable:
The truck driver;
The owner or company of the truck;
A mechanic who worked on the truck;
The company that loaded the truck; or
Officials at a weigh station.
If a breach of duty contributed to your accident and you suffered an injury or loss as a result, you have the right to bring a claim against the liable party or parties.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
Your past and future medical bills, cost of treatment, and cost of fixing or replacing your vehicle, will determine the amount of your claim. Other factors that can influence the amount you can recover could also include:
The amount of income lost while incapacitated;
Whether or not your injuries have affected your future earning capabilities;
Whether or not you require home modifications to accommodate your injuries;
Whether your injury caused lifelong disfigurement, scarring, disability, or the loss of a bodily function.
To receive the compensation you deserve, you should consult our knowledgeable lawyers at Razavi Law Group. We are dedicated to obtaining the highest amount of compensation possible for your injuries. We also try to make this difficult time as stress-free as possible by providing the concierge service of speaking with insurance companies and auto body shops on your behalf.
What Do I Do if I Have Been in a Truck Accident in California?
If you have been involved in a truck accident in California, it’s crucial to take immediate action to protect yourself, your rights, and your potential personal injury claim.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do after a truck accident:
Check for Injuries: First and foremost, check yourself and others involved in the accident for injuries. If anyone is seriously injured, call 911 or ask someone else to call for emergency medical assistance.
Move to a Safe Location: If possible and if it doesn’t jeopardize your safety, move your vehicle to the side of the road or a safe area to avoid further collisions or blockage of traffic.
Call the Police: Report the accident to the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene. The police will create an official accident report, which can be essential for your insurance claim and any potential legal actions.
Exchange Information: While waiting for the police, exchange contact information with the truck driver and any other involved parties. Obtain their names, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information.
Document the Scene: Take photos and videos of the accident scene, vehicle positions, damages to the vehicles, skid marks, road conditions, traffic signals, and any relevant details. These visuals can serve as valuable evidence later.
Gather Witness Information: If there were witnesses to the accident, collect their names and contact details. Eyewitness accounts can provide essential support for your version of the events.
Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t believe your injuries are severe, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately after the accident. Some injuries may not be apparent right away, and a medical evaluation will help document any injuries you sustained.
Notify Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate and detailed information about the accident. However, be cautious when speaking to insurance representatives and avoid accepting quick settlement offers without consulting an attorney.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney: It’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney before speaking with any insurance representatives or accepting settlements. An attorney will protect your rights, guide you through the legal process, and help build a strong case.
Preserve Evidence: Keep any evidence related to the accident, such as damaged personal property, medical records, receipts for medical expenses, and repair estimates for your vehicle.
Be Mindful of Statute of Limitations: In California, there is a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a truck accident. Be aware of this deadline and consult an attorney well before it expires to ensure your rights are protected.
Can I pursue a claim if I was partially at fault for the truck accident?
Yes, you can pursue a claim for a truck accident in California even if you were partially at fault for the accident. California follows a “comparative negligence” rule, specifically a “pure comparative negligence” system. Under this system, the amount of compensation you can recover is reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.
For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault for the truck accident, and the total damages were determined to be $100,000, your compensation would be reduced by 20%. So, you would be entitled to recover $80,000 (i.e., $100,000 – $20,000).
This comparative negligence principle allows accident victims to seek compensation even if they share some degree of fault for the accident. However, it’s essential to understand that your percentage of fault can significantly affect the amount of compensation you ultimately receive. Insurance companies and defense attorneys often try to assign a higher percentage of fault to the victim to reduce their liability.
What damages can I claim after a truck accident?
After a truck accident in California, you may be eligible to claim various types of damages, including:
Medical Expenses: This includes all medical costs related to treating your injuries, such as hospitalization, surgeries, doctor visits, medication, rehabilitation, and future medical expenses.
Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can claim compensation for the wages you’ve lost due to the accident.
Loss of Earning Capacity: If the accident leads to long-term disabilities that affect your ability to work and earn as you did before the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of future earning capacity.
Property Damage: You can claim the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any personal property that was damaged in the accident.
Pain and Suffering: This includes compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, anxiety, and other intangible losses resulting from the accident and your injuries.
Loss of Consortium: If the accident has adversely affected your relationship with your spouse or family, they may be eligible to claim compensation for the loss of companionship and support.
Punitive Damages: In cases involving gross negligence or intentional harm, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the at-fault party and deter similar conduct in the future.
The specific damages you can claim will depend on the circumstances of your case, the severity of your injuries, and the overall impact of the accident on your life. A skilled truck accident lawyer will evaluate your case and help you determine the appropriate damages to seek in your claim.
What Can I Do To Protect My Rights After A Truck Accident?
Protecting your rights after a truck accident is essential to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, property damage, and other losses. Here are some crucial steps you can take to safeguard your rights:
Seek Medical Attention: Your health and safety are the top priority. Immediately after the accident, seek medical attention, even if you don’t believe your injuries are severe. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately, and a medical professional can identify and document any injuries you may have sustained.
Call the Police: Always report the accident to the police, and ensure an official accident report is filed. This report will document important details about the accident, including statements from witnesses and involved parties, which can be valuable evidence later.
Gather Information: If possible, collect information at the accident scene, such as the names and contact details of the truck driver, any other involved drivers, and witnesses. Also, note the truck’s license plate number, insurance information, and the trucking company’s name.
Document the Scene: Take photos and videos of the accident scene, the positions of the vehicles, damage to vehicles, road conditions, skid marks, traffic signals, and any other relevant details. This documentation can be valuable evidence in proving liability.
Avoid Making Statements: Be careful about what you say at the accident scene, particularly to insurance representatives or the trucking company. Avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be misconstrued. Stick to the facts when interacting with others.
What If The Truck Driver is from Another State or the Trucking Company is Based Outside of California?
If the truck driver is from another state or the trucking company is based outside of California, dealing with a truck accident can become more complex. However, you can still pursue a claim and seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Here’s what you need to know:
Interstate Trucking Regulations: When a truck driver operates a commercial vehicle across state lines, they must comply with both federal regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the specific regulations of each state they travel through. These federal regulations govern aspects such as driver qualifications, hours of service, maintenance standards, and cargo securement.
Long-Arm Jurisdiction: California courts may have “long-arm jurisdiction” over out-of-state truck drivers and trucking companies if they conduct business or engage in certain activities within the state. If the truck driver or trucking company was operating in California at the time of the accident or had other substantial connections to the state, you can typically file a claim against them in California.
Choice of Law and Venue: The choice of law and venue in a truck accident case involving out-of-state parties can be complex. It’s essential to determine the appropriate jurisdiction and applicable laws, which may involve conflicts of law issues. An experienced truck accident attorney can help navigate these legal complexities.
Expertise in Interstate Trucking Cases: Handling truck accident cases involving out-of-state parties requires knowledge of both California state laws and federal trucking regulations. An attorney experienced in interstate trucking cases will understand the relevant laws and how they apply to your specific situation.
Negotiation and Coordination: Truck accident claims involving out-of-state parties may involve coordination with legal representatives from other states, as well as insurance companies from different jurisdictions. Skilled truck accident lawyers can effectively negotiate with these parties and protect your rights throughout the process.
Complying with Deadlines: Each state has its own statutes of limitations for filing personal injury claims. It’s crucial to comply with the applicable statute of limitations to preserve your right to seek compensation.
Should I hire a California Truck Accident Lawyer?
Yes, hiring a California Truck Accident Lawyer is highly recommended if you’ve been involved in a truck accident. Truck accident cases are complex and often involve multiple parties, extensive damages, and specialized laws and regulations. Having an experienced truck accident lawyer by your side can significantly increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Here are some reasons why hiring a truck accident lawyer is important:
Expertise in Truck Accident Laws: Truck accident lawyers have in-depth knowledge of California’s specific laws and regulations concerning commercial trucks and transportation. They understand the complexities of trucking industry standards and federal regulations, such as those set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Investigation and Evidence Gathering: Truck accident cases require thorough investigation and gathering of evidence. A skilled attorney can promptly investigate the accident scene, obtain and preserve crucial evidence, interview witnesses, and consult with accident reconstruction experts if necessary.
Determining Liability: Identifying liability in truck accidents can be challenging due to multiple potentially responsible parties, such as the truck driver, trucking company, manufacturer, maintenance provider, and others. An attorney will help pinpoint the liable parties and build a strong case against them.
Dealing with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts to accident victims. An experienced truck accident lawyer knows the tactics used by insurance adjusters and can negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Maximizing Compensation: Truck accidents can result in significant damages, including long-term medical expenses, lost earning capacity, and ongoing pain and suffering. A lawyer will assess the full extent of your losses and fight for maximum compensation to cover all your current and future needs.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A California Truck Accident Lawyer?
The cost of hiring a California Truck Accident Lawyer can vary depending on several factors, such as the lawyer’s experience, reputation, the complexity of your case, the amount of time and resources needed, and the fee structure they use. There are generally two common fee arrangements for hiring a personal injury lawyer, including truck accident lawyers:
Contingency Fee: Many personal injury lawyers, including truck accident attorneys, work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer will only be paid if they successfully recover compensation for you. The fee is typically a percentage of the total amount awarded in the settlement or court verdict. If the lawyer doesn’t win your case, you won’t owe them any attorney’s fees, but you may still be responsible for other case-related costs, such as court filing fees or expert witness fees.
What Is the Truck Accident Statute of Limitations in California?
The statute of limitations for truck accidents in California is generally two years from the date of the accident. This means that if you are involved in a truck accident in California, you have a two-year window to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and damages resulting from the accident.
It’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations because if you fail to file a lawsuit within the specified time frame, you may lose your right to seek legal remedies for your injuries and losses. After the statute of limitations expires, the court is likely to dismiss your case if it is filed late.
Contact Razavi Law Group
If you have a truck accident case in California, reach out to Razavi Law Group today. With our extensive experience and dedicated team, we stand ready to guide you through every step of the process, fight for your rights, and help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’re here for you, ready to make a difference in your case.
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