Orange County Truck Accident Lawyer
Orange County has many multi-lane freeways carrying vehicles large and small. One of the most intimidating vehicles is a large truck. You can feel the enormous amount of energy they radiate as they barrel down the road. Because of their size and power, a collision with one of these trucks can be horrifying.
Under the law, people injured in trucking accidents may be compensated for their injuries. However, trucking law is very complicated.
The good news is that the Orange County truck accident legal team at Atticus Injury Law can help. We know that dealing with an injury is stressful and overwhelming, so we work hard to bring care and kindness to the normally laced-up legal relationship. Plus, we aren’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with big trucking firms and their insurance companies to help get you the compensation you deserve.
How We Define a “Truck”
When we talk about a “truck accident,” we don’t mean just any truck on the road. As far as we’re concerned, a truck is a large commercial vehicle used for moving goods. Generally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines these vehicles as commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 4,537 kg (10,001 lb) or more. If it’s used for interstate commerce, the truck must comply with FMCSA rules. If the truck stays within California, it still must comply with California’s strict trucking laws.
Below are examples of a “truck” under our definition:
- 18 wheeler,
- Truck tractor,
- Garbage trucks,
- Log carrier,
- Refrigeration truck,
- Any other large vehicle that weighs 10,001 pounds or more.
These large trucks have many safety requirements under federal and state law. Our truck accident legal team in Orange County can explain how the definition of a truck might affect your case.
Common Truck Accident Causes
Truck accident causes run the gamut from a defective truck to an intoxicated driver and everything in between. Some common causes of large truck accidents include the following:
- Driving under the influence,
- Driving too many hours,
- Driving while exhausted,
- Recklessly changing lanes,
- Not correctly securing a load, and
- Failing to keep the truck in good working order.
Many specific regulations apply to the trucking industry. Our Orange County trucking accident lawyer will investigate the rules that apply in your case.
The Legal Basis for a Truck Accident Case
The legal standard for truck accident lawsuits isn’t much different from that for car accidents. Those injured typically have to prove the standard of negligence. There are four elements in any negligence case:
- Duty—the truck driver and trucking company owe others a duty to comply with the law and truck regulations;
- Breach of duty—they breach that duty when they don’t use reasonable care in maintaining vehicles, driving, and following rules and regulations;
- Causation—your accident is caused by these actions; and
- Damages—you suffer injuries, harm, or other damage because of the accident.
Truck drivers and companies have many specific rules that apply to them that give them more legal duties than regular drivers. For example, a truck driver has a limited number of hours they’re allowed to drive in a row. If they go over that number and cause an accident, they will likely be held responsible.
Although we try to sum these legal terms up, they can be complex. Our Orange County commercial vehicle accident lawyer can help explain the negligence standard in your case.
Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident?
Under the negligence standard, the truck company, the driver, or both could be liable for your damages. For example, let’s say a driver drives for too many hours and is exhausted. Plus, the truck company didn’t inspect a truck with a maintenance problem. In this situation, both parties may be responsible for an accident.
Sometimes, the truck manufacturer may be responsible for the accident. For example, if a part of the truck is defective and the defect causes an accident, then you may be able to sue the truck or part manufacturer.
More than one party may be responsible for the accident. However, sometimes it takes a lot of investigating to identify all the responsible parties. This is why you should contact a truck accident attorney right away to get started investigating your case.
Compensation in Truck Accident Cases
People injured in truck accidents can get compensation for their injuries. In California, you may be eligible to recover the following:
- Medical bills and costs,
- Mental health treatment costs,
- Lost wages,
- Lost future earnings,
- Emotional distress damages, and
- Pain and suffering.
The value of your case depends on your specific circumstances. But insurance companies will almost always to try to underpay. You should speak with our attorney for a realistic compensation estimate. We’ll fight with insurance companies to help ensure you get your fair compensation.
Truck Accident Fatalities
As a driver, you may wonder how many accidents are caused by semi-trucks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, big trucks were involved in 384 fatal accidents in California in 2020. California is one of the most deadly states for large truck crashes, second only to Texas.
If your loved one died in a truck crash, you might be able to bring a wrongful death claim. California’s wrongful death laws are complicated, so don’t go it alone. Our Orange County truck accident lawyer can help.
Truck Accident Deadlines
In a truck accident, you generally have only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in court. You have even less time if you want to sue a governmental agency.
Two years may seem like a lot of time, but it goes by quickly. The sooner you speak with a truck accident attorney, the sooner they’ll be able to gather evidence, investigate your case and prepare documents to file with the court.
Call Our Client-Centered Lawyers to Fight Your Truck Accident Case
Truck accidents can be terrifying and even fatal. You don’t want to have to try to figure out the truck accident rules, all while recovering from your significant injuries. Atticus Injury Law is here to help you in this rough time. Our Orange County truck accident legal team cares deeply about creating close relationships with our clients and fighting hard to make sure they see justice. Plus, we’re trial-tested and ready to go to bat for you no matter where your legal needs take you. Contact us today.