Irvine Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accidents can be some of the most catastrophic collisions on the road. If you are involved in a truck accident, it is vital that you get legal support. You should not have to bear the financial burden of damages alone, especially when you are recovering from the incident. If you were hurt in a truck accident in Irvine, California, an Irvine truck accident lawyer can represent you.
If you are in search of an Irvine truck accident lawyer, Ken Sigelman, J.D., M.D., can help. As both a licensed doctor and an experienced personal injury attorney in Irvine, CA, Ken has more than two decades of experience fighting for clients who were hurt in truck accidents. If you have been injured in such an accident, we invite you to consult with him for a better understanding of how he can support you.
How Do Truck Accidents Happen?
One of the reasons why truck accidents are so dangerous is that trucks are so much larger and heavier than other vehicles. Truck drivers are also usually tasked with transporting heavy cargo, which is often hazardous. If the cargo is shifted in a collision or spills onto the road, it can harm many people and a great deal of property on the road around it.
It can be useful to familiarize yourself with some of the various ways in which truck accidents can happen. In doing this, you can be more aware of what to watch out for on the road. If you were in an accident, understanding the causes can help you better understand what happened when you were on the road.
Unfortunately, a common cause of truck accidents is driver negligence. Truck drivers often have to drive long hours and might become tired or distracted behind the wheel. Even if they look away for just a second, you could end up getting hurt in an accident.
Sometimes, truck drivers also operate their vehicles when they are under the influence of substances that impair their thinking, like drugs or alcohol. Doing this is against the law, as it can cause reckless or negligent driving that leads to other people getting hurt.
If a truck driver is transporting cargo, especially large or hazardous cargo, it is critical that they make sure that it is secured before they drive on the road. If the cargo that a truck is storing shifts during transit, it can distract the driver or even fall off the truck and threaten those who are driving nearby.
It is vital that commercial trucking companies and truck drivers check that everything is working right with their vehicles before bringing them out on the road. If there is a manufacturing error, such as faulty brakes, drivers might not be able to operate their vehicles properly, causing harm to those around them.
Bad weather can make driving any vehicle risky, but this is especially true with a truck. If roads are icy or wet or if a driver’s vision is obscured by precipitation, it can make it tough to control a truck. When a large vehicle like this cannot be controlled, it can easily collide with other vehicles and cause lots of harm.
What Are Common Types of Truck Accidents?
There are several different types of truck accidents, each with their own risks. Some of the truck accidents that happen the most often include:
- T-Bones: These dangerous collisions are named for their shape. They occur when one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle, making what looks like a capital letter T. If a truck crashes into the side of a much smaller vehicle, the force can cause devastating damage to the small vehicle.
- Rear-Enders: When one vehicle collides with the back of another vehicle, it is called a rear-ender. If a truck collides with the back of a smaller vehicle, it can crush the vehicle in front of it, resulting in catastrophic injuries.
- Head-on Collisions: If two vehicles collide face to face, this is called a head-on collision. This is a dangerous situation for any two vehicles, but it is particularly so if one is much larger and weighs more than the other, like a truck and a motorcycle or car.
- Rollovers: When a vehicle rolls over on the road, it puts drivers in several lanes around them at risk. This is especially true for trucks, as large trucks often have the ability to crush smaller vehicles near them.
- Jackknife: When one vehicle swings at a sharp 90-degree angle, like a jackknife, it can cause sudden damage to the drivers who are operating vehicles near them.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
If you have been in a truck accident of any severity, there are several actions that you must take:
Contact the Authorities
Immediately after the accident, you should call 911. You can face criminal penalties if you do not alert the authorities to an accident. It is illegal for you and the other driver to leave the scene; you must remain and share your contact information with the law enforcement officers who will arrive and investigate the incident.
Get Medical Attention
It is also important that you call 911 because it is critical that you receive medical attention after a serious accident. Even if you do not feel like you are injured, there is a chance that you could have internal injuries, so you should see a medical professional. Your medical records from after the accident will also serve as strong evidence when you file a personal injury claim.
Document the Accident Scene
If you have been in an accident, and you are able to when you are at the scene, you should take photos or videos of what happened. This will also help your case when you file a personal injury claim. You can also speak to witnesses and collect their contact information, as they might be able to provide details about what happened that you are not aware of.
Exchange Information With the Other Driver
When you are at the scene, if you are not severely injured, you should exchange contact information and insurance details with the other driver. You will both need to contact your auto insurance companies to alert them of the accident. If you were driving a commercial vehicle, you should also alert your employer about what happened.
Contact a Lawyer
After you have received medical attention and have safely removed yourself from the scene, you should get in touch with a truck accident lawyer. While it is not legally required for you to hire a lawyer to assist with filing your personal insurance claim, your lawyer can review all the facts of your case and strategically guide your decision-making after your accident. This can simplify your life while you recover from your accident.
How to Seek Compensation After a Truck Accident
If you are seeking compensation after you are in a truck accident, you should file a personal injury claim. States in the United States are either at-fault or no-fault states for accidents on the road. If you live in California, then you are in an at-fault state, which means that the person who was at fault for your accident is responsible for paying the damages from your accident.
After you are involved in an accident, you can file a personal injury claim with your auto insurance company. Your personal injury claim will include detailed information about the injuries you endured. You will need medical records and details about the cost of your medical treatments as a part of this claim. Your attorney can assist with compiling your evidence and filing your personal injury claim.
Once you have filed your claim with your auto insurance company, investigators at the company will commence their research into what happened during the incident. If you are found to be not responsible, then you can receive compensation. Even if you are partially at fault for what happened on the road in California, you are able to recover financial support for damages.
What Can You Receive Compensation for After a Truck Accident?
If you are in a truck accident that was not your fault, you may unfortunately endure a lot of costly bills. You should not have to pay for the costs of damages when you were not to blame for the accident. When you file a personal injury claim after your accident, you will detail your expenses that resulted from your accident, allowing you to potentially recover money for:
- Your Medical Expenses: Going to the doctor is not always cheap, especially in the wake of a serious accident. If you were hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should not have to pay for your medical expenses on your own.
- Catastrophic Injury: Unfortunately, serious accidents can sometimes cause what are called catastrophic injuries. These injuries cause permanent or long-term damage, which reduces your quality of life and makes it impossible to go about your daily activities. An example of a catastrophic injury is a traumatic brain injury.
- Income: If you had to miss work as a result of your injury from a truck accident, then you are entitled to compensation that covers the amount of your salary that you lost.
- Your Emotional Distress: If you are involved in a truck accident, you might endure emotional scars in addition to your physical ones. A part of your financial settlement addresses the emotional impact of your accident.
- Wrongful Death: Unfortunately, truck accidents can cause catastrophic damage that sometimes results in death. If someone you love was killed in a trucking accident, you are entitled to compensation that covers the costs associated with losing someone.
Why Do You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you are in a truck accident, your ability to walk away with a financial settlement will depend on your communication with insurance companies. Negotiating with insurance companies can be difficult, and it is important to remember that these companies prioritize profit. In some cases, they might try to put more blame on you than is just to minimize your payout, or they might deny your personal injury claim altogether.
Dealing with the challenges that insurance companies present can be tough at any time, let alone when you are dealing with a serious injury from a traumatic accident. This is where hiring a truck accident lawyer in Irvine, CA, comes in. When you get in touch with an experienced truck accident attorney to fight for your rights, they can:
- Give You Legal Advice: Challenges often arise when you try to seek legal compensation in the wake of a truck accident. Knowing how to address them can be difficult for anyone, and it is especially difficult if you are healing from a serious injury. Your lawyer can address any questions and concerns that you have and give you personalized legal advice.
- Negotiate With Your Insurance Companies: It can be tough to negotiate with auto insurance companies, and it is in your interest to hire a professional to do so for you. This can simplify the process and make it more effective.
- Represent You in Court: Not all trucking accident cases will end up going to court, and you might be able to avoid it. However, if your case does end up in the courtroom, your trucking accident attorney can be there with you, fighting for your rights and making sure things progress smoothly.
- Address Appeals: If you receive a response from the court that is not a positive outcome, you might feel like you have no chance to recover your just compensation. This is not necessarily the case. You can consult with your personal injury attorney about your outcome, and they can review the factors that were involved in the decision. Depending on your case, they might be able to help you file an appeal, which gives you another shot at a positive outcome.
Q: How Much Are Most Truck Accident Settlements?
A: The amount of money that you might get in a truck accident settlement will depend on a lot of factors that are unique to your situation. For instance, the amount of damage that occurred to your property and the extent of your physical injuries will both impact the amount of money in your settlement. Consulting with your attorney can provide a bit more insight into your personal case and the potential compensation that you might receive.
Q: How Much Do Accident Attorneys Charge in California?
A: Accident attorneys in California can charge their clients different amounts, depending on factors like their pricing structure, experience, reputation, and the nature of the case at hand. For instance, if you are in a lengthy case that involves going to court, you will likely have to pay more than if your case does not end up in the courtroom. To gain a more precise understanding of how much an accident attorney might charge you in California, you should consult with them about your case.
Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Truck Accident in California?
A: If you are in a trucking accident in California, you have two years to file a claim and seek compensation. It is thus in your interest to report the accident as soon as you can after you have sought medical attention. This will allow you to have the most time to secure a settlement and address any legal complications that might arise.
Q: Can You Sue an At-Fault Driver in California?
A: If you are hurt in a car accident that was not your fault, then you can take legal action. You should get in touch with a truck accident lawyer who can assist you in filing a personal injury claim against the driver who was at fault. If there is evidence that the other party was indeed to blame for your suffering, then you will be eligible to receive compensation. If you are wrongly blamed, do not receive compensation that aligns with your needs, or encounter any other unique challenges, your attorney can fight for you.
Q: Do You Need a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Case in California?
A: You technically do not need to hire an attorney to represent you in your personal injury case, but doing so is the most effective way to ensure that your interests are thoroughly represented. If you do not hire an attorney, you might not be able to confront challenges and deceptions in your communication with insurance companies or address denied claims.
Your Reliable Irvine Truck Accident Lawyer
Hiring a truck accident attorney is the most effective way to ensure that you can have a strong case. No matter what complications you are facing after your accident or what questions you have about your legal options, a personal injury attorney can help. Adding legal burdens to your list of responsibilities while you are trying to heal can create more tension. When you hire an experienced lawyer, you can reduce some of the stress involved with these cases.
Ken Sigelman, J.D., M.D., has a wealth of experience representing Irvine residents in trucking accident cases. With a background in both medicine and law, he can bring knowledge and perspective to your case. If you are interested in consulting with our firm about what happened to you, you can schedule a no-pressure consultation when you contact our office today.