San Bernardino Truck Accident Attorney
If you are involved in a trucking accident, the damage you suffer can be overwhelming. A San Bernardino truck accident lawyer should be your first call after a collision with a tractor-trailer. Since trucks are some of the largest, heaviest vehicles on the road, they can cause utter destruction to surrounding vehicles, especially when traveling at the velocities most do on highways.
You shouldn’t suffer the consequences of another’s negligence. If you are seeking legal support after your truck accident, contact our firm. Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates fights for our clients to receive fair compensation after injuries from another person’s negligence. Kenneth Sigelman, J.D., M.D., is committed to helping clients who file personal injury claims obtain compensation for personal damages, medical costs, and the suffering the accident caused them.
Your initial consultation will be free as the firm critically evaluates the facts of your case and determines how to help you during this difficult time.
What Causes Truck Accidents in San Bernardino?
Driving a large vehicle can be dangerous, and truck accidents occur in many ways. If you are driving on the road near a truck, you should strive to exercise caution and be aware of the potential risks around you.
For example, truck accidents are often caused by the following factors:
- The driver’s negligence: There are many reasons why the driver of a truck can cause an accident on the road. If they are speeding, distracted, intoxicated, or in any sort of mental state that takes their eyes off the road, they can make a sudden move on the road that leads to a collision.Often, truck drivers are also subject to difficult schedules and long hours on the road, which can increase their fatigue and decrease their focus.
- Flaws in manufacturing or maintenance: It is vital that trucks are designed properly and adequately maintained so that any issues with the vehicle are attended to before the driver takes it out on the road. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and problems with the vehicles can lead to catastrophe.
- Insecure or overloaded cargo: One of the main functions of trucks is to transport large amounts of cargo from one place to another. Sometimes, cargo is not secured properly, or there is too much of it on one truck, which leads to items shifting or spilling and causing an accident on the road.
If you were in an accident in San Bernardino that was caused by one of the above factors, you should file a personal injury claim. You are entitled to compensation for your suffering when you were not the one to cause the accident you were in.
Types of Truck Accidents in San Bernardino
Whether you were hurt while driving a truck or hurt by a truck driver’s negligence, there are many types of truck accidents you could be hurt by on the road. For example, common types of trucking accidents to watch out for include:
Head-On or Rear-End Collisions
If two vehicles are going in opposite directions and the fronts of their vehicles collide, this is called a head-on collision. If a truck is involved in a head-on collision with a smaller vehicle, it can cause extreme damage to the other one. The same is true for rear-end collisions, in which the front of a vehicle collides with the back of another vehicle. If a truck hits the back of a smaller vehicle, it can cause catastrophic damage.
As the name suggests, a rollover accident occurs when a vehicle tips over and rolls on the road. When trucks are involved in a rollover accident, they can pose a serious risk to the drivers around them, as their large size means they can crush other vehicles. Also, trucks are often filled with cargo that can spill out during a rollover and cause damage for a long way down the road or pose a serious danger to those who interact with it, depending on the substances involved.
Like the angle of a jackknife, a truck accident with this name occurs when the trailer of a truck suddenly swings at a 90-degree angle. This often occurs because of issues with the vehicle’s breaks, slippery roads, uneven distribution of cargo, or speeding. If this happens, the truck can cause serious damage to vehicles beside it.
Also named for the shape of the accident, a T-bone collision occurs when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle, forming what looks like a capital letter T. This frequently happens at intersections if one driver fails to yield or is going too fast. If a truck collides with a smaller car in a T-bone accident, it can cause severe damage and lead to painful injuries for the individuals involved.
There are also a lot of other accidents to be aware of in addition to the above common ones. For example, when there is insecure cargo or too much cargo loaded onto a truck, you might find that the cargo spills out. If this happens, it can hurt the drivers of the cars behind and beside the truck. It is always vital to exercise extreme caution when driving close to a truck on the road and to understand your rights and responsibilities if you do get involved in a trucking accident.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident in San Bernardino?
If you were in a crash involving a truck in San Bernardino, you should first make sure that you receive medical attention. Call 911 immediately and try to assess the pain you are in, and if it is severe, wait to move until medical professionals come to the scene. If you can move to a safer area, do so as soon as possible.
While you are on the scene, try to collect vital information and evidence if you can safely do so. For instance, you should make sure to get the contact information of the other driver, information about their vehicle, and details about the damage that occurred. If possible, take photos and videos and talk to witnesses who saw what happened to you. This kind of immediate evidence about what happened will help your personal injury claim.
In addition to calling the police, you need to alert your auto insurance company that you were in an accident. States are either no-fault states or at-fault states, and California is an at-fault state. This means that your auto insurance company and the other driver’s auto insurance company will review your claim and determine who was at fault for your accident.
You should also consider hiring a trucking accident lawyer to represent you in the aftermath of your accident. While you can file a personal injury claim without a lawyer, your attorney can provide invaluable support about your legal options after your accident. Filing a personal injury claim can be complicated, and you might face unforeseen obstacles, like being blamed for something that you did not do or not receiving enough compensation to cover your needs.
What Are You Entitled to After a Truck Accident in San Bernardino?
If you have been involved in a trucking accident that was not your fault, you are entitled to compensation that covers a lot of your needs. It is important that you understand what you are entitled to so that you get what you deserve. For instance, you can receive financial compensation for all of the following:
- Medical bills: If you were in a trucking accident, you might have serious injuries. Going to the doctor can be expensive, even with health insurance, and you should not have to pay for your out-of-pocket costs if you were not the one who caused the accident.
- Long-term disability: In the unfortunate event that you find yourself disabled after a trucking accident, you might be in need of long-term rehabilitative care. Your compensation from the at-fault party can cover this for you, so you do not have to worry about the cost.
- Lost income: If you missed out on income at work because of your recovery period from the accident, you should not have to face financial stress. Your compensation after your accident can cover this for you.
- Emotional distress: It is important to attend to your mental health after you have been in a serious accident, just as it is important to attend to your physical injuries. While nothing can undo the accident, the compensation for emotional distress can help you attend to your needs and reach out for mental health support.
- Wrongful death: Sometimes trucking accidents can lead to the tragic loss of life. If you have lost a loved one in a trucking accident, you can receive compensation that helps you attend to financial matters. While nothing can bring your loved one back or alleviate your pain, this compensation can help you seek justice after your painful loss.
While these are the most common avenues for compensation, no case is the same. The right attorney can help determine if the negligent party owes you money for any other issues, like the pain and suffering you might have to manage after a collision.
How Can a Trucking Accident Lawyer Help You?
When you hire a trucking accident lawyer after an incident on the road, you can rest assured that your interests are being represented. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, so your interests are not their priority. When they review your claim, they might try to pin more blame than necessary on you or deny your claim altogether. Having a lawyer on your side when this happens can reduce your stress and help you understand how to proceed. Your lawyer can:
- Collect and use relevant evidence: While taking photos and videos at the scene of the accident can be useful, it is not always possible and not the only piece of information that can help. If you hire a trucking accident attorney, they can draw on their knowledge and resources to identify effective evidence to back up your personal injury claim.
- Craft a legal strategy: Every trucking accident case is different. Some are smoother than others. Many require you to have a strong legal strategy to fight for your rights and defend your claim. Right from the time you first consult your attorney, they will start developing a legal plan for your situation and will know how to adapt to unforeseen challenges.
- Negotiate on your behalf: Personal injury cases such as trucking accidents often require a great deal of negotiation. Communicating with insurance companies on your own can be difficult and frustrating, but with an experienced trucking accident attorney working on your case, you can rest assured that the communication is taken care of.
- Represent you in court: Many trucking accident cases do not go all the way to the courtroom, but if yours does, your accident attorney will have been prepared for this possibility from the start. They will have conducted thorough research and crafted a strong argument to fight for your rights.
- Dealing with denial: In some cases, an insurance company will reply to a personal injury claim by denying it. If this happens, it means that you are not entitled to compensation for the damages you suffered. Getting denied after filing a personal injury claim can be disheartening and confusing. Your accident lawyer can review the terms of this denial and help you understand your options for proceeding.
San Bernardino Trucking Accident FAQs
Q: How Much Are Most Truck Accident Settlements?
A: Your commercial truck accident settlement will be dependent on a lot of factors, including what happened and the extent of damage. If you were severely injured as a result of someone else’s negligence on the road, you can usually expect to receive a higher settlement than if you only incurred minor injuries. Your lawyer can help you understand what you might be entitled to and negotiate with relevant parties on your behalf in an effort to maximize your settlement.
Q: How Much Do Trucking Accident Attorneys Charge?
A: Trucking accident attorneys charge clients differing amounts. Some attorneys will charge a retainer fee at the start of your work together, and others will not. The total you are charged for your attorney’s hourly work will then depend on their reputation, years of experience and success, and the amount of research and work they have to put into defending your rights. Consulting with your attorney can clarify your financial requirements.
Q: Do I Need a Lawyer for a Commercial Trucking Accident?
A: If you choose to face the legal aftermath of your accident alone, you are not doing all you can to protect your interests. Your lawyer will have years of experience navigating such cases and will know how to confront all sorts of legal challenges and tensions that can arise. Hiring an attorney can help prevent you from being taken advantage of by other drivers, insurance companies, employers, and more. It is your most effective option for maximizing your compensation.
Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Truck Accident?
A: In California, you have two years from the date of your crash to file a claim about it. After this period has elapsed, you are unlikely to have your case heard and are unlikely to secure compensation to help you pay for damages and expenses like medical bills. If you are unsure if you still can file a claim and want legal advice about what you have been through, you should contact a truck accident lawyer.
Q: Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?
A: Since it is a fault state for accidents, hiring a lawyer can help protect your rights while insurance companies investigate who was to blame for the crash. The compensation you will receive will align with the percentage of fault you bear, and a lawyer can help you avoid being blamed for something you did not do. Your attorney can also help you navigate the complex legal processes that follow your truck accident.
Contact an Experienced San Bernardino Truck Accident Lawyer Today
No one should have to manage the devastating consequences of a truck accident alone. After a truck collision, you need an experienced and skilled legal team to guide you through every step of the process.
Our team here at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates has extensive experience representing clients who have been involved in accidents on the road. The firm has over two decades of success helping those who have been injured in truck accidents maximize their compensation, and he can critically review your case to determine your legal options. It can be tough to go through the legal arena by yourself, and you shouldn’t have to.
If you are interested in learning more about how our team can help you or your loved ones in the wake of your truck accident, get in touch with our office today. We are pleased to offer you a free, no-pressure consultation in which we review your case. Our compassionate law firm ensures clear communication and that you are heard at every phase of the process.