Were You Hurt in an Accident With a Commercial Vehicle?
Large commercial trucks are an integral part of a modern economy. However, these vehicles also pose a unique danger to other drivers. The massive size of modern commercial trucks means that when they are involved in a trucking accident, it is usually catastrophic and all too often results in serious injuries and death.
If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident in San Francisco or the surrounding area, it is very important to contact an experienced San Francisco truck accident lawyer from our law firm to investigate your case immediately.
It can be difficult to think about securing legal representation when you are seriously injured or grieving the loss of a loved one. But, this is exactly the time when you need to take action and hire the right attorney to assist you.
Golden State Accident Lawyers
At Golden State Accident Lawyers, we have years of experience handling personal injury cases involving truck crashes in California. We can negotiate with the liable trucking company and their insurance providers to get you the medical help you need, as well as compensation for the damage to your vehicle, your pain and suffering, and other losses.
Our San Francisco truck accident lawyers have the knowledge, wisdom, and skills to help you understand your rights and maximize the value of your case. If we cannot reach a settlement on your behalf, we will take your case to court to recover the compensation you deserve, as we have numerous times for others who were injured in serious commercial truck accidents.
After a truck accident in San Francisco, make sure to contact a trusted and experienced San Francisco truck accident attorney. Call Golden State Accident Lawyers today, or fill out our contact form to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. We charge no fees if we do not recover damages on your behalf.
Why Hire a San Francisco Truck Accident Attorney?
There are some truck accident claims that victims can and should try to attempt to settle without an attorney. But, in many cases, you will need the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer to ensure that you recover all the compensation to which you are entitled.
Furthermore, there are some risks to attempting to negotiate your own settlement. For instance, if you start by asking for too much, it will reveal that you don’t understand the system. Conversely, if you ask for too little, you will not leave enough room open to negotiate and may receive much less than you are entitled to.
Also, if you settle before knowing how much you have to pay back to your health insurance company, your disability insurance company, or other companies you may be indebted to, you may find out later that you are not able to keep any of the settlement money you receive. So, before you make a costly settlement mistake, you should at least consult with a qualified attorney to find out how much your California truck accident claim is worth, and if it needs an attorney’s help.
How Truck Accident Cases Differ From Car Accident Cases
If you have been injured in a truck accident in California, you should know that getting a fair settlement for your injuries can be a more difficult process than if you were in a regular car accident. The reasons why are as follows:
- The Laws Governing Truck Accidents are Different
Truck drivers have to have special licenses, comply with special medical requirements, perform specialized inspections of their vehicles before every trip, and comply with other state and federal laws and regulations that do not apply to other motorists.
- The Size Difference Between Truck and Cars
Because of the size difference between commercial vehicles and passenger cars, any semi truck accidents that occur are usually more serious. Because of this, federal law requires that trucking companies carry large insurance limits. While this could potentially be good news for you and your truck accident claim, it also means that the insurance company will fight harder to keep from having to pay that money out to you.
- Truck Accidents Require Expert Testimony
Because truck accident cases are so complicated, expert witnesses are a necessary part of any truck accident lawsuit. These experts are trained in trucking regulations and can point out any inconsistencies or violations to your lawyer. An experienced truck accident lawyer knows that these experts can help prove your injuries were caused by negligence, and that they are a crucial part of building a strong truck accident claim.
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Common Truck Accident Injuries
When trucking accidents involve other vehicles on the road, it is not uncommon for those in a passenger car to suffer devastating injuries. Some of the most common injuries suffered in truck accidents are as follows:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) – TBI usually occurs when something causes the brain to be slammed against the inside walls of the skull, causing bruising and swelling to occur. This can result in a variety of cognitive issues involving the victim’s short and long-term memory, thinking, speaking, balancing, and other activities of daily life. Concussions are a common type of traumatic brain injury.
- Soft tissue injuries – Soft tissue injuries are those that do not show up on x-rays or other imaging tests. Whiplash is a type of soft tissue injury commonly sustained in motor vehicle accidents. Because soft tissue injuries can be difficult to test, they can also be difficult to prove. It is, therefore, important that you document any soft tissue injuries you sustain by seeking immediate medical treatment.
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI) – vehicular accidents are the leading cause of SCI, which can result in weakness or numbness in the limbs and extremities, and in the worst cases, complete or partial paralysis.
Determining Liability in a San Francisco Truck Accident Case
Operators are responsible for the trucks they own and must maintain commercial trucking insurance. They must also comply with all other state and federal regulations. Therefore, trucking companies are also liable for the actions of their negligent truck drivers that they hire or engage.
Determining whether a truck driver was complying with state and federal laws and regulations must include gathering important information, such as:
- When the driver last stopped or slept
- When the truck was last inspected
- When maintenance on the truck was last performed
- How quickly the driver traveled between two points on their route, and
- The speed limits on the roads between two points along the driver’s route
A knowledgeable truck accident attorney also knows to send a “retention of evidence letter” to the trucking company, the truck driver, and the trucker’s insurance company as soon as possible. This letter will keep driver logs and other documents from being destroyed, so they can be evaluated by your lawyer. Without these documents, liability for the accident can be more difficult to establish, and you are much less likely to receive the compensation you deserve.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in San Francisco
If you have suffered injuries as a result of being involved in a San Francisco truck accident, here are some tips on what steps to take next:
- Get medical treatment for your injuries – Your first priority should be to treat your injuries. Be sure to follow the doctor’s treatment plan from start to finish.
- Keep records of your medical expenses, lost income, and other out-of-pocket expenses – These records will be vital in negotiating a fair settlement for your injuries and losses, as they directly correlate with financial losses.
- Collect Witness Information – Collect the names and phone numbers of every person who witnessed the accident or arrived on the scene soon afterward.
- Write down everything you remember about the accident – Draw a picture of the scene, make notes about the time of day, weather conditions, road conditions, and anything else you saw or heard. These notes will be useful if the truck driver’s insurance company tries to deny responsibility for the accident.
- Do not give any recorded statement – You should refrain from giving any recorded statement to the liable insurance company (or anyone else) unless instructed to do so by your attorney. This is because anything you say can be used to deny or limit your claim, even if you misspoke. This can lead to problems when it is time to negotiate a settlement.
- Consult with a knowledgeable commercial truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident – A good truck accident attorney will examine the circumstances involve in your truck accident case, and advise you of what steps you need to take to protect your rights and secure compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and financial losses.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in San Francisco
At Golden State Accident Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping truck accident victims recover the compensation they deserve efficiently, creatively, ethically, and with the highest standard of service. We can help you get the medical care you need and maximize your financial recovery after a devastating truck accident.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a truck accident in San Francisco, call our law firm today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation. Let our dedicated and passionate San Francisco truck accident lawyers take charge of the legal aspects of your case, so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.