Shipments of fruits, vegetables, and other goods make their way across California each day. This incredible transportation network makes it very likely you’ll meet a big rig on local streets and interstates on any trip you take.
That constant activity is great for business, but those large transport vehicles often pose hazards for the rest of us in our cars and SUVs, and on motorcycles. Sadly, there are even stretches of road where pedestrians and cyclists come in close proximity to big rigs with dangerous consequences.
Truck accidents involving such enormous and heavy trucks are much more likely to result in severe injuries and even the loss of life. It’s vital that victims and their families know about the benefits available to them after a truck accident. Victims must also be wary of the mistakes they can make on an accident scene that can hurt their chances of earning compensation.
A Free California Big Rig Truck Accident Case Consultation
Even with the serious injuries that often result from big rig accidents in California, insurance companies try to pay as little as possible for victims’ recoveries.
That is why Maison Law offers a free, no-obligation consultation to California truck accident injury victims. Contact us immediately to schedule an appointment today. We will be happy to answer your legal questions and discuss your full range of options for moving your accident case forward.
Actions to Avoid After a Big Rig Collision
Not everyone has been in an accident before, and such a traumatic event might leave you unsure of what to do. Keep in mind, that your words and actions in the minutes after an impact can hurt your chances of securing fair compensation for your injuries.
You must start building a strong injury case as soon as you are hurt. It’s also vital to avoid some of the pitfalls of saying too much after a truck accident.
What Not to Say After a Big Rig Accident
- Don’t say “my bad” or “my fault” – Don’t discuss fault in the aftermath of an accident. You may not know who was to blame and you may also falsely believe that you were at fault. An investigation into your accident could show you shouldn’t face any blame. However, once you accept the responsibility on the scene, insurance companies will use your words as ammunition in order to deny your injury claim. This can happen no matter what a police collision report says.
- Don’t say “I’m okay” or “I’ll be fine” – An insurance company may use these statements to try to cast doubt on your truck accident claim when you report injuries in the days that follow. The truth is that you likely won’t know how badly you are hurt in the moments after an accident. A broken arm is often easy to feel and spot. However, the shock of being in an accident can often mask the pain of a small fracture or a brain injury until a day or two after the incident.
- Don’t offer recorded statements – Insurance representatives for the at-fault big rig driver or trucking company will try to reach you by phone after an accident. They are hoping you’ll give them a recorded statement about what happened. This statement can be used in court and twisted to weaken your case. Only give an adjuster basic information and then refer them to your California Big Rig Accident Lawyer.
What Not to Do After a Big Rig Accident
- Don’t leave the scene without evidence. If you are strong enough, take photos of the damaged truck and your vehicle. If you aren’t up to it, ask someone with your or a helpful witness to get pictures. Show signage identifying who the truck driver works for. Get employee numbers if possible. Collect witness contact information. Note the presence of any surveillance cameras on nearby homes or businesses.
- Don’t allow the trucking company’s insurance company to determine how much injury compensation you’ll receive. Insurance adjusters will be trying to leave you with just enough to pay for a trip to the emergency room. The fact is your recovery may involve physical therapy and surgeries down the road. If you sign off on a “lowball” insurance offer now, any additional medical care you need in the weeks to come will come out of your pocket.
- Don’t talk to insurance companies before scheduling a free consultation – It’s best to avoid speaking with any insurance representative until you’ve talked with a California semi-truck accident attorney. You should negotiate with insurance companies only after being fully informed of what your injury is really worth.
Who Do I Sue After a Big Rig Accident?
One of the biggest questions you may have after a truck crash is where to direct your accident claim. Is the truck driver the only one liable? Or is the company that employs the driver also responsible? In some cases, it can be both.
A driver may work for himself or herself and have commercial truck accident insurance. That driver could also be a full-time employee for a local farmer or manufacturer or a nationwide corporation. When that’s the case, the business may also have substantial liability coverage on the driver and would have to provide support to you.
These companies will have larger insurance policies, but they can also have corporate lawyers who are paid to find ways to reject your claim. They will attempt to shift blame for an accident to you or question the severity of your injury. This harmful behavior is why it’s critical to have your own big rig accident lawyer watching out for your interests.
What Type of Compensation is Available After a California Semi-Truck Accident?
Getting an insurance claim filed in the most effective way possible is key to earning victims and their families what they require to rebuild their lives.
Your California personal injury lawyer will file your injury claim with a list of the hardships you’ve endured. These are just a few of the factors that will determine how much you receive in a truck accident settlement check:
- Past and future medical bills in connection with the accident.
- Support for permanent disfigurement or disability.
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional trauma.
- Diminished enjoyment of life.
- Past and future lost earnings resulting from the accident.
Contact a Big Rig Truck Accident Lawyer Serving California Victims
After you or a loved one are hurt in a truck accident, discuss your case with a skilled California Big Rig Accident Lawyer as soon as possible. You should be fully informed of your rights and the benefits available before speaking with any insurance adjuster or lawyer for a company that sends truck drivers out on California highways.
Attorney Martin Gasparian offers a free and confidential case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian works hard to make sure clients are allowed to rebuild their health and their lives without worrying over hospital bills and lost paychecks.