Truck accidents are among the most serious of all traffic accidents. This fact should not come as a surprise, as trucks generate more force in a collision than smaller passenger cars do.
This force, in turn, increases the severity of injuries that accident victims are likely to sustain. More serious injuries require more money to compensate the victim, so truck accidents involve significant legal interests.
Injury victims need to hire an experienced Irvine truck accident lawyer who knows how to get them the compensation they deserve. Our Irvine truck accident firm has experienced truck accident lawyers that serve the entire city of Irvine and the surrounding areas located along the 5, 405, 605, 55, 57, 22, and 91 freeways. We know how to handle your claim to get you all the money to which you are legally entitled. We will fight for you so you can focus on making the best recovery possible from your injuries.
Settlement in a case where a client was injured while unloading commercial truck; client sustained crush injuries to legs.– Judd Ross Allen
There are some injuries that are common in all auto accidents. Soft tissue injuries – such as muscle sprains and strains – cause discomfort that can last for a long time. Whiplash is common when a vehicle is struck from behind.
These injuries usually result in a small amount of medical bills because the patient simply has to wait out the pain. Insurance companies like to think this means the entire claim isn’t worth very much. But injury victims are entitled to compensation for all their pain and suffering – even if their medical bills do not reflect the full value of their discomfort.
Some injuries might seem minor at first but end up becoming far more complicated. A broken bone set in a cast might seem like simple medical treatment. But what if the broken shards of bone injure other internal structures of the body? These sharp pieces could cut a blood vessel and lead to dangerous bleeding. The shards could scratch a nerve, leading to a lifetime of pain and discomfort – or even a lack of sensation altogether.
Your injury lawyer will work to understand the full scope of your injuries. Even injuries that seem minor can require significant amounts of compensation if they are complicated by other conditions. Because truck accidents involve high amounts of force, they tend to cause serious injuries.
A truck accident victim could be left permanently disabled as a result of the crash. They might have to suffer an amputation or the removal of an organ due to serious internal injuries. A victim could suffer brain damage that leaves them permanently unable to work – or even conduct such simple daily tasks as walking and speaking.
These permanent injuries are devastating for victims and their loved ones. They require medical treatment and rehabilitation for the rest of the victim’s life – not to mention years of lost wages. The victim is also entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering that he or she will endure for the rest of their life. All of this combined leads to multi-million dollar settlements in many truck accident cases involving serious, permanent injuries.
You have serious legal interests at stake after a truck accident. The more serious your injuries, the more compensation you are entitled to, and the greater your financial interest is in the outcome of the case. Some injury victims choose to settle their cases on their own without the help of a personal injury lawyer.
You have the right to do this, but there are many reasons why it is not a good idea. Cases with lawyers consistently settle for more than cases in which the victim represents him- or herself. There are many reasons why this is so, but the bottom line is, your case is likely to settle for more money if you have a lawyer on your side. So what are the reasons a lawyer can get more money than someone who handles the claim on their own? First, you have to remember that the insurance company is not on your side.
In fact, it is actively working for the other side, representing the driver who struck you or the company they work for. Insurance companies are large, powerful organizations with systems in place to pay as little as possible on as few claims as possible. They train their claims adjusters to deny as many claims as they can and make low settlement offers.
Insurance companies also hire experienced injury lawyers to defend these decisions and try to let the company get away with these unfair claims practices. It is difficult – if not impossible – for an injury victim who does not have the legal experience to fight back against the full force of the insurance company, its trained adjusters, and its armies of lawyers. You might wonder, “what will my lawyer do to fight back against the insurance company’s tactics?”.
Our Irvine truck accident lawyers know the tricks that insurance companies use and how to address them. We know how to prove who was at fault for causing the accident when the insurance company denies liability. We know how to come back from a lowball offer with evidence of the full value of your losses. This might include medical records or expert testimony, statements about how your injuries have impacted your life, or simply filing a lawsuit to show that insurance company that you are serious about getting the compensation you deserve.
There are many types of evidence that personal injury lawyers use to prove who was at fault for causing a truck accident. Photos and videos of the accident scene can help establish what occurred – and in what order. In some cases, the police will take measurements and collect other data at the scene. If they do not, the insurance companies can send their own investigators to the scene or even to body shops or wrecking yards where the vehicles are being stored.
A physical examination of the vehicles can also be used to establish what happened and who was at fault for causing the accident. In recent years, the Department of Transportation has required all commercial trucks to be equipped with electronic logging devices. These devices record data about the speed and distance a truck is traveling, how long the engine has been active, and the number of hours the vehicle has been in service. This data is transmitted automatically to remote servers so that drivers cannot alter or tamper with the information.
These devices replace the old “paper logs” that drivers were required to maintain to track their miles and hours of service. Paper logs largely relied on the Honor System, so some unscrupulous drivers would alter their logs to get in more hours without taking a break. Not only did this violate federal rules that require commercial truck drivers to take breaks at specified intervals, but it was also dangerous. Tired driving increases the risk that a truck driver will cause an accident. Electronic logs are very powerful data to present in court.
They are almost impossible for drivers to tamper with. They show whether drivers were complying with required rest periods. They can even show how fast the vehicle was traveling. All of this evidence allows an attorney to make a powerful case that the truck driver’s negligence caused the accident in question.
Of course, electronic logs cannot tell the entire story of an accident. Even with this type of data, the insurance company’s lawyers might still dispute that their client is at fault (liable) for the accident. In this case, your attorney might need to hire an expert witness to interpret the data. Accident reconstructionists are technical experts who interpret objective data (such as photos, measurements, traffic light signal time charts, and electronic logs) to determine how an accident occurred.
Each side is entitled to hire its own expert witness. In many cases, the opinions differ, and the case becomes a “battle of the experts.” In such an event, the jury is presented with each expert’s testimony and left to determine who was ultimately at fault for causing the accident.
A person or company that is found to be responsible for causing an accident (“liable”) also has a legal obligation to compensate injury victims for the losses they sustained in that accident. This includes both tangible and intangible losses, as well as losses that the victim will suffer in the future due to his or her injuries. Here are a few of the most common areas of compensation in a truck accident injury case:
Injury victims are entitled to compensation for all of their medical bills that were related to the accident. In some cases, this is a simple calculation. Medical professionals provide itemized statements that detail the type of treatment rendered and a specific breakdown of the costs associated with that care. Unfortunately, insurance companies sometimes try to dispute the type of care that was received.
They might claim that you received too much treatment, or that your providers charged more than was reasonable for your treatment, or even that you made your own injuries worse by delaying your medical treatment or not following through with your providers’ recommendations. If the insurance company tries these tactics, your lawyer may need to get expert testimony about the necessity of your treatment and the reasonableness of the cost.
If you have health insurance (including Medicare or Medicaid), the carrier is obligated to pay for your medical bills, even if they are related to the accident. But your health insurance carrier could have a right to be reimbursed for any medical bills it pays that are later recovered from the defendant in your personal injury case. Your injury lawyer will handle these liens and other financial issues with your health insurer(s) before making the final distribution of your settlement proceeds or jury award to you.
Almost all injury victims will end up missing some amount of work as a result of the accident. If your injuries are minor, you might only miss a few hours on the day of the accident. These lost wages are easy to document by getting a statement from your employer that shows how many hours you missed and what your hourly rate is. These small reimbursements are usually not disputed by the insurance company.
But serious truck accident injuries can keep you out of work for months. These lost wages add up quickly, and the larger the claim is, the more likely it is that the insurance company will dispute it. Your attorney might need to present medical evidence to demonstrate why you were unable to return to work. Your attorney might need to get evidence from your employer about why you were only able to return to work on a part-time basis or with limited responsibilities to accommodate your injuries.
Injury victims are entitled to compensation for their intangible losses, as well. After an accident, you will suffer physical pain from your injuries. You might endure emotional suffering due to the trauma of the accident and your reasonable fear of getting back on the road. Many injury victims must give up a beloved hobby or miss important life events like graduations and weddings.
These losses cause a very real decrease in your enjoyment of life. And if you are unable to return to work, you might lose the sense of pride that comes with a job well done and knowing that you are an important part of your company's work. Injury victims are entitled to compensation for these very real - but intangible - losses. Unfortunately, they are difficult to prove with an exact dollar amount, so insurance companies like to attack the value of your pain and suffering.
Many injury victims without attorneys are told that their case would not do well at trial, or the settlement offer is "customary" for this type of accident. You should never take this type of legal advice from someone who is actively working for the other side. Only your own injury lawyer can give you a fair assessment of what your claim is worth. The truth is that there is no "customary" payment for your specific case. You are entitled to full and fair compensation for all of the unique losses that you have personally suffered.
A truck accident is an overwhelming experience for any injury victim. You don’t have to go through the claims process alone. Our experienced truck accident lawyers know how to handle truck accident injury cases and protect your legal right to be compensated for your injuries and losses. Arash Law has the best injury lawyers in Irvine headed by Arash Khorsandi, Esq.
Our skilled Irvine truck accident lawyers have decades of experience. In addition to Irvine, we serve clients in San Francisco, Riverside, San Jose, San Diego, Sherman Oaks, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and throughout California. We have collected over 400 million dollars for clients across the state. We fight hard for accident victims, and we will fight hard for you, too. Call (888) 488-1391 to schedule your free consultation.
Don’t wait: the sooner you have an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side, the better protected your legal rights will be.