Were you injured in an accident involving a commercial truck? Was it due to the truck driver, trucking company, or another party’s negligent actions? If so, contact the Bakersfield personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw immediately to discuss whether you have a case you can pursue. You might be entitled to compensation for the losses you suffered.

Motor vehicle crashes can take an emotional, physical, and financial toll on anyone. They upend the victim’s life and can affect their family. Your new reality might involve chronic pain, expensive medical bills, reduced or lost income from the inability to work, and an uphill battle toward recovering compensation from the at-fault party. It’s a stressful and overwhelming experience that you shouldn’t have to face alone.

The Bakersfield truck accident lawyers of OnderLaw know the effects a truck accident can have on a person’s health and future. We can help you fight for the justice you deserve and hold the at-fault party liable for their misconduct. You should not be responsible for your prescription drug costs, hospital bills, and other expenses if someone else caused the crash. We are ready to be your advocate and pursue the maximum compensation available so you can heal and move forward with your life.

Call OnderLaw for your free initial consultation and learn about your legal options following a truck accident.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer? Why Choose OnderLaw?

Whether your injury is minor or severe, you could struggle with the recovery process. When you already have to deal with the burden of emotional trauma, medical treatment, and spending time away from work, you probably don’t have the mental capacity to handle a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Most people don’t know state laws or understand their rights when pursuing a claim. Additionally, if you encounter any obstacles along the way that you don’t know how to overcome, you could lose your case.

At OnderLaw, we have a team of dedicated and experienced Bakersfield truck accident lawyers ready to take on the responsibility for your accident claim. You should not have to face the negligent truck driver or trucking company alone. We can take over your entire case so you can focus on what matters – recovering from this devastating experience.

When you hire us, we will investigate the accident and obtain all the evidence available to prove that someone else was at fault for the crash. If your actions didn’t contribute to your injuries, you deserve full and fair compensation to cover your total losses. You should not be left with out-of-pocket expenses when you’re attempting to get your life back on track. The negligent party should be held accountable for what they’ve done.

Causes of Truck Accidents

The truck driver must have the experience and qualifications to operate their vehicle safely. Maneuvering a large truck in traffic can be challenging and requires specific skills and knowledge. If the trucker doesn’t know how to handle hazardous conditions or what to do in an emergency, an accident could occur.

It isn’t only the truck driver’s responsibility to prevent others from coming to harm. The trucking company must follow various regulations to ensure that its employees receive the necessary training and that all vehicles are in good working condition. Violating these regulations could increase the risk of a crash.

The most common causes of accidents involving commercial trucks are:

  • Driver distractions – Distractions are dangerous to any driver. They take away a person’s focus and redirect it towards an activity other than driving. In 2019, 7% of fatal accidents involved distracted driving.
  • Lack of maintenance and repairs – A poorly maintained truck doesn’t function the way that it should. A defective or worn-out part could cause the brakes, steering, or another vital system to malfunction.
  • Negligent hiring – Trucking companies should always perform a thorough background check on new drivers to confirm licensing, employment history, and other qualifications. Skipping this critical step could put a reckless or inexperienced trucker on the road.
  • Driving under the influence – Any amount of alcohol or drugs can inhibit physical or mental functioning. It slows reaction time, prevents good decision-making, and impairs motor skills.
  • Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo – Federal regulations require loading commercial trucks below specific weight and size limits. Exceeding those limits puts extra pressure on the tires, throws the whole vehicle off-balance, and prevents the driver from having complete control.
  • Tailgating – Any vehicle requires a certain amount of distance to come to a complete stop. Since trucks are larger and heavier than the standard passenger car, they need a much longer stopping distance. The faster a person drives, the more space they will need to stop and avoid crashing into the vehicle ahead.
  • Speeding – Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for adverse conditions prevents a truck driver from properly controlling their vehicle. They likely can’t react quickly to maneuver away from a road hazard or maintain control in an emergency.
  • Fatigued driving – Truck drivers can’t spend more than eleven hours driving after spending ten hours off-duty. This is meant to prevent driver fatigue. However, some employers will encourage their truckers to exceed these limits to meet deadlines and make money. A tired driver is just as dangerous as a drunk driver because similar side effects can occur.

Any of these scenarios could lead to a catastrophic accident. Typically, when there’s a collision between a large truck and a small car, the smaller vehicle occupants end up suffering more than the truck driver. Tractor-trailers are so massive in weight and size that even a low-speed crash can cause significant property damage and injuries.

At OnderLaw, our Bakersfield truck accident lawyers know the aftermath of an accident can be scary and confusing. If you’re in pain, you can’t make good decisions or perhaps even figure out the first steps you should take. We can guide you through the entire legal process to put you in the best position to recover from your injury and secure the compensation you deserve.

Common Injuries Suffered in Truck Accidents

Accidents involving any vehicle can lead to a broad range of injuries. However, commercial trucks often cause severe and debilitating injuries requiring emergency medical care, physical therapy, surgery, and other forms of treatment to heal. The most common injuries from accidents involving big rigs include:

  • Burns
  • Disfigurement
  • Broken bones
  • Concussion or traumatic brain injury
  • Internal bleeding
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of limb
  • Back injuries and pain
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other psychological problems
  • Nerve damage
  • Disability

Truck accidents cause not only physical damage but also emotional pain and financial struggles. Getting past what happened to you can take time and lead to crushing debt if you can’t afford your bills. If you have months or years of treatment ahead of you, it can seem like a never-ending road to recovery. OnderLaw can help you get through this challenging time in your life and hold the negligent driver accountable for their actions.

Who Is Responsible?

Various parties could be at fault for a truck accident. It’s not just the truck driver’s responsibility to avoid causing injuries to others. Their employer could be to blame for an accident if they didn’t hire a qualified driver or failed to perform routine drug testing on their drivers. A manufacturer could share fault if they provided a defective truck part that contributed to the collision.

Parties that might be held liable for a truck accident include:

  • Manufacturer
  • Truck driver
  • Owner of the tractor or trailer
  • Cargo loading company
  • Trucking company

More than one party may share responsibility for the accident. For example, the trucker could be at fault for distracted driving, but their employer could also be to blame for hiring an inexperienced driver. The Bakersfield truck accident lawyers of OnderLaw can review the circumstances of the crash to determine who we can go after for compensation on your behalf.

Compensation for a Truck Accident Claim

If the truck driver or trucking company was at fault for the accident, you could file an insurance claim. Federal regulations require trucking companies to buy and maintain liability insurance for their drivers. Minimum required coverage limits depend on the weight of the truck and the cargo it contains. For example, there’s a minimum requirement of $300,000 for vehicles under 10,001 pounds with non-hazardous freight.

The available liability coverage isn’t necessarily the amount of money you’ll receive. Your settlement will depend on multiple factors. When you file your claim, you can seek compensation for the losses you suffered, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Physical impairment or disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity

Since California is a fault state, the person or company responsible for your injuries could be held liable for your resulting losses. However, it’s crucial to remember that your actions could play a part in the monetary value of your case.

If you’re pursuing a lawsuit, a jury could reduce your compensation by the percentage of fault you share for causing the accident under the pure comparative negligence rule. For example, if you were 20% to blame for your injury and suffered $100,000 in losses, your total compensation could not exceed $80,000.

California and Bakersfield Accident Statistics

In 2020, there were 11,319 accidents involving large trucks in California. These crashes resulted in 4,568 injuries and 429 deaths.

In Bakersfield, 37 fatal vehicle accidents occurred in 2019, causing 39 fatalities.

Contact OnderLaw for Your Free Consultation

At OnderLaw, our Bakersfield truck accident lawyers will go to battle for you against the negligent truck driver, trucking company, or another responsible party. We will remain in your corner and advocate for the maximum compensation you deserve. We will not give up without a fight, and we’ll work hard to hold the at-fault party liable.

If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, do not hesitate to call OnderLaw for a free consultation.