Truck accidents happen every day in America. Though truck drivers must have special training and licensing to operate large vehicles on public roads, they make mistakes just like the rest of us, and sometimes these mistakes lead to accidents and severe injury.

If a truck accident injured you or someone you love, call the Modesto personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw right away to schedule a consultation. We may be able to help you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the responsible party and obtain compensation for your losses. Call today to speak to one of our experienced attorneys and let us help you get back on your feet after a truck accident.

Why Do I Need an Attorney for My Truck Accident?

Truck accidents can be complex. They tend to cause more severe injuries than passenger car accidents, multiple parties may be liable for those injuries, and insurance policies for trucks can be extensive, making any dealings with their insurance company difficult and time-consuming. The work of building a claim and gathering evidence to support it can quickly become overwhelming. This is where a qualified attorney can help.

When you hire us to represent you, our experience with the claims process and knowledge of case law will make the entire process smoother and easier for you. We will build a strong claim supported by evidence and deal with insurance adjusters that seek to take advantage of your inexperience, so you don’t have to.

We know what types of evidence the insurance company will need to see before they approve your claim, and we will advise you of common pitfalls and novice mistakes to avoid so your claim isn’t delayed or denied.

Understanding how losses and damages are defined is crucial in injury law. We will explain how damages work in California and make sure that you’re demanding a compensation amount that is appropriate to cover all your losses.

Most injury claims are handled with a settlement paid out by the responsible party’s insurance company. In some cases, if the insurance company doesn’t believe you have a valid claim, they may deny payment outright. With an attorney to assist you, you can move forward by taking your case before a judge or jury with a lawsuit against the responsible party. This means the insurance company now must pay for attorneys and court costs, which can sometimes be more expensive than a fair settlement. Hiring a lawyer gives you a distinct advantage in many ways.

Why Hire OnderLaw to Represent Me?

OnderLaw has extensive experience helping people get compensation for injuries of all kinds. We’ve been at it since 2002, and during that time, we’ve developed the skills to get the results our clients need to move on with their lives after a truck accident.

We believe in treating our clients with the dignity and compassion they deserve. We understand how difficult it can be to decide to hire a lawyer because of financial considerations, which is why we operate on a contingency payment plan. We take no up-front payment for our services. There are no fees, no retainers, nothing due until we get a resolution for your claim. If we’re successful in getting you some form of compensation, we take a percentage of your settlement or award. If we aren’t successful, we do not charge a fee. If we don’t get you the help you need, we don’t get paid.

We also donate time and money to various charitable organizations such as MADD, the Lupus Foundation of America, and Toys for Tots because we believe in supporting the people and communities that have helped us grow.

Our clients choose us because we get the job done. We’ve successfully obtained over $3.5 billion in settlements and awards since 2002. That number isn’t a typo. We know what we’re doing at OnderLaw , and we know how to help you get the fair compensation you deserve.

Causes of Truck Accidents

There are many factors that contribute to causing truck crashes. Sometimes the cause can be set in place months before a collision, such as a lack of driver training, and sometimes it can be a split-second decision to cross a busy lane of traffic. Some of the common causes of truck crashes include the following:

  • Speeding
  • Impaired driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Unsecured loads
  • Poor vehicle maintenance
  • Bad road conditions
  • Inclement weather
  • Road construction
  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Fatigued driving
  • Unqualified drivers

Common Injuries Suffered in Truck Accidents

Injuries from truck accidents tend to be more numerous and severe than car accidents because of the size difference between a car and a truck. A large semi-truck can be over 70 feet long, 13 feet high, and weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds. The largest passenger cars on the road don’t weigh any more than 8,000 pounds, and when a truck weighing ten times as much as a car is involved in a crash with a car, the resulting injuries can be dire. Some injuries that we see in truck crashes include:

  • Broken bones
  • Abrasions
  • Lacerations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Concussion
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  • Death

Who Is Responsible?

Determining liability in a truck accident can be a complex ordeal because the truck driver is not the sole party responsible for the truck or its contents. By law, trucking companies are required to carry insurance with specific minimum liability limits, depending upon the types of load and weight.

  • $300,000 for non-hazardous freight up to 10,000 pounds
  • $750,000 for non-hazardous freight weighing 10,000 pounds or more
  • $1,000,000 for any quantity of oil and hazardous substance cargo

Depending on the type of accident, the driver, the trucking company, the truck’s owner, the maintenance company, or the freight company may bear some or all of the liability after an accident. Even a road maintenance company may be liable in some accidents.

In order to obtain compensation, you must show that one or more of the responsible parties was negligent in their obligation to keep from harming others. California law requires that everyone exercise due care to prevent injuring other people. If we can gather enough evidence to show that the responsible party was supposed to exercise care, did not do so, they caused an accident, and that accident ended in your injuries, we should be able to obtain compensation for you.

It’s worth noting that California follows a comparative negligence doctrine. This means that if you were partially responsible for your accident, your compensation may be reduced. Your level of responsibility would be expressed as a percentage, and that is the percentage the settlement or award you receive would be reduced. For example, if you’re in a truck accident with an inebriated truck driver in Modesto, but it’s later discovered that you were speeding at the time of the accident, a judge may decide you bear some responsibility. If this judge believes you are 15 percent responsible, any award you receive would be reduced by 15 percent.

Compensation for a Truck Accident Claim

Compensation for your claim will likely come from the trucking company’s insurance company. Your attorney will help you prepare a claim supported by evidence showing your losses as a result of the accident. If your claim is valid, the insurance company will likely offer a settlement, a cash payment intended to compensate you for your losses and to make you drop any claim you have against the liable party. Your lawyer will help you determine whether the settlement is adequate. If we don’t believe it is, we will work to negotiate for a higher payment on your behalf.

You can receive compensation for a number of different losses, or damages. Losses with a verifiable dollar value are called economic damages. There are many types, such as:

  • Loss of present or future wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of opportunity
  • Personal property damage
  • Living expenses

You can also be compensated for losses to your peace of mind or well-being after a truck accident. These types of non-monetary losses are called noneconomic damages and include:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Scarring and disfigurement

In certain conditions, you may also be able to obtain exemplary damages. These are not compensatory. An award of this type is meant to punish the responsible party and dissuade them from ever behaving in the same way again. Ask your lawyer whether exemplary damages are suitable for your claim.

Truck Accident Statistics in California and the Nation

Here are some statistics regarding truck accidents:

  • 7 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes in California in 2019 involved large trucks.
  • There were 385 fatal crashes involving large trucks in California in 2019.
  • In those 385 crashes, 287 of the fatalities were occupants of other vehicles.
  • 25 percent of fatal large truck crashes nationwide in 2019 occurred on interstate highways.

Call OnderLaw Today

If a crash with a large truck injured you or someone you love, don’t delay any longer. Call the attorneys at OnderLaw today to start the claims process. The first consultation is free, and you pay nothing out-of-pocket, so you have nothing to lose by letting us review your case. Don’t let a truck accident drive you to ruin. Call today.