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Heavy trucks perform a pivotal role in the American economy and provide a quick method for consumers to both ship and receive goods. However, along with the trucking infrastructure has also come an uptick in the number of accidents and devastating injuries that can occur from these accidents. Trucks involved in accidents with a passenger vehicle have the potential to inflict terrible injuries to the passengers of the smaller car. Trucks are unfortunately at a greater likelihood to cause serious injuries after accidents that can lead to lifelong disabilities or even death. If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact a Riverside truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Why Choose Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP?
- We have a track record of obtaining some of the largest case results in California and America’s history – including a landmark $4.9 billion recovery against General Motors. We are exceptional trial attorneys serving the Riverside area.
- Our lawyers aren’t here for the money – we are committed to helping our clients. We don’t push our clients into accepting low settlements during truck accident cases. We fight for the outcomes that they need to rebuild their lives, no matter what it takes.
- Our high-quality legal services are affordable. During truck accident cases, we operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that you won’t pay us anything unless you win your case. We also offer free initial case consultations in Riverside.
What Can a Riverside Truck Accident Lawyer Do for My Case?
If you get injured in a truck accident in Riverside, an attorney can drastically improve the recovery process. You can trust an attorney to advocate for your best interests when going up against an insurance carrier, truck company or another entity on your behalf – while you rest and focus on healing. A truck accident lawyer can handle virtually all aspects of your case while you start planning for your future. A lawyer can provide the following services:
- Conduct a complete review of your case, answer all of your legal questions, set you up with top doctors in Riverside and negotiate your medical debts. Overall, your lawyer can make sure you and your family have everything you need to get through this difficult time.
- Investigate your truck accident for signs of truck driver or truck company negligence. Negligence means that someone fell short of the accepted duties of care, resulting in harm to others.
- Collect evidence to support your case by visiting the scene of the accident, interviewing eyewitnesses, hiring expert witnesses, deposing parties and filing a Letter of Preservation to prevent the truck company from destroying anything.
- Negotiate a fair settlement from an insurance provider for serious or catastrophic injuries or take your truck accident case to trial in Riverside County for a fair payout, if necessary.
- Maximize your financial recovery after a truck accident in Riverside. This is especially important if a truck accident changed your life by inflicting severe injuries or taking the life of a loved one.
The right attorney can help you determine liability for your truck accident, bring a claim against the responsible party or parties, build a compelling case, gather your medical records and other documents to prove your losses, and negotiate a fair case outcome on your behalf. Without a lawyer, you’ll be left to deal with the legwork of your claim and go up against a powerful adversary alone while also dealing with serious injuries. This is why it’s important to consider hiring a lawyer after a truck accident in Riverside.
Riverside County Truck Accident Statistics
Despite crackdowns by California law enforcement officers, trucking accidents continue to occur each year, leading to very serious injuries. The California Highway Patrol lists the total number of fatal and non-fatal truck accidents on an average monthly basis. The statistics list the truck accidents by county, ranking the top five counties in terms of truck accidents as:
- Los Angeles
- San Bernardino
According to the latest data available (2017), Riverside County saw 33 fatal and 494 injury crashes involving large trucks. Altogether, the State of California reported 2,967 injury truck accidents and 84 fatal truck accidents where the truck driver was at fault in 2017. Nationwide, there were 119,000 injury accidents and 5,005 fatal accidents involving large trucks in the latest year statistics are available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (2019).
Common Causes of Truck Crashes
At Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP, we know that truck accidents are often preventable. They stem from driver error and human mistakes that can be avoided with an ordinary amount of care by drivers and others involved in the trucking industry. As Riverside truck accident lawyers, we’ve seen many different causes of semi truck accidents, including:
- Inclement weather
- Vehicle malfunction
- Poor truck driver training
- Truck drivers driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription medication
- Driver distraction, including texting while driving
- Broken federal safety laws
- Poorly loaded or imbalanced truck
- Lost cargo loads
Heavy large trucks are also at a higher probability to flip over following an accident due to their top-heavy weight. This can be a bad situation for a passenger vehicle that is following closely behind or beside the truck, as a large truck can easily crush a smaller car without intending to do so. A Riverside personal injury attorney experienced in truck accident cases can help an accident victim recover compensation for property damage, injuries, and other losses.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accidents can lead to devastating injuries for the unfortunate victims of the accident. Trucks are much heavier than the average passenger vehicle that drives along the California freeways. This leads to commercial trucks smashing or obliterating smaller passenger cars in many collisions – and catastrophically injuring the occupants in the smaller vehicle. Many severe injuries can occur from these accidents, including:
- Broken bones
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Concussions and brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Burn injuries
- Wrongful death
If you have been involved in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, a truck accident attorney in Riverside, CA can help you determine liability in your accident and recover damages, or financial compensation, for both economic and noneconomic losses. Damages for truck accidents include not only financial damages such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage but can also include noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. An experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to fully discuss your potential recovery.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?
Determining responsibility for any type of accident can be complicated, which is why it is important to seek legal advice from a Riverside truck accident lawyer with experience in these types of injury claims. In a large truck accident there may be more than one party responsible for your injuries.
- The trucking company. A trucking company may be held liable for poor truck maintenance, inadequate driver training, the violation of important safety rules and other torts (acts of wrongdoing) that contribute to truck accidents in Riverside.
- Truck drivers. Truck drivers can be responsible if they were driving negligently, recklessly or aggressively. When truck drivers cause accidents, trucking companies are often held vicariously liable. This rule applies to employers and makes them responsible for the wrongful acts of their employees. Even if a truck driver is classified as an independent contractor, the company can often be held liable (unless the driver is a truck owner/operator).
- A product manufacturer. If a faulty truck component caused the accident, such as bad brakes or a tire blowout, the manufacturer of the part can be held liable. The rules of a strict product liability lawsuit typically don’t require you to prove negligence in this type of lawsuit to be eligible for compensation.
- The government. The city or state government may also be liable if poor road conditions caused the crash. It is the government’s responsibility to properly maintain its roads and freeways by inspecting them for issues and responding quickly to complaints. If it fails to fulfill this duty and a pothole, uneven road, missing guardrail, broken traffic light or another unsafe road condition causes a truck accident, the government can be liable.
An attorney can help you determine liability for your truck accident case in Riverside based on who or what caused your accident. Then, your lawyer can negotiate or litigate your claim against one or more parties for maximum financial compensation. Our lawyers are highly experienced in going up against large and powerful adversaries in California.
How Much Is My Riverside Truck Accident Claim Worth?
The value of your truck accident case is important to understand before you make any final decisions, such as accepting an insurance settlement offer and signing a release of liability waiver. This is because you cannot trust the initial offer or estimate of your case value that comes from an insurance company. If you understand approximately how much your case is worth, you will be less likely to rush to a fast and inadequate settlement offer. You may be entitled to financial compensation for the following damages, and more:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage repairs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Death benefits for the loss of a loved one’s life
- Permanent disability
- Lost quality of life
- Punitive damages
Truck accident claims are often worth a considerable amount due to the nature and severity of a victim’s injuries. If you or a loved one suffered a catastrophic or permanent injury, you could be eligible for compensation for a lifetime of related costs. Don’t accept the very first settlement offered to you by an insurance carrier or trucking company representative. Instead, take your time and work with a truck accident lawyer in Riverside to obtain the results that you deserve.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
The aftermath of a truck accident in Riverside is chaotic. You may be dealing with significant property damage and painful physical injuries. It’s important, however, to try to remain calm and remember the steps to take immediately after a truck accident to protect your rights. If you can, here’s what to do:
- Get to a safe location and check for injuries. It is rare that a truck accident doesn’t result in at least minor injuries to those involved. Render aid to others, if you can, or remain in a safe place for paramedics to arrive and tend to your injuries.
- Call the police. Always call 911 to report a truck accident in Riverside. You legally have to report a crash that results in injuries, deaths or at least $1,000 in property damage, but reporting every crash is best for insurance purposes, as it will create a police record.
- Exchange information with the truck driver. Write down the truck driver’s name, the name of the trucking company, the vehicle registration number and the driver’s contact information. You will give the same information about yourself to the truck driver and the police.
- Take photographs. You or someone else at the scene should take photographs and videos before anything is cleaned up. Capture images of all vehicles involved, property damage, injuries, street signs, road conditions, relevant details and the crash scene as a whole.
- Go to a hospital. Whether you have obvious injuries or initially feel fine, go to a hospital in Riverside without delay for a checkup. You may have hidden or delayed injuries.
- File your insurance claim. In California, the party at fault for a truck accident pays. If you believe this to be the truck driver or trucking company, call their insurance provider to file your claim. Contact an attorney before settling.
Your priorities should be your health and safety, the safety of others, crash reporting, evidence collection, and your financial recovery – in that order. If you need assistance at any point after a truck accident, contact a lawyer from Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP for guidance. Our lawyers can take over legal processes, calculate your losses and fight for justice.
Speak With a Riverside Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys of Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP. Our Riverside truck accident lawyers have years of experience in handling severe truck accident cases and will be able to best determine what approach to take in order to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today for your initial free consultation.