Irvine Truck Accident Lawyer
Tiredness and fatigue after continuous driving are one of the leading causes of truck accidents in California. A commercial truck driver must drive for 14 consecutive hours with a 30-minute break, according to the Hours of Service regulation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Due to limited human resources in the sector, drivers often cross the deadline.
The average weight of a truck is 30 times more than an average car. When there is a collision or a crash, the truck’s heavy build is bound to impact the smaller vehicle severely. Tragic accidents happen daily, costing the lives of hundreds of people every year across the country. In the past, Irvine has reported most truck accidents on the freeway. Making a personal injury claim on your own can be tricky as truck companies are associated with such accidents.
An Irvine truck accident lawyer can help you or your loved one gain maximum benefits after suffering the detrimental consequences of truck accidents. Let us walk you through everything you need to know about making personal injury claims and working with a truck accident attorney.
California Truck Accident Facts And Statistics
As a densely populated city, California has the second most truck accidents in the country. On average, around 200 to 300 people annually lose their lives to fatal accidents involving large commercial trucks.
In 2019 alone, there were 4,119 fatal injuries caused by truck accidents in California, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). 67% of the driver or passengers of the other vehicle incurred severe injuries per the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
The fatalities report fell to 4,014 by the end of 2020. Among them, 1,428 fatalities happened on freeways and interstates, and 1,904 happened on major roads, according to the IIHS report. But 97% of the victims were the occupants of smaller vehicles, as stated by FARS.
California Trucking Laws
As per the Hours of Service regulation by FMCSA, a truck driver must take a break for more than 34 hours after consecutively driving for 60 to 70 hours in 7 to 8 days. In addition, they must keep a log of each pick-up and drop activity in the electronic logging devices (ELDs). The database must also include the time and place of all stops and breaks, as well as timely inspections in different parts of the route.
The CVC § 22406 states that a truck with more than three axles cannot exceed the speed limit of 55 miles per hour. At the same time, the CVC § 21654 states that vehicles driving at the minimum speed limit, like large trucks driving 55mph on freeways or interstates, must stick to the right-hand lane. They must maintain a steady speed and direction.
After a truck accident, the FMCSA also requires commercial vehicle service companies to conduct substance abuse testing of truck drivers within 8 hours of the accident and register it within 32 hours, per the Code of Federal Regulation §382.303.
Do I Need A Lawyer For A Truck Accident Claim In Irvine?
Working with a lawyer can do wonders for your case. While the state allows you to pursue it independently, there are certain gaps that only a lawyer can fill. You may need more experience or knowledge of personal injury claims, settlements, and lawsuits. There is only enough you can catch up within a short period, and that too while recovering from your injuries. Insurance companies are professional negotiators with years of experience. They can easily spot your weak points and take advantage of them to make you agree to a claim that may be unfair.
Consulting with a personal injury lawyer and hiring one are two different scenarios. When we suggest you talk to one, it doesn’t mean you must immediately. In fact, it is during the consultation that the lawyer will suggest whether you can proceed with the case by yourself under their guidance or whether your case requires hiring them. But, no matter the scenario, having a lawyer in the loop with every step you take and every conversation with the insurance company can make incredible differences in the compensation amount you receive.
How Can A Truck Accident Attorney In Irvine Help?
We have broken down the specific roles and responsibilities of an Irvine truck accident attorney.
Review Your Case
On your first free consultation, your lawyer will analyze and review all the facts about your case from your point of view and your medical report. This will help them determine the accident’s severity and presume an approximate settlement amount. If the case is more severe, they will suggest you hire a lawyer and have them represent you. If it is simpler, they will encourage you to pursue it independently under their guidance throughout the process.
Educate You About Your Legal Rights
While reviewing your case, your lawyer will explain all legal rights and insurance policies associated with your case. It will help you understand what the state grants you as the victim. If you had a partial fault in the accident, the consultation meeting would also help you determine whether you are eligible for a certain level of compensation. They will also explain to you how the settlement amount is determined. When you go to the insurance company for negotiation, you will know how much you legally deserve and be able to stand up for it confidently.
Help Gather Evidence And Investigate
Once you hire an injury attorney, they will start working on gathering all reliable evidence. This includes photo or video evidence of the accident scene, security camera footage, witness testimony, etc. They may also bring in expert witnesses like medical experts or accident experts to assess your injuries and the accident and determine the level of faults. All evidence will be properly documented and investigated.
Deal With The Defendant’s Insurance Company
A truck accident attorney in Orange County will handle all forms, paperwork, phone calls, and meetings with the insurance company. It will eliminate any chances of mistakes or miscommunication from your end. They will take all the evidence and the outcome of their investigation to the insurance company. In the settlement meeting, they will stand up for your deserved amount.
If unsatisfied with the settlement meeting, you have the legal right to take the case to court. Your lawyer will help you file a lawsuit. They wil undergo all the pretrial stages and mediation stages representing you. On trial, they will give a statement on your behalf and represent you before a judge or a jury.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents In Irvine
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Irvine are:
- Inexperienced drives
- Blind spots
- Limited rear-end view
- Driving after consumption of alcohol
- Poor maintenance of the truck
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Jackknife accidents
What To Do After A Truck Accident In Irvine?
If you have been severely injured or are in a lot of pain, have someone call the paramedics if you can. Addressing the injuries of all involved parties is everyone’s primary civil responsibility. Once emergency care is given to everyone, and the scene is safe from further threats like fire or explosion, there are certain things an able party can do.
At the scene, you can take photos or videos as evidence. Gather the contact information of other parties or the witnesses if you can. You will have to contact them later during the investigation. You must then call the police and report the accident yourself. Although chances are, the accident has already been reported if emergency care was called. But we recommend you also make the call to ensure the report is being made, as it is an important piece of evidence. The CVC § 20008 states that all accidents must be reported by the able involved party and the witnesses within 24 hours to the police or the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
Once you receive medical attention and the accident has been reported to authorities, you must contact an Irvine truck accident lawyer to schedule a consultation regarding your case. It is important to do this before the defendant’s insurance company contacts you. Once you talk to a lawyer, you will understand the case better and know what to tell the insurance company. If your case is more severe, we suggest hiring a lawyer as soon as possible to investigate the case immediately.
Common Truck Accident Injuries In Irvine, CA
As the reports suggest, the occupants of smaller vehicles attain more severe injuries. Some of the most common injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ failure
- Bone fractures
- Muscle injuries
Compensation For Your Truck Accident Case Claim In Irvine
There are three types of damage compensation for your truck accident claim in Irvine.
Your medical expenses, medication and therapy costs, property or vehicle repair costs, and lost wages at work are counted as economic damages. They are direct outcomes of the accident that you may have paid for out of your personal budget or insurance. Economic damage compensation is calculated based on your total expenses and is granted to every accident victim.
Non-economic damages include the pain and suffering you endured or any degradation of your quality of life. These losses cannot be calculated in amounts as they are priceless. But non-economic damage compensations are meant to balance out such losses by benefiting you with a different type of gain.
On the other hand, if the accident happened by the negligence or intentional tort of the truck driver or the driver of the other vehicle, punitive damage compensation comes into the picture. If the case is taken to court and such guilt is found, the judge or jury charges the defendant with punitive damage compensation as a form of punishment.
Contact Top-Rated Truck Accident Lawyer Near You
Dealing with truck accident companies and their insurance can be complicated. You may not know the right thing to say and the right amount to ask for before they pressure you with offers you don’t understand. Seeking help from a top-rated lawyer will not only help you win a fair settlement, but they will provide you with legal assistance and awareness throughout the process when you are recovering from your injuries.
Nordean Law has a team of expert truck accident lawyers in Irvine who are dedicated to helping victims gain the maximum benefits after suffering from an accident caused by someone else’s faults. We work with many resources and bring expert witnesses to your case to ensure you are given the best representation you deserve. You can contact us for a free consultation, where we will thoroughly analyze your case and suggest the best possible approach.
If you or your loved ones were injured in a truck accident, we understand how overwhelming it can be to recover from severe injuries with increasing financial pressure strain. It is never fair to have to suffer from another individual’s negligence. Working with an accident attorney will help you attain the amount of compensation to cover all your losses and sufferings resulting from the accident. A lawyer will prevent the chances of being mistreated when you’re in a vulnerable position by insurance companies. Contact us today for a free consultation.
FAQs About Truck Accidents In Irvine, CA
What Is The Statute of Limitations For Truck Accidents in California?
The California statute of limitation for personal injury is 2 years, and property damage is 3 years from the accident date. If the injury was discovered later, the statute of limitation is 1 year from the date of discovery.
What kind of compensation can I receive for my truck accident in Irvine?
You will receive two types of compensation if you have been injured in a truck accident in Irvine. Economic damage compensation covers medical expenses, property repair costs, lost wages at work, etc. Similarly, non-economic damage compensation covers the pain and discomfort you suffered from the accident.
Should I call the police after my truck accident?
Yes, you must call the police after the truck accident, whether it is to call for paramedics or to report the accident. The CVC § 20008 requires you to report the accident to the police within 24 hours.
Who's Fault Is It When A Truck Hits A Car?
In California, the fault of every accident is classified based on the breach of negligence. When a truck hits a car, if the truck driver breaks the rules or is negligent, they may be at fault. However, if the driver of the car performed an action that put him in a vulnerable position and appeared in front of a moving truck, the car driver may be at fault.
Should I file a case even if I’m not hurt after a truck accident?
If you are not injured in the truck accident, but your vehicle has been damaged, you can file a personal injury claim for property damage. Property damage also demands similar procedures, and you may recover the economic damage compensation for the cost of repairing your vehicle.
How Long Do I Have To File My Truck Accident Claim in California?
It is best to file your truck accident claim as soon as possible after you have received medical care. Since the statute of limitation in California is only 2 years for personal injury, you need enough time to discuss a settlement with the insurance company and still have enough time to file a lawsuit in case of disagreements.
Can I Sue For My Injuries If I Was Partially At Fault?
Yes, you can still file a claim for your injuries if you were at partial fault. The pure comparative negligence rule is applied where the fault is divided among all the at-fault parties in percentage. Depending on your share of fault in the accident, a certain amount will be deducted from the total compensation you are to receive.
How Long Does It Take To Settle A Truck Accident Claim in California?
It may take around six months at the most to gather all evidence and hold a settlement meeting with the defendant’s insurance company. If you file a lawsuit, the case is prolonged. It may take around six months to two years for the trial to date.