Truck Accident Attorneys
Bakersfield Truck Accident Attorney
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that in Kern County crashes remain a primary public safety issue and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reports there have been many fatal traffic truck crashes recorded in Bakersfield alone, not to mention other parts of Kern county.
When a crash involves a commercial truck, the chances are even greater that it will cause catastrophic injuries or a fatality. Like in any other type of collision, victims can hold negligent parties liable for paying damages after a truck accident. Unfortunately, determining liability in these cases is just one of the complex aspects of these claims.
At Oaks Law Firm, our Bakersfield truck accident attorneys are skilled, aggressive, and experienced advocates for justice. We invest the time, resources, and attention to detail into every truck accident case that we take on. If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash, our Bakersfield truck accident lawyer can help you recover the maximum damages you are entitled to without you having to pay anything out of your pocket. We get paid when we collect for you, otherwise, we do not charge you a dime. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation with a top Bakersfield truck accident attorney, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team today.
Common Causes Of Truck Accidents
Truck drivers and the companies they work for are responsible for complying with a number of different state and federal laws and regulations. These laws dictate every aspect of a truck driver’s job, including how long they can be on the road when they must take breaks, and even minor details such as the type of mud flaps a commercial truck must have if it is going to cross state lines.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and US Department of Transportation (DOT) have strict guidelines that truckers and their companies must abide by to be able to commute and transport within the 50 states and throughout the country. However, not all truck drivers and companies adhere to these rules and in doing so increase the chances of crashes and injuries that can be avoided. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
Although the above often cause accidents even between smaller passenger vehicles, when a truck accident occurs, the consequences are even direr. Due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, even the smallest careless act can result in serious injuries and/or wrongful death.
Who Is Liable For A Truck Accident?
Before filing a truck accident lawsuit for compensation, you must determine which party was liable for the crash. This aspect of truck accident lawsuits is much more difficult than in car accident claims. A number of parties may be liable for your accident, and they are as follows:
Truckers typically account for at least one of the liable parties in truck accident claims, as they are required to safely operate their vehicle at all times.
Trucking companies may engage in improper hiring or training practices, encourage drivers to stay on the road longer than they should, or take other shortcuts that prioritize their own profits over the safety of others.
Third parties such as loading companies, inspection and maintenance companies, and manufacturers can be held liable if they did not act with reasonable care to ensure others were kept safe.
Tractor and Trailer:
These two parts of a larger truck may be owned by different companies, have different protocols to follow, and may have different insurance coverages.
It is not uncommon for truck accident cases to name multiple liable parties but determining who is at fault for a crash is never easy. It is critical to identify all liable parties so you claim full damages, against all responsible parties in order to recover for the damages and injuries sustained.
Proving A Truck Accident Claim
Most Truck accidents, like other traffic accidents, rest on the legal theory of negligence (although there are other reasons and causes of action to seek). Anyone who fails to exercise a reasonable level of care and causes an accident that results in serious injury is considered, at the very least, negligent.
You must prove the liable party was negligent, which involves establishing several elements of your claim. These elements are as follows:
Duty of care:
You must prove the liable party owed you a duty of care, which is a legal obligation or responsibility owed to a fellow motorist.
Breach of duty:
Proving breach of duty requires you to show the negligent act that caused the crash, and this is sometimes more difficult. For example, if the police report shows the truck driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident, that can prove the negligent act of drunk driving and possibly Gross Negligence, as well. However, negligence may not always be easy to identify.
You must show which negligent act caused the accident. This refers to the relationship of cause and effect and the action of causing harm. Meaning, it is not enough to show that the responsible party was negligent. Negligence must be what caused your injuries…
The losses you sustained as a result of the accident are known as damages. You must prove your total damages, which can include presenting evidence such as medical bills, pay stubs, and more.
Proving all four elements of negligence is often one of the most difficult aspects of any truck accident claim. A Bakersfield truck accident attorney will know how to prove the negligent act so you recover the full damages you deserve.
What You Need to Know About California’s Commercial Truck Accident Laws
While there are a number of different federal regulations in place for large commercial trucks, an accident claim is still governed primarily by state law. If you were involved in a truck accident in Kern County, you need to have a basic understanding of how California law works. Here are three central points that truck accident victims in Bakersfield should know:
- Liability is Based on Fault: In California, determining who is at fault in a truck accident is absolutely paramount. Our state uses a fault-based system of liability. In effect, the law holds that the party responsible for causing the accident is the one liable for damages. As noted previously, it could be the truck driver, the trucking company, the manufacturer of a faulty truck part, or even a third-party motorist. All large truck accidents in Kern County should be thoroughly investigated by an experienced Bakersfield attorney.
- Comparative Negligence System: In California, a pure comparative fault system is used to apportion liability for all types of motor vehicle accident claims, including large truck accidents. Even if you are partly to blame for a semi-truck accident, you still have the right to pursue compensation through a legal claim. That being said, the value of your settlement or verdict will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
- Two-Year Statute of Limitations: Deadlines are paramount in truck accident claims. Time is of the essence. In California, truck accident injury claims are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. If you do not file a truck accident claim within two years of the date of the crash, you could be barred from bringing a legal claim at all. The sooner you consult with a Bakersfield truck accident lawyer, the better position you will be in to get justice.
Recovering Full and Fair Financial Compensation for a Truck Accident in Bakersfield
Hurt in a semi-truck accident in Bakersfield? You need financial compensation to pay your bills and support your family. Unfortunately, the big trucking companies and their commercial insurers are focused on paying out as little as possible. At Oaks Law Firm, our Bakersfield truck accident lawyers go above and beyond to help our clients secure the maximum financial compensation. You may be entitled to recover monetary damages for:
- Property damage (vehicle repairs)
- Emergency medical treatment
- Hospital bills and other medical expenses
- Rehabilitative medical support
- Lost wages and loss of earning power
- Pain and suffering & mental anguish
- Long-term disability
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Wrongful death of a family member
Our Bakersfield Truck Accident Lawyers Can Provide the Legal Advice You Need
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a collision with a commercial truck, our Bakersfield truck accident attorney at Oaks Law Firm, our legal team, can help ensure you recover the full compensation you deserve for your personal injury lawsuit. Call us today at 877-539-5366 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation so we can get started on your case. We represent truck accident victims in Bakersfield, Kern County, and throughout the surrounding region in Central California.
CALL TODAY! (877) 539-5366
Recovering the Damages You Deserve
If someone else is to blame for your injuries, you have the right to seek compensation for the full amount of damages you've suffered. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, as well as pain and suffering. You must bring forth your claim within one year of the accident date. Not filing your case within one year will bar you from recovery.