Skip to Main Content
877.539.5366 No Fee Guarantee Unless We Win!
about banner
Why Us? Because We Listen

Truck Accident Attorneys

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Bakersfield, CA Truck Accident Lawyer Today

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.

What to Do After a Tractor Trailer Crash in Bakersfield, California

The aftermath of a crash is stressful, even overwhelming—especially so if it is a large commercial trucking accident. By knowing what to do, you will be in a far better position to get justice. Too many truck accident victims in California make avoidable mistakes that actually undermine their ability to get full and fair compensation for their damages. Here are five important steps to take after a major tractor-trailer crash in Bakersfield, CA:

  1. Stop Your Vehicle and Remain at the Scene: California state law requires all parties involved in a collision to stop their vehicle, exchange information, and remain at the scene, with an exception for medical emergencies. Commercial truck accidents are no exception to the law. Make sure you stop your car and remain at the scene. Leaving the scene of a semi-truck accident in Bakersfield could result in severe legal consequences, including hit-and-run charges. Ensure your safety and that of others by moving your vehicle out of traffic (if possible) and turning your hazard lights on.
  2. Notify Law Enforcement Right Away: All large commercial truck accidents should be reported to the police. Indeed, it is vital to contact law enforcement immediately following a tractor-trailer crash. Report your collision to the Bakersfield Police Department, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, or another type of state/local law enforcement agency. Among other things, the responding officers will document the accident scene, gather evidence, and file a police report, which serves as an essential record for any future legal or insurance claims. When interacting with law enforcement, provide an accurate account of the event but avoid speculation or unnecessary details. Never admit fault for a crash at the scene.
  3. Get Immediate Medical Care If Injured: You should always prioritize your health and safety after a commercial truck accident in Bakersfield. Seek immediate medical attention—even if you believe your injuries are somewhat minor. With truck accidents, it is important to keep in mind that some injuries may not manifest immediately after the accident. A thorough medical evaluation not only ensures your well-being but also creates a medical record that can be pivotal in any personal injury claims. If you fail to see a doctor after a truck accident in Bakersfield, you may be denied the right to seek compensation.
  4. Avoid Admitting or Accepting Fault: In the aftermath of a crash, remain cautious in your interactions with other parties, including the truck driver, responding police officers, and any insurance adjusters. Avoid admitting or accepting fault. Statements made at the scene can be misconstrued or used against you in future legal or insurance disputes. Indeed, it is advisable to limit your discussion about the semi-truck accident to the other party involved and wait for the investigation to unfold.
  5. Speak to a Bakersfield Lawyer Before an Insurer: You do not have to take on the personal injury claims process alone. Insurance companies fight hard to pay out as little as possible in semi-truck accident claims. The sooner you consult with a top-tier Bakersfield, CA truck accident lawyer, the better position you will be in to get justice. An attorney can review your case, answer questions about the law, and take action to protect your financial interests.

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 the 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:

  • Impaired driving/Alcohol use
  • Driver Fatigue
  • Distracted driving
  • Speed
  • Inexperienced truck drivers
  • Failure to comply with traffic signs and signals
  • Traffic Flow interruption (congestion…)
  • Roadway problems
  • Poor vehicle maintenance
  • Worn out TIRES and BRAKES…

Although the above often causes 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. You need to know exactly how and why a semi-truck accident happened. Every crash in Kern County should be proactively and thoroughly investigated by an experienced Bakersfield truck accident lawyer.

Commercial Truck Accidents Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries

A fully loaded tractor-trailer is enormous. It can be up to 15 feet tall and weigh more than 80,000 pounds. Unfortunately, when semi-truck crashes do happen in Bakersfield or elsewhere in Kern County, the consequences can be truly life-altering. Too many people sustain catastrophic injuries in truck accidents that could have been avoided with the proper care. Some of the most common injuries reported in commercial trucking accidents in Bakersfield include: 

  • Lacerations and Bruises: These injuries involve cuts and bruises that can range from relatively minor to quite severe. Severe lacerations may need stitches. 
  • Whiplash: A common form of soft tissue damage in trucking accidents, whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. It is a notoriously painful injury that may require ongoing physical therapy. 
  • Broken Bones: Fractures can occur in various parts of the body due to the high-impact force of truck accidents. There may be extensive recovery time. Common broken bones in trucking accidents include: Hands, wrists, arms, ribs, hips, and legs. 
  • Internal Injuries: These include damage to internal organs like the lungs, liver, or kidneys. Internal injuries are always very scary. Unfortunately, there can be life-threatening complications. Immediate medical intervention is an absolute must. 
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Concussions and TBIs are a serious concern in truck accidents. A blow to the head can cause anything from a relatively mild concussion to severe (even permanent) brain damage. 
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: The spinal cord plays a central role in the functioning of the human body. Any degree of damage can lead to partial or complete paralysis. These are always catastrophic injuries. 
  • Amputations: In extreme cases, limbs or extremities may be severed during the accident or require surgical amputation later due to severe injury. For obvious reasons, an amputation will profoundly impact the life of the victim. 

Note: All truck accident injuries require prompt medical attention. Do not assume that your injury is something that will heal on its own. If you were hurt in a truck accident in Bakersfield, make sure you see a doctor right away. Protect your health, well-being, and your legal rights.

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:

Truck drivers:
Truckers typically account for at least one of the liable parties in truck accident claims, as they are required to operate their vehicle at all times. Some common examples of truck driver negligence that can contribute to accidents include speeding, distracted driving, and reckless driving.

Trucking company:
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. The conduct of the trucking company should always be comprehensively investigated after a crash.

Third parties:
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. In some cases, third-party motorists may also bear legal responsibility for contributing to a commercial trucking accident.

Tractor and Trailer:
Different companies may own these two parts of a larger truck, have different protocols to follow, and may have different insurance coverages. As with trucking companies more broadly, the conduct of these parties should also be thoroughly investigated after a major collision.

Truck Manufacturers:
In some cases, tractor-trailer accidents happen as a consequence of truck defects. A manufacturer may bear strict liability for a crash that was caused by or materially made worse by a product defect. Our Bakersfield, CA truck accident lawyers have the skills and experience to take on manufacturer liability claims.

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. It is important to emphasize that commercial carriers—including truckers and trucking companies—have a general legal responsibility to take the proper precautions to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all other road users, including motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

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. Without causation, you cannot establish liability for a semi-truck accident in California.

A civil truck accident claim requires proving actual damages. 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. With very limited exceptions, your financial compensation through a truck accident injury claim will be tied to your actual losses, both economic and non-economic. Our Bakersfield, CA semi-truck accident lawyers can help you document your damages.

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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.  
  3. 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? It would be best if you had 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

In a limited number of commercial truck accident claims in California, punitive damages may also be recovered by the victim and their family. Punitive damages are financial penalties awarded in lawsuits as a way to punish the defendant for particularly harmful, reckless, or malicious behavior. The central purpose of punitive damages is to deter similar unsafe conduct in the future. If you have questions about punitive damages, our Bakersfield, CA truck accident lawyer can help.

Five Tips for Dealing With Insurance Companies After a Truck Accident

For the most part, truck accident claims are handled by large insurance companies. By California law, trucks are covered by more comprehensive—higher value—liability insurance policies that are most passenger cars. With so much at stake in truck accident claims, the big insurance companies invest an enormous amount of time and resources into trying to limit payouts. They are interested in protecting their own bottom line—not in securing the financial future of you and your family. At Oaks Law Firm, our Bakersfield truck accident lawyers know how to take on big insurance companies. Here are five tips for handling insurers after a semi-truck accident in Kern County: 

  • Avoid Giving a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Adjuster: Relatively shortly after a truck accident in Bakersfield, an insurance adjuster may contact you for a recorded statement. Please know that you are not obligated to provide any type of statement to an insurance company representative at this point in the legal claims process. Recorded statements can sometimes be used against you. The adjuster might try to find inconsistencies in your story or illicit statements that can reduce the company’s liability. Insurance companies train their adjusters to come across as friendly and disarming, but the reality is that their job is to find a way for the company to pay less.
  • Never Speculate About the Accident or Your Injuries: When discussing the semi-truck accident with anyone—especially with the insurance company—always stick strictly to the facts. Avoid making guesses or assumptions about what happened or the extent of your injuries. Speculation can lead to misunderstandings and might be used to challenge the validity of your claim. For instance, if you say you are “feeling alright”, the insurance company might try to use that seemingly innocuous statement to argue against your claim.
  • Be Careful About Signing a Release for Your Medical Records: An insurance company that handles a truck accident claim will have some right to review your relevant medical records, but they do not get to dive through your entire medical history. However, they may try to get you to voluntarily turn over all of your medical records. Be careful. An insurance company might use unrelated past medical issues to argue that your current injuries are not solely related to the accident. Let a lawyer review any document before you sign.
  • Know that Insurers Often Lead With a Lower Settlement Offer: Do insurance companies lead with their best and final offer in truck accident injury claims? That is rarely how the system works. Instead, it is a common practice for insurance companies to start with a low settlement offer. They expect that you might negotiate or that you might accept the offer quickly to resolve the matter. Unfortunately, these initial offers are often much lower than what your claim is truly worth. Do not feel pressured to accept the first offer. Never settle a claim for less than you deserve under the law.
  • Always Work Through a Bakersfield, CA Truck Accident Lawyer: Semi-truck accident claims can be very challenging. It is not up to you and your family to shoulder the entire burden alone. The single best tip for handling insurance adjusters after an accident is to do so through your Bakersfield, CA lawyer. Your attorney will have the knowledge and experience to handle insurance companies effectively. The big insurance companies have professionals working for them—you should too.

Semi-Truck Accidents in Bakersfield, CA: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are Truck Accident Cases More Complicated than Car Accident Claims?

Yes. Truck accident cases in California are often more complicated than car accident claims and other types of motor vehicle crashes. This is due to several factors. To start, trucks are typically owned by large companies. A number of corporations may be involved in the operation of a large commercial truck. Beyond that, the size and weight of a semi-truck—up to 80,000 pounds in Central California—can cause more serious accidents. Severe injuries lead to complex cases. Finally, truck drivers are subject to specific federal and state regulations, which can affect the legal process. 

How Long Should I Wait to File a Truck Accident Claim?

The sooner you get started with the legal claims process, the better positioned you will be to get justice. Truck accident claims in California are typically covered by a two year statute of limitations. If you miss that deadline, you could lose your right to take any legal action at all.  You do not want to fall behind in the claim process. Speak to a Bakersfield, CA truck accident lawyer right away.

Does Federal Law Play a Role in a California Truck Accident Claim?

Yes. In fact, federal law can play a significant role in California truck accident claims. That being said, a truck accident injury claim largely falls under state law. Still, the trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a federal agency that establishes standards that trucking companies and drivers must adhere to. Some notable federal regulations include: 

  • Hours of service limitations. 
  • Maintenance requirements. 
  • Driver qualification standards. 

The violations of these federal regulations can be crucial in establishing negligence in a truck accident case. For this reason, it is crucial that every semi-truck accident is investigated by a Bakersfield truck accident lawyer who is familiar with federal law. 

Will My Truck Accident Injury Claim Get Settled?

It depends. That being said, few truck accident claims actually make it through the entire litigation process. Instead, most truck accident injury claims in California get settled out of court. For a number of different reasons, settlements can be advantageous by both plaintiffs and defendants. The likelihood of settlement depends on several factors, including the clarity of liability, the severity of injuries, the strength of the evidence, and the willingness of both parties to negotiate. Insurance companies often play a key role in these negotiations. However, if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.

How Much is My Truck Accident Injury Case Actually Worth?

It depends. The value of a truck accident injury claim in Bakersfield varies based on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the impact of the crash on your life and employment, your medical expenses (both current and future), lost wages, your pain and suffering, and (of course), your ability to prove fault. A top Bakersfield, CA truck accident lawyer can review your case, answer your legal questions, and help you determine the precise value of your case. Do not agree to settle a truck accident claim for less than full and fair value.

Why Rely On Our Bakersfield, CA Truck Accident Lawyers

Commercial truck accident claims are hard. There is a lot of pressure on victims and their families—and, sadly, you cannot count on large trucking companies or their even larger insurance providers to look out for your best interests. At Oaks Law Firm, we go above and beyond to fight for the rights and interests of our clients. When you contact us, you will be able to speak to a top-tier Bakersfield, CA truck accident attorney who can: 

  • Listen to what you have to say, answering your legal questions. 
  • Investigate your collision—with a focus on gathering evidence. 
  • Represent you in any settlement talks with the insurance company.
  • Take aggressive action to ensure you secure the most possible compensation.

Every large truck accident case in California involves its own unique set of facts and circumstances. With this in mind, a one-size-fits-all approach to legal representation is not good enough. Truck accident victims need personalized legal representation. With a documented record of testimonials from former clients and a proven history of case results, you and your family can count on our Bakersfield, CA truck accident lawyers for top-tier guidance and support when it matters most. 

We Handle Semi-Truck Accident Claims in Bakersfield On Contingency 

How much does it cost to hire an experienced Bakersfield truck accident attorney? With the Oaks Law Firm, you do not need to worry about upfront costs, hourly bills, or other out-of-pocket fees. We represent injured victims on a contingency fee basis. Our law firm only gets paid when you get paid. If there is no recovery, there is absolutely no fee. Our Bakersfield, CA semi-truck accident lawyer will comprehensively review your case during a free, no obligation, and strictly confidential consultation to help you determine what comes next.

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.

Matt and his associates work very hard for me, both from a legal and a personal perspective. His staff makes me feel like my total wellness is their goal, and that I'm restored, physically and financially!
-Duane L.
Timely and professional manner. I am greatly appreciative they are representing me.
-Mike N.
Professional, courteous. They go beyond attempting to assist you in getting what you need to get done.
-Christopher F.
My experience here was fantastic they took care of everything. There were absolutely no problems when it came to the actual work and with the communication. I never once fell out of the loop and I knew where my case was at every step of the way. I will never go to anyone else.
-Ani K.
Working with Oaks Law Firm has been easy and informative. They do a great job of follow ups and keeping you informed of every step of your case. They are easily reachable and good at getting back to you when they are out of office. They are very detailed and fight until the end for you. I highly recommend Oaks Law Firm.
-Eric B.
I absolutely love this Law Firm, the staff there are wonderful and very caring. They are responsive to my needs and questions plus the lawyers are very professional and aggressive resulting in the best care and maximum penalty payout. I wouldn't chose another Law Firm.
-Johnny H.
Excellent Law Firm. Oak's Law Firm made the whole process simple and painless.
-Harout A.
It was a pleasure working with the attorneys and the staff here at this firm. I've read a lot about people complaining about lack of communication from attorneys, but not this one! I would definitely recommend Matthew and his staff for injury related cases.
-Danny P.
Easy to talk to, they always return calls & cater to clients. I'm glad I chose Oak's Law Firm to represent me.
-Omar B.
Love you guys so much, Helped me out so much and got me back way more than I thought. Also, I will refer you guys to friends & family and if needed in the future, I will definitely be a return client.
-Lisa G.


Tips For Driving In The Rain
Tips For Driving In The Rain

Driving in conditions that involve strong or heavy wind and rain may not seem like the most pressing safety concern… Continue reading Tips For Driving In The Rain

Read More