Orange County Truck Accident Attorney

Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys Serving Orange County, California

Commercial trucking accident cases are a specialized area of automobile crash litigation in which Aitken * Aitken * Cohn has significant expertise, including trial experience. Adequate representation of a plaintiff injured in a trucking accident requires a thorough understanding of commercial vehicles and their safe operation on the road. In Orange County, the number of accident injuries and fatalities has been increasing, rising from 336 and five, respectively, to 339 and 13 over a recent three-year period. Contact our Orange County truck accident attorney today to learn how we can assist you in pursuing essential legal action following a collision.

Why Should I Hire An Orange County Truck Accident Attorney?

Dealing with accidents involving trucks requires a strong understanding of the law, including state laws that impact the roadways; laws protecting drivers, passengers, and pedestrians; and the court system. At Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, we have extensive personal injury experience in the field of litigation that applies to individuals. Our Orange County personal injury attorneys are committed to providing the highest quality of representation to those injured by commercial vehicles. Consider how our past results have helped shape our success and allowed our clients to pursue a better quality of life in spite of their injuries.

While past case results do not ensure success in every instance, at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, we leverage our extensive experience in handling your truck crash lawsuit. By partnering with us, you will have a dedicated team of seasoned attorneys ready to advocate for you, enhancing the likelihood that you will receive the compensation necessary to cover your expenses and support you as you move forward with your life.

Understanding Truck Accident Injuries

Because trucks are often larger than other vehicles on the road, they have the potential to cause greater injury to the other drivers and passengers involved in accidents with them. There are several types of common truck accident injuries that you may find yourself dealing with in the aftermath of your accident.

  • Whiplash and spinal cord trauma are common in any type of accident. Whiplash occurs when the body is jolted abruptly, requiring the spine to work rapidly in order to secure the head. Often, the muscles are strained as a result of this type of movement, leading to significant pain and suffering following the accident. In some cases, this rough movement may cause higher levels of spinal cord trauma, leading to ongoing pain or even paralysis.
  • Broken bones are commonly caused when a part of the body strikes the pavement, the vehicle in which the injured individual was riding, or another vehicle. During a truck accident, broken arms and legs are common, as are broken extremities: hands, feet, and more. Truck accidents may cause a single broken bone, or they may cause several broken bones across the body, depending on the severity of the collision.
  • Traumatic brain injury occurs when the injured party strikes their head during the accident. Traumatic brain injury can have life-altering symptoms that last for life, including everything from memory loss to struggling to concentrate, personality changes, and difficulty processing normal sensations.
  • Burns can occur when one of the vehicles involved in an accident catches on fire. Vehicles often ignite quickly, requiring injured individuals to move fast in order to get out of danger’s way and prevent a more severe burn injury. Unfortunately, once they have been involved in a serious accident, it can be difficult to prevent vehicles from catching on fire, especially if there is a gas leak or an electrical problem.
  • Cuts and lacerations can be caused by contact with broken pieces of the vehicle or by contact with flying objects within the vehicle during the accident. These cuts and lacerations may be sustained during the accident itself or as victims are attempting to get away from the vehicle.
  • Soft tissue damage may be caused by several factors during the truck accident. Victims may experience bruising, including severe bruising; sprains; strains; and even organ damage.
  • Emotional trauma is every bit as challenging as the physical injuries suffered by individuals involved in truck accidents. Some individuals experience PTSD as a result of their involvement in a truck accident. Others may find themselves dealing with high levels of anxiety, moodiness, depression, or struggling to involve themselves in their normal, everyday activities following a truck accident. Emotional trauma can limit the victim’s life just as much as any physical damage caused by a truck accident.
  • Death. In many cases, truck accident injuries may be severe enough to lead to wrongful death. Because trucks are larger than other vehicles on the road, many vehicles may have little protection against them, which means that their passengers may experience more severe injuries.

“Aitken Aitken Cohn is very efficient and straightforward. Rich is very easy to understand and professional. “

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Determining Fault In A Truck Accident

Identifying the liable party for your truck accident injuries can significantly affect your life after the incident. Collaborating with an attorney is one of the most effective ways to pinpoint who is responsible for the injuries caused in your truck accident case and to pursue the compensation you deserve.

The truck driver operating the vehicle at the time of the accident: In many truck accident cases, liability seems clear-cut. The truck driver may have caused the accident for various reasons, such as:

  • Failing to adhere to traffic laws, including not yielding the right of way, running red lights, excessive speeding, or unsafe merging.
  • Driving while distracted, such as using a smartphone or other device.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Driving while drowsy in an attempt to meet deadlines or accumulate sufficient road time.

The automobile manufacturer: may be responsible for the accident when a product defect in the truck is discovered to have played a critical role in the truck accident. In some cases, the manufacturer may have known that there was a defect in several vehicles of this make and model, but failed to take appropriate steps to notify drivers. In other cases, the manufacturer may not yet have been aware of the defect.

An auto mechanic who worked on the truck: If the truck recently underwent repairs and the mechanic failed to perform them correctly, this could contribute to an accident. The mechanic may also be held liable if they could have reasonably identified a potential issue with the vehicle during the repair but neglected to address or report it.

The company that employs the truck driver: The trucking company may be held partially liable for the damages caused by the accident. If the company engages in unsafe practices, such as requiring drivers to work excessively long hours or falsify records to conceal the actual time spent on the road, it may bear responsibility for the accident. Additionally, the company can be held liable if it continues to employ a driver known for issues with drinking and driving or for causing multiple accidents in the past.

The government: Take a look at the area where your accident occurred. Is it poorly maintained? Was there poor visibility that contributed to the circumstances of the accident? If so, the government agency responsible for maintaining that area or for the design that led to poor visibility may be partially liable for the events that led to the accident.

In the case of truck accidents, there can be many different factors that contribute to liability. By working with an experienced trucking attorney, you can significantly increase the odds that you will correctly identify all the factors that were at work in your accident case so that you can ensure that the people responsible for your accident bear the appropriate liability.

What Are Federal Truck Hours Of Service Requirements?

In an effort to combat truck driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the number of hours that commercial truck drivers are allowed to operate within a day and throughout the workweek.

These regulations limit truckers to driving for 11 hours during a 14-hour. Truckers are responsible for taking a 30-minute rest break after driving for eight consecutive hours. After truck drivers have reached their 11 driving hours for the day, they are required to take 10 hours off before they can resume a new set of daily hours.

The FMCSA also prohibits truckers from being on duty for over 60 hours in a given seven-day period or more than 70 hours in a given eight-day period. After truckers have reached their weekly limit, they are required to take at least 34 hours off before they can resume driving and start a new work week.

Recovering Damages: What Can You Expect?

Recovering damages after your accident may be a top priority, especially if your bills are mounting fast. There are several key types of damages that you can recover under the law:

  • Compensation for past and future pain and suffering. You’ve suffered a great deal of physical and mental anguish as a result of the accident, and compensation can help you move forward with your life.
  • Payment for past and future medical expenses.
  • Lost wage recovery. If you were seriously injured in your truck accident, you may have had to miss work as you were recovering from your injuries. Lost time at work means lost income.
  • Funeral and burial expenses. When a truck accident ends in death, the surviving family members may be able to recover reasonable funeral and burial expenses used to help lay their loved ones to rest.

How Long Do You Have To File A Truck Accident Claim?

Each state sets its own time limits for how long victims have to file personal injury lawsuits against an allegedly negligent truck driver or trucking company. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury. This means that victims of truck accidents have a two-year window to file their claim, or they risk losing the opportunity to recover any compensation for their losses.

Orange County Truck Accident AttorneysHowever, it is not advisable to wait this long to file a personal injury claim. Insurance carrier deadlines are usually much shorter, often requiring accidents to be reported within days of the incident. Additionally, the longer a truck accident victim waits to file a claim, the more likely it is that critical evidence will disappear. The sooner you file a claim and start working with a truck accident attorney, the better. An attorney can promptly begin securing all necessary evidence to prove liability and strive to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf.

Trucking Companies, Insurance Companies, Mechanics: How Do They Try To Avoid Paying After An Orange County Truck Accident?

In an ideal world, the parties responsible for your truck accident would immediately payout the funds you’re owed. Unfortunately, they may instead use several common legal strategies to avoid paying. They may attempt to:

  • Shift liability in your truck accident case to you or another potential cause.
  • Offering a settlement lower than you deserve. Many insurance companies will provide a fast settlement offer that simply doesn’t reflect the true amount of the damages you have suffered.

What To Do Immediately Following a Truck Accident

In the aftermath of a truck accident, taking specific steps can strengthen your claim when seeking compensation:

  1. Seek Medical Care Immediately: Prioritize your health by seeking medical attention as soon as possible. This not only ensures your well-being but also establishes a connection between the truck crash and your injuries.
  2. Document Evidence: If it is safe to do so at the scene of the crash, use a phone or another device to take pictures or videos of damages, injuries, causes of the crash, debris, and more. Collect names and contact information of any eyewitnesses and ask the police how to obtain copies of the accident report.
  3. Keep Track of All Expenses: Document every expense resulting from the accident, including hospital and doctor visits, travel expenses, general household out-of-pocket costs, lost income, and more.
  4. Contact an Attorney: Consult an attorney soon after the accident to improve your chances of building a strong case against the negligent truck driver or trucking company.

Hire A Truck Accident Lawyer In Orange County Today

If you were involved in a truck accident, partnering with a qualified attorney can enhance your recovery amount and save you time and effort when dealing with the insurance company. When you contact Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, you’ll begin with a free consultation to help us understand your accident and needs better. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning our attorneys only get paid if we win your case.

If you were in a truck accident, don’t wait to get legal help. Contact our Orange County truck accident attorney today through our confidential contact form or by phone for a free consultation to learn how we can help you.