Did a negligent truck driver in California injure you? If so, you have legal rights. However, the truck driver’s employer and the insurance company might try to make you believe that you are at fault and therefore ineligible to receive any compensation. While that might be true in some states, it is not true in California. Contact The Paris Firm today if you sustained injuries in a California truck accident. We have decades of experience assisting injured victims in recovering compensation for a truck accident claim.
You deserve a lawyer who cares about you and doesn’t treat you like just another case file. You need an aggressive attorney who will fight for what you deserve and is also compassionate and understanding. We know what a stressful time this is for you. When you hire The Paris Firm, we will take care of all the complicated legal issues so you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
It’s crucial to stay calm after an accident, especially a California truck accident. The steps you take immediately following the accident can eventually impact your truck accident claim.
Call the Police
If no one else has already called 911, call and ask for help. They should dispatch an emergency response team to the scene of the accident. It’s essential to contact the police, even if no one seems seriously injured. Getting an official police report matters because it serves as evidence in a truck accident claim.
Exchange Contact Information
Make sure you get contact information for all involved parties. You want to get driver’s license information, truck ownership, insurance, registration documents, employer, etc. If anyone stopped as a witness, be sure to ask for their contact information. Sometimes a witness may not be able to wait until the police arrive because they need to get to work or have an appointment.
Take Scene Photos
Get photos of the vehicle damage and the surrounding scene if you can do it safely. Take pictures of any crucial elements, such as skid marks, debris, etc. What was the weather like at the time of the accident? For example, you’ll want photos that show the ground is wet if it is raining. These photos can become a vital piece of your claim for a truck accident in California.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you do not go to the hospital from the accident scene, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Delaying treatment can impact your California truck accident claim. If you allow time to lapse, the claims adjuster will argue that your injuries were not caused by the crash—but by some intervening event between the crash and when you first sought treatment. They may also argue that your injuries cannot be severe because you didn’t go to the doctor. Also, be sure to follow your doctor’s treatment plan, or the defendant’s insurance company will use that against you and claim you made your injuries worse by not following the doctor’s orders.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
You must report the accident to your insurance company, even if you are not at fault. Many insurance policies have terms that stipulate you must notify them of an accident within a certain amount of time. It’s better if you file the claim with your own insurance first, rather than the other driver doing so.
Hire a California Truck Accident Lawyer
The defendant’s insurance company will tell you that you don’t need a lawyer to represent you. You must remember that they do not have your best interests in mind. The insurance company doesn’t want you to have legal representation because an attorney will protect your rights and fight for every dollar you deserve. The adjuster wants to resolve the case quickly and for as little money as possible—and they know that if you have an attorney, they cannot take advantage of you with a quickie lowball offer.
Proving the Defendant Is Negligent in a Truck Accident in California
A truck accident claim typically involves multiple defendants. There might be several other drivers, the truck driver’s employer, and possibly even a mechanic or auto parts manufacturer who could share responsibility for the crash. Your attorney will request or subpoena all necessary documentation to prove your case, which could include:
- Driver log books;
- Delivery documents;
- Driver’s license check;
- Drug screening results;
- Company dispatch instructions;
- Bill of lading; and
- Company’s policies and procedures manual.
California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means you have the right to pursue compensation even if you contributed to the accident somehow. However, your payment will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 15% at fault, the maximum compensation you would receive is 85% of your damages. If you were 85% at fault, you would receive 15% of your damages.
When you are involved in a truck accident in California, the defendant’s insurance company will try to place as much liability on you as possible. Their goal is to reduce or eliminate their exposure. Without any legal experience, the adjuster will try to convince you that you’re primarily at fault. That’s why you need skilled legal representation.
Call The Paris Firm Today
If you need assistance with a pending truck accident claim, speak with one of our helpful staff today. When it comes to maximizing the compensation you deserve, The Paris Firm is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and let us review your case. We will let you know the best course of legal action and your potential settlement value. When you decide to pursue a California truck accident claim, The Paris Firm stands ready to help.