Delivery trucks populate our highways and city streets throughout California, transporting essential goods to maintain our thriving economy. However, these vehicles, though smaller than large commercial trucks, still carry significant risks to others if they cause a crash. Passengers in cars and trucks could suffer severe injuries and need the help of a skilled California semi-truck accident lawyer to seek compensation.
At Ernst Law Group, we understand how complex these cases can be. When you contact us for a free consultation, an experienced California delivery truck accident attorney will discuss your claim and explain your legal options. We can investigate and guide you through the insurance and lawsuit processes.
Why do I need a delivery truck accident attorney?
The first step to seek damages after a delivery truck accident in California will be to file an insurance claim against the at-fault party. For truck drivers, you will file against the trucking company. You will work with their insurer if the driver is an independent owner-operator. Regardless, you should initiate your claim as soon as possible.
California is an at-fault state for automotive insurance, meaning the liable party’s insurance policy must pay for all injuries and damages the covered driver causes. This may motivate the insurance adjusters to fight paying the full value of your claim. For example, insurers may claim you were more at fault than you were.
Insurance adjusters may claim your injuries aren’t as severe as your claim details or that your injuries are exaggerated.
Large trucking companies sometimes have teams of attorneys who will conduct an independent investigation into your claim to find potential holes. Working with a lawyer can help you protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve.
How much does it cost to hire a delivery truck accident attorney in California?
At Ernst Law Group, we demonstrate our full commitment to you through our no contingency fee policy. You won’t face any charges unless we successfully settle your accident claim. Our lawyers offer complimentary consultations, allowing you to begin your legal process without financial obligation. Reach out to us now to arrange your free consultation and embark on your path to legal assistance.
Why are delivery truck crash cases so challenging?
They’re especially dangerous
It’s common for delivery truck drivers to work for small businesses, so they may not have much experience handling a larger vehicle. Putting someone in charge of a massive truck without the proper training and background means others could suffer severe injuries in a crash. Even though they are smaller than tractor-trailers, the mass of these vehicles means they take much longer to stop than passenger cars. They also are more prone to rollover accidents, which could crush cars or pedestrians.
When a delivery truck hits a smaller vehicle, the larger forces at play mean more force is transferred to other drivers. This results in more severe injuries and automobile damage. Victims can become trapped or thrown from their cars or trucks, leading to broken bones or head injuries.
FedEx and UPS hire drivers as independent contractors, not employees
Being involved in an accident with a FedEx or UPS delivery truck carries its challenges. These companies do not hire their drivers outright. Instead, they are considered independent contractors, and these employers use this to put a barrier between their drivers’ actions and corporate responsibility. They push their contractors to meet more demanding delivery quotas which could encourage these drivers to cut corners and risk safety.
Your California delivery truck accident lawyer should have a strong background in managing these claims. Holding these companies accountable requires special knowledge and skills since they are set up to prevent accountability in the event of a truck accident. Demonstrating how corporate culture contributes to a crash can be valuable in presenting a compelling claim against either company.
Both FedEx and UPS operate thousands of trucks on California roads every day, meaning you could be hurt by someone who is pressured to deliver too many packages too fast for safety. Instead of suffering the consequences of their negligence, allow our team to represent you and work to give you the best chance of securing a satisfactory outcome against these large employers.
What are some common injuries in delivery truck accidents?
Being hit by a much larger vehicle can cause serious injuries. You may need to be hospitalized or have surgery; recovering could take a long time. Our California delivery truck accident attorneys have handled many cases involving injuries such as:
- Amputation or loss of limb
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Back and spinal damage
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Cuts, scrapes, and road rash
Victims also suffer substantial mental trauma and need extensive therapy and rehabilitation. Treatment costs can pile up very quickly, leading to additional stress and worry over how to pay bills if you are out of work due to your injuries. A compassionate and skilled lawyer can work with you to hold those at fault accountable for their negligence and obtain fair compensation for your losses.
What are some common causes of delivery truck accidents?
Delivery trucks must navigate alleyways and the loading areas of shopping malls, grocers, and other retailers. Sometimes, delivery trucks make an unexpected entrance into normal traffic. If the driver is not always careful, they may collide with a passenger vehicle or strike a pedestrian in the area.
Most of these crashes are caused by human negligence, whether by the driver or someone else. When a California delivery truck accident lawyer examines the evidence, they often see situations involving:
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Drowsy driving
- Failure to obey traffic laws
- Overweighted or unbalanced cargo
- Distracted driving
- Lack of training or experience
- Malfunctioning braking or acceleration systems
- Poor repair or maintenance
- Defective manufacturing
- Failure to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations
In other instances, another driver may be at fault for causing a situation where a delivery truck driver hits other vehicles. Also, weather or road conditions could contribute to a crash. Determining what happened and who is at fault is crucial for your delivery truck accident lawyer in California.
Who may be found liable in a California delivery truck accident?
Identifying who is responsible for your crash can be challenging. Even when the situation seems very clear and straightforward, additional people or entities could contribute to the accident. Collecting all relevant evidence and building an accurate case requires a thorough investigation.
An experienced delivery truck accident attorney in California will perform many services to find all potential parties who could be at fault. These could include:
- Repair crews that failed to fix potholes or remove road debris
- Careless drivers whose actions caused the crash
- Repair shops that performed substandard work
- Manufacturers that produced faulty parts or vehicles
- Trucking companies or distributors that failed to train their drivers
Trucking companies, distributors, and other entities must vet and hire quality drivers for their delivery trucks. If they fail to perform background checks, train properly, or review safety records, they could put a negligent person behind the wheel of a large, heavy vehicle. This creates liability on their part and could result in severe injuries for you.
How is fault determined in delivery truck accident cases?
After discovering all parties that played a part in your crash, your attorney should begin building your case to demonstrate who bears what percentage of fault. They will gather information from a variety of sources, such as:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Insurance claims
- Photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and the vehicles
- Video from traffic cameras, dash cams, and bystander cellphones
- Accident reconstruction analysis
- Expert testimony
- Medical records
- Auto repair estimates
- Driving and training records for the delivery truck driver
- Maintenance records for the truck
To prove negligence, your lawyer will need to show evidence that demonstrates the delivery truck driver or other parties owed you a duty of care and failed in that duty. Your attorney should also show proof of your injuries and how they directly relate to the at-fault parties’ negligent actions. To support your claim for damages, your lawyer will present documents calculating your financial losses related to your injuries.
California uses pure comparative negligence to determine fault and award damages. This can work for and against you, since you can still seek compensation if you contributed to a crash. However, the opposing side will try to claim you are more to blame than they are as they try to reduce what they may have to pay. Your California delivery truck accident lawyer will fight to ensure you get the maximum financial relief possible in your circumstances.
How can Ernst Law Group help me?
Because you can be hurt so badly in a delivery truck accident, you will likely be facing a long physical and emotional recovery. These events can be traumatizing and leave you with sky-high medical bills, plus pain and suffering. Instead of trying to negotiate directly with insurance companies or figure out the legal system for a lawsuit, you can turn these worries over to our truck crash attorneys.
Beginning with a free initial case review, we put your fears to rest by educating you about the strength of your claim and the choices you have. We never push you to do something you don’t want to, and always ensure you can make an informed decision. Your attorney will act on your direction, managing the details of communicating your needs with the opposing parties and filing the necessary paperwork.
They will handle these concerns while you focus on getting better. As the insurance company makes settlement offers, your lawyer will advise you on whether they think the company could offer more. If the negotiations aren’t fruitful, your attorney can help you decide if you want to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable parties to seek total damages.
Hurt in a crash? Speak with a qualified California delivery truck accident attorney today.
If a delivery truck driver has injured you or a loved one, it’s vital that you act right away to begin your compensation claim. California’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim against the driver or trucking company is only two years from the crash date. If you wait too long, you could lose the chance to secure justice.
At Ernst Law Group, we won’t let that happen. When you come for a free consultation, we’ll advise you immediately if your claim is valid and how to proceed. We’ll build your case on the details of your situation, customizing our approach to give us the best chance at success for you. We offer contingency, meaning you don’t have to pay our fees if we don’t obtain a settlement.
Contact us online or at (805) 541-0300 to schedule a meeting with a top-quality California delivery truck accident attorney.
The most important thing you can do after a truck accident is to seek medical attention immediately. After this, you should document the situation as much as possible and try to preserve evidence that could be used in your case.
You should not speak to the insurance company until you have hired a lawyer. Hiring an attorney early on is crucial because only after your California semi truck accident lawyer has reviewed the case will they determine if it is worth pursuing further.
Truck accidents are often caused by negligence on the part of the carrier. When the negligent party is likely to be insured, an attorney can ensure that you receive full compensation for your damages.
You can speak to the police officer at the scene of an accident. However, you are not required to say anything without first consulting with your attorney.
We recommend that you cooperate but be sure not to admit fault for anything.
Several parties can be held responsible for your accident. These include:
- Trucking company
- Truck driver
- Entity responsible for road maintenance
In California, you have two years to file a lawsuit from the time of the accident. However, filing as soon as possible is crucial because evidence can be altered or destroyed over time.
If the statute of limitations passes, you will not be able to seek compensation.
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“I could not be more satisfied with Ernst Law Group. Over the course of my case they were nothing but kind and friendly. When you’re in a situation where you need a lawyer it can be a very stressful time…Samantha Spelman
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