With millions of yearly car accidents resulting in injuries requiring medical attention, car crashes bring pain, suffering, and financial stress to Americans every day. When your accident involves a large commercial truck, the damage can be even greater and more dangerous due to the size and weight of most commercial tractor-trailers.

If you’ve been in an accident with a commercial truck in California, you may be struggling to recover and afford growing expenses related to the crash. You may be in urgent need of funds for continuing medical appointments and therapy, and you may be concerned about your financial wellbeing due to lost work. 

Ernst Law Group has been representing the victims of car and truck accidents in California for 35 years. We are passionate about helping our clients recover the maximum amount to cover the damages from an accident. 

If you’ve recently been in a car or truck accident in San Luis Obispo or the surrounding area, our dedicated group of San Luis Obispo car accident attorneys will stick by your side throughout the entire process. Give us a call at (805) 541-0300 for a free consultation, and we can show you the path to adequate compensation.

General Timeline of a California Truck Accident

The First 24 Hours

If you’re in an accident in California, the first thing you should do is contact the police. They will generate a report that will be key in proving fault later on in your case. 

If you’re seriously injured, paramedics should take you to a hospital immediately. If not, spend some time documenting the scene of the accident by taking pictures and video of the vehicles and surrounding area. 

Speak with the other drivers and exchange insurance and contact information. If your accident involved a commercial driver, ask to see their commercial driver’s license (CDL), their liability policy number, and any information on their employer or contract awarder. Be sure to get the identification number on the side of the cab and the trailer. 

If you don’t need immediate medical attention, see a doctor within 24 hours of the accident to ensure all injuries are properly documented and treated.

The First Few Weeks

Contact your insurance company within the first few days after the accident. You will want to ensure the accident is on their records but should avoid admitting blame when dealing with them. If the other driver’s insurance contacts you, you have no legal obligation to tell them anything other than your name, basic contact information, and confirmation of the details listed on the police report. 

It’s always important to remember that an insurance company’s primary motive is their own profit. They will look for every way to decrease the amount you’re owed in damages, and will usually attempt to get you to settle for far less than you deserve. For this reason, you should contact a skilled San Luis Obispo truck accident lawyer shortly after your accident, and preferably before speaking to insurance companies. 

By enlisting the help of a seasoned accident attorney, you boost your chances of recovering all the damages you suffered in the truck accident. We will be able to speak with the insurance companies on your behalf and advise you on whether to accept or deny an initial settlement offer. 

The Next Months

Based on the complexity of determining fault in the accident, the amount of damages, opposing insurance companies, and the skills of your legal representation, your truck accident case could take weeks or months to resolve. Some take a year or more. A quality lawyer will keep you informed during this time, and help you understand each milestone along the way.

Differences Between Settling a Car Accident Case and Truck Accident Case

While the general progression of a car accident and truck accident case is similar in California, some factors differentiate the two. Make sure you look for a San Luis Obispo accident lawyer with experience dealing with truck accident cases.

Due to the value of their vehicles and the amount of potential damage they can cause, freight companies and their truck operators usually have much more insurance coverage than a typical passenger motorist. These insurance companies are often highly aggressive and utilize tactics that can slow down your attempts to recover the proper damages.

The average cost in total damages for a commercial truck accident is $120,000, which is significantly higher than a regular car accident. These costs often contribute to longer delays when going through the claims process, and can lead to months of waiting and deliberating.

A skilled California truck accident lawyer will explore every avenue when seeking damages for your accident. This includes examining potential negligence on behalf of the truck driver or their employer. That can take more time than a normal car accident, but will ultimately improve the chances of you receiving a settlement that properly covers all of your damages.

A San Luis Obispo Truck Accident Lawyer for Your Case

When looking for a California truck accident attorney to represent you and seek reparation for your injuries and suffering, ensure they’ve got a history of winning cases like yours. You’ll want a team with good standing in their community and recognition or awards from law associations. 

Ernst Law Group has been representing the victims of California truck accidents for decades. We understand the physical and mental pain you’re in. With a free, no-obligation phone call, you can find out if you’re entitled to a larger settlement than an insurance company may be offering. Talk to us at (805) 541-0300 and we can help get you on the path to a proper financial recovery quickly.