A popular tourist destination for visitors en route to Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Luis Obispo receives regular deliveries of goods from large commercial trucks to support the daily needs of the tens of thousands of residents, students, and visitors in the area. Unfortunately, sometimes these trucks collide with other vehicles and cause devastating injuries.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a collision with a commercial vehicle, contact a San Luis Obispo truck accident attorney at Frederick Law Firm immediately. We can review the details of your case and determine if you qualify to bring a personal injury claim.
Who Is Liable for Injuries After a Truck Accident?
Generally, when another driver’s negligence causes your accident, they might be liable for the financial losses you suffered due to the crash. However, pursuing full compensation for a truck accident might involve bringing claims against several parties. There are several parties involved with any given commercial truck, including the driver, the trucking company, the shipping company, and the truck manufacturer. That means multiple parties might be liable for your accident, depending on what factors contributed to the crash.
In many cases, the truck driver doesn’t own the vehicle. Instead, a truck company owns the truck and hires drivers to take the trucks from place to place.
When a truck driver’s actions cause a truck accident, they may be personally liable for your losses. However, if the truck driver was acting within the scope of their employment, their employer may be responsible for those losses. Alternatively, suppose the shipping company encouraged drivers to disobey Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations designed to prevent fatigued driving. In that case, the shipping company may be liable for any damages resulting from a crash.
Additionally, truck companies are responsible for maintaining their trucks and ensuring they are ready to use. If a maintenance issue causes a collision, the trucking company may be liable for those losses.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident, contact a truck accident attorney in San Luis Obispo at Frederick Law Firm. Our team has decades of experience helping victims of truck accidents. We look forward to putting our resources and skills to work for you.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
A wide variety of circumstances can cause a truck accident. Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Unsafe lane movement,
- Following too closely,
- Driving too fast for weather conditions,
- Improper passing,
- Distracted driving,
- Overcorrecting, and
- Falling asleep at the wheel.
A truck accident can happen in many different scenarios, just like an accident between two passenger vehicles.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in San Luis Obispo
No one starts their day expecting to suffer injuries in a truck accident. Unfortunately, thousands of people suffer injuries in truck accidents every year. In 2020, the National Safety Council reported that an estimated 107,000 large trucks were involved in accidents that resulted in injury. In the event you are involved in a truck collision, we’ve outlined some steps you can take to help maximize your potential recovery.
Find Somewhere to Safely Pull Over
Your safety should always be your first priority. Therefore, the first thing you should do is pull your vehicle off the road and check for any injuries to you or your passengers.
If your accident happened on a busy road or highway, it is critical that you get your vehicle to a safe location. Once your vehicle is out of harm’s way, check yourself and your passengers for significant or life-threatening injuries. You should not try to leave the scene of the crash. Even if you are only trying to get help, law enforcement may think you are trying to flee the scene.
Contact Law Enforcement and Report the Collision
Once you safely pull off the road and evaluate yourself for injuries, you should contact a local law enforcement agency.
While contacting the authorities might feel intimidating, doing so can actually be a great benefit to your potential legal claim moving forward. When you report an accident to law enforcement, they will create a formal accident report. This accident report will likely include the following information:
- Names and contact information for parties involved,
- Contact information for insurance carriers,
- Make and model of vehicles involved in the accident, and
- Officer impressions of who caused the accident.
All this information can be extremely useful when your attorney is building your case. If you suffered injuries in the truck collision, law enforcement will also contact an ambulance to transport you to the hospital.
Preserve Evidence from Your Truck Accident
You can document your San Luis Obispo truck accident yourself by taking photographs or video of the accident scene and providing a statement to the police. When you speak to the police, make sure you stick to the facts and don’t apologize for the accident or make any statements that could be interpreted as you assuming responsibility for the accident. You should also note the names and contact information of witnesses who saw your truck accident.
Additionally, you should keep any medical bills and repair invoices that show costs you incurred because of the accident. This information can help your truck accident lawyer in San Luis Obispo, CA, calculate the value of your claim.
Reach Out to a San Luis Obispo Truck Accident Lawyer
An insurance adjuster might reach out to you right after your truck accident and offer you a settlement worth much less than you deserve. If you accept a settlement that doesn’t adequately cover your expenses, you can’t go back and try to recover more money later.
At Frederick Law Firm, our award-winning team has been fighting for the rights of injured truck accident victims for more than three decades. We know how to negotiate with insurance companies and make sure your rights are protected throughout the claims process. And, if the insurance company doesn’t offer you a fair settlement, we are never afraid to go to trial. Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help you.