It’s hard to imagine; you’re in a car and suddenly you collide with a vehicle that is 20 times larger. Unfortunately, 18 wheeler wrecks are not uncommon in Southern California. At freeway speeds, a crash with a semi-truck can cause catastrophic injuries or even death. If you or someone you love was hurt in such a scenario, schedule a free consultation with Long Beach truck accident lawyer Michael D. Waks.
The Law Office of Michael D. Waks employs an aggressive investigative team and top experts. Every detail of a truck accident is closely examined so the negligent party can be held responsible.
Don’t delay. Protect your rights. Important physical evidence is quickly lost, and witnesses forget vital details. Schedule a free case review today by calling (888) 394 1174.
Duty of Care in Truck Accident Cases
To prevail in a third-party insurance claim, you will have to prove that the liable party breached the duty of care owed to you. That means they behaved negligently. As your Long Beach truck accident attorney, Michael D. Waks can review black box data, evaluate surveillance footage, talk to witnesses, and assess other evidence to determine how exactly your wreck happened and whether negligence played a role.
California is one of the few states that impose a slower speed limit for big rigs, semi-trucks, and commercial vehicles. That is because federal crash statistics have determined that 20% of big rig semi-truck accidents are due to excessive speed.
Semi-truck drivers and the companies they work for have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. Yet unsafe driving, oversized loads, drinking, fatigue, and insufficient training are all factors that contribute to serious truck accidents in Long Beach and surrounding communities. No stone can be left unturned in determining the cause of a truck accident and liability.
With more than 30 years of experience, attorney Michael D. Waks knows how to maximize the value of a truck accident claim, and he won’t settle for less than you deserve.
Our law firm has the experience and resources to handle truck accident cases involving:
- Tractor trailers
- 18- wheelers
- Big rigs
- Cement Trucks
- Fire Engines
What Can I Do to Help Settle My Case?
While it may seem like you would benefit from a fast settlement, it is sometimes best to hold off on negotiations in order to secure the highest possible compensation. This might be the case, for example, if you have not yet reached maximum medical improvement. If your wounds still need time to heal, your lawyer might advise putting off the settlement talks until you have a clear understanding of your total damages, both past and future.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take that might prevent disputes, which in turn could speed up the proceedings and increase your chances of recovering fair compensation. Those steps include:
- Attend Medical Appointments and Follow-ups: When you’re experiencing extreme pain, it can be difficult to get out of bed and visit the doctor. However, if you’ve been instructed to attend follow-ups or consultations with specialists, you should take steps to make sure you never miss an appointment. If the insurance company discovers that you failed to follow your doctor’s orders, they may assert that your negligence caused your condition to worsen. In such situations, you may be held liable for some or all of your damages.
- Preserve Evidence: Whether it’s invoices documenting your medical expenses or photographs of your injuries taken at the scene, you should make sure that all evidence related to the accident is preserved to share with your attorney during your initial consultation. It may help to create a dedicated folder to compile this information. Keep in mind that one misplaced receipt could alter the trajectory of your case, making it incredibly difficult for you to prove certain damages.
- Stay Away from Social Media: If you’re stuck at home recovering from your injuries, social media may be your only link to the outside world. However, while posting on these sites can help you stay connected during these trying times, it could also spell the end of your personal injury claim. There’s always a chance the insurance company is monitoring your online profiles for evidence that could be used to dispute your claim. From pictures to comments to reviews, insurers have developed intricate strategies to leverage claimants’ social media activity to their advantage. It’s recommended that you disable your accounts until your case is resolved. However, if you are unable to do so, you should avoid discussing anything related to the accident, posting pictures of yourself, or “checking in” while you are out and about.
Important Steps to Take After Suffering Injuries in an 18 Wheeler Crash
In school, we learn how to plot graphs, contemplate Shakespeare, and label every part of a plant cell, but nothing prepares us for what to do after a serious accident. It’s a traumatic event that leaves most victims disoriented and in shock, and in that moment it’s easy to make mistakes that could come back to haunt you.
Take a deep breath, assess the situation, and think carefully about your next steps. Taking the right actions could help you lay the foundation for a strong truck accident claim.
Below are a few steps you should take after suffering a serious injury in any motor-vehicle crash:
- Report Your Injury: If you were involved in a truck accident, you should contact the police. Responding officers will investigate and compile a traffic crash report (TCR) on the incident. Reporting the incident will create a paper trail that could help your Long Beach truck accident lawyer get a strong start to the investigation.
- Seek Medical Attention: Whether your injuries are serious or you seemingly walked away unscathed, you should always visit the doctor after an accident to cover your bases. There’s a chance that you suffered a catastrophic injury, but the symptoms are latent. Getting a prompt diagnosis will help you find out whether you’re in the clear or require further treatment. Additionally, it will reduce the risk of facing disputes if you eventually file a claim. For instance, if you did not seek treatment in a timely manner, the insurance company may assert that your condition cannot be very serious as you didn’t require urgent medical attention.
- Keep Records: Whether it’s invoices for medical procedures or receipts for meals at the hospital cafeteria, you need to be diligent about tracking your damages. Before you can receive a financial award, you will need to produce evidence of your losses. For example, paystubs and letters from your employer can help prove lost wages, your repair bills can show the full extent of your property damage, and medical records will demonstrate the severity of your injuries and the expenses you’ve incurred.
- Call a Lawyer: You should contact a truck accident lawyer right away, preferably the day of the crash. By doing so, your legal team will get a headstart on the investigation while essential evidence is still available and unaltered.
Truck Accident Injuries Can be Devastating
Given the difference in size and weight, the consequences for a car involved in a truck accident can be tragic. The force of the impact can cause spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries or even death. In an instant, through no fault of your own, your life, and the lives of your family, can be turned upside down.
If you need legal advice after being injured in a traffic wreck, call (888) 394 1174 for a free case evaluation. Michael Waks will provide an honest assessment of your situation and help you plot the way forward.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in Long Beach, CA for a Free Consultation
If you are intending to file a truck accident claim in Southern California, contact Michael D. Waks for legal representation. Michael has spent more than 30 years fighting for the rights of accident victims and their families, recovering numerous six- and seven-figure financial awards for his clients.
To discuss your claim with a truck accident attorney, book a free case evaluation with Michael D. Waks. He can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your claim, answer your questions, and discuss potential outcomes for your case. Contact our offices today at (888) 394-1174 to get started.