Living or passing through Bakersfield, CA means it’s inevitable you’ll share the road with plenty of big rig trucks. The city is a major distribution and agricultural hub and is located near heavily-trafficked Interstate 5. Even though the city’s explosive growth has been good for the local economy, it does have one major downside: a significant increase in commercial truck accidents over the last 20 years.
Given that big rig trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, an accident with one can be devastating if you’re traveling in a car. What’s more, trucking companies are notorious for aggressively defending themselves against truck accident claims regardless of the extent of your injuries.
If you find yourself in a situation like this, you shouldn’t deal with transportation company insurance adjusters directly Instead, let an accident lawyer at The Dominguez Firm handle your claim for you. We have over 35 years of experience litigating complex trucking personal injury cases. Call our truck accident law firm at 800-818-1818 for a free consultation today.
What Should I Do If I Get Into a Big Rig Truck Accident in Bakersfield?
When it comes to trucking accidents, your first priority should always be your health and safety. Being hit by a big rig is one of the most frightening experiences a person can endure. Many times, drivers traveling in cars suffer serious injuries and need to be rushed to the hospital. Given the severity of most big rig accidents, it’s inevitable Bakersfield police will arrive at the scene of the accident.
If you are physically able to, take the following steps. They will help strengthen your big rig accident case and your ability to seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
Move to a safe area and call 911 right away – If your accident happened on a busy street or freeway, see if you can move away from traffic. Only do this if it is safe to do so. Then, call 911. If you can’t, have someone else do it for you. When the police arrive, be polite and answer their questions to the best of your abilities. Don’t speculate or give unnecessary information. Also, do not apologize to anyone at the scene of the accident since this can be used against you.
Even if you somehow appear to be uninjured, you should still seek medical attention immediately. You’re probably experiencing an adrenaline rush which could be masking a serious injury. You might also have dangerous internal injuries and not know it.
Gather all necessary information – Get the insurance, license and employer information of the truck driver. Do the same if there were other drivers involved. Ask witnesses for their names, emails and telephone numbers. Also, make sure you get the names and badge numbers of the officers who respond.
Take photos of your injuries. Photograph damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved including the big rig truck. Also, photograph any relevant traffic lights or signs. Make sure you take your photos from several different angles to give a better perspective of what happened.
Just as importantly, avoid posting anything on social media regarding your truck accident injury or injuries. Don’t get into arguments or even discuss your Bakersfield truck accident with anyone online. The insurance company for the trucking company will delve into your social media accounts and try to find anything they can use against you. And if you contend these are personal accounts outsiders can’t read, realize that they will do everything in their power to access them. In short, it’s not worth jeopardizing your case by posting about it online.
Call The Dominguez Firm right away – After you’ve taken the steps outlined above, call the Bakersfield big rig accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm immediately. The sooner you get us involved, the quicker we can get to work investigating and building your case.
If you had to be rushed to the hospital because of your injuries, our in-house investigators and attorneys will work hard to piece together the chain of events that led to your big rig accident. Our injury lawyers will build the strongest big rig accident case possible on your behalf.
The Trucking Company Says There’s No Need to Involve an Accident Lawyer. Is That True?
Transportation companies and their insurance providers do not have your best interests at heart. They are in the business of making money, not handing out large payouts for truck accident injuries. Regardless of the extent of your injuries, they will try to get you to take a low offer so they can quickly close out your claim. Another tactic an insurance company attorney may use is to tell you a personal injury lawyer will slow the process down. An adjuster may also say they need a recorded statement from you, which isn’t true either.
Instead, let the truck accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm fight to get you the maximum compensation available for your injuries. When you’re represented by an accident lawyer, insurance companies handle your claim differently because they know their shady tactics won’t work. The Dominguez Firm can skillfully deal with the insurance adjusters while you concentrate on getting better.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Bakersfield Truck Accidents?
We’ve all heard about the tight deadlines and long distances commercial truck drivers must deal with. Federal regulations limit them to 14 consecutive hours of driving if they’ve been off duty for 10 straight hours beforehand. However, drivers sometimes push themselves and their trucks beyond this limit to get to their destinations on time. This leads to a potentially deadly combination of speeding and driver fatigue.
Besides fatigue and speeding, other ways truck drivers can cause accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to obey traffic signals and signs
- Alcohol or drug abuse
In some cases, the other driver is responsible for the big rig accident for the exact three reasons listed directly above. Other potential causes of big rig accidents and who would be responsible are:
- Poor training – The blame would fall on the truck driver’s employer if they weren’t trained properly.
- A poorly maintained truck – Whoever was responsible for maintaining the truck would be liable. It could be the trucking transportation company, a leasing company or the driver themselves if they owned the big rig.
- An improperly loaded or overloaded truck – Determining responsibility for the crash will depend on who loaded the truck.
- Poor road conditions – If it can be proven a big rig crash was caused by poorly maintained or designed roads, the city or even a contractor hired by the city would be the target of the lawsuit.
- A vehicle defect to the truck – The manufacturer would be the target of a lawsuit by the truck accident victims.
On a side note, if you were seriously injured in an accident betweentwo large commercial trucks or any other vehicle, call The Dominguez Firm right away for a free consultation. Not all accidents involving trucks are the fault of the truck driver. In fact, many times, other drivers are to blame. As a truck driver, you have rights too. Contact us at 800-818-1818 for a free consultation today.
Big rig accidents are very complex. Whatever the cause of the crash, multiple drivers and companies can easily be involved. Given all of this, it’s important to hire a Bakersfield truck accident lawyer right away.
What Are Some Common Injuries in Truck Accidents?
Unlike a car accident, even low speeds collisions with trucks can cause catastrophic injuries or death. This is quite different from the injuries typically suffered in car accidents at similar speeds. Some of the most common injuries from collisions with trucks include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Back injuries, including spinal cord injuries that cause paralysis
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Nerve injuries
- Crush injuries
- Scarring and burning
Even a so-called minor injury such as whiplash can take months or years to recover from. For more serious injuries, the victim may require in-home care over many years.
According to Your Attorneys, What is My Bakersfield Truck Accident Claim Worth?
No truck accident lawyer can give you an exact answer to this question because no two accidents are alike. What we can do is compare your case to similar big rig accident cases we’ve handled in the past.
Once you have established who was to blame for your crash, you must show what it has cost you economically and emotionally (non-economically). The compensation you would be entitled to is legally called damages. Among the economic damages you could collect are:
- Medical bills including
- Ambulance fees
- Emergency room fees
- All follow up medical treatments associated with your big rig accident injuries
- Any needed physical therapy and/or rehabilitation
- Any needed prescription drugs
- In the case of more serious injuries, home modifications and in-home care
- Property damage, which is the cost to repair or replace your car
- All lost wages now and in the future if you are left permanently disabled
The largest bulk of your compensation would come from your non-economic damages. Those are meant to compensate you for the emotional losses you suffered due to your truck accident injuries. They can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium (spouse)
If the defendant’s behavior was particularly malicious the victim may be awarded punitive damages too. These damages are rarely given. When they are, it’s more to make an example of the defendant and discourage similar behavior by others in the future.
How Do You Prove My Big Rig Truck Accident Case?
The Dominguez Firm has its own in-house staff of investigators ready to collect evidence and help our lawyers present the strongest case possible in your name. We begin working on your Bakersfield truck accident claim as soon as you become our client.
Our experienced award-winning litigators know all the municipal, state and federal laws associated with accidents and the trucking industry. We also have the resources to retain truck accident experts as needed. And if the trucking company’s insurance adjuster won’t make a fair offer for your injuries upon being presented with our evidence, we’re not afraid to go to trial. Not every law firm has the finances, resources or seasoned trial attorneys to do so.
We have won millions for seriously injured big rig accident victims in Bakersfield, let us help you too.
How Do I Pay You If I Hire You as My Truck Accident Attorney?
At The Dominguez Firm, we work on a contingency basis. That simply means you don’t pay us anything upfront when we take on your case. Instead, we receive a percentage of your final settlement or verdict amount. That percentage will be clearly stated in the client representation agreement you sign with us, so there are no surprises. You don’t have to deal with any hidden fees or out-of-pocket expenses while your case is ongoing either.
And in the extremely rare case we’re unable to secure any compensation for you, you owe us nothing. We promise: if there is no recovery, there is no fee!
I May Share Part of the Blame for My Bakersfield Big Rig Truck Accident. Can The Dominguez Firm Still Help Me?
Yes, California is a comparative fault state. Simply stated, you can share part of the blame for your big rig truck accident and still sue those responsible. The court will determine your percentage of fault and subtract that from your final compensation. For example, if you are awarded $1.5 million for your truck accident injuries, but are determined to be 25% responsible, you would receive $1,125,000. That is, 25% of $1.5 million, which is $375,000 would be subtracted.
Don’t let doubts about whether you were to blame or how the big rig accident happened stop you from calling The Dominguez Firm. Accidents happen quickly and can involve multiple vehicles. If you were transported to the hospital with serious injuries, it’s likely you don’t know every detail of how the accident unfolded. Instead, let our in-house investigators and personal injury attorneys piece things together and fight for the maximum compensation for you.
I’m an Undocumented Immigrant Who Was Hit By a Truck. Can Your Truck Accident Lawyers Help Me?
Yes, the Bakersfield truck accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm can help you regardless of your immigration status. If you suffered injuries in a big rig accident, you have the right to sue those responsible without worrying about any negative actions against you or your family.
Since 2017 California has allowed undocumented immigrants to sue for any accident injuries caused by others. Also, damages must be calculated according to where the victim lives in California, not their country of birth. This change now lets the accident injury victim recover a much fairer amount of compensation.
You can hire the Bakersfield truck accident attorneys at The Dominguez Firm. We know how to protect the rights of an undocumented immigrant who files a personal injury claim. You can’t be deported or even have your immigration status brought up at any point during your case. Our lawyers have successfully helped injured undocumented immigrants successfully file personal injury claims with no negative consequences.
The Dominguez Firm Has Over 35 Years of Experience Handling Truck Accident Cases
The Dominguez Firm is a full-service law firm with its own award-winning trial lawyers and in-house investigators. We are not a referral service, nor will an attorney at our firm settle your case for less to close it out. Our objective in every personal injury claim is to fight for the maximum compensation our big rig accident clients deserve.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a trucking accident, call The Dominguez Firm at 800-818-1818 today for a free consultation. And we stand by our promise, if there is no recovery, there is no fee. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by seeing what our Bakersfield, CA truck accident lawyers can do for you.