Truck Accident Attorneys Orange County
Approximately 3.5 million truck drivers share the road with car drivers. With the miles and miles of roads and highways in the Orange County area, you can be sure that a large portion of those trucks make their way through Southern California. Since trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds (and soon may weigh even more) and are generally driven on freeways at up to 70 mph, the consequences of a crash can be catastrophic. This is especially true if the truck collides with an average small car – a sedan or compact. The Orange County truck accident lawyers at Panish Shea & Boyle, LLP are well versed in traumatic vehicle accidents involving large trucks and can help victims get the compensation they need.
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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the year 2009 saw 503 people killed in the United States by large trucks (over 10,000 pounds) alone. Truck accidents also contribute a significant amount serious injuries – such as spinal cord injury and brain injury. Additionally, there were more than 10,000 accidents involving vehicles larger than standard cars, such as pickup trucks and vans.
Any motorist involved in a truck crash will need to negotiate with more than one responsible party. Most truck drivers are working for an employer, which means the employer’s insurance carrier will often be involved in the case. This makes truck accidents more complicated than standard auto accident lawsuits.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in the Orange County area, an experienced truck accident attorney can help you get the compensation you’re entitled to.
Some Common Causes of Truck Accidents
- Driving while intoxicated. Operating an 80,000 pound vehicle is inherently risky; adding alcohol or drugs to the mix puts everyone on the road in danger. These accidents can be the most infuriating because they are the most preventable.
- Overloaded or unbalanced trucks. Packing a truck correctly is every bit as important as driving it correctly. The forces exerted on a truck – wind, gravity, centripetal – are magnified by the truck’s size. An imbalanced load will affect the driver’s ability to steer or brake. Additionally, falling cargo can be just as dangerous as an out-of-control truck.
Determining Fault in an Orange County Truck Accident
In a standard auto accident, determining fault is usually a straightforward enterprise. One driver is proven to have acted carelessly or recklessly and is responsible for the damages. However, a truck accident – particularly one that involves an employer who owns the actual truck – requires more thorough investigations to determine fault. Some of the questions we use to determine fault include the following:
- Were there any defects in the truck itself? (could be a manufacturer at fault
- Were there any faulty repairs done to the truck? (could be a mechanic at fault)
- Was the driver negligent? (driver at fault)
- Would anyone else be liable for the accident? (an employer who didn’t have the correct maintenance done, for example)
This kind of investigation can be costly and time-consuming, but the experienced legal team at Panish, Shea and Boyle will be able to ascertain if you have a valid case against another driver. Call our Newport Beach office today to learn more in one of our free over-the-phone consultations.
What If I’m in a Truck Accident?
The very first thing you should always do in any truck accident is to seek whatever medical help and treatment you need. Second, call your lawyer if you have one. Third, collect evidence. Photograph the incident (if you’re able) and any injuries as soon as possible. Get the names of anyone who might have witnessed the crash, the name of the other driver, and any police officers who arrive at the scene.
Do not discuss fault. This may lead to an agreement with the insurance company that does not benefit you. Instead, refer anyone who wishes to discuss fault to your attorney. Trust your lawyer to gather all the necessary facts and evidence to establish fault.
An Orange County truck accident attorney will walk you through the investigation process and explain how long things might take. We also will not get paid unless we win your case.
Contact Panish Shea & Boyle today at 877.800.1700 for a free consultation to find out more about how we can represent your interests in a truck collision lawsuit.