When to Hire a Lawyer After Being Injured in a Truck or Big Rig Accident

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Do I Need to Hire a California Truck Accident Injury Lawyer?

Do I Need to Hire a California Truck Accident Injury Lawyer?

Feb 21, 2022

When traveling through California or across the United States, motor vehicle drivers commonly share the roads and highways with 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer commercial trucks (also known as big rigs). According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), nearly 12.5 million commercial trucks and buses were registered in 2016.

When to Hire a Lawyer After Being Injured in a Truck or Big Rig Accident?

With so many commercial trucks on the roadways, accidents are bound to happen. When a truck accident leading to an injury occurs as a result of negligence, who is responsible for ensuing losses such as medical bills or lost wages? Below we will review everything you need to know about California truck accident injury lawsuits, including whether you need to hire a lawyer, how much your case may be worth, and how much time you have to file a claim.

National Commercial Truck Accident Statistics

The FMCSA confirms the following statistics on U.S. commercial trucks accidents:

  • In 2017, of the 37,133 fatal crashes on the nation’s roadways, 4,889 (13.2%) involved at least one large truck or bus, an increase of more than 2% from 2016.
  • Of the approximately 450,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2017, there were 4,237 (1%) fatal crashes and 344,000 (23%) injury crashes.
  • In 2017, 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a 9% increase from 2016.
  • 72% of people killed in large truck crashes in 2017 were occupants of other vehicles.
  • In 2017, 30% of work zone fatal crashes and 12% of work zone injury crashes involved at least one large truck.
  • With 12.5 million commercial large trucks and buses on the roadways in 2016, more than 300 billion vehicle miles were logged across the U.S.

Common Causes of Large Truck or Big Rig Accidents

18-wheeler commercial truck accidents can be caused by any number of factors. Some of the more common causes of large truck accidents in California and throughout the U.S. include:

  • Lack of training (or inadequate training)
  • Distracted driving
  • Exhaustion or fatigue from logging too many hours
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Improperly maintained vehicles
  • Mechanical failure
  • Negligent hiring practices on the part of trucking companies
  • Speeding or reckless driving
  • Improperly loaded cargo

Who is At Fault in a Commercial Truck Accident?

When any of the above factors cause a commercial truck accident, who is responsible for the resulting damages? Depending on the circumstances of your truck accident injury, one or more at-fault parties may be held liable through a civil lawsuit. For example:

  • If the driver was negligent by driving recklessly or using drugs or alcohol, he or she may be held directly liable.
  • If the accident was due to a mechanical malfunction, the company that manufactured the vehicle may be held liable.
  • If the cargo company responsible for safely loading the truck failed to do so according to standards or best practices, it may be held liable.
  • If the trucking company employing the driver failed to allow him or her to take breaks/rest or encouraged laws to be ignored, it may be held liable for your injury.

At Dordulian Law Group (DLG), our Glendale, California, truck accident lawyers will review the facts of your case and determine which party or parties are liable for your injuries.

Common Commercial Truck Accident Injuries

Commercial truck or 18-wheeler accidents can cause serious or catastrophic injuries to car and motorcycle drivers as well as pedestrians. Some common commercial truck accident injuries we encounter at DLG include:

Do You Need to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?

Do You Need to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Proving liability against a commercial truck company or one of their employees can be a difficult task without an experienced and proven truck accident lawyer. The trucking company will undoubtedly do everything possible to either outright deny or reduce liability for your injuries, regardless of severity. With a DLG truck accident lawyer fighting in your corner, you can be confident that your legal rights are protected, and we will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial damages award you deserve.

Additionally, truck accident injury cases often involve hard to quantify damages such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, or diminished quality of life. These damages can be worth a considerable amount of money, but without an experienced attorney you may not be able to maximize the total you recover through your claim.

What Can a Truck/Big Rig Accident Lawyer Do for You?

Hiring a DLG truck accident lawyer to handle your injury claim can be a wise decision for a number of reasons. In fact, injured truck accident victims who hire private attorneys often secure greater financial compensation for their claims.

For example, the Insurance Research Council (IRC) recently conducted a study which confirmed the following:

  • Settlements for injured claimants were 40% higher when they had secured private legal representation.
  • The average insurance payout was 3.5 times higher for injured victims who hired private attorneys (when compared to those representing themselves).
  • 85% of all money paid by insurance companies for bodily injuries is received by victims who have secured representation from a private personal injury attorney.

Injured California truck accident victims are encouraged to always consult with an experienced, trusted, and proven attorney before:

  • Speaking to the trucking company or their insurance carrier
  • Making any statement regarding your truck accident
  • Signing any official documents
  • Accepting any type of settlement offer

With DLG, your truck accident injury consultation is always free, confidential, and without any obligation. We’ll review the facts of your case and provide you with all available legal options to ensure your rights are protected and the maximum financial damages award you deserve is pursued. We serve truck accident clients throughout California as well as the United States.

Some of the local areas we serve include:

  • Los Angeles
  • Glendale
  • Torrance
  • North Hollywood
  • Burbank
  • Pasadena
  • San Diego
  • Bakersfield
  • Sacramento
  • Fresno
  • Riverside
  • San Francisco
  • Granada Hills
  • Simi Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • Antelope Valley

Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

What is a Truck Accident Lawyer’s Standard Percentage Fee?

What is a Truck Accident Lawyer's Standard Percentage Fee?

DLG’s truck accident lawyers provide the best available legal representation based on a contingency fee basis. This means that, as an injured victim, you never have to worry about any upfront fees or out-of-pocket expenses. Moreover, we only collect a fee after successfully securing a maximum financial damages award for your truck accident injury claim.

In some truck accident cases, the contingency fee percentage paid to the attorney is determined by the merits of the case and will vary based on the amount of time it takes for the case to reach a conclusion. This is often referred to as a “sliding scale” option. In such sliding scale agreements, where a contingency fee can increase according to what’s known as “tiers,” the following structure may apply:

  • In cases that settle quickly – where a settlement is reached prior to a formal complaint being filed with the applicable court – the attorney will likely be entitled to a “first tier” percentage. A typical first tier percentage is 33%. However, some cases may warrant a lower figure. In cases where a formal complaint must be filed in court, the fee percentage to which the attorney is entitled may increase.
  • In cases that do not reach a resolution and proceed to a trial, the attorney’s fees may increase slightly. Essentially, if a case requires significant hours and proceeds to a lengthy trial, a client can expect the fee percentage to increase from the first tier. Typically, that increase is somewhere between the initial 33% (one third) agreement and the potential high-end of 40%.

While an attorney’s contingency fees may seem high, studies indicate that a truck accident injury victim may actually receive significantly more money for a claim when represented by a qualified lawyer (as opposed to attempting to handle the case on his or her own).

One thing to keep in mind when considering whether or not a contingency fee agreement is the best option for you is that if an attorney accepts your case, he or she is therefore willing to accept the risk that no compensation could potentially be received for legal services and expenses if the case is unsuccessful. By accepting that risk, the attorney is likely of the belief that a successful resolution leading to a maximum financial damages award can be achieved. Accordingly, at DLG we only accept cases we believe can be won. When we accept your case, you can be confident that we will fight to recover a maximum damages award. Furthermore, at no time will one of our truck accident injury clients ever owe DLG money out-of-pocket merely for pursuing a case. With our No Win/No Fee Guarantee, you never pay a dime until we secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve.

California Commercial Truck/Big Rig Accident Statute of Limitations

California commercial truck accident injury claims are typically bound by a two-year statute of limitations. This means that, unless you’re filing a claim against a government or public entity, you most likely have two years from the date of the incident to file a civil claim.

For government or public entity defendants, the California truck accident statute of limitations may be much shorter – sometimes only six months from the date of the incident.

Regardless, injured victims are encouraged to contact a skilled and qualified DLG truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after an incident to ensure evidence is preserved and the chances of reaching a successful resolution (either via a settlement or verdict) are not diminished.

How Much is My Truck Accident Injury Case Worth?

One of the first questions we often hear from truck accident injury victims is, “How much is my case worth?” Due to the often severe nature of truck accident injuries, your civil lawsuit may be worth a significant sum of money (depending on the specific circumstances of the incident, including the degree of negligence).

The value of your California truck accident injury lawsuit will be unique to the circumstances of the incident. But when you secure representation with DLG’s expert truck accident lawyers, you can be confident that we will fight aggressively to secure the maximum financial compensation available that includes all applicable damages.

If you suffered a truck accident injury due to negligence, you may be eligible to recover substantial financial compensation for various losses. When negligence or carelessness leads to a truck accident injury, the at-fault party should be responsible for covering the resulting expenses, such as medical care costs, lost wages, and more.

Examples of common damages that may be recovered through a truck accident injury civil claim include:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Medical care expenses
  • Hospital bills
  • Physical therapy or rehabilitation expenses
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma

What Questions Should I Ask a California Truck Accident Lawyer?

When searching for the absolute best truck accident lawyer to handle your claim, there are some standard questions you may want to pose during your initial consultation. These include:

  • How often do you represent truck accident injury victims?
  • Can you provide an estimate for a settlement given the facts of my case?
  • What is your fee structure?
  • Do you negotiate with hospitals and insurance companies to reduce expenses?
  • Do you have experience representing clients with my type of injury (or injuries)?
  • Will you handle my case directly?
  • Will I be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses?

If you experienced a truck accident, don’t wait to file a claim. Contact our expert attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

Finding a truck accident injury attorney who has successfully handled cases similar to yours helps ensure your claim is handled properly. At DLG, we have over 25 years of experience successfully representing injured victims in all types of truck accidents, such as head-on collisions, hit-and-runs, rollover crashes, and more. We’ve recovered over $100 million for injured victims by aggressively fighting to protect their rights and handling every case with dedication, discretion, professionalism, individualized attention, and care.

Contact a Los Angeles, California, Truck Accident Lawyer

Contact us today at 818-322-4056 for a free consultation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by ensuring that the insurance company or at-fault party does not take advantage of your rights after a commercial truck accident injury. You owe it to yourself to take every step towards avoiding financial loss after an unfortunate truck accident injury that occurred through no fault of your own. With DLG’s experienced truck accident lawyers, there is never any obligation or upfront fee, and we are here to answer any questions you may have 24/7.

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