Woodland Hills Truck Accident
You love your sporty Mini Cooper, or at least you did before it was totaled after an eighteen wheeler decided to switch lanes at the last second and apparently didn’t see your diminutive vehicle as you were driving back to your home in Woodland Hills. You managed to white-knuckle it to the side of the road and avoid collision with the truck, but your tires skidded on the gravel and sent your little sports car into a speed limit sign, crushing it almost up to the dashboard and deploying the airbag. You suffered multiple broken bones and other injuries but counted your lucky stars for surviving the ordeal.
Big rigs are always traversing the 101 in and around Woodland Hills, as it’s a major California shipping route. Truckers are usually quite skilled and pay attention to the road, but they’re also human, work too many hours and make sometimes deadly driving mistakes.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, it’s always a good idea to consult with a Woodland Hills truck accident attorney before making any important decisions about your claim. We’ll discuss the basics of truck accidents, including first steps after a truck accident and determining fault (given the many parties involved). Getting compensated after your Woodland Hills truck accident is essential for paying medical bills (and more), make sure you are getting the most for your case and get in touch with us today.Involved in a Truck Accident? First Steps
If you’re able to walk away from a truck accident, then consider yourself lucky because big rigs are so heavy and massive that they’re capable of inflicting serious damage and fatalities in accidents.
- Help out: The first thing you should do if you’re involved in a traffic accident is provide “reasonable assistance” to the injured, assuming you’re not seriously hurt yourself. This is not only the right thing to do, it’s mandated by California law. Call 911 if anyone is seriously injured.
- Get out of the way: Move your vehicle to the side of the road to avoid further complications (i.e., additional accidents). If you haven’t called for emergency help, then you should call the police and report the accident. Having the police write a formal accident report will help your claim, especially if the other party is at fault. Otherwise, using the example above, it may be difficult to prove that the truck driver made a sudden lane change without checking their mirrors first.
- Take notes and names: Jot down everything you remember and if you can, take pictures of things that shed light on how the accident occurred, where it took place, and the damage sustained by all parties involved. If it’s applicable, also take notes on road conditions, visibility, potential safety issues, or any other details that may be relevant to your claim. Third-party witnesses also can be helpful, so get names and numbers of witnesses before it’s too late and they leave the scene.
Or course, you’ll also need to exchange information with the truck driver, including their commercial driver’s license number (and state where it’s issued, since it may not be California), insurance information, contact information of the driver’s employer, and the driver’s own contact info. Remember to stay calm, even if you’re angry or rattled by the experience, and never under any circumstances admit guilt or blame the other party for the accident. None of that will help your claim, but could hurt it.
The list above helps but if none of those things were possible because of the severity of your injuries or if it was a deadly car accident, get in touch with us immediately.Who’s Liable? Determining Fault in a Truck Accident
A smart first step is to contact a Woodland Hills truck accident attorney, who is trained and experienced in such matters. One important reason why truck accidents require additional expertise and finesse is because they involve at least three parties: the truck driver, at least one other motorist, and the truck driver’s employer. There could be other parties involved as well, including the owner of the truck (if different from the employer), the company that serviced the truck, or perhaps even the tire manufacturer.
Any one of the parties involved may have had some responsibility for the accident, but it’s often a combination (usually including the driver’s employer). Since California is a “pure comparative negligence” state, the court will determine a percentage of liability based on each party’s contribution to the accident. If, for example, the automobile driver was sending a text message while the truck driver was dozing off, both parties would be held liable to some degree (along with the truck driver’s employer).A Woodland Hills Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You Get Back on the Road
Depending on the severity of your accident and the extent of your injuries, you may never fully recover from a truck accident. They tend to be quite severe. But the right attorney will advocate on your behalf in order to get you the monetary compensation you deserve. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in the Woodland Hills area, call the experienced professionals at the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, A Law Corporation today.