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Top 10 Steps to Take After Your Car Has Been Hit by a Big Rig or Commercial Truck

  • What should you do after a commercial or big rig truck accident injury?
  • How can I file a big rig or commercial truck accident injury lawsuit?
  • Can a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer help me recover a maximum cash settlement for my injury?

Los Angeles County has some of the most heavily-congested roadways in the nation, with the I-5 South and I-10 East ranking among the Top 10 in a recently published list for 2021. Much of that traffic is due to commercial semi-trucks, commonly referred to as big rigs. These large vehicles can pose a significant danger to average cars sharing the roads. When a big rig commercial truck accident occurs on a California roadway, the car (or cars) involved in the crash can sustain substantial physical damage. But what’s typically more concerning in truck accidents is the injuries suffered by drivers and passengers traveling in traditional motor vehicles.

Commercial truck accidents actually occur much more often than many of us realize. If you’ve been injured in a big rig truck accident, the recovery process can be long and arduous. Furthermore, securing financial compensation you rightfully deserve for any losses suffered such as hospital or medical expenses, pain and suffering, physical therapy costs, lost wages, and more can be difficult without the help of an experienced and proven Los Angeles truck accident lawyer.

In the sections below, let’s take a look at some of the most important steps you should take after a California commercial truck accident. We’ll also include information on what types of damages may be recoverable in a California big rig or semi-truck accident injury case, how long you have to file a claim, and why choosing Martinian & Associates can be the best decision you make.

Top 10 Steps to Take After a California Commercial Semi-Truck or Big Rig Accident

·#1 Seek medical treatment: A semi-truck or big rig accident can lead to severe injuries – often categorized as catastrophic, as they can have life-altering consequences. Common injuries that can result from a big rig truck accident may include:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Concussion (MTBI)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Paralysis
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Whiplash
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries (such as a herniated disc)

Many of the above injuries have immediately apparent symptoms. However, some truck accident injuries can take days or even weeks to manifest what are often serious symptoms – particularly head injuries. Whenever someone is injured in a motor vehicle collision, the most urgent step that must be addressed is seeking medical treatment.

Regardless of whether you feel okay after a truck accident, you could have serious injuries like internal bleeding that require immediate medical attention. Undergoing an examination by a licensed physician is the most important thing you can do after a California truck accident. This will ensure that your health is not jeopardized and that no complications go undiagnosed. But a medical exam also establishes documentation of your injury. Said documentation can be extremely important (and in many cases essential) when filing a civil claim for financial compensation after you’ve been injured in a truck accident through no fault of your own.

Failing to undergo a medical exam following a truck accident can not only have negative consequences for your health – it can reduce the overall cash settlement you receive for your injuries that were caused by a truck driver’s negligence or carelessness. In other words, if you’re ever in the unfortunate predicament of being hit by a commercial truck driver, the first step you take should absolutely be to seek medical treatment.

·#2 Assist any other individuals who may have been injured in the crash: As seeking medical treatment is the unequivocal first step after a truck accident, all additional steps outlined below should be completed only if the circumstances allow. After a truck accident, it’s entirely possible that you won’t be able to complete any further steps, and that’s completely understandable.

But whenever possible, it’s recommended that after attending to and assessing your own injuries, you assist any other individuals who may have been injured in the truck accident. This can include stabilizing anyone with severe injuries, applying CPR, etc. Never attempt to move an injured truck accident victim, however, unless his or her life is in danger (e.g. removing someone from a burning vehicle).

·#3 Call the police: Once everyone’s injuries have been assessed, dialing 911 and dispatching first responders to the scene is essential. Allowing paramedics to attend to those drivers and passengers with serious injuries is critical. Additionally, having a police report on file will be helpful when you submit your truck accident civil claim to recover financial compensation.

·#4 Gather the at-fault truck driver’s contact information: Suffering an injury due to a truck driver’s negligence can be a harrowing experience. To ensure that you obtain justice and recover the maximum financial compensation you need to make a full recovery, it’s necessary to gather all pertinent contact and identifying information from the truck driver. This includes:

  • A photo of the truck driver’s license
  • The truck driver’s phone number and email address (if possible)
  • The truck driver’s insurance company name and policy number
  • The truck driver’s license plate number and any distinguishing information related to the vehicle (take photos and videos of the truck’s damage whenever possible)
  • The name and contact information for the truck driver’s employer/trucking company

·#5 Gather contact information of witnesses: Witnesses to a truck accident can help corroborate your version of events and hold the at-fault driver liable for the injuries you suffered. If possible, gather statements from any witnesses at the scene of the accident. This can be done by recording a video on your phone or capturing a voice message. Taking witness statements as soon as possible after a truck accident is advisable, as the incident will be fresh in the person’s mind, and they will likely be able to offer a detailed and accurate description.

·#6 Collect and preserve evidence of the accident scene (including photos and videos): A truck accident can be a complex personal injury case, and proving liability can be challenging – particularly when catastrophic injuries occur. Accordingly, it’s advisable to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident. This may include taking photos and videos of the roadway conditions, taking photos and videos of the physical damage to your vehicle and the commercial big rig that hit you (as well as any additional vehicles in the event of a multi-car crash), taking photos and videos of any skid marks or debris, taking photos and videos of the at-fault truck driver, etc.

·#7 Take photos and videos of your injuries: Your medical records generated through the physical examination in step #1 will likely be one of the most important aspects of your truck accident injury claim. But photos and videos of your injuries are also very important. While most medical exams are thorough and comprehensive, it’s possible that the facility will neglect to document your injuries with photos and/or videos. Accordingly, it’s always recommended that injured California truck accident victims capture both photographic and video documentation of their injuries immediately after an accident.

·#8 Write down or record your first-hand account of what transpired: Suffering an injury in a semi-truck accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. But taking a moment to simply jot down or even record a voice memo outlining your version of events can be extremely helpful when you eventually file your personal injury claim. A standard first-person recounting of the truck accident can be an essential piece of evidence that helps prove your case and confirm liability on the part of the at-fault truck driver.

·#9 Do not admit fault, agree to a cash settlement, or sign any legal documents: The events that transpire immediately following a commercial truck accident can often seem like they occur in a flash. It’s common to feel disoriented or confused after such a traumatic experience. Accordingly, while it’s important to make sure that you file an official police report per step #3, it’s also very important to remember to never admit fault or make a statement that could hinder your personal injury claim.

In essence, if you need to make a statement to the police at the scene, just stick to the facts related to how the semi-truck driver caused the accident. Don’t elaborate or include unnecessary details. Moreover, never agree to any type of cash settlement offered by the truck driver’s (or trucking company’s) insurance provider without first consulting with an experienced and trusted personal injury lawyer. In addition, never sign any type of legal document without first having your truck accident lawyer review the contents.

·#10 Contact a Martinian & Associated truck accident injury lawyer for a free consultation: Truck accidents can involve severe injuries, significant damages, and almost always require the assistance of a proven personal injury lawyer in order to prove liability and recover maximum financial compensation for the victim. It’s practically guaranteed that the at-fault truck driver and his or her trucking company will attempt to reduce the amount of liability assigned in your accident. Commercial truck drivers are frequently required to complete long and difficult routes that may lead to drowsy, distracted, or even inhibited driving as a result of drugs or alcohol. When such accidents occur, the at-fault party will almost certainly attempt to reduce your overall cash settlement through a number of tactics.

That’s where an experienced truck accident attorney from Martinian & Associates (M&A) can be such a significant advantage. Led by Tigran Martinian, the team of truck accident lawyers at M&A have been helping big rig accident victims like you recover maximum cash settlements for their injuries for more than 20 years. We know all of the tactics used by trucking companies and at-fault truck drivers in an effort to diminish liability and reduce financial compensation to injured victims who were harmed through no fault of their own. The truck accident lawyers at Martinian & Associates will fight aggressively to secure justice on your behalf, working tirelessly until a maximum financial damages award covering all applicable losses has been obtained.

Latest U.S. Truck Accident Statistics

Truck accidents leading to injuries are far more common than the general public often realizes. Data provided by the National Safety Council confirms the following truck accident statistics:

  • In 2020, 4,842 large trucks were involved in a fatal crash.
  • In 2020, 107,000 large trucks were involved in crashes resulting in an injury.
  • A total of 4,965 people died in large-truck crashes in 2020.
  • As with deaths in large-truck crashes, most of the injuries occurred to occupants of other vehicles (68%), followed by truck occupants (30%) and non-occupants (2%).

How Can I Recover Financial Compensation for My Truck Accident Injuries?

If you’ve been injured in a California truck accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to a substantial cash settlement for various damages. The process of securing those damages can be started by contacting a dedicated truck accident attorney at Martinian & Associates via 323-850-1900. A member of our team will review the details of your case, provide you with all available legal options, discuss how long your claim may take to reach a settlement, and provide an estimate for how much your final damages award may be worth.

Securing all applicable damages in a truck accident injury claim often requires the assistance of a qualified and proven attorney. It can be difficult to prove liability in a truck accident case, and fighting the trucking company’s team of high-powered lawyers can be daunting. Moreover, securing hard-to-quantify damages like pain and suffering or emotional trauma will almost certainly require the skill and experience of a Martinian & Associates truck accident lawyer.

When you bring your truck accident injury claim to Martinian & Associates, you can be confident that our dedicated attorneys will fight aggressively to secure the maximum allowable cash settlement you deserve which factors in all of your damages.

What Damages Can be Recovered in a California Truck Accident Injury Lawsuit?

Truck accident damages can vary on a case-by-case basis and according to the unique facts of your incident. The semi-truck accident injury damages that you recover can depend on a few factors, such as:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The extent of liability on the part of the truck driver
  • The driver’s employment and driving history
  • The knowledge, skill, and ability of your truck accident lawyer
  • Whether you sought medical treatment immediately after the accident

Some common California truck accident damages that may be secured through a civil claim with Martinian & Associates include:

  • Hospital and medical care expenses
  • Physical therapy or rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished capacity to earn future wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional or psychological trauma
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Scarring or other serious injury
  • Compensation for loss of a limb or disfigurement

Punitive damages in commercial trucking accidents, though rare, may be secured in cases where an at-fault truck driver demonstrates wanton recklessness or disregard for human life. Punitive damages are not capped in California, and the truck accident lawyers at Martinian & Associates pursue such damages in all applicable cases.

How Long Do I Have to File Semi-Truck or Big Rig Accident Injury Claim?

The California statute of limitations for most personal injury civil claims is two years from the date of an incident. This means that, in most instances, you have two years from the date that your semi-truck or big rig accident injury occurred to file a claim seeking financial compensation.

However, the experienced lawyers at Martinian & Associates strongly urge any injured commercial truck accident victim to file a claim as soon as possible. Doing so can increase your chances of obtaining justice in the form of a maximum financial damages award.

Moreover, waiting to file your claim may affect your chance of obtaining financial compensation for your injuries – as a delayed filing can often result in a reduced truck accident damages award.

Contact the Best California Truck Accident Injury Lawyers Today

If you’ve been injured in a California commercial semi-truck or big rig crash, you may be entitled to a major cash settlement. After a truck accident injury, you’re likely enduring a great deal of pain and suffering and stress related to mounting medical bills, lost wages, and more. Let the experienced truck accident lawyers from Martinian & Associates handle all the burdensome details related to your claim while you focus on what’s most important – your health, well-being, and full recovery.

Securing the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your truck accident claim will likely require a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer. That’s where the Martinian & Associates team can be of assistance. We have over 20 years of experience helping injured truck accident victims like you secure justice through maximum financial damages awards. To date, attorney Tigran Martinian and his associates have recovered more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts for injured clients.

If you’ve suffered a commercial or big rig truck accident injury, don’t settle for anything less than the Martinian & Associates Advantage. We will fight to recover you the largest possible cash settlement based on the circumstances of your unique claim.

Contact a California truck accident attorney today at 323-850-1900 for a free, confidential, and no obligation consultation. Martinian & Associates is a leading California personal injury firm, and we never charge a penny until we’ve successfully secured maximum financial compensation for your commercial semi-truck or big rig accident claim.