If you or someone you love suffered injuries due to a negligent truck driver, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries in California. However, pursuing a claim for your damages can be complicated, and insurance companies rarely offer the full value for injuries.
Insurance companies’ goals are to resolve injury claims as quickly as possible for as low as possible. A skilled truck accident lawyer in Long Beach can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Don’t become a victim again by allowing the defendant’s insurance company to try and take advantage of you. Instead, let the Beliz Law Firm protect your rights.
Truck accidents are common occurrences in the greater Long Beach area with heavily traveled routes within the city.
The 710 freeway, also called the Long Beach Freeway, runs in a north-south direction. It is especially busy with trucks since it connects the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports via the Terminal Island Freeway (SR-47). The 710 freeway ends in San Pedro with exits in Downtown Long Beach, Pacific Coast Highway, and Artesia Boulevard. The 605 freeway, also known as the San Gabriel Freeway, is 27 miles long and has three exits within the city at Carson Street, Spring Street, and Willow Street. Interstate 405 or the 405 freeway is a highly trafficked highway that runs through 8 miles of Long Beach. It starts at Studebaker Road and ends at the 710 freeway with exits at Atlantic Avenue and Lakewood Boulevard.
You need a lawyer who has experience handling truck accident claims and understands the state and federal regulations that apply in these situations. Attorney Michael Beliz has years of experience representing injured victims in Long Beach truck accident claims. If you need assistance, contact our office to schedule a consultation.
How Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Long Beach Can Help
When you retain the Beliz Law Firm to represent you, we will immediately start an independent investigation. The other driver’s insurance company will be looking for any way to place the bulk of liability on you. Their primary goal is to reduce their exposure and potential payout.
We will work tirelessly to build the strongest case possible. We will use aggressive legal strategies and preserve all necessary evidence in your case. Examples of investigative steps we will take in your case include:
- Researching whether the driver had proper training;
- Obtaining the truck driver’s driving record;
- Requesting safety records from the trucking company;
- Checking the truck’s maintenance records;
- Ordering the police report and all your medical records, support of lost wages, property damage estimates; and
- Verifying whether the truck driver was on the phone at the time of the accident.
We will also handle all communication with the defendant’s insurance company and lawyers—including settlement negotiations. When you are unrepresented, insurance companies will try to take advantage of your inexperience by offering you less than your case is worth. We will fight for the maximum compensation possible. If the defendants don’t engage in fair negotiation talks, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in California
Truck accidents can occur for any number of reasons. Some of the most common truck accident causes include:
- Distracted driving, such as texting, looking at the GPS, etc.;
- Driving while fatigued: Truck drivers have a requirement of getting rest once they hit a certain number of hours behind the wheel ;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Speeding or other traffic violations;
- Negligent maintenance;
- Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo; and
- Defective equipment.
Adverse weather and road conditions can also play a role in accidents. It’s not uncommon to have more than one cause in a truck accident. Perhaps the truck driver fell asleep while driving and didn’t stop at a red light in time. Or the driver was speeding and couldn’t stop due to faulty brakes. Identifying all negligent parties is crucial to pursuing maximum compensation in your claim.
That’s one reason why hiring a skilled truck accident lawyer in Long Beach is so important.
What Factors Impact Your Long Beach Truck Accident Settlement
No two truck accidents are identical, which means no two claims will likely resolve for the same amount either. To understand what your case is potentially worth, you need to look at the individual factors that impact your claim. The main elements are injury type and severity, liability, damages, and available coverage.
Injury Type and Severity
The type and severity of your injuries play a significant role in determining the value of your accident claim. The more injuries you have and the greater their severity, the more likely your claim’s value will be. For example, someone with a traumatic brain injury will likely have a much higher value than someone who sustained soft tissue injuries that healed after a couple of months.
It’s not uncommon to have similar injuries be worth different amounts, though. Consider two victims who both have a broken leg. If one victim has residual pain and a permanent disability with future medical treatment may be potentially worth more than the other person whose leg healed.
Liability is another important factor in determining truck accident settlement values. California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means you can collect a portion of your damages, even if you are at some percentage at fault for the collision. However, your award or settlement will reflect that. For example, if a jury finds you 30% at fault, you will receive 70% of your total damages. If you are 80% at fault, you could still receive 20%.
In addition, it is not uncommon for truck accidents to have more than two vehicles involved. It is important to get the traffic collision report to determine the various parties involved and potential fault.
With comparative liability, you can have two victims with identical injuries and damages resolve for vastly different amounts if liability differs. The defendant’s insurance company will do everything possible to place as much fault on you as possible. That is why it’s crucial to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer in Long Beach.
Another factor in your potential settlement amount is your overall damages. Damages are your losses, including items such as medical expenses, time off work, property damage, etc. It also includes pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and more. Damages are related to your injuries and severity. The more severe your injuries, the potential higher value of your damages.
The amount of available insurance coverage can also impact your claim. Truck accidents usually involve significant commercial policies, so the liability limits are much higher than a person might carry on their own private vehicle. There may be additional insurance if the truck was hauling a trailer or cargo. Plus there may be an umbrella policy covering the truck and the purpose of the trip. Having a skilled and experienced attorney can help in determining liability coverage and insurance is important before moving forward on an injury claim..
Statute of Limitations in a Long Beach Truck Accident
You only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in California. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. In most personal injury cases, the time is two years from the date of the accident, including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, etc. If a victim dies from their injuries, surviving family members could have the legal right to bring a wrongful death claim. The statute in this situation could be two years from the date of death.
Failure to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations means the court will most likely dismiss your case. The defendants are under no legal obligation to continue negotiations with you should you miss the deadline. Don’t mistakenly assume that all cases fall under the two-year deadline either. Some circumstances can either extend or shorten the filing time. For example, claims against government entities have different filing procedures and much shorter deadlines.
If the defendant denies liability or refuses to budge from their last offer, we will commence litigation and proceed with a plan to try your case. We have years of experience in the courtroom and aren’t afraid to try lawsuits against these trucking companies.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Long Beach
If you sustained injuries in a Long Beach truck accident, you don’t have to go up against the insurance company alone. Let our firm assist you. We have experience representing injured California victims for all sorts of personal injury accidents, including large truck claims. We also handle car accident, motorcyle accident, and wrongful death cases. We understand how these claims work and the tactics insurance adjusters and trucking companies use to avoid paying out. Contact the Beliz Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation to learn how we can help you fight for the compensation you are owed.