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San Bernardino Truck Accident Attorneys

Trucks transport everything from bottled water to manufactured homes. Unfortunately, with the rise in the number of trucks on the road, there has also been an increase in truck-related accidents and fatalities. For the past 10 years, there has been a steady increase in truck-related fatalities across the United States. These accidents don’t just affect the victims, they also affect families and communities.

If you were in a large truck accident in San Bernardino, you may file a claim for financial compensation. To learn more about your rights, contact our San Bernardino truck accident lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys on (619) 237-3490 for a free case evaluation.

Our Case Results

At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we fight for the rights of our clients. Every accident is different, but for many people, a truck accident can have a severe impact on a person’s physical, mental, and financial health. After an accident, it’s our job to help our clients get back on their feet. Over the past several years, we have helped our clients recover millions of dollars in settlements.

While we can’t promise a specific outcome in any new case, below are some of our previous case results:

  • $2,750,000, brain injury/truck accident settlement.
  • $531,388.83, truck accident jury verdict.
  • $1,698,750, auto accident jury verdict.
  • $10,800,000, brain injury/cervical fracture jury verdict.

Each day, it is our goal to achieve extraordinary results for ordinary people. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact one of our San Bernardino personal injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys.

The Leading Causes of Truck Accidents

With the sheer number of more trucks on the road—according to the U.S. Census, the number of truck drivers on the road is at an all-time high—accidents are bound to increase. Even so, the truth is that truck drivers can prevent almost all accidents if they drive safely and pay attention to the dangers on the road.

Trucks are different from other vehicles. They have large blind spots and take longer to stop than smaller vehicles. Your actions can save your life or the life of someone else. The leading causes of truck accidents include:

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a problem that plagues millions of drivers, and truck drivers are no different. Truck drivers typically drive long distances at a time. This causes many drivers to turn to mobile devices to listen to music, communicate with others, or just check the map. Unfortunately, it can just take a matter of seconds for an accident to occur. Often, distracted drivers are easy to spot. If you see a distracted driver, do not attempt to pass. Keep your distance and report any dangerous driving to emergency services.

Signs to look out for include:

  • Swerving;
  • Failure to use signaling devices;
  • Sudden speed changes or braking; and
  • Following too closely.

Speeding

People underestimate the dangers of speeding. Speeding increases the amount of time it takes to stop and reduces reaction time. For a large truck, every second counts. Recent data shows that speeding continues to be a top concern for large trucks. During a one-year period, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that 32 percent of fatal truck accidents involved a driver-related factor.

Of these, “speeding of any kind” was the most common issue. If a truck is speeding behind you, do not attempt to get them to slow down. Instead, move over and let them pass. If you think the driver may have lost control of their vehicle, pull over to the side of the road and call emergency services.

Failure to Yield the Right of Way

As drivers, we depend on other drivers to follow the law. It’s how we know when to go, when to stop, and when we can turn. When one driver fails to yield the right of way, the other driver has little time to react. Understand this risk every time you get on the road. Truckers can prevent accidents by taking extra precautions in high-risk areas and intersections. They need to look both ways before they enter an intersection, even at a green light. Avoid known dangerous intersections, and always be alert.

Blind Spots

One of the main problems with blind spots is that many drivers forget they even exist. For large trucks, blind spots are a big problem. On a typical semi, the blind spots extend 20 feet directly in front of the truck and 30 feet to the rear. On the driver’s side, stay out of the lane directly next to the truck from the truck’s mirror until the back of the trailer. On the passenger’s side, avoid the two lanes adjacent to the truck from the front of the truck to beyond the back of the truck.

Accidents happen when truck drivers fail to clear their blind spots before turning or switching lanes. If you are in a truck’s blind spot and it attempts to merge into your lane, honk your horn so the truck driver knows you are there.

Following Too Closely

Impatient truckers on busy San Bernardino roads may follow other vehicles too closely. With passenger vehicles, this may result in a rear-end accident. But for large trucks, the issue is underride and override accidents. Underride and override accidents happen when a passenger vehicle becomes pinned underneath the cab or trailer of a large truck. While rear guards may prevent some underride accidents, they are not always effective. Additionally, current laws do not require trucks to install guards on the sides or the front of the truck.

Common Injuries in Truck Accidents

Even seemingly minor accidents can lead to serious injuries. Accidents that involve high speed or drugs or alcohol are often catastrophic. After an accident, it’s important to see a doctor right away, even if you feel fine. Symptoms may not show up until hours or days after the initial injury. Common injuries include:

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries in the United States. These injuries happen as the result of a serious jolt or blow to the head, or a penetrating head wound. The term traumatic brain injury covers a wide range of injuries with varying symptoms. It is not uncommon for symptoms to show up days after the original injury. If you experience symptoms of a TBI, go to the doctor right away.

Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches;
  • Dizziness;
  • Mood changes;
  • Difficulty sleeping;
  • Loss of consciousness; and/or
  • Slurred speech.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of spinal cord injuries. Victims of large truck accidents are especially at risk. The force of an accident can be enough to bruise or cause serious injury to the spinal cord. When this happens, permanent paralysis is often the result. Like traumatic brain injuries, symptoms may not show up right away. The risk of permanent damage increases as swelling around the spinal cord continues to increase. If you experience any symptoms, talk to a doctor right away.

Symptoms include:

  • Extreme back pain;
  • Numbness or tingling;
  • Difficulty walking;
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control; and/or
  • Difficulty breathing.

Broken Bones

Broken bones can cause pain and loss of function. In many cases, a patient with a broken bone will make a full recovery. However, in more serious cases, there may be permanent damage. If you believe you have a broken bone, do not attempt to put any weight on the area or do any lifting. This can make the injury worse.

Treatment options will vary, but may include:

  • Surgery;
  • Splinting;
  • Casting;
  • Physical therapy;
  • Occupational therapy;
  • Bracing; and/or
  • Traction.

Mental Health Injuries

While most people think about the physical injuries, mental health injuries are also a serious concern after any accident. Accidents are traumatic. They leave victims with a sense of loss of control and fear. It is not uncommon for someone to struggle to cope with the emotional effects of an accident for months after it happens.

Common issues include:

  • Depression: Depression is a serious mental health condition. Sadly, many people who suffer from depression don’t seek the care they need. Symptoms include severe feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, loss of interest in activities, difficulty sleeping, and thoughts of suicide or death.
  • Anxiety: According to the World Health Organization, one in 13 people suffer from anxiety. Anxiety is defined as a persistent worry or fear that doesn’t go away. Symptoms include restlessness, fear, constant worry that something bad is going to happen, and difficulty concentrating.
  • PTSD: Although often thought of as an issue for combat members, PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic event. People with PTSD may experience nightmares, flashbacks, or have difficulty moving on. These symptoms can worsen over time and often require professional treatment.

Don’t feel afraid to reach out for help after an accident. A mental health professional may recommend counseling, medication, or alternative treatment to help alleviate your symptoms.

Your Rights After an Accident

Gomez Trial AttorneysCalifornia law allows accident victims the right to seek financial compensation through a personal injury claim. An experienced personal injury attorney can help guide you through the process and help you understand your rights. There is no way to determine the exact amount of a potential settlement, but we can look at some factors typically considered in a personal injury claim.

These include:

  • Medical bills: Medical bills will be one of your biggest costs after a truck accident. Treatment for serious injuries can easily cost $100,000. You should not have to cover the cost of these bills yourself. Though coverage may vary slightly depending on the insurance carrier, covered costs often include doctor visits, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and mental health counseling.
  • Lost wages: When an accident leaves you out of work, you still have to pay your bills. A personal injury suit can help you recover lost wages for the time missed from work as a result of the accident. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work, you may claim future lost income.
  • Residential modifications: A serious injury can impact your ability to move around your house. In this case, you may need to make modifications to make mobility easier. This may include wheelchair ramps, handrails, stairlifts, or other adaptive devices.
  • Pain and suffering: Accidents can cause serious physical and emotional pain. There is no easy way to put a price tag on this pain. However, the law allows you to pursue compensation for these types of losses. In most cases, compensation for pain and suffering is determined by the severity of your pain and its impact on your day to day life.
  • Wrongful death: Unfortunately, serious truck accidents can lead to the death of a loved one. When this happens, a wrongful death claim can help the victim’s family recover costs related to the accident. This may include outstanding medical debt, lost wages, and pain and suffering, as well as funeral and burial costs.

San Bernardino Truck Accident FAQ

Truck accidents often result in more severe and fatal injuries than other types of traffic collisions because trucks are big, heavy, and cause massive destruction when a crash occurs. Truck accident victims face the physical pain of healing and recovery if they are fortunate enough to survive. Households must cope with a loss of income from either the victim’s inability to work due to their injuries or due to caring for a child truck accident victim.

If you, your child, or another loved one has sustained injuries in a truck accident in San Bernardino, you are likely uncertain about your next steps. You might even feel overwhelmed and unable to function. Contact an experienced San Bernardino truck accident attorney at Gomez Trial Attorneys. We can review your truck accident case and advise you on the right path forward. Until you get the chance to meet with a lawyer, these answers to frequently asked questions about truck accidents in San Bernardino provide some preliminary information.San Bernardino Truck Accident Lawyers

Do I have to report a San Bernardino truck accident to the police?

The State of California has strict laws about reporting traffic accidents. Motorists must share their contact and insurance information at the accident scene, report accidents to the police, and report crashes to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Specific reporting requirements under California law include:

  • If property damage, injuries, or fatalities occurred, you must exchange information with the truck driver, including drivers’ licenses, vehicle registrations, addresses, and phone numbers.
  • Motorists involved in traffic accidents have a legal duty to provide help to anyone who suffered injuries. Calling 911 is the most common way people offer help. However, providing help also means taking someone to the hospital if necessary.
  • You must contact the San Bernardino Police Department or California Highway Patrol (CHP) immediately so they come to the scene of the accident. A 911 call usually suffices, but you can use non-emergency numbers if injuries are not serious. Law enforcement will come to the scene, gather information, and investigate the truck accident to complete their official crash report.
  • If the police or CHP do not come to the scene of the truck accident, you must report the accident to the nearest CHP Troop station or local police department as soon as possible if you estimate more than $1,000 of property damage, if anyone sustained injuries, or if anyone died. Motorists who physically can’t report the accident can rely on an occupant, the truck driver, or another party to report the crash.
  • Truck accidents that lead to injuries, death, or more than $1,000 in property damage, also require you to file a report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days of the accident.

We can help you file any required reports.

Should I file an insurance claim with my auto insurance carrier if I did not cause the San Bernardino truck accident?

Yes. Motorists who get in a traffic accident, including truck accidents, need to contact their insurance company when significant vehicle damage or injuries occur. Truck accidents are typically not fender-benders but costly events. Although you might not be responsible for the truck accident, most auto insurance policies have clauses that require policyholders to report any accident where coverage might apply. If you choose not to report the truck accident, your carrier might cancel your coverage or refuse to renew your coverage.

Additionally, you might carry certain coverage that will kick in immediately after the accident and fill in some income gaps while you wait for a resolution of your truck accident claim. For example, MedPay insurance covers medical expenses up to the policy limit regardless of fault. California does not require MedPay, but if it’s an add-on to your auto insurance policy, it can help after a truck accident.

Do I need medical treatment if my San Bernardino truck accident left me only a little sore?

Yes. If you were fortunate enough to walk away from a truck accident, you still need to let a physician examine you for accident injuries. Some injuries take hours or days before they show symptoms. Other times, soreness in certain areas of the body can indicate a serious invisible injury, such as a brain injury, internal bleeding, organ damage, or broken ribs. Left untreated, some of these injuries can lead to death. Make sure to prioritize your health and well-being by seeking medical treatment after a truck accident.

Go to the doctor after a truck accident to preserve the value of your claim. Documented injuries serve as evidence for your truck accident case and make it difficult for an insurance company or defense legal team to argue your injuries did not occur as a result of the truck accident.

How much time do I have to take legal action after a San Bernardino truck accident?

Every state has laws, referred to as statutes of limitations, that govern the amount of time accident victims have to bring a lawsuit after suffering injuries from negligence or intentional harm. California has a two-year statute of limitations on San Bernardino truck accident claims. Accident victims must bring a lawsuit within two years of the date of the truck accident. The same statute of limitations applies if you lost a loved one in a trucking accident; you have two years to file a wrongful death suit against the truck driver or trucking company.

Take action as soon as possible after a truck accident. If you wait too long, you risk your eligibility for recovering damages related to the truck accident and your injuries. Although some exceptions exist, it’s doubtful a California court will hear your truck accident case once the statute of limitations has run out. If it has been more than two years since the truck accident, you should still contact an attorney. A truck accident lawyer can evaluate your case and advise you if your circumstances warrant a possible extension.

Will my San Bernardino truck accident claim go to trial?

Many times traffic accident claims, including those involving semi-trucks, settle long before going to trial. Litigation is expensive for both sides, so everyone has an incentive to reach a settlement agreement instead of going to court. However, major disputes in liability and unfair offers from an insurance company could result in litigation.

Your truck accident lawyer will negotiate with the trucking company’s insurance company to reach a settlement that provides fair compensation for damages you suffered from the accident. When settlement is not an option, your attorney will prepare your case for litigation, advocate for you in the courtroom, and fight for you to receive the maximum amount of compensation commensurate with your injuries.

Who might be financially liable for my San Bernardino truck accident injuries?

You can name one or more defendants when you take legal action for your truck accident injuries. The most complex cases often include multiple parties.

Those who your attorney might advise you to name in your truck accident lawsuit include:

  • Truck driver. Negligent and careless truck drivers can engage in dangerous driving behaviors that lead to treacherous truck accidents. Speeding and other forms of aggressive driving frequently occur because truckers are always in a hurry due to their demanding schedules and long days. Truckers who operate their big rigs without proper rest risk falling asleep at the wheel and causing an accident. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and driving while distracted also contribute to trucking accidents—drivers who do not follow the rules of the road often get named in truck accident lawsuits.
  • Truck owner/trucking company. Many truckers own their trucks, but many also drive for a trucking company. Owner/operators can be liable as drivers and truck owners. Trucking companies, which are responsible for many drivers and trucks, have legal obligations in terms of training, truck maintenance, hiring, and more. Trucking companies that do not hire qualified drivers, do not adequately train their drivers, or fail to keep their trucks in roadworthy condition open themselves up to liability if a truck accident occurs. Trucking companies also have personnel who help load cargo on trucks. If a cargo spill causes a trucking accident, trucking companies might also share liability.
  • Another motorist. Drivers in cars, pickups, SUVs, and other passenger vehicles can also cause a truck accident when they do not safely share the road. Some drivers linger in the large blind spots of semi-trucks and cut off trucks with quick maneuvers. These actions can lead a truck driver to lose control of his truck, causing a dangerous accident. Motorists who are distracted, fatigued, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol can run into a truck and cause a multi-car accident. Naming another driver as a defendant in a truck accident does not happen frequently. Your truck accident lawyer will review your case and advise you on which party you should name in your lawsuit.
  • Truck manufacturer/truck part manufacturer. Mechanical breakdowns that occur at critical times while a trucker is driving can lead to potentially deadly truck accidents. Truck manufacturers and truck part manufacturers can be liable for truck accident damages when breakdowns occur due to defective trucks or defective truck parts. For example, if brakes fail at a stoplight or a defective tire blows and causes a driver to lose control, the truck driver and all surrounding traffic are at risk for accident and injury.

What should I do if the San Bernardino trucking company’s insurance company makes me a settlement offer?

You should always consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer when an insurance company offers you a settlement. Making an offer soon after a truck accident is a common tactic that insurance carriers use to reduce the amount they must pay out in a claim. They make an early offer to accident victims when they are fairly certain their policyholder is at fault for an accident. Accident victims who accept these early offers must also waive their right to sue for damages.

The offers are typically enough money to tempt accident victims who are likely suffering financial stress due to medical bills and lost wages. Yet, they are not even close to fair compensation for truck accident injuries. It’s best to let a lawyer review your settlement offer and use it as a starting point for negotiations. In many cases, insurance companies take claims more seriously when victims have legal counsel. Also, lawyers are trained negotiators who often secure a better outcome for their clients.

Can I take legal action if my loved one died in a San Bernardino truck accident?

gomez trial attorneysYes, you can bring a lawsuit against the trucker, trucking company, or another party whose negligence caused your loved one’s fatal injuries. California has two pathways for surviving family members to seek compensation for damages after a fatal truck accident: wrongful death actions and survival actions. It’s common for families to pursue both at the same time. A wrongful death action seeks compensation for damages that family members suffer from losing a loved one, such as loss of companionship and loss of parental guidance and support.

A survival action seeks compensation for losses that occurred from the time of injury until the time of death, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering the deceased suffered before death. Technically, a representative of the estate of the deceased must bring a survival action. If the court awards damages, the estate collects them and distributes them under California’s intestate laws.

Can I afford a San Bernardino truck accident attorney to represent me?

Yes, you can afford our truck accident lawyers. The San Bernardino truck accident lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys provide free case evaluations for potential clients to share the details of their case with an attorney, who can evaluate the viability of a claim. If you have a valid claim, and you choose to hire an attorney, you do not have to pay an upfront retainer. Instead, you will enter a contingent fee agreement with your lawyer. This agreement gives the firm permission to deduct attorney fees from any compensation you receive due to your lawyer’s effort to recover damages for your truck accident injuries.

Injured? Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys’ San Bernardino Truck Accident Lawyers

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John Gomez, Truck Accident Lawyer

After an accident, you want someone by your side who will fight for your rights. Truck accidents are complicated and getting what you deserve isn’t always easy. The sad truth is that insurance companies prioritize profits over people. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we know how difficult an accident can be. We fight hard to get our clients the compensation they deserve.

California law allows accident victims two years from the date of their accident to file a personal injury suit. While this may seem like a long time, when it comes to truck accident cases, it’s not. Your attorney needs enough time to gather evidence and prepare a strong case. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you can be on your way to recovery. Stand up for your rights; get the care you deserve. To learn more about what to do after a truck accident and to speak to one of our attorneys, contact our office at (619) 237-3490 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation.

Review: 5/5
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“Mr. John Gomez and his team, Gomez Trial Attorneys, are very passionate about the work they do. They never left us alone and were always in our corner every step of the way. Never once during the process did we ever feel we were in this by ourselves. They are very diligent, thorough and compassionate at the same time. We had a delicate case and they always made sure we were comfortable. The made it easy for us to meet with them and very accommodating. They definitely did all their homework and of course, the result was a positive outcome.”

Review by: Clemente C.
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