Bakersfield Truck Accident Lawyer

Bakersfield Truck Accident Attorneys

 
  • 25 + Years of Experience

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    Our firm maintains an impressive 99% win rate, even while accepting difficult cases other law firms have turned away.

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Since most semi-trucks weigh up to 20 times heavier than the average automobile, an impact with these massive vehicles will often have gruesome consequences. In truth, Bakersfield trucking accidents cause injuries and fatalities at a higher rate than any other type of automobile accident.

Worse yet, even though the trucking industry has boomed in California over the past few decades and fueled the state’s economy, accidents involving semi-trucks remain an ongoing problem on California’s highways and roads, especially on I-5 and I-99.

If you have sustained injuries in a Bakersfield trucking accident, you should not have to go through this terrifying ordeal on your own. Rather, you should retain legal help that you can trust to get you through this challenging time in your life and to stand by your side as you pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries. At The May Firm, our Bakersfield trucking accident attorneys stand ready to take on this legal battle and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

About The May Firm

At The May Firm, we provide personal injury legal services, and our legal team consists of award-winning lawyers and accident attorneys. We only represent injured individuals and fight tirelessly for them while trying to alleviate as much of the burden from their shoulders as possible. This gives them the freedom to recover from their trauma and injuries without having to fight a legal battle alone.

At The May Firm, we handle each client’s case with the utmost attention, and we do everything we can to ensure that we take care of our client’s needs throughout the process. Of course, we also put in every effort to ensure that we recover maximum compensation on our client’s behalf given the specific circumstances of the case.

As a result, since our founding, we have won several multimillion-dollar cases and have recovered tens of millions of dollars on our client’s behalf. Even though we cannot guarantee that your case will have these exact results when you work with The May Firm, you can rest assured that our legal team will fight hard to go after the money you need.

Community Involvement

At The May Firm we strive to be involved and connected to our local community. For example, this past holiday season we had bicycle and Christmas tree giveaway’s dedicated for individuals in our community. Our goal is to be a positive force for good in the local community and give back in some small measure to those we can serve. We receive satisfaction and joy from serving our clients and will continue to look for ways to be of assistance to the community as a whole. We receive positive energy from the community when we are involved.

We have listed a few of the local organizations we support and look forward to growing our outreach in the future. If you have any suggestions for ways we can be of service or support, please reach out to us.

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Why So Many Accidents Happen In Bakersfield

Bakersfield is the largest city within Kern County, which encompasses more than 8,100 square miles. Bakersfield is conveniently located in the southern portion of the San Joaquin Valley, directly between Fresno and Los Angeles. The largest local employers are in the farming, agriculture and oil industries.

Unfortunately, this type of heavy labor can lead to a variety of personal injuries, especially trucking, farming and car accidents. The May Firm is here to help our clients get the justice they deserve. If you’ve been injured by no fault of your own, contact our office for a free consultation.

“My number one goal is to help others. When you step foot into our firm, you’ll be treated like family, period.”
Robert May, Attorney | Founder

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Trucking Accidents—The Worrisome Statistics

Almost every 15 minutes in the United States, another individual suffers harm or dies in a crash involving a truck. On average, over 145,000 truck crashes occur each year, causing almost 68,000 injuries and 4,500 deaths on an annual basis. However, these troubling trends do not end there. Consider the following statistics:

  • Almost 11 percent of all car accident deaths occurred in a large truck collision.
  • Around 12 percent of all passenger car occupant casualties and 22 percent of all passenger car occupant fatalities in a multiple-vehicle accident resulted from a collision with a large truck.

Unfortunately, California does not fare any better when it comes to these trucking accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), on average, around 360 deaths get reported every year because of trucking accidents. California’s State Route 99, considered one of the most dangerous roads in the United States, experiences many of these traumatic truck accidents. The road stretches across the Central Valley and serves most major cities in Central California, including Bakersfield. However, with dozens of fatal accidents occurring on this road every year, it has earned a reputation as the most deadly 100 miles on any highway nationwide.

Common Types of Trucking Accidents in Bakersfield

Due to the size and weight of big trucks, trucking accidents can cause significant devastation on our roads. Yet, although a variety of unique trucking accidents can occur, in Bakersfield, several common types of truck accidents result more frequently than others.

These include:

  • A Truck Rollover Accident: These crashes happen when a truck driver loses control of the truck, and the truck slides and ends up rolling on its side.
  • A Jackknife Accident: These accidents occur when a large truck brakes suddenly and its trailer swings out to a ninety-degree angle. Unfortunately, when jackknifing occurs, it can easily cause the truck to overturn or roll over, causing a massive accident.
  • A Wide Turn Accident: If a truck driver approaches an intersection with the intent to make a right turn, the driver will need to swing out to make this turn. Oftentimes, however, these trucks turn into the first or second lanes and trap the vehicles and pedestrians there.
  • A Tire Blowout Accident: Tire blowouts can occur on any type of vehicle, but large trucks prove especially vulnerable to tire failure. If a truck’s tire blows out, it forces the truck to move in a wayward direction uncontrollably and causes it to crash into nearby vehicles.
  • A Blind Spot Accident: Blind spots crashes constitute a common accident, especially when it comes to large commercial trucks. Semi-trucks have large blind spots that cause the truck driver to lose sight of the other vehicles around. Consequently, these blind spots often cause massive collisions because adjacent cars face serious danger. Typically, these blind spots exist along each side of the truck, behind the truck, and right in front of the truck.
  • A T-Bone Accident: These types of crashes usually occur when a truck runs a red light or a stop sign and crashes into another vehicle perpendicularly.
  • A Head-On or Rear-End Accident: Generally, a head-on collision occurs when trucks collide with other motorists head-on, while a rear-end collision describes an accident where a truck drives into the back of another vehicle. Both of these crashes tend to lead to severe injuries and death, especially if they involve a smaller car.

Common Causes of Trucking Accidents in Bakersfield

Almost one-third of all truck accidents result from truck driver error. Yet, although these mistakes can happen for a variety of reasons, some of the more common ones include the following:

Excessive Speeding

Truck drivers often have tight deadlines and a significant amount of pressure to meet these deadlines. As a result, a driver may try to drive faster than appropriate for these types of vehicles. However, if a semi-truck decides to speed, it can mean bad news for others on the road, as this behavior can often cause deadly accidents, since the truck’s force of impact can reach significant levels due to its increased weight and speed.

Tired Driving

Although laws and regulations exist for how many hours a trucker can drive in one shift, many companies still require drivers to deliver goods to certain destinations within short periods. Unfortunately, this means that these drivers may struggle to get in these mandatory breaks, as they will have to cover long distances in not much time.

However, after several days with too few hours of sleep, these truck drivers may lose coordination and concentration and react slower to hazardous road situations. Worse yet, these truck drivers may even fall asleep behind the wheel while driving due to extreme fatigue.

Distracted Driving

Driving long distances for hours on end can prove tedious, especially in rural areas where truck drivers may not have a decent radio signal. Unfortunately, this boredom can lead to distracted driving. This type of driving refers to any activity that diverts attention away from the primary task of driving and often includes things such as texting and driving, eating and driving, and playing with the radio while driving.

Intoxicated Driving

Alcohol, prescription medication, and drugs can all individually cause impaired driving. Generally, when a truck driver suffers impairment due to one of these causes, the driver often cannot use sound judgment to make safe decisions since their senses may suffer reduced capabilities—meaning that devastating crashes can occur.

Inadequate Training and Truck Maintenance

Typically, the law mandates how many hours of training a truck driver needs to have before driving a commercial vehicle. However, in some situations, these truck drivers can manage to get on the road without meeting these requirements. Without this training, many drivers lack the experience necessary to drive in challenging situations, such as bad weather. As a result, if these drivers do not know how to operate in these poor conditions, it may cause them to jackknife, skid across the road, or even hydroplane and put other motorists at risk.

Finally, the trucking companies must inspect every truck before it gets on the road. This does not always happen, however, as proper truck maintenance often comes with immense costs, and the process can take a significant amount of time—time that the company may want to use on making deliveries instead. Consequently, routine maintenance often falls by the wayside, and trucks may hit the road without being ready for the trip.

Failing to Yield

If a truck driver fails to yield to the right of way, it can result in massive collisions. Typically, failing to yield usually happens at intersections that have a flashing yellow light, pedestrians in the crosswalk, a red light, or a truck driver trying to make a left turn who does not yield to oncoming traffic.

An Improper Load Accident

Every load needs to adhere to a specific size, length, weight, height, and width limits. If a truck carries dangerous materials, these regulations may include even stricter limits. Even with all these laws in place, mistakes can still happen.

If individuals responsible for loading a truck do so improperly, these loads can fall out of the truck and cause a hazardous situation, especially for drivers behind the truck.

Common Injuries Resulting From a Bakersfield Truck Crash

Truck accidents often result in a slew of serious injuries that can leave victims suffering devastating harm and debilitating pain. Although these injuries can vary in type and severity, some of the more common injuries that result from these trucking crashes include the following:

Spinal Cord Injuries

Generally, spinal cord damage results in a temporary, partial, or complete paralysis of your lower body. The spine serves as the information center of your body, carrying messages through your nerves from the brain to all of your body parts. Once your spinal cord suffers a serious injury, it can result in debilitating harm that often requires months—if not years—of treatments, physical therapy, and surgeries. In some instances, it can even lead to permanent disability.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A variety of head injuries can result from a trucking accident. However, traumatic brain injuries often have life-long effects. These traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) usually result from a sudden injury that causes damage to the brain. Often caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, TBIs can also happen when an object penetrates the skull.

Neck Injuries

Whiplash often happens when your head and neck snap forward, but your torso stays in place. Following a trucking accident, it may take some time for victims to experience the pain resulting from this injury, as symptoms may not appear immediately. Fortunately, most individuals with whiplash get better within a few weeks by following a doctor’s treatment plan. Yet, some people may have long-lasting complications.

Amputations

Amputations can occur when an accident’s impact itself cuts off a limb or because of a necessary surgery that needs to remedy another condition that resulted from the accident. Those that suffer an amputation will likely require continuing medical treatment and may also need adaptive devices to function in their everyday lives.

Deep Lacerations

Even though you may believe that cuts and bruises don’t equal a traumatic brain injury in terms of severity, these injuries can still cause permanent damages. Typically, deep lacerations result when sharp metal, unrestrained objects, or shattered glass from the trucking accident penetrates a victim’s skin. Although the damage can range in severity, in some instances, it can even result in disfiguring scars or life-threatening infections.

Bakersfield Truck Accident FAQs

Following a Bakersfield trucking accident, you likely have questions regarding your legal options. For this reason, The May Firm has prepared responses to the following frequently asked questions that our firm often receives following a trucking accident. We hope with this information, you have a better grasp of the legal remedies you can pursue to secure the money you need following your devastating crash.

First, you must realize that the actions you take following a trucking accident can not only keep you safe but also protect your legal rights.

For these reasons, following a Bakersfield truck accident, you should:

  • Contact 911 Immediately. Calling 911 constitutes the fastest way to notify the authorities of your accident, alert EMS that you need medical help, and get your accident on record. Once the police arrive, they will investigate your accident and document their findings in their police report. If you decide to file a lawsuit following the accident, this report can provide you with valuable evidence regarding what happened.
  • Gather Evidence From the Truck Accident Scene. If possible, try to collect as much evidence from the accident scene as you can. This should include photos and videos of the crash, the vehicles involved in the collision, their placement of these vehicles on the road, your visible injuries, skid marks on the street, traffic signs near the accident scene, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, and any other evidence that can help show what happened.
  • Exchange Information. Make sure you exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident, such as names, contact details, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information.
  • Get Witness Statements. If other people at the scene saw your accident unfold, try to get their names and contact information. These witness statements can often provide you with valuable details regarding the incident and back up your claims.
  • See a Doctor as Soon as Possible. Even if your injuries do not appear as if they require emergency medical treatment, you should still see your doctor as soon as possible. Many serious injuries, such as brain trauma, may take days to even weeks to manifest. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more fatal your injuries may become. In addition, this prompt medical attention can also help your case. Insurance companies will try to do anything to deny your claim. By not seeking immediate medical treatment, the insurance company will argue that you only suffered minor injuries or that your injuries resulted from a separate event. Fortunately, when you get examined promptly after your accident, the doctor can provide you with evidence of a direct link between your trucking accident and the injuries you sustained.
  • Watch What You Say. As you talk to others at the scene, you need to watch what you say. You do not want to take fault for anything that happened, apologize for what occurred, or make any definitive statements about the incident. These types of comments can come back and hurt you, impacting the amount of money you may ultimately receive.

The statute of limitations dictates the maximum amount of time you have to bring a legal claim following an alleged offense. If you do not bring this lawsuit within that allotted time, you may lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries.

California law provides injured individuals with two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, various exceptions to this rule exist that can impact the amount of time you have to file. For this reason, you shouldn’t delay in filing your claim; instead, you should reach out to an experienced truck accident lawyer, like those at The May Firm, as soon as possible to set a timeline for your claim. These attorneys can determine the maximum amount of time you have to file your claim and ensure the timely filing of all required legal documents. Don’t attempt to handle your legal claim alone, as you may miss out on your chance to pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries.

What many victims may not realize is that following a trucking accident, more than one person may bear responsibility for the crash. The more defendants in a case, the more complex it will likely prove. For this reason, we recommend reaching out to an experienced attorney sooner rather than later to determine who may bear liability for your accident and injuries. Potential defendants in truck accident cases may include:

  • The At-Fault Truck Driver: If the truck driver acted negligently, whether by speeding, not paying attention, or even texting while driving, the truck driver may bear full liability for the accident and injuries that resulted.
  • The Trucking Company: If a trucking company employed the at-fault truck driver, the trucking company could bear partial responsibility for the collision. However, if the driver worked as an independent contractor, then the driver will most likely face full liability for the accident and resulting injuries.
  • Other Parties: Truck accidents can occur for many causes. As a result, multiple parties may share responsibility for the accident, including other negligent motorists, motorcyclists, manufacturers accountable for a defective truck part that caused the crash, or even agencies responsible for poor road conditions that caused the collision.

Unfortunately, it often proves difficult to determine the at-fault parties for a truck accident. Following your crash, you should work with a skilled Bakersfield trucking accident lawyer who can help you identify all those liable for your collision and hold them accountable for your injuries. If you choose not to contact an attorney for help with your case, you may miss out on naming potentially liable parties as defendants in your claim, which may result in you missing out on potential sources of compensation.

Trucking accidents often result in more severe and debilitating injuries than other types of motor vehicle accidents. In addition, determining fault in a trucking crash often proves more complicated than in an automobile collision. Even if the truck driver bears some liability for the impact, several other parties may also share liability for the accident. The trucking company, for example, may share liability with its employed driver.

Another key difference includes the insurance policies involved. Large trucks must have higher insurance coverage than other vehicles. As a result, following a Bakersfield trucking accident, you should reach out to a skilled Bakersfield trucking accident lawyer, such as those at The May Firm, as quickly as possible. These lawyers can gather the evidence needed to figure out not only what happened but also who bears responsibility for the incident and help you go after maximum compensation following your accident.

After an accident with a truck in Bakersfield, the victim may have debilitating injuries and significant financial damages. If the truck driver or the trucking company caused the incident (or contributed to it), the victim can seek damages by filing a lawsuit against the wrongful parties. These damages often include:

Economic Damages: These damages include tangible losses that an individual incurred or will incur because of their accident.

These damages are usually easily quantifiable and include:

  • Medical expenses, including your past, present, and future medical costs, such as emergency services, surgeries, hospital stay, medical devices, and prescription medication costs
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Lost wages
  • Personal property damages
  • Rehabilitative therapy expenses, including vocational therapy and physical therapy
  • At-home care expenses
  • Household replacement services expenses
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses

Non-Economic Damages: These damages refer to rather subjective losses and relate to injuries that often prove difficult to quantify.

Non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Loss of a limb
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Punitive Damages: Unlike the other compensatory damages, which courts award to compensate victims for their specific losses, courts award punitive damages to punish a defendant for particularly egregious actions and deter others from committing these acts again. However, to obtain these damages, the victim must show that the defendant acted with malice or caused intentional harm or an injury through extreme recklessness.

To determine your claim’s validity, you should speak with an experienced trucking accident lawyer, who will consider several questions that will go into figuring out whether you have a valid claim.

These questions often include:

  • Did you sustain injuries in the trucking accident? If so, to what extent?
  • Did the statute of limitations pass to bring a truck accident injury claim?
  • What insurance resources exist from which to pursue compensation following the trucking accident?

Unfortunately, due to these many unknowns, we cannot provide standards answers for these questions. However, when you reach out to a knowledgeable Bakersfield truck accident attorney, like those at The May Firm, these lawyers can review your claim, determine whether you have a viable case, and help you pursue maximum compensation for your specific situation.

No attorney can tell you the exact value of your trucking accident claim.

Too many unique factors can impact your case and the amount of money you may ultimately receive, such as:

  • The extent and the severity of the injuries you endured. For example, if the injuries included a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury, you will likely qualify for significant compensation.
  • The type of medical treatments you currently need and will need in the future.
  • Did you suffer permanent injuries?
  • Can you work following the accident?
  • Did the accident result in lost wages?
  • Did you miss out on any major milestones and life moments following the accident?
  • Did you suffer any disruptions in your daily activities because of your injuries?
  • What is the degree of the defendant’s culpability?
  • Have you presented credible, persuasive evidence?
  • Will you need any replacement services following the incident, such as childcare help?

Even though we cannot tell you precisely how much money to expect following a Bakersfield trucking accident, if you work with one of the experienced trucking accident lawyers at The May Firm, our attorneys can go over your claim, figure out which of these factors can influence your recovery, and make sure to prepare the strongest case in response to these factors—helping you to pursue the maximum damages you need.

Truck accidents often involve complex legal issues that can overwhelm any victim. Fortunately, you will not have to tackle this complicated legal battle on your own. At The May Firm, we have years of experience handling these challenging trucking accident claims, and we know what it takes to take on these cases and go after maximum damages on your behalf.

Once you retain our legal team, we can:

  • Go over your trucking accident in detail, determine if you have a viable legal claim, and discuss your legal options.
  • Thoroughly investigate the truck accident and gather the evidence needed to prove what happened and who bears liability.
  • Obtain experts, such as doctors, engineers, and accident reconstructionists, to substantiate your claim.
  • Ensure the timely filing of all required legal documents.
  • Handle all the negotiations with the insurance company and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
  • Take your case to trial, if required.

If a Bakersfield trucking accident disrupted your life or the life of a loved one, do not wait any longer to seek legal help. Instead, contact The May Firm today for your free case consultation, and let our legal team show you how we can help! During your free consultation, you can discuss the details of your Bakersfield truck accident, ask questions about your legal options, and determine your eligibility to pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries.

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