What Is the Truck Accident Claim Process

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After a truck accident, you know the repercussions of truck accidents are extreme. Help is available. Contact a truck accident attorney at Wilshire Law Firm to help you handle your truck accident claim and get justice while getting paid. 

The personal injury attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm handle negotiations and settlements involving accidents inside and outside the courtroom. They offer free consultations, so call (213) 335-2402 today to discuss your case with a truck accident attorney to understand your options. 

Statutes of Limitations in California Regarding Personal Injury, Property Damage, and Government Agencies 

A statute of limitations is a deadline to file a lawsuit. If a plaintiff files a claim or lawsuit outside of this period, the court will throw it out. Each state has specific statutes about how long claimants have to file.

Plaintiffs must file personal injury lawsuits within two years of the injury date, according to California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1. If the plaintiff doesn’t discover the injury immediately after an accident, they must submit the injury claim one year from the date of discovery.

In property damage cases, plaintiffs have three years from the date of the damages to file a claim. After three years, the statute of limitations passes.

Plaintiffs must file claims against government agencies involving personal property or personal injury/death cases within six months, according to Government Code section 911.2.  

Contact a personal injury attorney to explain your case’s statute of limitations and the legal process to file a claim.

Research lawyers with experience handling personal injury cases involving truck accidents

Read reviews, research websites, and contact law firms/lawyers to determine the best lawyer for your situation. Often lawyers will offer free consultations to hear about your case to determine if they can help. Take advantage of these free meetings. They can take place over the phone or you can schedule an appointment with an attorney at a firm. They will explain how a truck accident lawyer can help you. 

Review and negotiate a contract with a truck accident lawyer

Lawyer-client contracts are often called retainer agreements, client contact agreements, or letters of engagement.

Make sure the contract includes the following items: 

  • A statement of acknowledgment should detail a confidential lawyer-client relationship and once the document is signed and dated, this relationship contractually begins. 
  • Details about fees and expenses should be overtly described. These may include payments for recovery or non-recovery of damages. Some lawyers do not charge their clients if they don’t win the case.
  • Descriptions of timelines and communication expectations may be described. Often truck accident personal injury claims can be lengthy. This section may note what you can expect from your lawyer from a communication perspective based on an anticipated timeline. The timeline may change based on each case, the courts, and the other parties involved, and your attorney should discuss this with clients. 
  • Disclaimers may be addressed in the contract. These disclaimer items can vary but may include other investigative information to help a lawyer move the case forward. This information includes ordering medical records or other documentation to gather evidence for the case. 
  • Terms detailing the termination process between you and the attorney if the relationship doesn’t work out as you’d hoped. 
  • Sign the written agreement if you are comfortable with its contents. It should clearly state what the agreement provides for you as a client. Only sign the document if you understand the contract. Always read the fine print. 

Varied information is included on client-attorney forms and contracts. If you don’t understand the legal language or are unsure why certain information is present or missing on the contract ask for clarification or negotiate the contract before signing.

Discuss your case with your truck accident attorney ONLY. 

Your attorney will want a detailed account of what happened before, during, and after the accident. This will include details about your medical care since the accident, a review of police reports, and any other evidence you can provide. Once they review your case, they determine if moving forward with your case is the best option. 

Attorneys often request their clients speak only to them about the case.

When it involves your insurance company, you may need to report the truck accident, but don’t sign anything or answer questions regarding your injuries. Refer them directly to your legal representative.

If a trucking company’s claims adjuster or other insurance companies contact you, give them the name and number of your truck accident lawyer. Avoid speaking to them or answering questions.

Work with the police to file an accident report. Ask doctors to complete a full medical evaluation regarding your physical injuries and mental state as soon as possible after the accident and ask if they recommend continued care based on your injuries. Follow medical professional’s instructions and recommendations. 

If you haven’t done so, your lawyer can report your collision to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, you must “report [the collision] to DMV using an SR-1 report. You or your insurance agent, broker, or legal representative must complete an SR-1 report and send it to DMV within 10 days if someone is injured (no matter how minor the injury) or killed, or property damage is over $1000.”

If you cannot complete forms due to injury, ask your lawyer to complete the SR-1 Report.

Do not discuss your truck accident injuries with anyone else—including on social media. 

Discovery Begins

The formal process of gathering and investigating evidence, or the discovery process, will start as your lawyers compile evidence to create a case to help your cause. 

A large white truck is driving down a deserted highway at sunset. The sun is low on the horizon, casting a warm golden glow across the landscape and creating long shadows on the road. The truck is heading towards the sunset, with dense trees lining both sides of the highway. The sky is filled with vibrant clouds, adding to the dramatic and serene atmosphere of the scene.

During this process, your attorney reviews police reports, medical records, and all medical visits. They discuss the accident with insurance adjusters and representatives and designate qualified accident scene investigators to visit the truck accident site and reconstruct the accident when necessary, depending on the case. 

Additionally, they reveal and review any available recorded evidence of the accident from nearby homes, businesses, and traffic cams. Then, the law team locates and speaks to eyewitnesses near the scene on the day of the accident. 

After extensive research, a truck accident attorney speaks with the truck company’s legal team and insurance representatives. They review additional evidence that the truck company or insurance representatives may provide. 

Finally, your truck accident attorney guides you by helping you describe the accident concisely. 

Submit the Injury Demand Letter

After collecting and reviewing all evidence, your truck accident attorney drafts a personal injury demand letter describing how the accident and related injuries have physically, emotionally, and/or financially affected your life.  

Your attorney sends the letter to the insurance company of the individual or business entity responsible for causing the accident and the injuries sustained. 

An injury demand letter demands a financial payment the injured person will accept to rectify the situation. This letter ensures that the truck company and the insurer understand the claimant’s terms. 

Negotiate a Fair Settlement

The insurance companies and truck companies have the opportunity to evaluate evidence and build up their own case. The truck company and its insurers have a few options that will determine your law team’s next steps. 

The other parties will accept your demands and continue the process to settle outside of court. 

The other parties will negotiate and present a counter-offer. These negotiations can bounce back and forth between the injured and other parties until both parties are satisfied with the agreement. The settlement moves forward. 

Absent acceptance, negotiation, or counter-offer, you may file a lawsuit if the evidence and circumstances of the accident justify it. 

Go to Trial

Should you file a lawsuit, discovery, where the parties will exchange information about the witnesses and evidence, will follow. 

The image features a legal-themed still life composition. In the foreground, a wooden gavel rests on a thick, leather-bound book with a red and gold cover. Next to the gavel, there is a set of golden scales of justice. The background is filled with rows of law books, identifiable by their uniform size, leather bindings, and gold lettering on the spines, reinforcing the legal context of the scene. The overall setting conveys a sense of authority, law, and order.

If your case goes to trial, you may hear the terms deposition and subpoena when speaking to your lawyer. A deposition is an out-of-court statement given under oath by potential witnesses in a case. A subpoena requires the other side to produce evidence.

If these pretrial activities fail to resolve your case, a judge and jury will determine the monetary amount you will recover. 

Few truck accident cases go to trial, but you and your legal team should prepare for this step in case negotiations fail.

Recover Compensation

Recovering compensation needs little explanation. The ordeal you experienced left a wake of physical, emotional, mental, or financial woes. While it doesn’t take the pain and trauma away, compensation can aid in paying hospital bills, recovering lost funds, and caring for current and future medical needs. 

You may recover compensation for initial injury evaluation, present costs, and future expenses, including property damage, psychological damages such as PTSD or anxiety disorders, disability, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, and reduced earning potential. 

Your attorney can calculate your expenses if you keep a file of all documents and receipts, invoices, and billing statements. You can recover these losses.

The truck accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm advocate with determination to recover the compensation you deserve after a truck accident with severe injuries, damages, and other losses. 

Begin the Process to File Your Truck Accident Claim

After your accident, you’ve likely gone to the hospital, filed appropriate documentation for claims, and more importantly, attempted to recover physically and mentally.

It’s a huge financial strain and mental stressor to have survived a truck accident, so don’t allow the situation to damage your financial situation.

Win with Wilshire by contacting personal injury lawyers today at (213) 335-2402 or through our website for your free consultation about your truck accident case. Why wait? Get justice, get paid.

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By submitting this form, you agree to receive telephone calls and text messages at anytime, which include hours outside of business hours (8:00 a.m. PST - 9:00 p.m. PST). This is so that we may reach you as soon as possible in order to consult on your potential case. By providing a telephone number and submitting this form you are consenting to be contacted by SMS text message. Message & data rates may apply. You can reply STOP to opt-out of further messaging. You can STOP messaging by sending STOP and get more help by sending HELP. Privacy Policy