Kern County is the largest oil-producing county in the United States and is number four when it comes to agricultural production. This means that there are many semi trucks rolling in and out of town, and a lot of trucks means a lot of truck accidents.
When a truck has an accident, it is rare that it will crash into a vehicle its own size, it almost always ends up crashing into a passenger vehicle. According to the website Driving Tests, approximately 130,000 individuals are injured in truck accidents annually.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one to an accident, you have undoubtedly experienced great financial loss, physical pain, and emotional trauma. A good personal injury lawyer in Bakersfield, like those at Bauman Law, can help you recover the financial loss. Before you come to your first consultation, there are a few things you should know about truck driving and truck accidents in the Golden State.
Truck Driving Safety Training and the Law
The Department of Transportation has certain requirements that must be met by commercial truck drivers. To obtain a Commercial Driver’s License an individual must have a regular driver’s license for one to two years depending on the state. He or she must also pass both a written and road exam.
A truck driver must be in good physical shape and have a Medical Examiner’s Certificate. They must have vision that is at least 20/40 acuity as well as 70% peripheral vision. Truck drivers must also pass a hearing test and they must not be an insulin dependent diabetic. Although some states, including California, allow people to become truck drivers when they are 18, you must be 21 to drive across state lines or haul hazardous materials.
If a truck driver fails to meet any of these requirements, the company that employees them may be considered negligent in a civil suit.
What to do if you are Injured
As with any traffic accident, you must not leave the scene until the police arrive. Tell the police every detail you can remember and collect the names of the witnesses at the scene. Call your insurance company right away and answer all of their questions honestly. Be sure to obtain a copy of the accident report.
What Insurance Companies Want to Know
An insurance company wants to know how little they can pay you for an accident their client has caused. They have legal departments, actuaries, and private investigators who are all dedicated to finding fault with your claim. Be sure to document your case thoroughly and answer all of the questions they have for you in as much detail as possible.
How to Document Your Case
You are likely to require a hospital visit. Make sure to collect receipts for every doctor’s visit that you have and for all the medicine you take that is related to your injury. Be sure to record all the time you miss from work and any major life activities that your injury has caused you to miss such as a wedding or graduation. If you have incurred extra expenses for child care or care of an elderly family member, be sure to report that as well. You should bring as much documentation as possible to your first meeting with your lawyer.
Hiring an Attorney
It is important to hire an attorney who has lots of experience with personal injury cases and understands traffic and insurance law in the state of California. Bauman Law has resolved over 6000 cases in the state. Their trained attorneys and legal research team will not miss a single detail in filing your claim or in arguing on your behalf. A truck accident can be devastating, but the right representation can soften the impact and let you move on with your life.