truck driver shortage

The Impact of Driver Shortages on Commercial Trucking Safety

There is an historic shortage of qualified commercial truck drivers in California and the rest of the country, according to the figures released by the American Trucking Association. There are about 80,000 unfilled truck driver positions, and the situation is only expected to worsen over the next few years. Your truck accident and injuries could have occurred because the trucking company failed to hire trained and qualified drivers or forced its existing drivers to work excessively in order to overcome the shortage.

An experienced truck accident attorney will find evidence to show that the trucking company forced their drivers to violate federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, meet unrealistic delivery deadlines, indulged in negligent hiring practices, and/or turned a blind eye to falsified or erroneous driver’s logs. These factors can easily contribute to speeding, aggressive driving, distracted driving, fatigued driving, and other dangerous driving behaviors of truckers.

The attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP know that the aging workforce in the trucking business has a role to play in truck accidents. In California, the average truck driver is about 50 years of age. Unfortunately, trucking companies are replacing experienced drivers that are nearing retirement with younger and inexperienced drivers with inadequate training. Our attorneys will investigate all these factors and more to prove the trucking company’s fault in the accident.

Proving Liability of a Trucking Company in Semi-Truck Accidents in California

Leading California trucking accident attorneys will have the skills, resources, and experience to take on large and powerful trucking companies and prove their liability.

  • Pressurizing drivers: Your attorney will prove whether the trucking company incentivized or otherwise pressured the semi-truck operator into taking unreasonable risks or working excessively. This can result in accidents due to distraction, fatigue, intoxication, and drowsiness of the negligent trucker.
  • HOS violations: A qualified attorney will immediately review the trucking company’s records and driver’s logbooks to determine Hours of Service (HOS) violations. The trucking company could have allowed federal violations, which eventually resulted in an accident and injuries.
  • Negligent hiring: The trucking company may have resorted to negligent hiring because of the historic shortage of experienced drivers in the industry. Your attorney will investigate if any negligent hiring practices were employed, such as insufficient background checks or negligent retention of the driver.

Hours of Service (HOS) Violations in California

Big rig carriers usually have the sole motive of maximizing their profits even when it is at the cost of the safety of others. Federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations are frequently violated resulting in driver distraction, fatigue, drowsiness, and other reckless driving behaviors.

Your California truck accident attorney will investigate and try to prove:

  • Whether overambitious schedules were set by the trucking company to meet deadlines.
  • Were big rig drivers forced to unofficially exceed the number of mandatory hours of service?
  • Did the trucking company have incentive or bonus policies based on unrealistic delivery goals that motivated the drivers to lie on the logs and go beyond regular service hours?
  • Were the big rig drivers incentivized on a “per load” basis, which motivated them to work off the clock and deliver more loads?
  • Did the trucking company favor or turn a blind eye to drivers bending the HOS rules?
  • Were there any HR policies that undermined or retaliated against the drivers that refused to violate the federal hours of service rules?

Finding Evidence When Log Books Are Falsified

In many cases, driver’s logbooks can be falsified. It takes an experienced big rig accident attorney with a trained team of investigators to find the necessary evidence for proving HOS violations in the following manner:

  • Logbooks: All big rig drivers are required to maintain a record of every trip and delivery. Competent attorneys can identify inaccuracies and falsification through deep analysis.
  • Engine control module: There is a black box or an event data recorder in every truck. This includes the ECM or engine control module that records the driver’s logs. Faking this data can be difficult. Moreover, attorneys need to move fast to secure this data. This is why you should never delay in speaking with a proven truck accident attorney if involved in an accident.
  • Computer systems: Computer systems in trucks have a wide range of tracking data. This data is compared with driver’s logbooks and ECM data for identifying discrepancies.
  • Bills of lading: This key shipping document shows the precise location of a truck driver at any specific time. The records of different bills of lading should match the logbooks.
  • Tickets and receipts: Gas station receipts, toll booth tickets, weight station records, and refreshment bills can pinpoint the driver’s location. This can be used for contradicting the logbooks.

Choose a Leading Truck Accident Law Firm with a Proven Record of Settlements and Verdicts

The California truck accident attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP are here to serve you and ensure that everything is done right to maximize your financial recovery. Our experienced attorneys have decades of combined experience holding large and powerful big rig companies and their insurers liable for their negligent actions.

Schedule your free and confidential consultation with us today. Call 619-441-2500 or write to us online.


crush injuries

What Are the Risks Of Crush Injuries After A Car Crash?

Car accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic or permanent injuries, including crush injuries. Injured victims that experience crush injuries in a car accident face serious medical risks that can be life-threatening and irreversible without timely and proper medical attention.

To hold the negligent driver liable for your crush injuries and obtain your rightful damages, you should hire a trusted car accident attorney with the knowledge and experience of dealing with crush injury cases.

Effects of a Crush Injury in a Car Accident in California

Crush injury is the result of extreme pressure or force exerted by a heavy object on the body. This type of injury generally happens when one vehicle hits another at high speeds. Drivers of smaller vehicles are particularly vulnerable if they get into an accident with a larger vehicle, such as an SUV or a truck.

The risk of a crush injury goes up when the collision force of impact is greater. Bicyclists, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians are at a high risk of crush injury if they get hit by another vehicle. These are the initial effects of a crash-related crush injury:

  • Nerve damage
  • Severe bleeding (usually internal)
  • Multiple fractures
  • Crushed muscles
  • Bruising
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Swelling

Risks Involved in a Crush Injury

Victims that get trapped under the crash debris are at a high risk of life-threatening complications. Their torso or legs usually get trapped underneath the wreckage. There are several factors that increase the risks associated with car accident injuries:

  • Amount of tissue injured
  • Victim’s age and overall health
  • Force and duration of compression
  • Underlying condition of the victim before the crash


Crush injuries following a car accident can be complicated. They require aggressive and immediate medical intervention. This is even before the victim is extricated from the crash wreckage. Unfortunately, even with immediate emergency care, crush accident victims face multiple risks, such as:

  • Limb ischemia: Limb ischemia occurs due to loss of blood supply to the extremity. It increases the likelihood of the victim requiring an amputation. Victims may suffer cardiac death if not treated in a timely manner.
  • Compartment syndrome: The force and pressure on the damaged area can cause muscle cells to swell. This can deprive the cells and any surrounding nerves of blood. Victims usually experience paresthesia (pins and needles) and severe pain. In severe cases, immediate surgical intervention is usually required.
  • Rhabdomyolysis: Also known as crush syndrome, this condition occurs because of the breakdown of cell integrity arising from severe damage to the skeletal muscle tissue. The body releases multiple toxins when muscle cells begin to die. This can cause widespread metabolic effects, including kidney failure and death.

Getting the required medical attention for preventing these risks is important. Crush injuries can require expensive and long-term treatment. You should consult with a capable personal injury attorney to find ways of maximizing compensation.

Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is Important in Your Crush Injury Claim

It can be tempting to accept the first settlement offer made by the insurance company after your crush injury. But you should not accept any compensation till you have achieved maximum medical improvement (MMI). Once you accept a settlement offer, you will lose your right to seek further compensation. This applies even if a new injury associated with the accident becomes apparent only later.

A skilled crush injury lawyer can help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries, property loss, and other damages. No amount of money can reverse your pain and injuries – but it can help you move forward with your life by receiving the care you need.

Having solid representation can ensure that your rights are protected. Studies show that victims with legal representation are usually awarded more compensation.

These are a few other ways that a top-rated crush injury attorney can help you with a legal claim:

  • Preventing you from doing or saying things that may harm your claim. For instance, they will stop you from posting something on social media that will probably be used against you by the insurance company.
  • Investigating the crash and collecting all possible physical and forensic evidence from the accident site, eyewitness accounts, photos and video footage, and medical documentation.
  • Hiring expert witnesses, including accident reconstructionists, medical specialists, and financial accountants to establish your rightful claim to maximum damages.
  • Calculating the value of the claim for ensuring you receive maximum compensation.
  • Negotiating with the insurers and other defendants on your behalf for the largest possible settlement.
  • Preparing meticulously to take your case to trial in case an out-of-court settlement is not possible.

It’s crucial that you are diligent in following the doctor’s advice. You may impede your ability to recover without treatment even if you become stabilized and start feeling better.

Your injuries may become worse or get extended if you ignore your doctor’s recommendations. In addition, any missed doctor’s appointments may cause the insurers to devalue your claim. The insurance company may damage your credibility by saying that your injuries are not as bad as you may be claiming.

Discuss a Winning Legal Strategy with our Attorneys to Maximize Damages

If you or someone you love sustained injury in a car crash caused by another’s fault, the experienced and competent car accident attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP can help you maximize your compensation and obtain the justice you deserve.

Our personal injury attorneys are dedicated to employing all available resources to prove the liability of the negligent parties and pursue the most favorable outcome. To schedule your free confidential consultation with our legal team, call us at 619-441-2500 or write to us online.


driving at night

How To Stay Safe When Driving a Car at Night

A large number of car accidents occur during nighttime hours and there is no foolproof way of avoiding them. In fact, as per a report by the National Safety Council, the risk of a fatal car crash is three times higher at night as compared to the daytime.

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself and lower the risk of getting involved in an auto accident while driving at night. If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident because of the fault of another, an experienced car accident attorney can help you obtain your rightful compensation.

Lower Your Risk of Driving in the Dark

The most obvious danger of driving at night is darkness. It gets harder to see the things around you, especially when the lighting on the road is poor. This increases the odds of getting involved in an accident if the other driver is negligent.

High-beam headlights can only help you see up to 500 feet in front of you. This reduces your reaction time to things, especially if you or another driver is going at a high speed.

These are a few things to improve your visibility at night:

  • Clean your headlights
  • Dim the dashboard lights
  • Give yourself more time to react by reducing the speed
  • Clean windshields regularly to remove any streaks that can create a glare
  • Make sure your headlights are aimed correctly

You should be diligent about turning on your headlights whenever the visibility appears to be low. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. You can turn your headlights on even if you don’t see other drivers turning theirs on.

Be Mindful of Poor Night Vision

Nighttime driving becomes more difficult for drivers over the age of 50. This is because of poor night vision. This is especially true for people with degenerative eye diseases and cataracts. In addition, older drivers have slower reaction times as well.

These are a few suggestions made by the American Optometric Association on how to drive safely at night:

  • Slow down
  • Have an annual vision exam
  • Update your prescription glasses if you wear them
  • Don’t drive when fatigued
  • Speak with your doctor about any side effects related to prescription drugs
  • Avoid talking on the phone and to other passengers

If you work a night shift, you may invariably get behind the wheel with some level of tiredness. The same holds true for drivers on long road trips. The NHTSA reports that tired drivers have the same reaction time as drunk drivers. Their awareness, perception, and ability to brake is significantly reduced.

You should try and carpool with people that are not tired. If there is no other way, you should stop every 2 hours to give yourself a break. It’s crucial that you pull up somewhere safe, such as a 24-hour store or a truck stop. Many drivers find it refreshing to take a short nap and rest their eyes.

It’s best to avoid traveling during times when you would normally be sleeping. The National Sleep Foundation has recommended a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night. You should avoid getting behind the wheel when you know you’re tired.

Reduce Speed While Driving at Night

During autumn and winter, the sun sets early, and peak traffic often happens in the dark. This makes commuting dangerous. You should always reduce your speed during late evening or night and follow all traffic rules. This is especially important if there are other elements, like rain, snow, ice, and sleet, which increase the risk of an accident.

You should avoid multitasking and never change lanes abruptly during nighttime driving. It is easy to switch to autopilot when navigating the same routes on a daily basis – and you may not pay as much attention to where you are going. But when it is dark, you need to stay more alert and pay attention to the traffic even if you are using autopilot.

Steer Clear of Drunk Drivers

The biggest danger of nighttime driving is coming across drunk drivers on the road. Many of these drivers choose not to take a rideshare or taxi home because they believe they are not that drunk. It can seem impossible to prepare for intoxicated drivers. However, there are a few telltale signs that can help you avoid a crash.

For instance, if you notice a driver swerving dangerously in front of you, you should note down their license plate number and alert a 911 dispatcher. Never try to maneuver in front of their car or make attempts to slow the driver down.

You should also avoid drivers that don’t have their headlights turned on. Honk your horn if you come across someone taking up two lanes on the interstate.

You should watch for unnecessarily wide turns and erratic braking. Avoid any driver that makes such maneuvers. It’s best to request a ride from someone else or hire a taxi if you had a few drinks.

Our Personal Injury Attorneys Will Fight to Maximize Your Damages

The experienced, capable, and resourceful car accident attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP have helped numerous victims of nighttime car accidents get the justice and the maximum financial compensation they deserved. To request your free, no-obligation consultation with our dedicated personal injury lawyers, call us at 619-441-2500 or complete this online form.


pre-litigation in personal injury law

What Is Pre-Litigation in A Personal Injury Claim?

Pre-litigation is an important preparatory stage in a successful personal injury lawsuit. It involves consulting with experts, gathering evidence, and following pre-trial procedures.

In most cases, personal injury claims get settled through negotiations with the defendant’s insurance company, especially when the defendants recognize that their lawyer has collected strong evidence and has a formidable track record of settlements and verdicts.

You may be able to resolve your claim out of court even after the lawsuit has been filed. You should consult with a diligent and stellar personal injury attorney in California to obtain maximum financial compensation for your injuries and losses.

What Happens During the Pre-Litigation Phase?

Pre-litigation phase is the legal process that occurs before the case is ready to go to trial. The circumstances at this stage are unique to every case. Typically, this phase includes procedures and protocols, such as investigation, notice, demand, and settlement negotiations.

Attorneys and case managers invest a considerable amount of time and effort in this phase to settle a claim before the trial begins. It’s critical that you find an attorney that doesn’t only depend on settlement negotiations. They should prepare a strong case that can be taken to trial.

Notice is one of the processes in the pre-litigation phase. Your attorneys will send out a letter to the at-fault party and their insurance company to cover your damages as per policy limits and coverage. The next step is an investigation, which is again important. It creates the foundation for a successful case.

Documents, facts, employment records, medical records, police reports, and witness statements are gathered and examined thoroughly. A demand letter will be sent out to the at-fault party’s insurance company after the investigation phase. This letter will include details, such as the extent of damages and injuries. It will also describe the incident in detail.

In general, the pre-litigation phase involves the following:

  • Gathering evidence in the form of photos, videos, physical and forensic evidence, eyewitness statements, police reports, medical reports, among others.
  • Consulting with third-party experts, such as accident reconstructionists and medical professionals to learn more about your accident and injuries.
  • Calculating the estimated value of your financial claim.
  • Preparing legal arguments that establish why you are entitled to compensation.
  • Filing a personal injury claim against the insurer or defendant and negotiating an out-of-court settlement.

Settlement negotiations can begin between the attorneys, insurance company, and client after the demand letter has been sent. This step entails mediation tactics and other alternative ways to settle the claim without litigation.

The attorney may find it in the client’s best interest to go forward with the lawsuit if settlement negotiations break down. Your attorney will take the step forward to a formal discovery process and trial.

Difference Between Pre-litigation and Lawsuit

The pre-litigation process is designed to help settle the case without ever having to go through a trial or be fully prepared for trial when a settlement is not possible. It involves all the steps to pave the way for a settlement. Pre-litigation or pre-suit is a separate process from a lawsuit, and it should not be seen as something to avoid a lawsuit.

The pre-suit process begins when you call the insurance company following an accident. There are several determinants that need to be evaluated by a personal injury attorney before moving forward to the trial phase.

Pre-litigation claims usually include the following actions:

  • Establishing a claim
  • Retaining attorney representation
  • Property damage
  • Doctor visits and due care
  • Recorded statements
  • Signing releases
  • Negotiating with the insurance company

An important part of your personal injury claim is medical evidence. You need to ensure that you are properly diagnosed for all injuries you sustained as a result of the auto accident. In ideal situations, you would be able to settle with the insurance company following the medical treatment.

You will be placed on a treatment schedule for this by your doctor. They will evaluate you consistently for a few weeks until you are completely back to a pre-accident state or as close as possible.

It’s best that you consult with an attorney before seeking compensation on your own. Once you settle with the insurance company, you won’t be able to ask for more compensation, even if there are further complications.

Time Taken During the Pre-Litigation Process

The timeline for the pre-litigation process is different depending on the individual circumstances of a case. There are several different factors that can impact the time taken during the pre-litigation process. This includes:

  • Clarity of liability.
  • Nature and extent of the injuries.
  • Whether you have fully recovered from the injuries.
  • Insurance provider.
  • Value of your claim.
  • Experience of the attorney you select.
  • Amount of paperwork involved in the claim.

In some cases, personal injury claims are settled within months during the pre-litigation process. Pertaining to this, if litigation becomes necessary your claim may take more than a year to go to trial. It’s crucial that you consult with a prolific attorney that understands the law surrounding personal injury claims.

Get Legal Representation from a Reputable Personal Injury Firm

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless acts, the accomplished personal injury attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP can help you through the pre-litigation and litigation process. Our attorneys have the necessary experience, knowledge, and resources to answer all your questions, evaluate your claim, negotiate the best possible settlement, and take your case to court if required.

To request your free, no-obligation consultation with us, call us at 619-441-2500 or write to us online.


wind speeds dangerous for semi trucks

What Wind Speeds Are Dangerous For Semi-Trucks?

There are more than a thousand semi-truck crashes each year because of severe crosswinds, according to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). High winds make driving risky for both the trucker and other motorists on the road. Truck drivers are required to take necessary precautions when high winds pose a risk.

If you have suffered injuries in a semi-truck accident in inclement weather or someone you loved was killed in such an accident, it is time to get in touch with a formidable semi-truck accident attorney in California to know about your right to recover financial compensation.

Extreme Wind Conditions Can Cause a Semi-truck Flip Over in California

There are various factors that come into play when calculating the wind speeds that can make a truck flip over. The total weight of the truck is the first factor. An empty trailer weighing 32,000 lbs. is going to be easier to flip as compared to a 60,000 lbs. fully loaded trailer. The direction of the wind is another factor.

Crosswinds are those that blow across from the direction the vehicle is traveling. These are more dangerous as compared to headwinds (blows directly against the truck) or tailwinds (blows along the same direction the truck is traveling.)

In general, wind speeds higher than 60 mph are enough to flip an 18-wheeler. However, truck drivers need to exercise caution whenever wind speeds exceed 40 mph.

The entire vehicle can be at risk of becoming unbalanced if the trailer begins to sway back and forth or rocks from side to side. It’s easy for a trucker to lose control of the vehicle and cause a collision. If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, you may have grounds to file a claim and seek compensation.

Potential Trucking Hazards Resulting from High-Speed Winds

Semi-truck crashes are incredibly dangerous. Trucks have a lot of momentum when traveling on interstates. This makes them difficult to stop resulting in substantial damage.

High winds may cause the following types of tractor-trailer accidents:

  • Truck rollovers: This is a common type of accident resulting from high winds. The vehicle can slide and roll over if the truck driver loses control of the vehicle. Other vehicles, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycles can get crushed under the turned semi or suffer other types of damage.
  • Jackknife accident: These accidents occur when the tractor-trailer creates a 90-degree angle from the semi cab’s front. The trucker may lose control of the vehicle during high winds. They may brake too quickly or apply too much pressure, resulting in a jackknife.
  • Under-ride crashes: These are among the deadliest truck accidents. The trucker may attempt at stopping too quickly in an attempt to regain control of a vehicle thrown off by the wind. The vehicle behind the truck can easily get lodged under the trailer if the driver of the passenger car is not paying enough attention or is tailing too close behind.
  • Lost load accidents: Cargo that is not properly secured can fly off the trailer in high winds. It may cause other motorists to swerve in an effort to miss the debris. This may cause other collisions.

An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate the unique circumstances of your accident and determine the best way of proceeding.

Liability for Negligent Truck Driving During High Winds

Truck drivers in California and trucking companies are required to employ safe practices while operating in bad weather conditions. This includes driving during high winds. Truck drivers have a duty to drive safely. They have to keep themselves and others safe by pulling over or slowing down if driving conditions are unsafe.

Employers are required to help truck drivers through continuous training. This will help truck drivers determine the best way of responding to dangerous weather. Truck companies are required to be mindful of different weather conditions when interacting with employees through dispatch or planning routes.

Truck companies that fail to satisfy their responsibility of making sure their drivers operate safely during dangerous weather conditions, including high winds, can be held potentially liable for negligence. FMCSA regulations require all truck drivers to exercise “extreme caution” when operating their vehicles in hazardous weather conditions.

This includes pulling over and reducing speed when conditions become sufficiently dangerous. These practices are set in place to protect truck drivers, other motorists, and their cargo. Truck accidents result in the most catastrophic injuries. This is why truckers have an obligation of doing everything they can to prevent a potential accident.

Truck drivers should be more adaptive and attentive to weather factors. This includes checking weather reports before starting a drive, knowing the vehicle and load weight, looking for signs of approaching winds, and taking immediate action to prevent a collision.

Get a Competent Semi-Truck Accident Attorney in California on Your Side

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP have worked with countless injured victims and their families whose lives have been impacted by reckless truck drivers and negligent trucking companies. Our attorneys will leave no stone unturned to prove the liability of the at-fault parties so that you can get the maximum financial compensation you are entitled to.

To set up your free case evaluation with our legal team, give us a call at 619-441-2500 or reach us online.


maximum medical improvement

What Does Maximum Medical Improvement Mean in a Personal Injury Claim?

If you were injured in personal injury, you should know the impact maximum medical improvement (MMI) can have on your claim. Do not get tempted to quickly settle the claim with the insurers until you have a clear understanding of your medical condition, the extent of your internal and external injuries, and the type of future treatment, physical therapy, psychological counseling, and rehabilitation you might require.

You should speak with a car crash attorney in California to attain a better understanding of the legal implications of maximum medical improvement and how to recover your rightful financial damages from the liable parties.

What is Maximum Medical Improvement in a California Car Accident Claim?

Maximum medical improvement is that stage in the medical treatment where a patient has either completely recovered from their condition or has recovered as much as they reasonably can. If you suffered significant injuries following your injury that resulted in permanent disability, you would be said to have attained maximum medical improvement when your condition has recovered as much as possible.

Your physician, specialist, or surgeon will provide you with a final prognosis following your anticipated future medical needs. Maximum medical improvement means:

  • The claimant has fully recovered from their injuries; or
  • The claimant’s condition has stabilized enough to provide doctors with a clear picture of the type of ongoing medical care they would require.

At the point of maximum medical improvement, your personal injury attorney will have a better idea of what your ongoing/future medical care will cost and the type of physical limitations you may experience going forward.

Insurance companies routinely try to settle injury lawsuits before a victim reaches MMI. They do this obviously because they don’t want to pay for your future medical expenses, physical therapy and rehab costs, long-term pain and suffering, and future loss of income.

Don’t Sign on the Dotted Line with the Insurers Unless You Have Reached MMI

You should hold off on negotiating settlement case until you have reached the stage of maximum medical improvement or till such a point where your doctors can provide you with a clear understanding of the type of future medical care you will require. You should not sign a release of liability or settlement agreement until you have reached a stage of MMI.

Once you settle, you are essentially agreeing to release the responsible driver from any legal responsibility and liability. You will not be able to ask for more compensation if further complications arise or your injuries turn out to be worse than you first thought. The claim gets closed forever when a victim signs the settlement agreement.

Don’t hesitate in speaking with a seasoned personal injury attorney if you want to maximize the compensation amount. An attorney can help you determine an accurate value of your accident claim, negotiate with the insurance company, and fight for your rights in court.

File Your Injury Claim Even If You Have Not Reached MMI

While it is important to wait till you have achieved maximum medical improvement to sign a settlement release, you should not wait to file the claim. You can file an insurance claim or lawsuit before reaching the MMI.

In fact, it’s crucial that you let your own insurance company know about the accident. You may also want to consult an attorney before notifying the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Your attorney will make sure that you don’t accidentally miss the statute of limitations for filing a claim. In California, accident victims get two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Your case may get dismissed if you miss this deadline, which means you won’t be able to seek compensation for your injuries and loss.

It’s necessary that you don’t skip any medical appointments. You should follow all doctor’s instructions and cooperate with the healthcare providers. In short, it is necessary that you take the required steps in terms of follow-up care.

You have a legal obligation, as an insurance claimant, to mitigate damages. This means you need to take reasonable steps to improve your condition and avoid doing anything that may make the condition worse.

Impact of Maximum Medical Improvement Following a Car Crash Settlement

Maximum medical improvement doesn’t necessarily mean that you would have made a full recovery from your injury. It means that you have arrived at a point in your recovery where the medical care providers understand the complete extent of your injuries. It is important to wait for MMI before accepting a settlement.

You should not delay in consulting with an attorney even though you should wait till you have reached MMI to sign the dotted line. Your attorney will properly investigate the claim, collect the necessary evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company when the time is right.

By having an experienced attorney on your side, you don’t need to worry about the legal process. Instead, you can focus on recovering from your injuries and getting better.

Choose a Dedicated Personal Injury Lawyer in California to Protect Your Right to Maximum Compensation

The top-rated injury attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP will build a strong case intended to achieve maximum financial security for you during this challenging time. Our personal injury attorneys are relentless in their pursuit of justice for accident victims.

At Garmo & Garmo, we don’t rest till we have obtained the rightful financial compensation our client deserves for their injuries, lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. We urge you to schedule your free and confidential consultation with us today. Call 619-441-2500 or write to us online.


car accident while on vacation

What To Do When a Car Accident Happens While on Vacation

Auto accidents occur when you least expect them. As a result, many injured victims are in a state of shock when they get involved in an accident due to another’s fault. But things can get worse when you are on vacation and experience a car accident.

Navigating an auto accident while on vacation in an unfamiliar state or city can make the process overwhelming. You need an experienced car accident attorney on your side to help you protect your interests and ensure you are compensated for the damages you suffered.

Steps to Take if a Car Accident Occurs When You are on Vacation in California

These are a few necessary steps to take if you are in a car accident while on vacation:

Alert the Authorities

You need to call 911 and let the authorities know the extent of the injuries, whether seemingly minor or major. You should make sure everyone around you is fine and seek necessary medical help. A healthcare professional will check you for injuries and document the extent of damage done.

There are other reasons to call 911 if you are in a car accident during a vacation trip. Rescuers can come to you as soon as possible to provide appropriate care. An ambulance can respond to any medical emergency, especially if someone is severely injured.

Firefighters may be required to remove a trapped occupant from the car. Police officers may file a crash report about the incident that can be used later during your car accident claim against the responsible party.

Gather Evidence

The next step is to take as many photos and videos as you can. You can ask a family member, friend, or a witness to take photos of the accident scene if you are injured or overwhelmed. Make sure you document your injuries and get any property damage.

You should also take pictures of the damage suffered by the responsible party. Also, take photos of debris from property damage, skid marks on the road, intersections, traffic signals, and anything else you think is important and can be used as evidence.

Remember that you can prove liability with the help of these pictures. The at-fault party may misrepresent the extent of your injuries or lie about how the accident unfolded. Their insurance company may also deny the claim, delay the process, or compel you to take the claim to court. When you are armed with factual evidence, the insurance company will have no other choice but to settle quickly and out of court.

Exchange Information

Every driver involved in a car accident is required to exchange certain information as per California Vehicle Code Section 16025. This includes:

  • Driver’s name and address
  • Driver’s license number
  • Registered car owner’s name and address
  • Vehicle identification number
  • Insurance policy number and information about the insurance carrier

Failure to do this may incur a fine. This information is needed by your accident attorney besides being a mandate to investigate the claim and ensure a quick favorable resolution.

Seek Urgent Medical Attention

Getting medical attention is a prerequisite to filing a personal injury claim. This is not the time to put on a brave face. You should be as honest about your injuries and pain as possible. The medical examiner will make a report of your injuries and pain which will be later used by the insurance company to either accept or deny a settlement.

Victims that suffer severe chest bruises, head lacerations, or bone fractures are usually taken to the hospital for further tests and treatment. You should keep all follow-up appointments with your doctor.

Talk to a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney in California

Reputable personal injury lawyers in California can guide you through the process if you find yourself in a car accident while on vacation. Your attorney will remind you of the things you need to do. Make sure you call an attorney immediately after dialing 911. They will also be able to answer any questions that you may have. Be as detailed as you can be with the personal injury attorney. They need the information to make a generous claim on your behalf.

You Deserve Compensation from the Negligent Driver and Other Potential Defendants

You may be able to seek compensation from the other driver if they were at fault for your car accident and injuries. Distracted driving, fatigued driving, reckless driving, and driving under the influence are common causes of accidents. You may be able to recover the cost of damages if the driver’s negligence resulted in the car accident.

You may be able to recover damages for things like medical costs, loss of current and future income, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. It’s crucial to understand that California laws may not be the same as the laws in your home state. This may impact what you can recover and how much you can recover. With that said, it’s prudent to always work with a car accident attorney based in the state where the car accident takes place.

Our Southern California Car Accident Lawyers are Here to Give You the Best Legal Advice and Support. Call Today

If you or someone you love were injured in a car accident while on a vacation, the experienced attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP can take the necessary steps to protect your legal interests and secure maximum compensation. Our resourceful attorneys have decades of experience in helping car accident victims hold negligent parties responsible. Schedule your free case review with our lawyers today. Call us at 619-441-2500 or contact us online.

ptsd after car accident

Coping With Emotional and Psychological Trauma from a Car Accident

Car crashes can cause an enormous amount of physical, emotional, and psychological trauma. Unfortunately, many victims only focus on their physical health needs while completely ignoring their mental health and well-being. Surgical care, physical therapy, and medication are vital to your recovery, but you shouldn’t allow mental health challenges to go unaddressed or unnoticed.

If you or a loved one in your family has been injured in a car collision, an experienced California personal injury attorney can help you pursue the compensation you are owed. Here are a few time-tested tips to cope with the psychological and emotional trauma of a car accident.

Don’t Rush Your Recovery

In general, victims of severe car accidents downplay the effects of the incident on their mental well-being. You cannot expect yourself to recuperate psychologically and emotionally in just days or weeks following the crash. In certain cases, the mind may require months of recovery and ongoing therapy before you start feeling safe again.

A study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry found that 50% of the participants involved in a car accident showed clinical signs of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Over 70% of participants reported psychological problems which interfered with their school and work lives, and 52% of participants reportedly experienced severe social impairments in the aftermath of the accident.

Avoid judging yourself if you are unable to mentally heal or move on as quickly as you had hoped. Don’t put pressure on yourself to speed up the recovery process. Not only will this be of no help, but it may also hinder your recovery or complicate your health further.

Don’t Go into a Denial Mode over the Psychological Trauma

You shouldn’t attempt to deny or trivialize your mental trauma. You will only add to the pressure by ignoring your mental health needs. There may be people that have had it worse than you, but this is your trauma. You cannot force healing by reminding yourself to be grateful for not having a more devastating outcome.

You may just end up adding to the guilt and mental pressure by ignoring the negative emotions bubbling up inside of you. Instead, identify your feelings to figure out where they are coming from. This will allow you to start thinking about the things that will really help you.

Don’t Ignore Professional Help

If you wouldn’t attempt at managing your physical injuries without help following an accident, why should you try to heal your psychological and emotional trauma on your own? You should make your mental health a priority and do everything possible to move on from the accident. There are several psychologists, psychiatrists, and licensed therapists that can help you deal with your emotional and psychological trauma.

You should consider choosing a care provider with experience in PTSD and trauma-informed care. Mental health providers with expertise in the area can help you attain a better understanding of your needs even if you don’t have PTSD. The path to recovery can be a slow process, especially if you suffered serious injuries in the crash.

Hold the Negligent Party Accountable

Expenses following an accident can quickly pile up. Your stress, anxiety, and frustration may also be because of the worry surrounding these bills. You may wonder how you can afford psychiatric care and therapy on top of regular hospital bills when you are out of work. On top of that, you probably also have the expense of fixing a damaged or replacing a totaled one.

Fortunately, you may be able to seek compensation for all accident-related expenses if there is another party liable for the accident. An attorney can help you take the necessary steps to obtain fair compensation by figuring out who the responsible party is.

Your car accident attorney will take vital steps toward investigating the crash, estimating financial damages, and pursuing compensation through negotiations or a lawsuit.

You can improve the likelihood of affording therapy by seeking legal advice as soon as possible. Evidence won’t last for long and you need every shred of evidence to create a strong claim. You will be able to breathe a sigh of relief and have the peace of mind you need by holding the liable party accountable for their negligence and your pain.

Closure can be a strong healer. It can prove to be beneficial for your psychological and mental well-being.

Obtaining Compensation for Emotional Distress in California

Emotional distress is part of pain and suffering, which is also known as general damages since there is no specific dollar amount attached to them. The degree and severity of trauma experienced by individual car accident victims can vary depending on several factors. An experienced car accident attorney can help you obtain a reasonable estimate for your injuries.

You will need to demonstrate the mental effects of the car crash on your everyday chores and day-to-day life for making a successful claim for emotional distress. A car accident attorney will have the necessary resources for gathering the evidence required to substantiate your claim.

Get a Compassionate Car Accident Attorney in Southern California on Your Side

At Garmo & Garmo, we know what the injured victims and their families go through in terms of mental anguish and pain and suffering, apart from their physical injury and economic losses. Our car accident attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and resources to help you obtain the best financial compensation for your injuries so that you can move on with your life.

To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with us today, call us at 619-441-2500 or write to us online.


car accident scene photos

How Accident Scene Photos Can Increase the Value of a Car Crash Claim

Car crashes can occur in an instant, but the process of dealing with the aftermath of serious injuries and insurance claims can be time-consuming and challenging. Photos of a car accident scene can provide invaluable proof and details regarding the accident.

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of another driver, a serious and accomplished car accident attorney will fight for your personal injury claim and help you recover fair compensation.

Importance of Pictures in California Car Accident Claims

Timestamped photographs and videos were taken immediately after the accident can increase the value and credibility of your personal injury claim. The photographic proof can also serve as evidence to establish liability following an accident.

Accident photographs can tell the story of what happened and provide graphic proof of injuries and damages. They can also help jog your memory so that you can credibly reconstruct the incident in your mind.

Trauma in the immediate aftermath of a car crash often causes victims to overlook essential details. Videos and photos can reveal the obvious evidence while shedding light on the subtler proofs.

Subtle evidence can be useful in proving and supporting your personal injury claim. In fact, your attorney will use these bits of information during the negotiation process to get the insurance company to agree to a high settlement amount.

Photographs are one of the best ways of preserving evidence. They serve as invaluable assets in case the claim goes into litigation. Photographs can help you refresh your memories right before speaking in court.

They can be used by your attorney for painting a detailed picture of the accident location and the driving environment. For instance, videos may detail the collision points, traffic conditions at the crash scene, and intersections.

Photographs Force Insurance Adjusters to Take Notice

You can force insurance adjusters to take you seriously by providing good accident photographs and using them along with other forms of evidence. A skilled attorney will organize all the evidence, including the photographs to prepare a compelling case that boosts the claim and leads to a higher settlement offer.

Insurance adjusters are trained to close claims quickly for as little money as humanly possible. You need to understand that even your insurance company is not on your side.

With proper photographic evidence, the adjuster will not be able to ignore your claim. The adjuster would know that you come prepared to go to court if they don’t make the right offer. This places you in a better position during negotiations.

Based on this, it takes a skilled attorney to make the most of accident scene photographs. It is difficult to dispute a well-taken video or photograph regardless of what the other driver or their insurance company says in return.

Photographs are not subject to different interpretations. They can be used to vividly illustrate the accident scene, property damage, and bodily injuries among others. People’s stories can change later on, but images cannot.

Protect Your Claim to Financial Damages After a Car Crash

Your first move should be to seek medical evaluation quickly if you haven’t already been taken to the hospital. This should be done as soon as possible following the accident.

You cannot have a personal injury claim without suffering any bodily injuries. Any delay in seeking medical treatment will only undermine your claim. Insurance companies are in general frothing at the mouth to deny or reduce the settlement amount by saying the injuries are unrelated to the car crash.

While photographic evidence can drastically reduce the likelihood of that happening, it is best that you visit a doctor as soon as possible. It may make sense to return to the accident scene and take a few more photographs depending on the quality of the pictures you took under duress. Make sure you get damaged objects, street signs, and anything else that makes sense to you as evidence.

Don’t forget to maintain a photographic journal of the injuries you receive from the start through the recovery process. Images of swelling, stitching, and bruising can be quite compelling when arguing a car accident claim.

If you have permanent or severe car accident injuries, you should get in touch with a reputable attorney as soon as possible. The insurance company will try to get you to accept a hasty lowball offer.

An attorney by your side will be able to help prevent this from happening. Make sure the photographs capture as much detail as possible. Protect the camera if the weather is bad and try different angles and lighting. Make videos to supplement the photos. Don’t forget to turn on the timestamp feature on your phone camera.

Choose a Dedicated Car Accident Lawyer in California to Obtain the Compensation You Deserve

The seasoned personal injury attorneys at Garmo & Garmo understand the importance of taking photographs and how to use them during negotiations or in the courtroom for maximizing your compensation. If you haven’t had a chance to take pictures or are worried about the next legal steps to take, our car accident attorneys can review your accident case, discuss available legal options, and develop a winning strategy for maximum damages.

To schedule your free consultation, call us at 619-441-2500 or fill out this online contact form.


parked truck caused accident

How Dangerously Parked Trucks Can Lead to Increased Collisions on The Road

Truck drivers are legally obligated to park their vehicles in such a way that it doesn’t cause an accident. Unfortunately, too many truck operators cut corners in a bid to maximize delivery time. There is often mounting pressure on truck drivers to ship goods in an unrealistic amount of time.

You shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of a serious accident just because a truck was dangerously parked by a negligent driver and a trucking company. It’s prudent to consult with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible to learn about your legal rights to financial compensation for your injuries and losses.

Liability of a Truck Driver in California

Truck drivers are to be blamed in most cases for an accident. Being a long-haul driver is a both demanding and tiresome job. The most cautious and exceptional drivers may end up making mistakes as a result of fatigue. They may try to speed up delivery times and cut corners to that effect. Such negligent mistakes and acts can threaten the lives of others on the road.

Truck drivers routinely make these common parking mistakes on California highways that cause a crash:

  • Parking in prohibited areas, such as residential neighborhoods
  • Parking without adequate warning lights
  • Parking next to intersection exits
  • Parking on the shoulder with a part of the truck sticking dangerously out on the road

The financial liability for the truck accident may solely lie on the truck operator or the trucking company. An experienced and resourceful truck accident attorney will try to identify whether the driver violated any municipal, state, or federal laws for maximizing your compensation.


Parking Violations are Not Strictly Forbidden

Such type of parking may be prohibited by local ordinance and law. However, they are not strictly forbidden by FMCSR (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations).

These are the rules that all truckers and trucking companies across the country are required to follow. However, just because the FMCSR is silent on this type of activity doesn’t mean that it is not dangerous. Further, silence doesn’t preclude the actions from being on a recovery basis.

For instance, parking a rolling billboard near an intersection even if on the shoulder of the highway will be seen as dangerous by any reasonable person. This is more than negligence.

It is pure recklessness on part of the driver and company. The fact becomes egregious when you realize that parking in that spot did not serve any purpose except to be convenient for the driver.

Additionally, the FMCSR doesn’t necessarily prohibit such parking activities. However, it does dictate the actions that drivers should take while stopping on the shoulder or on a roadway. 49 CFR 392.22 of the FMCSA regulations state that commercial vehicle drivers when stopping a truck on the shoulder or traveling portion of a highway are required to:

  • Turn on the vehicular warning signal flashers. These signals should be used till warning devices can be put in place by the driver.
  • Place reflective triangles, flares, and other warning devices around the truck for enhancing other roadway users’ recognition of the parked truck as a potential hazard. This should be completed within 10 minutes of stopping the truck.

Large trucks when parked along the side of a roadway pose unique dangers. This is why several trucking companies have adopted policies specifically forbidding such activity. You may have an additional basis for recovery if the trucking company fails to adopt such policies.

Building a Strong Compensation Claim in Dangerously Parked Trucks

Keep in mind that accident reports seldom provide an accurate account of what truly caused the accident. If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with a dangerously parked truck, you should identify the causes behind the accident. There is a high possibility that the authorities may overlook the incorrectly parked truck as the primary cause of the accident.

The first step to building a strong compensation claim is to discover all dangerous acts that may have caused the accident. This is where you may need to consult with an experienced law firm.

They will have the necessary resources to undertake an investigation into the cause of the accident. In fact, you may not even be completely aware of your legal rights and potential claim.

The law firm will thoroughly investigate the accident and its causes for determining all responsible parties. In the case of a parked truck, they will identify why the truck driver stopped, the location of the parked truck, and whether the driver followed all relevant and applicable safety guidelines.

It can be difficult to pursue justice against large insurance and trucking companies. Well-established law firms will lend the necessary credibility to your case to make insurance adjusters take you seriously.

Speak With an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Southern California Today

Injuries sustained from trucking accidents can be significant and painful. Because of the large size of the truck, these accidents can result in devastating consequences. You need an attorney that understands what you are going through and has the skills and resources to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

The proven and considerate attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP have helped many truck accident injury victims obtain substantial recovery. Schedule your free and confidential consultation with us today. Give us a call at 619-897-2144 or write to us online.