It is not every day that you land yourself in an accident, and you may have decided on getting the expertise of a truck accident lawyer or an accident attorney. There are a few documents that should be accessible to your attorney, so as to allow them to have an understanding of what your case is and also what the chances of you making a settlement are.
We have penned down the following documents that you should present to your attorney:
Your Insurance Policy
If you are a policyholder for automobile insurance, then you want to make sure that your attorney gets a copy of the order for them to review the type of insurance recovery that you could be entitled to. Even if you don’t have a copy, all you have to do is to notify your lawyer; your lawyer will get in touch with the insurance company and get the required documents.
Exchange Of Information At The Scene Of The Accident
When you are involved in an accident, the names and contact details of each of the parties pertaining to the accident are exchanged. If you have this information on you, then make sure to pass it onto your attorney.
The Evidence Of Premium Payments
Your lawyer will require proof that the policy that you are holding has been paid for. You should have been receiving periodic invoices from the insurance company notifying you of your upcoming premiums, or even bills for paid premiums. All of it needs to be handed over to your attorney, as this is evidence of your payment, and will help to prove that the policy is paid for and in effect.
If your property was damaged, then it is wise for you to get photos of it. If you haven’t taken photos, then the representative of the insurance company would definitely have. You can contact your lawyer, and they will get in contact with the insurance company to get the needed information from them.
If you have been involved in an accident, then the proof of all the injuries sustained must be documented. Be sure to make a visit to the ER immediately after the accident- The earlier, the better.
Get all of the doctor’s prescriptions and bills that have been paid. If you don’t have the information, then all you need to do is notify your attorney, and with your written permission, they will get the information on your behalf.
Truck accidents usually lead to life-threatening injuries for the people involved in it. As trucks are really heavy and will be at high speeds, accidents involving these vehicles usually result in devastating effects. The victims might suffer from severe damages including injuries and property damage.
Filing a lawsuit in the court against the right party that is responsible for the accident can help to get a claim for covering the damages caused by the accident.
However, this can be a difficult task, especially if you are not aware of various parties to sue in a truck accident. In this situation, a truck accident attorney can help you. A truck wreck lawyer will be specialized in dealing with accident cases involving trucks and other heavy vehicles. Hence, they can aid you to file a lawsuit in the court to claim the compensation for various damages that you suffered from the accident including injuries, property loss, etc.
Causes Of Truck Accidents
There are a lot of factors that can lead to truck accidents. Some of the most common reasons for truck accidents are mentioned below.
Lack Of Proper Training: The drivers should be properly trained for handling the trucks safely. But trucking companies may not provide enough training for their drivers before hiring them. Hence, the driver may not be aware of properly handling the vehicle. This can lead to accidents that can result in serious damages.
Distracted Drivers: There can be many things that can distract drivers and lead to truck accidents. If the driver is using his phone or talking to someone else, then it can distract the driver and he may not be able to notice the dangers in front of him. Even the billboards on the road can distract the drivers.
Aggressive Driving: If the truck driver follows another vehicle too closely, exceeds the speed limit, or switches the lanes abruptly, then it can also lead to accidents.
Impaired Driving: If the driver is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, then it will affect his ability to drive thereby leading to accidents.
Overloaded Trucks: If the trucks carry more weight than the allowed limit, then it will be difficult for the driver to control the vehicle thereby leading to accidents.
Malfunctioning Of Truck Parts: If any of the truck parts like brakes or wheels malfunction, then it can also increase the possibility of accidents too.
When filing a lawsuit in truck accident cases, you have to analyze the real cause for knowing which party to sue.
In the event of being injured after a truck collision, you would have to contact an attorney as a step to talk about your rights. That truck wreck lawyer would look at your incident and injuries to aid you in negotiating or winning an appropriate financial settlement. However, the fact is that nobody wants to be involved in a truck accident and the legal matters that follow it. Understanding how big trucks move on roads and practicing defensive driving will help to avoid both situations. Here are some ways to minimize the possibility of collision.
Leaving Enough Room Between Your Automobile And A Commercial Truck
The truck is large and it tends to be loaded with much cargo, so it has a longer braking time as compared to smaller automobiles. When tailing it, keep enough space to stop your vehicle safely behind it if it needs to brake suddenly.
Not Making A Hard Or Unexpected Stop When Driving Ahead Of It
As mentioned earlier, the overall weight of a truck means that it takes longer for its driver to stop it. Applying your brake too hard when driving before a commercial truck, may result in its driver not having sufficient time to stop it. In this case, that truck may hit the back of your vehicle or they may swerve off the roadway or veer into approaching traffic.
Not Being In The Commercial Vehicle’s Blind Spot
The phrase ‘blind spot’ refers to an area in which the view of a driver is hindered. There is a bigger blind spot for a truck driver as compared to standard vehicle operators. When driving adjacent to a truck or behind it, its operator’s face will usually not be visible in its side mirror. In this case, that truck operator is also unlikely to see you. When that driver cannot see you, he or she may try making a turn or entering your lane, which could lead to a crash.
Leaving Much Room So That Trucks Can Turn
When pulling your vehicle into the point where two streets or roads intersect, and a big truck is ahead, leave much room for the other driver to turn safely. Big trucks such as 18-wheelers have to make wider turns and frequently cannot be on the same intersection as the other vehicles when turning. You vehicle being in that turning vehicle’s blind spot could result in it colliding with your automobile.
If a person ends up in a truck accident, he or she has the right to file a case against the driver and the consignment agency for compensation. You can claim for the damages, the hospital expenses, the income forgone due to the accident, and also the legal expenses incurred to bring up the case. In most of the truck accident cases, the accused will employ an attorney to defend the case and to reduce their liability. Some of the common defenses used by the defendant during a truck accident lawsuit are as follows.
It is a common defense used in most of the accident cases. It includes claiming that the injured person is also responsible for the accident. If the accused is able to prove that the plaintiff is partially responsible for the event, they will be relieved from a proportion of compensation. As per the laws of some states, if the accused is able to prove that the plaintiff is responsible for more than 50 percent of an accident, he or she will not be liable to compensate the injured person.
Shifting The Burden To Other Parties
If there is more than one vehicle involved in a truck accident, most of the trucking companies will argue that the third party is responsible for the event. It is a valid argument and it is the duty of the third party to prove their innocence. If there are multiple parties involved in an accident, it would be better to file a combined case against the trucking company to make this defense void.
Consideration Of Time Limit
The judicial system has prescribed a time limit to file a case. If you have met with a truck accident, it is mandatory to file a case within 2 years of the event. In normal cases, if you are filing the case after the time limit, the defendant can request the court to dismiss the case. If the court finds that there were no valid reasons to delay the filing of the case, they may agree with the defendant and may dismiss the case.
The above mentioned are some of the commonly used defenses to escape from a truck accident liability. Some of the trucking companies may also argue that the consignment was not authorized and the truck driver acted on their own. In any case, if you are having a good accident lawyer, you can get your rightful compensation.
Most people are familiar with the process of accident claims. Both the drivers report the accident to their respective insurance providers and the insurance company for the at-fault driver works with the accident victim for settling the claim. However, in the cases of accidents involving big trucks, the accident claims can become really complicated.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a large truck, partner up with a good truck accident attorney for protecting your rights. After appointing a lawyer, here are the steps you can expect during the process of filing a personal injury claim.
Sign An Agreement With The Lawyer
First thing you need to do after deciding on the truck accident attorney is to sign an agreement with him. The agreement is also called a Letter of Engagement or Retainer Agreement. The contract should include the following:
Acknowledgment that the attorney-client relationship has begun and it is confidential.
Details about the fee percentages, expenses, and payment for recovering, or not recovering damages in the case.
Terms for canceling the agreement.
Declaimer of how the attorney will handle the case.
The style of contract may change according to the law firm you choose. Some contracts are very simple and some are really complicated, depending on the case.
Communicate Only To Your Lawyer About The Case
Limit your communication about the case to your lawyer when you and your legal team begin the claiming process. Commercial truck accidents are handled very differently than other accidents that involve passenger style vehicles because of the number of people involved like the insurance companies, the truck company claim adjusters, police, DMV and doctors.
Investigation And Collection Of Evidences
Proper evidences are really important for claiming the compensation. Work with your attorney to investigate and collect important evidences to build up your case. The basic evidences are your personal account of the truck accident, details about the treatments taken and review of police reports. These evidences can help your law firm to build a strong case and move forward with the claim. Collecting CCTV footages and locating additional eyewitnesses are also important for claiming compensation.
Send A Personal Injury Demand Letter
After collecting and reviewing the evidence, you can move forward with the demands. Your attorney will draft a personal injury demand letter and send it to the insurance company of the responsible person or business. The letter will contain a specific demand, the financial payment amount that will be accepted by the victim. The purpose of the letter is to inform the truck companies and their insurers that they will only be released from liability only under certain terms underlined in the letter.
Proceed Toward Settlement Or Trial
After receiving your letter the truck companies can evaluate their own case and decide their next move. They can accept your demand and move forward with an out of court settlement or file a lawsuit if they cannot accept your demand. Going to a trial is the best option if the truck company is not accepting your demand. A judge or jury will make the final judgment for your truck accident personal injury claim if all the other strategies fail.
Truck accidents can happen because of differentreasons including the negligence of the truck driver, carelessness of other drivers, malfunctioning of the truck parts, the problem with the loading of the cargo, etc. Sometimes the accidents can be a result of the shared fault of both parties involved. Then, such accidents can be considered as comparative negligence cases.
What is Comparative Negligence?
When both parties involved in an accident share the liability for the accident, it is referred to as comparative negligence. Here, a percentage of liability will be assigned for both parties based on their share in causing the accident.
Most people believe that if they are partially responsible for the accident, they cannot claim money. But in California, you will be allowed to recover money for the damages you sustained because of the accident even if you carry 99% of the responsibility for the accident. If you carry 60% responsibility for the accident, then you will be entitled to get 40% of the total claim amount.
Comparative Negligence in Truck Accident Cases
In truck accident cases, injuries for other parties involved can be quiet severe when compared to the truck driver’s injuries. Hence, people might think that the truck drivers will have to pay for the entire amount that the other parties claim. But this belief is wrong, as the truck drivers will have to pay the amount for the percentage of fault they carry. If the other parties involved in the accident are wholly responsible for the accident, then the truck drivers or the trucking company is not responsible to give compensation for the accident.
Consider a situation when a car crashes into a truck. If the truck driver was not violating any rules and was following the traffic safety guidelines strictly, then the car driver might be at fault for the accident. If the car driver was drunk and lost control of the car, then he violated the traffic rules. In this case, even if the car driver is severely injured, he may not be able to get any compensation from the truck driver, as he carries the complete responsibility of the accident.
In some other cases, the car driver as well as the truck driver can carry the responsibility of the accident. For instance, if the truck driver was using a phone and the car driver was taking a wrong turn when the accident happened, then both parties share the fault. In this case, the truck driver or the trucking company will have to pay for the damages incurred to the car driver based on the percentage of fault they carry.
All accidents can
be a devastating experience for the people getting involved in it, especially
if there were any serious injuries happened. Whether it is a truck accident,
car accident, slip and fall accident, or any other accident, you may encounter
certain injuries that can range from minor to major and even fatal. Hence, it
is important to consider such accidents seriously.
California is a
state that considers all types of accidents with utter seriousness. According
to the laws of California, if you get involved in an accident, there are
certain steps you have to follow. This is very important as it can affect the
lawsuit you file for claiming money to compensate for the damages caused by the
accident. These steps that are listed below might come handy to you if you or
your loved ones get involved in an accident ever.
Steps to take
You have to follow
some important steps if you get involved in an accident. This involves
collecting the details of the opposite party, contacting the emergency services,
collecting the evidence from the accident scene, etc. If the accident is caused
by a hit-and-run driver, then try to remember about the vehicle as much as
possible. You are obliged to keep an emergency kit in your vehicle, and also a
cell phone, a notepad and pen. Also, take photos of the scene with your cell
phone if you can.
important steps you should take after an accident:
If you not
severely injured, then call 911 immediately and this will bring emergency
services to your accident scene. Describe your location precisely for them to
reach you faster. If you have GPS, use it to pinpoint your location.
Make sure that all
the people involved in the accident are safe and away from the traffic lanes.
If the vehicles become inoperable after the accident, you have to seek the help
of a tow service for removing them from the scene.
information with the other driver including name and other contact details.
insurance company. Make sure not to admit the guilt or divulge any information
that could jeopardize your claim.
File an accident
report at a police station or with the California DMV online.
Do not make any
settlements before consulting your lawyer.
injuries and property loss for submitting them to your insurance company.
When selecting a
lawyer for filing a claim in the court, make sure that you select an attorney
who practices in your particular area. For example, if you get involved in a
truck accident, it is better to consult a truck accident attorney rather than
any other attorneys. It will help you to ensure that the lawyer you select has
enough experience and knowledge in your specific field. Visit https://davidovichlaw.com/ for finding the best attorneys who have experience in different fields
including car, truck, motorcycle or any other type of accidents.
Commercial trucks seen on the roads are
much heavier and larger than normal passenger cars and this is one of the most
dangerous limitations of those vehicles, which makes driving near them
dangerous. Therefore, drivers of other vehicles need to exercise caution to
avoid the possibility of accidents with commercial trucks. Safe driving must be
practiced by drivers while they share the roads with big trucks.
Dangers of Driving Near Commercial Trucks
Semi-trucks often have increased dangers
of driving around them, which can often lead to hazards. Some of the hazards
including passenger cars and semi-trucks include:
Semi-trucks often have many blind spots
that extend on their front, back and sides for long ranges. Most truck drivers
would not be able to see other vehicles that are on the road in these blind
spots. This makes it very dangerous to drive them.
Distance and Stopping Time
Semi-trucks take a longer time to slow
down and stop due to their heavy size and weight. For the same reason, these
trucks will not be able to stop suddenly when something occurs all on a sudden.
Commercial trucks will not be able to
react to traffic situations quickly, mainly because of their size. Making
changes in the lane and merging with it takes a longer time for a commercial
vehicle when compared to passenger vehicles on the road.
Commercial trucks on roads need more time
to turn safely, especially to turn to the right side of the road. Make sure not
to put your car on the way of a truck
that is turning to a side road.
The trailers of commercial trucks are
capable of acting almost like a sail. These trailers can be blown over during
heavy winds that can result in a collision.
Always make sure to offer plenty of
distance while driving in front or next to commercial vehicles as they need
more space for turning, changing the lane, etc. Also, make sure to avoid
turning from inner lanes that are next to the trucks. There are chances for your
vehicle to get squeezed if trucks take a turn, as these trucks need up to
fifty-five feet to make turns.
Motorbike accidents can and do occur any time,
but in some times of the day, the possibility of being part of one drastically goes
up. You cannot always avoid riding in these times when the risk for an accident
is high, but you should know the hazards and ride much more safely.
Riding a Motorbike Least Safe?
As per accident statistics from the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most fatal accidents happen
between 03:00 pm and 12:00 pm on weekends. The possibility of entering a fatal collision
is more than double from 03:00 pm to 09:00 pm, a period where 42% of fatalities
The tendency for non-fatal motorbike crashes
follows a comparable pattern. The Administration found that over 21,000 injurious
motorbike accidents happened in the same period. That is almost 25% of all injury-causing
collisions that occur throughout the week. Riding a motorcycle is the most dangerous
any day between 03:00 pm and 09:00 pm.
Skew the Accident Risk
The above-mentioned numbers do not give a
clear idea about the risk which riders actually face in the weekend. Many more
crashes occur in the week, but there is an even greater concentration of collisions
on weekends. Those NHTSA statistics reveal that 2015 saw more than 2,400 fatal motorbike
accidents during the weekend days compared to 2,556 during the whole week. That
is almost the same number of fatalities happening in only two days.
for This Fatal Time Crunch
Knowing that almost every motorcycle
accident happens from 03:00 to 09:00 pm is not enough. You should understand
the causative elements behind this combination of motorbike accidents. The combination
of things that leads to this phenomenon includes the following.
Rush Hour Traffic
A large number of individuals go back
home from their workplaces between 03:00 pm and 06:00 pm. It is among the
busiest times across America in terms of traffic on main highways. Naturally,
more traffic translates to more danger. It can mean frustration, bad decisions,
aggressiveness, and other such behaviors which increase the possibility of
motorbike accidents in this period. When possible, change your commute to avoid
riding in rush hour and a potential accident.
Rush hour is a risk
factor, but not the only one. It is likely for riding conditions to quickly
deteriorate as the sun sets and it becomes a cooler atmosphere. In this time, the
fog rolls off the sea, when snow, mixed precipitation and rain are likelier to fall
as the asphalt temperature changes. If riders are not ready to, or they cannot respond
to such atmospheric changes, then they could lose control of the bike.
It is unfortunate
that between 03:00 pm and 12:00 pm, there are more impaired drivers than at
other times on the road. As per NHTSA’s accident information, alcohol-involved deadly
crashes increases from just below 4,000 from 12:00 pm to 03:00 pm to nearly
5,000 from 03:00 pm to 06:00 pm. This increase stays steady up to about 12:00
pm, which is when these numbers start to come down again. Unsurprisingly, the period
when a greater number of motorbike accidents occur coincides with the impaired
driver period. This is one of the popular times to ride, so if you cannot avoid
hitting the road this time, then stay visible and vigilant.
This period when the
majority of motorbike accidents happen coincides with sun setting. In addition
to driver impairment and speed, another common factor that contributes to motorbike
collisions in California is decreased visibility. Therefore, bike riders are told
to wear bright-colored clothing, leave lots of space to maneuver between cars, use
the lights properly, and think that other motorists do not spot them always.
You Must Do What Is Needed to Ensure Everyone’s Safety
In an ideal world, one
could just stay home to avoid motorbike accidents at these risky periods, but this
is not how things are done. The second best thing to do is to know the common reasons
for and the factors that contribute to motorbike accidents, and what can be
done to avoid these collisions.
Several motorcycle accidents involve some
rider responsibility aspects, but remember that other drivers are at fault in 60%
of these collisions. It is not at all your fault when:
An automobile driver does not see you;
He or she behaves aggressively or angrily during a jam; and,
He or she chooses to drive when impaired.
As a motorcycle accident victim, you have
legal rights and may be able to seek compensation for damages from those who
caused your injuries. When your accident happened will not affect your right to
sue. Speak to a vehicle accident lawyer to clarify whether you have the right
to do so.
Driverless vehicles are becoming increasingly
common on the roadways, so there has been a spike in car accidents involving
these automobiles. When a pedestrian or driver is injured in one such accident,
the victim might just not know who is responsible for their accident.
The injured victim can file a lawsuit
against the business behind the autonomous vehicle for damages that result from
the accident. If an autonomous car is a reason for the accident, then the
injured person might just have a valid claim for compensation under California product
liability laws. In the case a driver uses the autopilot mode at the time their
vehicle gets into an accident, he or she may also be responsible.
The victim may be entitled to file an
injury lawsuit to receive compensation for damages, including the following.
Pain and suffering;
Property damage; and,
If one is killed in an autonomous automobile
accident, their family members may be eligible to file a lawsuit of wrongful
death. The loved ones of the deceased may claim for damages, including the ones
Loss of support due to the demise of a family member; and,
Loss of earnings from the decedent
Now, comes the tricky question: “how does
one prove who is at fault for an autonomous vehicle accident?”
Every single party who is involved in it
may have their own account regarding what induced the accident. However,
self-driving auto accidents maybe even more complicated as it may not be clear
if the vehicle’s software or system is to blame for it.
Disputed vehicle accident claims may need
an investigation by both the concerned insurer and the attorneys of each party.
In a self-driving auto accident claim, the investigation may need experts to look
at the evidence and accident information to find out what caused it.
Your injury lawyer will look into the
matter, and they may have the case reviewed by expert engineers. Then, that person
can provide an expert’s take on the reason for the accident to happen. The
expert can be called to the court to testify to explain his or her view to the
Besides the fatal autonomous automobile
accidents, there have also been numerous near-misses involving autos operating in
semi-autonomous modes. All vehicles running on the road could just lead to a
severe accident or injure cyclists or pedestrians. Even truck accident
incidences involve autonomous rigs; suffice to say, driverless does not mean