Commonly Used Defenses In Truck Accident Lawsuit

Truck Accident Liability
Truck Accident Liability

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.

Comparative Negligence

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.

How Do Truck Accident Claim Process Work?

Truck Accident Attorney
Truck Accident Attorney

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.

Comparative Negligence in Truck Accident Cases

Truck Accident Attorney
Truck Accident Attorney

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.

Important Steps to Take After an Accident in California

Truck Accident

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.

Following are 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.
  • Exchange information with the other driver including name and other contact details.
  • Contact your 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.
  • Access your injuries and property loss for submitting them to your insurance company.

Contacting lawyers

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.

Tips for Sharing the Roads Safely with Semi-Trucks

Truck Accident
Truck Accident Law

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.

Common 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:

Larger Blind Spots

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.

Longer 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.

Slower to React

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.

Wider Turns

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.

Impact by Wind

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.

Useful Tip

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.

At What Time Do Most Motorbike Accidents Occur?

Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Road Accident Cases

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.

When Is 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 happen.

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.

Weekday Stats 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.

The Reasons 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.

Riding Conditions

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.

Driver Impairment

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.

Visibility

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.

Lawsuits Pertaining To Autonomous Car Accidents In California

Truck Accident
Car Accident Lawsuits

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.

  • Lost wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Property damage; and,
  • Medical expenses

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 mentioned below.

  • Funeral costs;
  • 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 jury.

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 flawless trucks.

Evidence Needed for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim

Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycle Accident Claim

If you get injured in a motorcycle accident because of another person’s mistake, you have the right to file a motorcycle accident claim. But it is unlikely for the person who caused the accident to admit his/her mistake and this is when evidence will come to your rescue. With proper evidence, you will be able to prove the liability of the other party involved in the accident thereby successfully claiming the money as compensation for the losses you suffered because of the accident.

Evidence is a core factor that will decide the success of your motorcycle accident claim. Even though you have the best motorcycle accident attorney, without strong evidence, the chance of winning the case is low. Therefore, it is very important to collect evidence if you or your loved ones get involved in an accident.

Following are some important evidence you should definitely collect after a motorcycle accident as they will have a significant effect on your claim.

The police report

This is a crucial piece of evidence that is helpful in proving the liability. The police officer who arrives at the accident scene will prepare a report including the date and time of the accident, the people involved, weather and road conditions, injuries caused, and the details about the witnesses, etc.

The police report is really valuable for your case; hence you should get a copy of this as soon as possible. Usually, a copy of the report will be available for you within few days after the incident. You can contact the police department that handled your case for getting the copy. You can do it by yourself or ask the help of a motorcycle collision attorney to obtain it.

Photos of the scene

The photos of the accident scene and the images of the vehicles involved are also significant factors that will strengthen your case. It can serve as a proof to show the severity of the accident. The photos can also illustrate road conditions as well as other factors that might have caused the collision. A motorcycle accident attorney will help you to obtain the right photos that are crucial for your case.

Eyewitness statements

Eyewitnesses play an important role in establishing the liability of an accident. This will be an important factor considered by the court when your case goes to litigation. However, the statements of different eyewitness can also be different according to each person’s perspective of the accident.

Records of your medical treatment

Your hospital bills and medical records will act as an important factor to demonstrate the extent of your injuries. These injuries along with the pain and suffering will be converted into financial terms by the court when deciding your claim amount.

How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help you?

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Truck Accident Attorney

If you are involved in a truck accident, it can be a devastating experience for you. Such an accident can result in severe damages and can cause serious injuries for those who are involved in it. If you or your loved ones encounter such an incident, then it is important for you to know that you can file a lawsuit to claim compensation for your losses. A truck accident attorney will help you to file your claim in the court.

A truck accident attorney will be specialized in truck accident cases. So they will have vast knowledge in such cases and can handle your case really well. Therefore, if you become a victim of a truck accident, never forget to contact a truck accident lawyer to claim the compensation that you deserve. They will assist you throughout your case until you succeed. Following are some important factors that a truck accident attorney can help you with:

To Find Out the Factors Affecting your Case

An average person may not be aware of the laws and statutes regarding an accident case. But a truck accident attorney will have good knowledge about these laws and can find out which laws can favor your case. He/she will guide you through the legal procedures associated with your case.

Determining the Liability

A good truck accident lawyer will help you determine who is liable for the accident. In case of a truck accident, the truck driver, trucking company, cargo loading company and even truck part manufacturers can be held responsible for the accident. The attorney can find out who is at fault and will assist you to sue the right parties responsible for the accident.

Collect Relevant Evidence

The attorney will also collect the evidence that is relevant for your case. He will inspect the accident scene and will gather evidence and witness testimonies to use in the later stages of your case. The truck accident lawyer will also examine the truck driver’s employment history, details about the trucking company, damages caused to your vehicle, your medical records as well as injuries sustained, and also the cause of the accident.

Identify Damages

The attorney will also help you to estimate your damages. You can get compensation for the property damages and also for your injuries. An experienced truck accident attorney can identify all the damages and will be able to ensure you maximum compensation based on the damages. Go to this website for details.

Who can be Held Responsible for a Truck Accident?

Truck Accident
Truck Accident Lawsuits

Proving the liability in case of a truck accident will be one of the primary concerns a victim will have to face when filing a lawsuit for recovering the losses. The liability of a truck accident depends on certain factors. If the driver who caused the accident is an employee of the trucking company, then you can sue the trucking company for the accident. But in some cases, the driver might be an independent contractor who works for the company, and hence the driver will have the sole responsibility for the accident in those cases.

It is important for the victim to know about the relation between the driver and trucking company to decide which all parties should be included in the lawsuit. A truck accident attorney can help you to investigate about the connection between the truck driver and the trucking company to find the right parties to sue when filing a lawsuit.

Who are the potentially liable parties?

The truck driver: If the truck accident was caused by the driver’s fault, then he/she will have to bear the responsibility. The reason for the accident might be the violation of the law by the truck driver. The distraction or negligence of the truck driver can also result in an accident. For all these causes, a truck driver can be held liable for the accident.

The trucking company: In some cases, the trucking company who hired the driver can be also held liable for the accident. If the driver has some previous records of violating laws, or drinking problems or drug addiction, then the company committed a mistake by hiring such a person. So the company can be held liable for the accident such a driver caused.

Other instances when the trucking company can be held liable are; if the company failed to inspect and maintain the truck properly, or neglected to take safety measures, or has given over stress for the driver to meet the deadline. In such cases you can sue the trucking company also.

The cargo loaders: If the cargo on a truck is not loaded properly, there is a high possibility for its contents to fall off and create damages. In those cases, the cargo loaders will also bear the responsibility of the accident.

Truck manufacturers

When the reason for the accident is the malfunctioning of some truck parts then the manufacturers will be the party who held responsible for the accident. If you get involved in a truck accident caused by the improper working of truck parts, then you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturers with the help of a truck accident attorney.