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?

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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.

FAQs Related to Truck Accidents in California Answered

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Truck Accident Cases

Most accidents in which trucks are involved results in severe damages. As commercial trucks are really heavy than passenger vehicles they might cause quite a destruction when involved in an accident. The severity of the situation will be even more dangerous if the trucks are carrying hazardous materials like chemicals or any inflammable things.

If you are involved in a truck accident you will get a reimbursement for the damages and injuries you suffered. You can consult a truck accident lawyer to know about the procedures for filing a lawsuit to claim money for a truck accident case. A California truck accident lawyer will be experienced in such cases and you can rely on them to fight on your behalf for the right compensation you deserve.

People in California have different doubts regarding filing a lawsuit against truck accident cases. The most frequently asked questions by Californians are answered below:

Can I sue the trucking company for the accident?

It depends on the situation. If there is an established relationship between the truck driver and the trucking company, you can sue them. In such cases the trucking company will be held liable for the accident under a legal theory called “respondeat superior.” But if the truck driver is an independent contractor working on behalf of the trucking company, then proving the liability of the company can be difficult. In this situation, the amount of supervising done by the company will become an important factor.

Can I sue the loading company for my injuries?

This is possible if the cargo was not properly loaded. If the loading of cargo to the truck is done in an unsecure and unsafe manner, then it will eventually lead to an accident. In such cases, you can also sue the cargo loading company for the accident.

Can I get compensation for loss of work if I get involved in a truck accident?

Yes, the compensation you receive for truck accident cases can also include your loss of pay because of the accident, and also the loss of earning capacity resulted from the accident. A truck accident lawyer will help you calculate the amount you can claim based on the damages you suffered.

Is it important to hire a truck accident lawyer?

Yes, it is important to hire a truck accident lawyer before filing a lawsuit for claiming money if you get involved in a truck accident. A well experienced lawyer will help you to analyze the situation and decide on the right amount to claim. If you have to take the case to court, he will fight for you to get the right amount you deserve.

How Truck Accident Rules Prove Liability in Drowsy Driving Cases

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Truck Accident Rules

One of the major causes of truck accidents in California is drowsy driving. Such crashes often results in catastrophic injuries since the driver is unlikely to have control over the truck. On top of that, it is extremely challenging to prove drowsy driving cases since there are no objective tests to prove fatigue and drowsiness. Plus, truck drivers are unlikely to admit that they were behind the wheels for a long period of time.

When it comes to drunk driving, your truck accident attorney will be able to prove the liability easily by doing some tests to check the alcohol content in the blood of the defendant. To tackle this issue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations have put forward some rules so that a truck wreck lawyer can prove liability easily in case of drowsy driving crashes as well.

Trucking rules to prevent drowsy driving

One of the major rules that were aimed at preventing collisions because of drowsy driving is the Hours of Service. According to this regulation, truck drivers are given an ultimatum regarding the time limit that they can spend behind the wheels. They are also expected to take mandated rest in between for a few hours. The regulation mainly imposes a number of limitations on the truck drivers who transport cargos in commercial trucks. A truck accident attorney can easily prove the liability by proving that the defendant failed to follow any of these rules. Some of those crucial rules include;

  • The maximum hours a trucker can drive over the course of the day is 11
  • A truck driver can be on duty only for 14 hours a day. In other words, a trucker must have 10 consecutive hours of off duty each day
  • Usually, truck drivers are unlikely to spend their rest time in the trucks. However, if a driver has sleeper birth provision in his truck, they are expected to take advantage of it. According to the rule, the drivers must be on the sleeper birth for at least eight hours during their rest time.
  • The long-haul truck drivers who often drive a lot are expected to take a mandated rest of minimum 30 minutes after driving the vehicle for consecutive 8 hours.
  • When it comes to driving hours, the maximum limit a truck driver is allowed to drive over a seven-day and eight-day period is 60 hours and 70 hours respectively. Once a driver reaches the limit, he must take rest of at least 34 hours off duty
  • Drivers who transport passengers will have to follow even stricter time limitations. Note that they can drive only up to 10 consecutive hours after which they will have to take rest at least 8 hours off duty

About Pursuing Disability Claim after a Truck Accident

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Truck Accident Lawsuits

As per statistics, truck collisions are more dangerous than the ones involving only cars. Unsurprisingly, the truck accident victim is likelier to have injuries which keep them from going back to their work. In the event you were involved in an accident, you may be entitled to seek a disability claim. It is still essential to properly assert your rights. That is where an experienced and skilled truck wreck lawyer can help.

Types of Benefits Available to a Victim

A short-term disability program bridges the gap between your catastrophic accident time and the time where you establish permanent disability status. The California State Disability Insurance program gives those who work for companies, involved in the SDI program, a maximum of 52 weeks of insurance coverage. The program benefits cover 60% to 70% of the income you were making before your accident.

If you have had to reduce the working hours because of your accident injury, then you may also be eligible for partial benefits. You will be eligible for it even when you get different federal disability benefits, like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

To get these benefits, you need to apply for the same inside seven weeks of establishing that you cannot go back to work due to the injury. You will also have to file a disability claim form duly signed by the right medical authority.

Some individuals find getting the right medical practitioner or filing their claim to be overwhelming following a truck accident. The concerned truck driver may need to cope with the employer who fails to give the claim form the driver needs, or who demands them to report back to work before they are able. An attorney specializing in automobile and truck accident law can help you with filing this claim and dealing with the employer.

Long-Term Disability

In the event you cannot go back to work in the foreseeable future, you may be able to apply for a permanent disability claim through the Social Security Administration. The SSA bases the benefits on the number of years you have worked and how much you have earned in those years. They manage two kinds of disability income: Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. As mentioned above, Social Security Disability Insurance is calculated on the basis of factors like your average income in the period of time you were employed. The benefits of Supplemental Security Income are available to those with limited income who are disabled, blind or are aged 65 years or above. You may be able to collect both SSI and SSDI at once.

Injuries Which May Deserve a Disability Benefit

As said earlier, you should apply for SSD benefits and will have to provide documentation that explains why you cannot go back to work. Some of the injuries which may qualify the accident victim for SSI or SSDI benefits can include the following.

  • Seriously injured legs or arms
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Partial or full paralysis
  • Brain injuries
  • Burns

How to Fight the Denial of a Disability Claim

There are several reasons your SSD or SDI claim could be turned down. Some of the common reasons for denial include the following.

  • Lack of medical evidence that can be verified
  • Earlier denials of a claim similar to this
  • Not cooperating with agency personnel who evaluate your claim
  • Not following your treatment plan

Besides the above, several truck accident victims find that the injuries they sustained are challenged by the company which employs them. Rely on a law firm with experience to help you file your claim again to make a relatively more convincing case.

Disability Benefits versus Injury Lawsuits

When you have sustained life-changing injuries in an accident of this kind, SSDI/SSI and SDI can provide access to the funds you need for daily survival, medical requirements and to give your family. A rather important source of income will likely be found by filing an injury lawsuit against that negligent driver, who is to blame for your injury.

Many parties can be found by the court or jury to be guilty in a truck versus motorcycle or passenger car accident. They can include the truck’s manufacturer or mechanic, the driver’s employer or their shipping agent, and the agencies responsible to ensure road conditions are safe. Even when you are found to be partially guilty for the truck accident, you may seek damages in the event the other parties are more at fault.

Disability originating from the accident can play a big role in your injury case. The disabling injuries you sustained may factor into the following.

  • The loss of your future wages
  • Lost wages
  • Medical costs
  • Punitive damages when the negligence was intentional or extreme

Gathering evidence right at the accident scene as soon as you can is an essential part of seeking compensation for damages based on your disability. It is also important to make your injury case persuasively. Your odds of winning a settlement or the grant at trial which you deserve will improve considerably when you retain the services of an experienced injury attorney.

Truck Accident That Can Ruin your Successful Claim

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Truck Accident Claim

An accident with a huge commercial truck can be very dangerous and could be life-threatening. Truck accident victims usually face much pain along the journey to recovery because of the depth of the injuries. This comes in addition to medical bills and loss of time from work. Victims are confused by the questions like how to reclaim the losses, and how to get back to their normal life. Note that it is better to consult a truck accident lawyer to get the compensations you deserve. Below is a discussion regarding the mistakes you have to avoid to help you complete a successful claim.

Failure to Consult Medical Care Immediately

One mistake the casualties usually make is that they do not seek medical care right after the accident. In several cases, the casualty has to be carried away on an ambulance. Many people still refuse treatment or medical attention right on the spot of the accident. This is a costly error. It is possible that the accident seemed minor in the immediate aftermath. However, it may turn out to be a damaging one and take weeks to find out. Sometimes, if you do not seek treatment right away, the opposing party may accuse that the injuries are not a result of the accident. Hence, keep the above point in mind.

Speaking to the Faulty Driver or Insurance Agent

Many people speak to the driver at fault, the trucking company, or the insurance executives before consulting a truck accident lawyer Los Angeles. You may consider the exchange normal, but the things you say might end up working against you in the eventual course of the case. It could even cut short the amount you are eligible to claim. Hence, it is the right thing to let the lawyers do the talking.

Settling Too Fast

The most common mistake seen among truck accident victims or driver is that they tend to settle too fast. You may want to end the whole matter fast and get along with your normal life, but this may affect the settlement amount you acquire. Hence, remember to seek the best possible compensation instead of settling initially.

Seeking the Incorrect Settlement Amount

Sometimes people end up asking too much or too little as compensation amount for the truck accident cases. This is a serious error as the insurance companies might then view you as uninformed. Hence, make sure you take expert help before you claim the compensation.

Make sure you do not commit the above errors as you go ahead with the truck accident case.

Frequently Asked Questions about Truck Accident Lawsuits

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Truck Accident Lawsuits

One of the most terrifying and stressful moments in the life of a person will be experiencing a crash. Things will be even worse if it involves a commercial truck that can pose serious damage to the vehicle as well as life-threatening injuries to the passengers involved. Unfortunately, as a result of extreme stress and fear, most people may go numb and will not be sure about the steps that are to be taken further.

Note that you can consult a credible truck accident attorney and file a lawsuit to claim compensation for your damages. However, before this, you must take some actions to strengthen your lawsuit and, thereby, increase your chance of the win. In order to help you out with all the necessary details, below are some frequently asked questions about truck accident lawsuits.

Can you File a Lawsuit in California after a Truck Accident?

Any person who is involved and injured in a truck accident is free to consult a truck accident attorney and file a lawsuit to claim his/her damages in California. If the truck wreck lawyer of the plaintiff succeeded in proving the liability of the truck driver or trucking company, the victim can recover compensation for the following.

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of wages
  • Lost future earnings
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages

Can you File a Lawsuit if you are Partially Responsible for the Collision?

Yes, it is possible to file a lawsuit against the truck driver or trucking company even if you are partially responsible for the collision. Note that California State boasts comparative negligence law and hence, the victim will be able to recover their damages whether or not they played a role in the collision. However, the compensation amount that the victim is entitled to will be reduced depending on their share of fault.

What are the Major Steps One Must Take after a Truck Accident?

Firstly, seek medical assistance and make sure that there are no hidden damages. In most cases, some injuries will be hidden and tend to show off only after a couple of weeks or months. Plus, get a medical report regarding the severity of your injuries. This will surely help you with the case. Then, report a police case regarding the accident documenting every significant detail. The police will report the case including your side of the story as well as that of the other party’s and witnesses’. This will be helpful to prove the liability of the opposite party in court.

What are the Pieces of Evidence That you Can Collect from the Accident Site?

If you can, it will be better to collect important pieces of evidence from the accident site. Note that the former ones are in the hands of medical officers and police officers. If you can gather enough information from the accident site that points to the negligence of the opposite party or your innocence, it will be a huge brownie point for your truck wreck lawyer and you are most likely to win the case. For this, make sure to collect information such as driver’s license number, company information, license plate, contact information, insurance information, etc. Additionally, get the contact number or address of the witnesses as well.

Most importantly, try to click as many pictures as you can of the accident scene. Haven’t you heard the phrase ‘a picture speaks louder than 1000 words’? On a related note, try to take the pictures of your vehicle from inside and outside to show the damages. Moreover, try to include the pictures of the truck that mainly reflects the cause and mode of the collision such as any kind of obstructions, tire marks, damages on the roadways, etc. Finally, take pictures of your potential injuries before getting it dressed. All these factors will help you to seek the compensation that you deserve.

How to Deal with the Insurance Company of the Opposite Party?

Once you file a lawsuit against the opposite party, their insurance agents are likely to get in touch with you for out of court settlement. Note that insurance agents will be skilled to trap the unskilled victims with their words. In most cases, the victims are likely to blurt out something in their present state of mind and the insurance people will try to use it against them in court. Worst, if you signed any of their documents. Furthermore, they may try their best to delay or deny their claim. Otherwise, they may try to trap you with a lowball offer.

In order to tackle such issues, it is recommended not talk to them unless accompanied by your truck accident attorney. Otherwise, make sure to seek their suggestions at least. Needless to mention, with a credible truck wreck lawyer on your side, you can make sure whether or not the compensation amount that you are getting is fair. It is to be noted that skilled lawyers will be good in negotiations as well as litigations.

Dealing with the Concerned Trucking Company after a Truck Accident

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Truck Accident Laws

When a truck and a passenger vehicle are involved in a collision, the size and weight of a truck used to transport goods put those in a passenger vehicle at serious risk. These accidents usually result in serious bodily injuries and even demise.

If you were involved in a truck collision, then you may be having mounting medical bills as you require long-term treatment. You may have lost wages as you missed time on the job to recover from both your debilitating emotional trauma and injury. The experienced team of professionals at a truck accident law firm can help negotiate a reasonable settlement, while at the same time make the situation fair for aggressive trucking firms and their insurers.

Understanding the US Commercial Trucking Segment

American Trucking Associations reports the commercial trucking sector has to transport more than 70% of all shipment tonnage in the nation. Combined, these big automobiles have over 10 billion tons in freight annually, transported by over 3.5 million drivers.

Commercial trucking firms make more amounts of money by raising the number of products and loads they transport. This creates a perk to take shortcut routes and make safety less important than profit, expressly encouraging truck drivers to speed up, skip compulsory brakes, carry much more weight than what they should, or take other risks to safety.

As a result, around 5,000 individuals throughout the nation are involved in deadly truck-related collisions annually with thousands more severely injured. Loaded commercial automobiles can weigh maximum 75,000 pounds more compared to passenger vehicles, which mean those in the smaller autos are at a higher risk of getting fatally injured in an accident with a truck.

Trucking Companies and Legal Responsibility

Trucking businesses may be held liable for the negligence shown by the drivers they employ. Under the “vicarious liability” principle, employers are liable for the acts of their workers which fall in the course and scope of their employment.

Still, several truck drivers are regarded as independent contractors, not those working for trucking companies. They accept work on a per-job basis. Federal regulations can still help victims hold this type of company liable for accidents caused by those independent contractors.

The companies may also be held legally responsible when the collision was caused by one who had a poor driving record or sleep disorder or who was inexperienced or dependent on drugs.

An Overview of Truck Accidents

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Truck Accident Law

A truck accident differs greatly from a normal vehicle accident. It can be fatal at times. The heavy weight of the truck almost always adds to the effects that the accident can have on the victims. A fully loaded truck is supposed to be 25 times heavier than a normal car traveling on the road. This is one of the main reasons why truck accidents can be very catastrophic.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a truck accident, you are eligible to get the compensation for the same through a claim against the liable parties. You may consult with an experienced truck accident attorney to know the right proceedings surrounding the claim.

Unique Danger Of Truck Accidents

It is common for people involved in a vehicle accident to get injured. This would normally be a direct result of the crash. While this is true in the case of truck accidents, there is another unique danger that comes along when a truck is involved. If the truck is loaded with hazardous or easily flammable material, there is a high chance for the victim to sustain secondary injuries which can increase the damages caused.

How Can You Prove Your Case?

Negligence is the key basis of any kind of personal injury claims which involve vehicle accidents. In the same way, a person who is injured in a truck accident should prove that the defendant was supposed to give reasonable care to the plaintiff, and that he breached his duty, which led to the plaintiff being injured.

Know the Defendants

In a truck accident case, the truck driver may not be the only defendant. There could be other potential defendants like the trucking company, employers, contractors, etc. who can be held liable for the crash. The potential defendants of each truck accident cases would vary depending on surrounding and conditions. If the truck driver is an employer of a trucking company, the company may also be held responsible for the accident caused by the driver due to his negligence.

If the truck driver is not an employer, but the independent contractor of a trucking company, the liability of the company in the accident will be determined by the extent to which the company supervises the work.

In certain cases—though rarely—the manufacturer of the goods carried on the truck can also become liable in a truck accident case. Since you may not be sure about the parties who can be held liable for the injuries you have suffered in a truck accident, it is better to seek the help of a truck accident attorney to know the possibilities of getting compensation in your case.

Ways to Preserve Evidence after a Truck Accident

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Truck Accident Law

In any accident cases, the preserving of evidence is very important in determining the success of the lawsuit. The same is the case with truck accidents. The collection of evidence after a truck accident is significant because it will help in determining the liability and calculating the extent of loss suffered by a victim. In the majority of the truck accident cases, the evidence must be collected soon after the accident.

The truck accident lawsuits are very complicated, and it will take many months to finally conclude the matter. However, the collection of evidence must be started as early as possible because there is a high chance for the evidence to be lost or to be destroyed purposefully by the opposite party. The preserving of the evidence will largely determine the strength of your claim.

Here are some important ways in which you can preserve evidence after you suffer injuries in a truck accident. If you are planning to make a personal injury claim in the future, keep these things in your mind.

Get Proper Medical Care

You need to seek medical help without hesitation because the documentation of the medical help you receive after the accident will help determine the severity of the injuries you suffered from the truck crash. Make sure that you preserve the medical records for future reference.

Get a Copy of the Accident Report Made by the Police

The police report will contain all the necessary information regarding the truck accident. This includes the details and statements of those who witnessed the accident and several other crucial information. Make sure you request a copy of the police report.

Make Use of Spoliation Letters

These are the official letters that you can write to a certain party, asking them to retain certain evidence that is with them. They may otherwise not be responsible to keep the evidence intact. Sending spoliation letters can assure that the evidence remains protected.

Visit the Accident Spot Again

There might be some evidence at the accident spot, which you might have overlooked before. Visiting the scene again will help you to find them and preserve them for later use. There might be some tire marks on the road or a CCTV camera nearby which may all turn out to be crucial evidence in the crash.

Along with these, keep the pictures of the accident scene in different angles to have a clear view of the crash later. Consult a truck accident attorney to know more about the collection and preserving of evidence after a truck accident.