Different Types Of Compensations Available For Truck Accident Claims

Truck Accident Attorney
Truck Accident Attorney

You will sustain significant damage when you involve in a truck accident. You can claim for injuries and property damage stemming from the accident. But most people find it difficult to understand what type of compensation they may seek in personal injury truck accident claim or lawsuit.

Varied Compensation

The compensation a person will get from a personal injury claim is difficult to predict. It mainly depends upon the circumstances of the accident. You can determine the amount of compensation available by analyzing certain factors. These factors include the severity of the injuries, the limitations caused by the accidents, your insurance policy, and the cause of the accident. In most of the truck accident cases, victims sustain serious injuries, which may lead to a higher compensation amount.

Medical Expenses

If you sustain serious injuries from the truck accident such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, etc, your medical expenses will be higher. But don’t worry; the insurance company of the truck driver is responsible for paying your medical bills. You should make sure that you save all the records of your treatment. These records include every medical bill associated with your accident, physical therapy bills, durable medical equipment, etc.

Pain And Suffering

The highest percentage of the compensation you receive is for your pain and suffering that is caused by the truck accident. Insurance companies usually calculate pain and suffering based on your medical bills and your lost income. But other facts can also increase the compensation amount. If you suffered embarrassment along with physical pain and due to accident, it increases the compensation amount. If the accident prevented you from participating in events, it also increases the compensation amount.

Lost Wages

You may not be able to work when you suffer serious injuries from truck accidents. This will result in lost income. You might need to rest for months before you can work again. Surgeries can keep you away from work for weeks and months. Even after that, you need to visit your doctor and physical therapist for completely gaining your strength back. You should keep track of the time you miss work because of the injuries from the accident. The insurance company of the truck driver will compensate for your lost hours.

Hire A Truck Accident Lawyer

You may struggle to determine the amount of compensation you should seek in your claim. If you hire a truck accident attorney, he will guide you through all the legal formalities and also help you to calculate the exact amount of compensation to seek.

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

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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.

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.

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

Frequently Asked Questions about Truck Accident Lawsuits

Truck Accident Attorney
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.

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.