Representing Mission Viejo Clients Injured in Truck Accidents
Thousands of communities across the United States rely on commercial trucking for the goods they need every day. The commercial trucking industry is crucial to the American economy, but large tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks are inherently dangerous for many reasons. Due to the large size of most commercial trucks, any truck accident is likely to result in devastating damage to the other drivers involved. Truck accidents are also likely to involve multiple vehicles, making the processes of determining liability and collecting compensation exceedingly difficult for the victims involved.
If you or a loved one recently sustained injuries in a truck accident in Aliso Viejo or elsewhere in the Mission Viejo area, a Mission Viejo truck accident attorney is your best resource if you want to determine the best legal options available to you. Whether your truck accident occurred because of a negligent truck driver, a mechanical failure, or the fault of a third-party driver who caused the accident, it’s vital to know your rights and the value of legal representation as you work toward your recovery.
Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Truck Accident Injury?
It’s normal to wonder whether you really need a lawyer if fault for your recent truck accident seems clear. While it is technically possible for an injured driver to navigate a personal injury claim on their own, doing so is much easier said than done. Pursuing a civil claim requires meeting strict court deadlines and following carefully constructed procedures. Any errors can jeopardize a claim, potentially risking the plaintiff’s ability to recover their losses.
If you do not hire a Mission Viejo truck accident lawyer to represent you, you would not only need to meet the court’s procedural requirements but do so while managing your personal responsibilities and the aftermath of your truck accident. This can be incredibly stressful but hiring an experienced Mission Viejo truck accident attorney can handle your legal affairs so you can focus on your recovery with peace of mind.
Easton & Easton offers more than 100 years of combined personal injury experience to our clients in Mission Viejo, CA and surrounding areas. Our firm has successfully represented many truck accident claims for Mission Viejo clients and can apply this experience to your case. We strive to maximize our client’s recovery in every case we accept, and we’ll take time to get to know you and your situation to provide the most comprehensive, client-focused representation we possibly can. Do not risk your recovery due to your fear of expensive legal fees. We offer contingency fee billing, meaning we only take legal fees when we win as a percentage of your case award, ensuring your recovery.
What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do?
You can rely on your Mission Viejo truck accident lawyer to provide several valuable functions during your truck accident case. First, you must determine liability for your accident, and this can be much more difficult in truck accident claims than in most other vehicle accident claims. Our team will carefully review the details of your recent accident to determine the party or parties responsible for causing it.
Next, we will help you calculate your claimable damages. It’s common for our clients to undervalue their damages initially, and this is another reason to talk to experienced Mission Viejo truck accident lawyers to handle your claim. Without experienced legal advice on your side, you could unintentionally settle for much less than your claim is actually worth. We will help you explore every available channel of compensation to maximize your recovery.
Once we have determined fault for your damages and the exact range of those damages, we will guide you through the legal proceedings necessary for securing the compensation you deserve. The majority of personal injury claims filed in California settle outside of court. Swift settlement typically suits both parties more than intensive litigation. However, settlement is only possible if the defendant accepts liability for the plaintiff’s damages and is willing to negotiate compensation. If the defendant denies liability, or if they dispute the extent of the damages the plaintiff seeks, the case may proceed to trial.
Your Mission Viejo truck accident attorneys can guide you through every phase of your truck accident case with confidence. We’ll help you gather the evidence and testimony you will need to prove liability for your accident. If necessary, Easton & Easton can consult with various expert witnesses to substantiate your claim for damages and/or prove the defendant’s liability beyond any doubt. For example, an accident reconstruction expert could help you prove exactly how your truck accident occurred and firmly establish the defendant’s liability for your damages. An expert witness with a medical background could potentially provide the testimony you need to prove the full scope of your pain and suffering resulting from your truck accident. You can rely on our team for comprehensive representation through all settlement negotiations, and we are not afraid to take your case to court if necessary for your recovery.
Vicarious Liability in Truck Accident Claims
One of the reasons so many truck accident claims are more complex than standard car accident claims is the legal concept of “vicarious liability.” This term can come into play whenever one party bears liability for the actions of another party. When it comes to truck accident claims, some accidents may indicate that a trucking company, truck owner, or some other party aside from the truck driver bears some responsibility for these accidents occurring. Consider a few examples of how vicarious liability may influence your truck accident claim:
- You experience a truck accident caused by a drunk truck driver. The trucking company that employed the driver failed to conduct a background check that would have revealed the driver’s record of conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) which should have been considered during the hiring process. In this situation, the employer bears vicarious liability for the accident.
- You experience a truck accident that occurs when a tractor-trailer experiences a mechanical failure on the road. An investigation determines that the truck did not receive appropriate maintenance, and the truck driver failed to perform a proper inspection before starting their delivery. In this situation, the party responsible for the truck’s maintenance can bear vicarious liability.
- A truck picks up cargo from a distributor, but the distribution team does not load the cargo correctly. This causes an unbalanced trailer. The driver experiences a weight shift while driving, panics, overcorrects their steering, and causes an accident. The driver did not react appropriately, but the distributor also bears vicarious liability for creating the hazard in the first place.
These are just a few possible examples of how vicarious liability can come into play in a truck accident claim. If more than one party bears fault for your recent truck accident in the Mission Viejo area, it’s vital to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible to determine the best approach to this type of challenging civil claim.
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks are much larger and heavier than standard passenger vehicles. They also have higher centers of gravity which makes them more vulnerable to inertia and more likely to tip over under certain conditions. Some of the most commonly reported causes of truck accidents in California include:
- Truck driver negligence. While truck drivers must complete extensive training to obtain their commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs), they can still make negligent errors that lead to accidents. If a truck driver causes a truck accident due to inattention or any other type of negligence, they will likely bear liability for any other drivers’ resulting damages.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. DUI is not only extremely dangerous for the impaired driver and everyone around them, but also illegal and will lead to severe criminal penalties for the impaired driver if they cause an accident. Truck accidents can happen due to impaired truck drivers, who will likely lose their CDLs after causing DUI truck accidents, or third parties who drive impaired around larger trucks.
- Imbalanced cargo. A poorly packed trailer can cause a truck driver to lose control over their vehicle around sharp turns. Those responsible for loading truck cargo must ensure the cargo is balanced and secured properly to maintain a safe center of gravity.
- Mechanical failures. Trucks spend more time on the road than most other vehicles and drive for longer periods than most passenger vehicles. They have much greater maintenance and repair demands than passenger vehicles as a result. If any party responsible for truck maintenance fails to perform truck service as required, or if they do not properly install replacement parts, the truck could have a mechanical failure on the road that causes a deadly accident. It’s also possible for a parts manufacturer to face a product liability claim if a defective truck part causes an accident.
- Distracted driving. The most commonly cited cause of vehicle accidents in the U.S. is distracted driving. Even momentary distraction can be enough for a driver to cause a catastrophic accident.
No matter how your truck accident happened, if one or more parties bear liability for causing it, you have the right to hold them accountable with a personal injury claim. Your Mission Viejo truck accident attorney will be a crucial asset as you navigate the complex legal proceedings ahead of you.
Determining Responsibility for Your Truck Accident Damages
The first step toward recovery in any personal injury claim is identifying the party responsible for your damages. “Negligence” is the central concept of every personal injury lawsuit filed in California. This term describes a failure to act with reasonable care. In your truck accident claim, you must identify the defendant or defendants you believe to be responsible for your damages, and prove they were negligent in some way that directly caused your claimed damages. You and your attorney must also prove that your damages would not have occurred if not for the defendant’s negligence.
When vicarious liability comes into play, or when more than one party bears fault for causing a truck accident, the court must determine each defendant’s share of liability for the plaintiff’s damages. Easton & Easton will help you gather the evidence you need to prove fault for the recent truck accident and establish the full range of your claimable damages.
Damages and Compensation for Truck Accidents Claims
Truck accidents are capable of inflicting devastating losses to those involved, and your truck accident claim is likely worth more than you may have initially expected. The team at Easton & Easton will help you explore all available avenues of compensation in your claim to ensure you obtain the best recovery possible from your damages. Some of the most commonly claimed damages in Mission Viejo truck accident claims include:
- Medical expenses. Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, bone fractures, and much more. A plaintiff has the right to claim compensation for immediate medical expenses like hospital bills, but they may also claim long-term medical expenses if their injuries require extensive ongoing treatment.
- Lost income and lost earning capacity. Your truck accident may have left you unable to work while you recover from your injuries. You could have also developed a disability or permanent medical condition from your accident that may interfere with your ability to work in the future. You can include lost income and lost future earning potential in your lawsuit, and your attorney will help you calculate the future earnings you would have reasonably expected to earn to ensure the fullest recovery possible.
- Property damage. A truck accident is likely to total a smaller passenger car. If your vehicle was damaged or destroyed in the truck accident you recently experienced, you can receive compensation for your vehicle repair costs or the actual cash value of your vehicle.
- Pain and suffering. California law allows personal injury plaintiffs to recover monetary compensation for noneconomic damages like physical pain and psychological trauma. Your Mission Viejo truck accident attorney will help you determine a reasonable amount to include in your lawsuit based on the severity of your injuries and the likelihood that you will experience long-term complications or permanent disability due to your accident.
When you calculate these damages with the help of an experienced attorney, you may discover that your claim is worth much more than you may have originally anticipated. When you have an experienced Mission Viejo truck accident attorney working on your case, you are much more likely to maximize your recovery in a relatively short time.
What Should I Expect From a Truck Accident Lawyer?
The attorneys at Easton & Easton can help you navigate your truck accident case with confidence. When you are struggling with severe physical injuries, economic strain from lost income and medical bills, and ongoing pain and suffering as you attempt to manage your household after a truck accident, the thought of pursuing a civil claim for your damages can seem overwhelming. Our goal is to help you rest and recover with peace of mind as we manage your truck accident claim.
Our team will carefully review all relevant documentation and evidence related to your truck accident to help you determine liability. This includes the police report from the accident, the medical report from your doctor that outlines your injuries and medical prognosis, and statements from eyewitnesses who saw your truck accident occur. We’ll use this information to help you identify the party or parties responsible for causing the accident. If necessary, we can also issue subpoenas for traffic camera footage, vehicle computer data, and even drivers’ cell phone records.
After we help you establish liability for your damages, we will move to calculating the exact range of your damages. Many of our clients are surprised to learn the true values of their claims once they meet with our team. We provide client-focused legal counsel to every client we represent, so we’ll take the time to get to know you and your situation before conducting a meticulous review of your damages.
Most truck accident claims settle outside of court, and we will guide you through your settlement negotiations. However, some claims may go to court when defendants contest liability or when a case involves complex details that demand formal legal review. Whether we can settle your case or we need to take it to trial, you can rely on us to provide comprehensive and client-focused legal counsel throughout every phase of your truck accident claim.
Contact Our Mission Viejo Law Offices to Find Your Legal Team
A truck accident can easily be a life-changing experience that affects you and your family in many negative and unpredictable ways, but you do not need to face this situation alone. The team at Easton & Easton can provide the legal counsel you need to secure fair compensation for your losses to the fullest extent possible under California law. We know how to approach difficult truck accident claims and take time to learn as much as we can about every client we represent to provide individualized representation.
The sooner you secure legal counsel and begin working on your case, the better your chances will be of maximizing your recovery after a truck accident. Easton & Easton are standing by ready to assist you. If you are ready to discuss your legal options with an experienced Mission Viejo truck accident attorney, contact us today to schedule your consultation.