Newport Beach Truck Accident Attorney
Commercial trucking is a crucial part of the American economy, and every day commercial truckers deliver billions in goods and materials throughout the country. While most drivers in the Newport Beach, CA, area are likely accustomed to encountering large commercial trucks while driving and have no problems, truck accidents can and do happen for several reasons in California. When these incidents occur, the large size of these vehicles significantly increases the risk of those involved suffering catastrophic injuries.
Representing Victims of Newport Beach, CA, Truck Accidents
While truck accidents happen for many of the same reasons as accidents involving standard passenger cars, these incidents tend to be far more damaging. Unfortunately, determining liability for such an incident isn’t always straightforward or simple. More than one party can bear responsibility for your recent truck accident in the Newport Beach, CA, area, and you likely have many legal questions regarding your situation.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton can provide the comprehensive and responsive legal representation required for successfully navigating any complex personal injury case. It’s understandable for anyone to feel distressed and uncertain about their future after experiencing an accident someone else caused. Our team can help you determine your best legal options for recovering your losses after a truck accident.
Why You Need a Newport Beach Truck Accident Lawyer
Navigating any civil case without an attorney is incredibly difficult, and the plaintiff faces several risks in the civil court system when they do not have legal counsel advising them. If you are unsure what to do after an accident that was not your fault, you must determine who is responsible for causing the accident before you can obtain compensation for your damages. California upholds a fault-based system for resolving motor vehicle accident claims. This means that whoever is responsible for causing a crash assumes liability for the resulting damages.
When it comes to truck accidents, determining liability can be far more challenging than it would be in a standard motor vehicle accident case. Discerning fault for an accident involving two standard passenger vehicles is typically straightforward, and if one driver’s negligence caused the crash, they assume liability for the other driver’s damages. When a truck crashes with another vehicle, you may assume that the truck driver is liable for the incident. A commercial truck driver can face sole liability for a truck accident, but it is also possible for complex legal statutes such as vicarious liability to come into play.
The average person with little to no experience with the law would not only be likely to struggle with proving liability for their damages but also establishing the full scope of those damages accurately beyond any doubt. Most personal injury plaintiffs are initially unaware of the true values of their claims. Working with an experienced Newport Beach truck accident lawyer not only increases your chances of successfully proving fault for your recent accident but is also likely to yield much more compensation than you could have obtained.
When you choose Easton & Easton to represent you in a Newport Beach truck accident claim, we will carefully review all the details of your accident and assist you in determining your best recovery options. Auto insurance could provide a measure of relief relatively quickly after your accident, and you will need legal counsel to pursue further recourse against the responsible party to maximize your compensation. Ultimately, whatever your case entails, you are far better prepared to handle it effectively with an experienced Newport Beach truck accident attorney representing you.
Determining Fault for a Truck Accident Case in California
California’s fault system applies to all motor vehicle accidents, including large commercial trucks. However, the fact that commercial truck drivers operate these large and inherently dangerous vehicles as their primary job duty raises unique legal questions whenever a truck accident occurs. Vicarious liability could implicate a truck driver’s employer as partially responsible for an accident if an investigation reveals they were responsible for contributing to the accident.
A truck driver can face liability for causing a truck accident when they act outside the scope of their job duties and/or violate their employer’s policies. For example, if a truck driver consumes alcohol behind the wheel and crashes into another motorist, they would likely assume sole liability because driving under the influence (DUI) would clearly violate their professional responsibilities and their employer’s policy. However, if the driver had a history of DUI, did not possess appropriate credentials, or had any other issues that should have been detected through the background check process, their employer can face vicarious liability. In addition, whenever an employer’s negligence contributes to their employee causing harm to another party, this legal concept is likely to play an important role in subsequent civil court proceedings.
Some of the most commonly reported causes of truck accidents that lead to complex legal disputes and questions of liability include:
- Distracted driving, which is the most commonly reported cause of all motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Cell phone use, eating behind the wheel, and cognitive distractions are easily capable of causing devastating crashes.
- DUI. Any driver who causes an accident because of DUI faces criminal charges and penalties, including fines, jail time, and suspension of their driver’s license. In addition, if a truck driver causes a DUI accident, they will likely lose their commercial driver’s license (CDL) for a long time, compelling them to find alternative work until they secure reinstatement.
- Speeding. It is very dangerous for any driver to drive at excessive speeds. This reduces the time and distance a driver has to avoid a collision if traffic conditions suddenly change. Large trucks require far more time and space to slow down or stop than smaller passenger vehicles, so it is especially dangerous for truck drivers to exceed speed limits.
- Vehicle defects and failed maintenance. Whoever is responsible for a truck’s maintenance could be liable for an accident if a defect or maintenance issue they should have addressed or failed to address correctly causes the crash.
- Problems with cargo. Large commercial vehicles like tractor-trailers have higher centers of gravity than standard passenger vehicles, leaving them highly vulnerable to tip-overs and rollovers from imbalance. As a result, any party responsible for loading a commercial truck must ensure the cargo is secured correctly. Failure to do so can lead to liability for a damaging accident.
- Trucking industry regulatory violations. The commercial trucking industry is heavily regulated at the federal level, and every state has unique laws pertaining to trucking. Therefore, whenever a truck driver violates applicable regulations, they face liability for any accidents they cause. Similarly, a truck driver’s employer could face vicarious liability for an accident if they failed to adhere to applicable industry regulations in their hiring, training, and handling of the truck driver.
Ultimately, a truck accident claim may seem straightforward at first, only to escalate into a very complex legal battle. Approaching this type of case with confidence is easier when you have an experienced Newport Beach truck accident attorney on your side.
Proving Liability for a Personal Injury in California
Every licensed driver in California must have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements, and there are additional insurance obligations for truck drivers and trucking companies. An insurance claim is typically the first option for recovering your losses from an accident, but you can only expect so much from a successful auto insurance claim after a serious accident. Additionally, dealing with insurance companies is often challenging and stressful for injured claimants.
A Newport Beach truck accident attorney can help their client navigate complex insurance claims following their experience, assisting them in securing as much compensation as possible as soon as possible after their truck accident. In addition, your attorney can correspond with claim adjusters and other insurance company representatives on your behalf until you receive an appropriate settlement.
To succeed with an auto insurance claim in California, you must prove the policyholder caused your accident. When insurance isn’t enough to fully compensate your losses, and you must take further legal action beyond your insurance claim, proving fault will be essential in ensuring accountability through a personal injury suit. When you have exhausted your recovery options through insurance and must build a personal injury claim, success with the case requires proving:
- The defendant had a duty of care in the situation in question, such as the duty to operate their vehicle attentively and responsibly.
- The defendant breached their duty of care. For example, DUI is a clear violation of a driver’s duty of care to refrain from intoxicated driving.
- The defendant’s breached duty of care resulted in harm to the plaintiff. Therefore, the plaintiff must prove they sustained measurable losses from the defendant’s actions to succeed with their claim.
- The plaintiff’s damages are solely the results of the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
The best way to succeed with a complex truck injury case is to work with an experienced Newport Beach truck accident attorney who understands the unique challenges your case presents. Your legal team could help you gather evidence like eyewitness testimony, vehicle computer data, cell phone records, and even traffic camera recordings if any were in the vicinity of your truck accident.
Proving fault for your damages from a truck accident is a crucial first hurdle you must clear to secure compensation. Once you and your Newport Beach truck accident attorney have successfully identified the party or parties responsible for causing your truck accident, you can hold them accountable for the losses you suffered.
Compensation for Your Truck Accident Case Claim in Newport Beach
A standard auto insurance policy in California can provide reasonable compensation for the medical expenses and vehicle repair costs the truck accident victim faces after their experience. However, a personal injury claim can potentially ensure a more robust recovery for the victim, allowing them to seek compensation for the full scope of their economic and non-economic damages. California’s personal injury laws allow a plaintiff with injuries to seek compensation for:
- Health care costs related to their accident. The plaintiff can seek the defendant’s accountability for all medical treatment they require because of the defendant’s actions. A truck accident can be highly traumatic, causing many injuries requiring immediate emergency care. The victim may also require ongoing treatment to ensure their full recovery and manage their symptoms. The defendant is liable for immediate and future medical expenses the plaintiff faces because of their negligence or misconduct.
- Lost income and lost earning potential. A severe traffic accident can leave a victim unable to work until they recover from their injuries. Some victims are left unable to work at all due to the catastrophic nature of the injuries they suffered. The defendant is liable for the economic harm they have caused a plaintiff, including lost income and future income when they cannot return to work because of their injuries. Your Newport Beach truck accident attorney can assist you in calculating projected future income loss resulting from your recent truck accident.
- Property damage, such as the cost of repairing or replacing the plaintiff’s vehicle and any personal property inside the vehicle lost in the accident. Auto insurance may offer some property damage compensation, but a personal injury suit can include outstanding property losses.
California law also permits personal injury plaintiffs to seek compensation that reflects the severity of their condition after a truck accident. While the initial aftermath can be overwhelming and painful for the victim, they will likely face a host of long-term complications from their experience. These effects can be physical, psychological, and economic, and the plaintiff has the right to seek recompense for their pain and suffering.
An experienced Newport Beach truck accident attorney can help their client calculate the appropriate compensation for pain and suffering to include in their personal injury action. In California, there is no cap on non-economic damages in most personal injury cases, so it’s possible for pain and suffering to form the bulk of the plaintiff’s overall recovery.
Working with an experienced Newport Beach personal injury lawyer is the best strategy if you are unsure how to recover from your truck accident damages. Easton & Easton strives to help every client we represent maximize the compensation they obtain from their personal injury claims.
Truck Accident Injuries Case FAQs
Q: Will My Truck Accident Case Go to Court?
A: Most personal injury claims in the United States end in a private settlement. However, a truck accident claim could unfold in litigation if the defendant contests liability, if more than one party bears fault for the accident, or if the accident happened due to any kind of illegal activity. Your Newport Beach truck accident attorney can advise you whether you need to prepare for courtroom proceedings to resolve your case.
Q: What Happens If I’m Partially at Fault for a Truck Accident?
A: California upholds a pure comparative negligence statute. This means that if a plaintiff is partially at fault for causing their damages, they lose a portion of their award that reflects their level of responsibility for causing the incident in question. For example, a plaintiff found 20% at fault for a personal injury would lose 20% of their final case award under the pure comparative negligence statute. Your attorney can help you determine your best options if you are concerned about comparative negligence factoring into your case.
Q: How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
A: You can recover substantial compensation if you have endured significant losses from a truck accident. The exact potential value of your claim hinges on many variables, including the severity of your injuries, the extent of medical care you require, the long-term or permanent effects of your accident, and the defendant’s actions. Your attorney can provide a rough estimate of the total damages you can seek from the defendant in your claim.
Q: Is It Worth Hiring a Newport Beach Truck Accident Attorney?
A: Hiring experienced legal counsel is the best strategy for anyone facing a complex personal injury case in California. If you have concerns about the potential cost of hiring an attorney, Easton & Easton accepts cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing upfront for our counsel and only part with a percentage of your final case award as our fee, but only once we win your case. Always verify a potential attorney’s billing policy before signing a contract for their representation.
Working quickly after any personal injury is vital to ensure the best chances of recovery. Your case may seem very complex and tedious, but the right legal counsel on your side allows you to approach the situation with peace of mind. Easton & Easton can provide the support and reassurance you need after a damaging truck accident in the Newport Beach, CA, area. If you believe another party bears fault for the truck accident you recently experienced and you want to hold them accountable for your losses, contact Easton & Easton to schedule your consultation with a Newport Beach truck accident attorney you can trust.