Riverside Truck Accident Attorney
The Riverside area is a busy metropolitan center of southern California, and many commercial truck drivers navigate the local roads to perform vital deliveries. If you drive in Riverside, you are likely accustomed to seeing various commercial vehicles on a regular basis, from local delivery trucks to large tractor-trailers. While most drivers encounter such vehicles without any problems, it is vital for all drivers to recognize the dangers they present and the severity of the accidents they can cause.
Any motor vehicle accident can potentially inflict severe injuries on those involved, some of which may be life-changing. However, truck accidents are especially dangerous due to their large size and the difficulty victims often have in proving liability. The first step in recovering from any vehicle accident in California is proving how the accident happened and who caused it. When it comes to truck accidents, this is typically far more challenging than it is in most other vehicle accident cases.
Easton & Easton can provide the reassurance and support you need when you are recovering from a serious truck accident that someone else caused. Our team has extensive professional experience handling all types of personal injury claims in Riverside, including those that implicate truck drivers and/or their employers. Regardless of the cause of your recent truck accident, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible. We can help you rest and recover from your injuries with peace of mind as we assist you in determining your best options for legal recourse.
How to Prove Liability for a Trucking Accident in Riverside
California upholds the fault rule for resolving vehicle accident claims. This means that whatever party is responsible for causing an accident is liable for the damages they cause to others. You must establish liability before you can pursue any type of compensation through an auto insurance claim and/or personal injury suit. You may be unsure how to prove fault for a truck accident you recently experienced. It is crucial that you speak with an experienced Riverside truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
It can be difficult to legally establish liability for any type of motor vehicle accident in Riverside, but it is especially challenging when you face a truck accident case that implicates multiple defendants. The legal issue of vicarious liability can come into play any time a trucking company or other employer bears liability for the actions of their employee. For example, if the truck driver who caused your accident was drunk behind the wheel, and their employer never verified their criminal history, which would have revealed past convictions for driving under the influence (DUI), the employer would bear vicarious liability for your damages.
In some cases, a third party in another vehicle causes an accident with a truck. The resulting impact could cause the truck to damage your vehicle as well. Ultimately, there are many ways for liability to be difficult to prove in a truck accident claim, but having the right attorney assist you is the best way to overcome such challenges and reach the best possible outcome for your case.
Commonly Reported Causes of Truck Accidents
A large commercial truck is vulnerable to all of the same risk factors that endanger other drivers. Truck accidents happen throughout California because of speeding, moving violations, and distracted driving every day. However, there are additional risk factors unique to trucks that all drivers must understand. For example, improperly loaded cargo is a significant concern because an imbalanced cargo load can cause a truck driver to lose control of their vehicle. If the truck’s cargo isn’t secured correctly, a sharp turn could lead to a rollover or tip-over accident.
Large commercial trucks also experience greater wear and tear compared to other passenger vehicles due to the time they spend on the road. Cargo balancing issues, improper maintenance, and many other risk factors all contribute to the number of truck accidents reported in the US each year. When truck maintenance is not performed correctly, the truck can experience a mechanical failure that results in a devastating crash. Failure to adhere to applicable trucking industry regulations can also lead to accidents, and the parties responsible will face harsh penalties from the oversight agencies responsible for the trucking industry.
When a truck accident occurs because of negligence, the plaintiff must prove the defendant failed to meet a specific duty of care that directly caused damages. The most commonly cited form of negligence responsible for causing vehicle accidents of all kinds is distracted driving. When an at-fault driver breaks California law in a manner resulting in severe bodily injury or death, they not only face increased penalties for breaking the law but also liability for the victim’s civil damages.
Recovering Your Damages Through an Auto Insurance Claim
California’s fault system for resolving vehicle accidents means that an at-fault driver is liable for any damages they cause to others, and the victim has the right to file a claim against their auto insurance policy. Before they can do this, they must firmly establish the defendant’s liability, proving their damages did not result from another cause. Truck drivers and their employers must have auto insurance coverage just like all other drivers, and most trucking companies maintain expansive insurance coverage. However, it is rarely easy or pleasant to deal with insurance carriers, and most look for all the reasons they can find to deny claims outright or reduce the amount they pay out on a claim.
When you have an experienced Riverside truck accident attorney representing you in the insurance claim process, they can streamline the process of securing a fair insurance claim settlement. When you choose Easton & Easton to represent you in your recovery efforts after your truck accident, you will have experienced legal counsel readily available to address your concerns throughout the claim process. Additionally, you will have the reassurance of knowing our team has dealt with the major insurance carriers covering trucking companies and drivers throughout California, and we know the tactics they typically employ in their efforts to avoid paying out claim settlements. Once an insurance company realizes that a claimant has legal counsel advising them, they will be far less inclined to attempt any bad faith tactics.
Personal Injury Claim Damages in Riverside
Unfortunately, many truck accidents have devastating results, and the insurance claim settlement an injured driver secures may only cover a fraction of their total losses. If this applies to your situation, the next phase of your recovery will be filing a personal injury suit against the driver who caused your accident. After establishing liability and securing as much compensation as possible through an insurance claim, your Riverside truck accident attorney will assess whether you have outstanding losses recoverable with a successful personal injury suit.
Most personal injury cases revolve around acts of negligence, but it is also possible for a personal injury to arise from intentional misconduct. No matter the situation, your attorney will work to secure the greatest amount of compensation attainable under California law. Your attorney will assist you in proving the full extent of the damages caused by the defendant. They will also help you gather any documentation and supporting evidence you need to prove liability.
Economic Damages in California Personal Injury Cases
When you have proven a defendant is responsible for your recent injury, state law dictates that you have the right to seek full repayment of all the financial harm they caused. This includes not only immediately recognizable economic damages but also the projected future losses their actions are likely to cause.
Medical expenses are the most commonly cited economic damages in personal injury claims. The defendant who injured you is liable for the cost of any medical care you require to heal as fully as possible from your injury. Additionally, you can hold them accountable for future medical expenses you face if you were seriously injured. Some personal injuries will demand emergency treatment immediately after they happen, and victims will go on to require ongoing therapy and other treatments until they reach maximum medical improvement from their injuries.
Similarly, you have the right to seek lost wages and lost future earning capacity from the defendant who injured you. You may not be able to work for a long time after your accident, and if you are able to eventually return to work, the defendant is responsible for repaying you for all the income you lost during your recovery. Further, if the accident left you permanently disabled and you cannot continue working at all, you may seek compensation for your lost future earning potential as well. Your Riverside truck accident attorney will be invaluable for proving the full extent of this lost future income, accounting for how much you would have reasonably expected to earn if you hadn’t been injured and could continue working until retirement.
You can also seek compensation for your vehicle repair costs and other personal property lost in the accident. While the defendant’s insurance policy may cover a portion of these losses, any remainder can be included in your civil action. Easton & Easton is experienced in handling complex personal injury claims, many of which involve extensive immediate and long-term damages. We are skilled at helping our clients uncover the full range of their economic damages, but a truck accident claim is likely to yield compensation for their noneconomic damages as well.
Defining Noneconomic Damages in California Truck Accident Cases
California law allows a plaintiff to seek compensation for the noneconomic effects a defendant’s actions have had on their life. Most people are familiar with the concept of claiming compensation for “pain and suffering,” but they may struggle to understand how one can assign a monetary value to intangible damages like physical pain and psychological trauma. A skilled Riverside truck accident attorney can be crucial in this respect, helping their client assess a fair value that reflects the severity of their experience and their condition after the accident.
Pain and suffering may be sought on a “per diem” basis, which awards a specific amount every day until the plaintiff reaches maximum medical improvement. The per diem method applies when the plaintiff is expected to fully recover from their injuries and ensures suitable compensation for the time the victim spends recovering from painful injuries. Courts typically award a per diem with the expectation of a relatively short recovery time.
When a plaintiff has suffered permanent harm of any kind, their attorney is more likely to seek a larger lump sum, calculated by multiplying the total of their economic losses by a factor that reflects the severity of the permanent harm they face. This is the more likely option for a plaintiff left permanently disabled by their truck accident, and state law does not place a cap or limit on pain and suffering compensation in truck accident claims.
Remember that it is possible for multiple defendants to share liability for a truck accident, in which case they will each receive fault percentages from the judge overseeing the case. If there are two defendants and one is found 40% at fault and the other 60% at fault, these percentages dictate how much of the plaintiff’s damages each defendant is responsible for paying. Easton & Easton has the experience and resources necessary to help our clients through the most difficult personal injury cases. While you may feel distressed and uncertain in light of your recent accident, we can help you get a clearer sense of the situation and determine the best path to recovery.
Riverside Truck Accident FAQs:
Q: Why Should I Hire a Riverside Truck Accident Attorney?
A: It is technically possible to file a truck accident claim on your own, but you have a much better chance of securing the best results when you have a Riverside truck accident lawyer representing you. Even if you are concerned about the cost of hiring your attorney, the difference they can make in your case’s outcome can be tremendous. They will make every aspect of your case easier to manage and more likely to yield positive results.
Q: How Much Does it Cost to Hire Riverside Truck Accident Lawyers?
A: Easton & Easton accept personal injury clients on a contingency basis, meaning it costs you nothing to hire our firm, and there is no risk to you if we cannot secure compensation on your behalf. A contingency agreement means the client pays no upfront fees for representation, and they only part with a percentage of their case award if the attorney wins the case. While you may be hesitant to part with a percentage of your recovery, remember that even after you account for your contingency fee, they are likely to recover far more compensation on your behalf than you could manage alone.
Q: How Long Does it Take to Settle a Truck Accident Claim in California?
A: Some truck accident claims can be resolved relatively swiftly, especially when the fault is readily apparent and the plaintiff has experienced legal counsel representing them. It behooves the defendant in such a situation to settle the case as quickly as possible. However, if the defendant denies liability or refuses to settle, the case will proceed to litigation. Any civil litigation related to a truck accident could take several months or longer to resolve.
Q: How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth in Riverside, CA?
A: California law allows you to seek full repayment of all the economic losses you sustained in your truck accident, including your lost income, medical expenses, and vehicle repair costs. You could claim compensation for immediate and future economic damages if you suffered severe injuries that have diminished your earning capacity and require ongoing care. When you combine the total of your claimable economic damages with the pain and suffering compensation you seek from the defendant, you may be surprised to learn that your case is worth much more than you expected at the outset of your case proceedings.
Q: What Happens If I Share Fault for a Truck Accident?
A: If you bear partial liability for the truck accident you recently experienced, this does not necessarily mean that you cannot seek compensation for your damages. California’s pure comparative negligence statute allows a partially at-fault plaintiff to recover compensation from the defendant who injured them, but their percentage of fault for causing the incident in question will be deducted from their case award. For example, if a plaintiff is discovered to be 25% at fault for their personal injury, they lose 25% of their case award.
Easton & Easton have helped many Riverside clients with all types of personal injury cases, including those pertaining to truck accidents. We understand the uncertainty and pain that can follow any serious accident, especially legally complex cases like truck accidents. Whatever your case entails, you have the right to seek full compensation for the damages inflicted on you by the defendant. The sooner you connect with our team, the sooner we can begin working on your case, so contact us today and schedule a consultation with a Riverside truck accident attorney you can trust with your recovery efforts.