How Do Truck Accident Claims and Lawsuits Work?

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After suffering injuries in a truck accident, you might be interested in learning more about how truck accident claims and lawsuits work. Arash Law, led by the renowned attorney Arash Khorsandi, Esq., is here to guide you in learning what you need to know about truck accident claims and lawsuits. One of the first things you should know is that you may not need to go through litigation at all.

According to the American Bar Association, many claimants can claim the compensation they need without going to court. But it does not apply to all because every case is unique. You may file a case against the responsible party if you and the insurance company failed to reach a settlement or they denied any liability.

A few days after the accident, you might want to settle. However, in some cases, the claims and litigation process can take months. Under Section 335.1 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, an action for an injury or the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another shall be filed within two years from the date the cause of action accrues.

If you fail to act within this period, you are forever barred from filing any lawsuits related to your injuries and losses. Simply put, you can no longer assert your claims beyond two years from the accident date as a general rule. Otherwise, the judge or jury will dismiss your case outright. That is why you should not sleep on your rights.

Claims And Lawsuits: How Do They Work?

There are many layers to truck accident claims and lawsuits. The usual steps include:

  • Initial Investigation – This involves gathering evidence and conducting interviews with witnesses to determine the party at fault and the basis of the claim.
  • Filing of Claim – In requires submission of a formal injury demand letter against the insurance company to notify them of the representation, details of the injuries you have suffered, and the number of claims.
  • Negotiation of Settlement – This involves dialogue with the trucking company’s insurance to reach a fair settlement offer.
  • Filing of case in court – If the negotiation fails, filing a lawsuit is required.
  • Discovery Process – Prior to the start of your case, all parties will enter into the process of “discovery.” This stage allows the lawyers for the plaintiff and defendant to review the case details and gather evidence. During this phase, each party may request and exchange relevant documents, witness statements, and expert reports to build their respective cases as well as submission of depositions.
  • Mediation and/or Trial – Mediation is an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process in which a mediator helps parties reach a mutually acceptable resolution. If mediation fails, the case will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the claim and amount of damages.

What Is The Importance of An Injury Demand Letter?

What Is The Importance of An Injury Demand Letter

When requesting compensation from the insurance company, you may need to send an injury demand letter. This gives you an opportunity to explain the extent of your losses, how they have affected your life, and your intention to file a lawsuit if your demand is not granted. To help the insurance company understand what you believe to be a fair settlement offer, you can also include a list of each of your incurred damages.

For other claimants who successfully get compensation from the insurance company, the process of recovery is completed after filing an injury demand letter. Unfortunately, some insurance companies often leave out the best interests of people. In cases where the insurance company denied any of your claims or repeatedly offered settlements that do not cover your expenses, you may want to bring your claims to court.

Who Can I Sue in Truck Accident Cases?

To illustrate, let us assume a tired truck driver hit you. In that case, both the truck driver and the truck driver’s employer can be held liable if they were implementing unreasonable delivery schedules. Lawsuits are not filed against insurance companies. The cases are filed against individuals whom the insurance company may represent.

You may wonder who was at fault after a major accident. After a big rig crash, a number of parties may be responsible for paying for your damages. You can rely on us if you need help identifying the defendant(s) in your case.

For your case to succeed, you and your lawyer must:

  • Provide proof of fault and liability of the other party
  • Show the extent of your economic and non-economic damages
  • Provide estimated costs of your losses
  • Argue that the accident-related expenses should be the financial responsibility of the other party

The success of your case in a personal injury lawsuit will rest on the discretion of an attending judge. Because of the stress and challenges that are present with litigation, many claimants choose to work with a lawyer to represent their interests.

The presiding judge is the one who determines the success of your personal injury lawsuit. Many claimants decide to engage the services of lawyers to protect their interests because litigation can be stressful and challenging.

Who Can I Sue in Truck Accident Cases

Recoverable Damages in a Truck Accident

You may still have some questions regarding the types of damages you can recover, even after learning how truck accident claims and lawsuits work. It is impossible to calculate the amount of your economic and non-economic damages without first consulting with truck accident lawyers. The amount of your settlement may be lower or higher than the average amount, depending on the circumstances of your accidents.

Your compensation will be determined by the economic and non-economic losses you sustained due to the accident. Damages to your economic interests include medical expenses, financial losses, and damage to your property.

However, either through an insurance settlement or court award, you could recover the following types of damages:

  • Medical costs (both current and future)
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional damages
  • Disability
  • Lowered Quality of Life

You may be able to claim even those costs of any expenses which are not mentioned here. You can estimate the amount of your losses by keeping track of all the documents related to your claim, including your invoices, billing statements, and receipts.

Who Is Liable In A Truck Accident in California?

The answer to this question depends on the cause of the accident and who is at fault. The four components of negligence that lead to liability are the duty of care, breach of duty, cause, and injury.

All truck drivers are responsible to the other road users, including other vehicles and pedestrians. They need to be careful to avoid inflicting harm and not be negligent when driving. Truck drivers could be held liable if they failed to follow the proper procedures and their negligence caused accidents that harmed others.

Although it is unfortunate to be involved in an accident and suffer injuries, it is favorable for the accident to have happened while traveling through California. Only a few states, including California, recognize “pure” comparative negligence. In practice, this means that even if you are partly responsible for the incidents that caused your accident, you can still seek compensation from those who are legally liable for their careless, reckless, or intentionally dangerous behavior.

In some states, it is unlawful for injury victims to recover from others if they are primarily responsible for the harm they have suffered. But in other states, victims who contributed less than 50% to the incident’s cause are not entitled to compensation. However, in California, there is no such limit on comparative negligence.

Thus, if you are found to be partially at fault for your accident, you will receive less compensation than in cases when you are not at fault at all. For example, suppose your accident-related damages are worth $100,000, and you are blamed for 25% of the accident’s causes. In that case, you can still claim approximately $75,000 in damages from those responsible for the remaining 75% of the fault.

It is important to remember that some of these liability issues are not always obvious or straightforward. In some cases, it is impossible to know if the trucking company that employs one of the drivers involved in a truck accident committed illegal practices at the time of your collision. However, an investigation by California truck accident lawyers can be helpful.

You may not be aware that you can also sue the trucking company aside from the truck driver if the trucking company forces the driver to operate. At the same time, they are exhausted and fail to maintain their fleet properly. You have to avoid making any conclusions about whether or not you have enough grounds to file a lawsuit until your lawyer has thoroughly studied your case. There are instances that you might be entitled to more compensation or damages than you thought.

What Law Applies to Truck Accidents in California?

According to California’s negligence law, any driver who is found guilty of negligence may be held accountable for the injuries and losses caused to another driver. Any motorist who sustained injuries as an outcome of a truck driver’s negligence is qualified to bring a personal injury claim.

What Makes Truck Accident Claims Complicated?

Lawyer comfortsIn contrast to the 3,000 to 4,000 pounds that passenger cars weigh when driving alongside, a semi-truck may carry a load of 80,000 pounds. Therefore, a smaller car and its occupants are at a serious disadvantage in an accident, and this is typically reflected in their injuries. Truck accidents differ significantly from other types of accidents, so experienced California accident attorneys must pursue them with out-of-the-box ideas.

Truck accident victims usually have to contend with huge insurance companies that often refuse to pay a fair amount. Plenty of trucking businesses and their insurance providers will do whatever it takes to avoid paying you the correct compensation, even if you have a valid claim.

In most crashes involving passenger cars, only one party and their insurance provider are held accountable. However, in truck accidents, anyone could be held liable, including the truck driver, the loading team, the manufacturer of the truck, and any safety equipment personnel.

While independent contractors drive some trucks, others are operated by the government or a commercial trucking corporation. Hence, multiple parties may be held responsible for your accident, depending on your case’s particular facts and circumstances.

The parties who can be held liable for your truck accident are:

  • The negligent truck driver that caused the truck accident and their insurance company
  • The employer of the truck driver (such as for failure to comply with safety protocols)
  • A mechanic who failed to repair the truck’s defective parts properly
  • The truck maker or manufacturer for flaws in the truck’s design or construction
  • The property owner who is responsible for the environmental factors of the accident
  • Truck driver unions

Since many parties are involved, identifying the party at fault and the extent of liability can be complex and challenging. At such points, the knowledge and experience of truck accident lawyers are helpful. They are skilled at handling even the trickiest personal injury cases and are familiar with the legal system.

How to Properly Deal With Insurance Settlements for Truck Accidents

Dealing with a huge trucking company or its insurance provider can be intimidating. You could even be tempted to accept the first settlement offered to you to get money to pay your bills and continue with your life.

To get you to accept an early settlement offer, insurance firms frequently undervalue those offers. Speaking with lawyers before accepting and signing any settlement offer is important. If you accept a settlement without consulting a lawyer, you can leave thousands, if not millions, of dollars on the table. Additionally, you may lose the power to protect your rights if you sign because a settlement usually contains a waiver of rights to pursue further legal remedies.

Free Consultation with a Truck Accident Attorney You Can Trust

After a truck accident, you need to act quickly to gather evidence and strengthen your case. How will you be able to focus on recovery in this case? This is where we come in. Trusted by many personal injury victims in California, our lawyers have decades of experience and are dedicated to representing you throughout the legal process. We prioritize each client’s well-being and best interests, treating each case with personalized care.

Contact Arash Law, led by Arash Khorsandi, Esq., for assistance if you or a loved one were hurt in a truck accident to obtain the most compensation – our law firm helped recover over $500 Million as compensation for our client’s losses. To discuss your legal options, call (888) 488-1391 for a free consultation today.

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DISCLAIMER: Information provided on this blog is not formal legal advice. It is generic legal information. Under no circumstances should the information on this page be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal action. Always obtain a free and confidential case evaluation from a reputable attorney near you if you think you might have a personal injury lawsuit.

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