Moreno Valley Truck Accident Attorney
According to federal data, approximately 15-20 percent of those who are fatally injured as a result of accidents involving large commercial trucks are occupants of large commercial trucks. By contrast, 10-15 percent of those fatally injured in such accidents are pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle riders. A staggering 70 percent of individuals fatally injured in large commercial truck accidents are occupants of passenger vehicles. These statistics clearly illustrate the primary reason why so many large commercial truck accidents result in severe, catastrophic, and even fatal injuries: the size and weight of large commercial trucks tend to protect their occupants and tend to cause profound damage to anything – and anyone – with which they collide.
If you have been injured as a result of an accident involving a large commercial truck, you aren’t alone. As many as 500,000 large truck accidents are reported by U.S. law enforcement annually. California experiences a significant fraction of these accidents, as millions of trucks rumble down Golden State freeways and surface streets daily. Commercial trucking is a major player in keeping California’s dynamic economy operating successfully. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of truck-related traffic – combined with challenging road conditions and the presence of California motorists who tend to be in a hurry to reach their destinations – leads to accidents, injuries, and property damage.
We are all-too-aware of the frequency with which these accidents occur and how devastating the aftermath of these collisions can be. Our firm has extensive experience successfully representing the interests of both injured truck operators and injured motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle riders alike. As a result, no matter what the circumstances surrounding your accident may be, our dedicated team has the knowledge, capability, and time-tested approach to representation you’ll need when attempting to successfully navigate your legal options in the wake of an injurious crash.
Dedicated Legal Representation for Injured Motorists and Truck Operators
Whether you were injured in an accident while driving professionally or while traveling for any other reason, our tenacious legal team will fight to ensure that your rights as an accident injury victim remain protected and respected. If you’re entitled to any kind(s) of compensation, we’ll do our utmost to see that you’re awarded the maximum amount applicable under the circumstances. Our team has earned a reputation for providing quality, client-focused, efficient, and effective legal representation. If you choose to work with our team, you can expect nothing less than our best on your behalf.
Our firm chooses to offer free consultations to all truck accident injury victims because we sincerely believe that anyone facing the legal and financial aftermath of an accident deserves to understand their legal rights. You can contact our firm directly, either online or over the phone, to schedule a no-risk, no-cost, confidential case evaluation at any time.
Determining Whether You Have Grounds to File a Personal Injury Claim
California law protects the right of injury victims to hold others legally liable for their contributions to the cause of their harm, provided that certain conditions are met. Namely, to successfully hold another liable for harm caused by an accident, it must be proven that the party in question (whether an individual person, business, or other legal entity) owed you a legal duty of care. This is usually not a difficult standard to meet in an auto accident case, as all motorists and motor vehicle manufacturers are bound to behave in ways that respect the right of all other travelers to remain safe. Then, it must be proven that the party in question breached their duty of care through negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct. Finally, it must be proven that your injuries resulted – in part or totally – from that breach.
It is important to note that you can hold motorists, truck operators, municipalities entrusted with safely maintaining roadways, trucking companies that fail to safely maintain their fleet and/or encourage unsafe driving practices, etc. legally liable for their contributions to the cause(s) of your accident, even if you were partially to blame for your collision. California is a comparative negligence state, which means that injury victims may be entitled to less compensation in the event that they are partially to blame for their harm. However, unlike the approach taken by contributory negligence states, California’s approach does not bar partially-at-fault victims from seeking compensation from others responsible for their harm altogether. Therefore, you shouldn’t refrain from exploring your legal options simply because you may have contributed to the cause(s) of your accident, as you may remain entitled to seek significant compensation from others also partially to blame.
Filing for Workers’ Compensation Benefits Following a Truck Accident
If you were driving for work – either because you make a living by driving or because you were engaged in work-related travel – at the time of your crash, you may be eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits as a result of your injuries. These benefits are almost always made available to workers injured on the job, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the injuries in question. This is because the workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system.
You are likely eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits if you are classified as a full-time or part-time employee of the company you work for. However, you may also be entitled to seek these benefits if you have been wrongfully misclassified as an independent contractor. Independent contractors are not ordinarily eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. However, many independent contractors engage in work that should rightfully entitle them to classification as employees. If you have questions about your workers’ compensation eligibility, please raise these concerns at your free consultation so that we can advise you accordingly.
Note that regardless of whether you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits or not, you may also be able to hold responsible parties accountable via a personal injury lawsuit. The primary exception to this rule is that injury victims eligible for workers’ compensation benefits may not sue their employers through the personal injury claims process, as the workers’ compensation system affords employers limited liability protection for work-related injuries and occupational illnesses.
Causation – Why Trucks Crash
Before our legal team can determine if you have cause to hold another party or parties legally liable for negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous actions or inactions, we must assess what cause(s) led to your collision occurring in the first place. There are many reasons why trucks crash. Some of these causes are immediately identifiable, while others cannot be identified until an investigation has taken place. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to avoid making assumptions about the relative strengths and weaknesses of your legal options until you’ve spoken with our team. It is entirely possible that you cannot yet know how strong your case is because you don’t yet know – at least, with certainty – all of the factors that may have played significant roles in the causation of your crash.
There are outlier causes of truck crashes not mentioned below. As a result, we will not take any “angle” of your case for granted. Our team will explore all the evidence available until we can present you with our objective assessment of who and/or what caused your crash. With that said, chances are good that one or more of the following causes of large commercial truck accidents played a role in your crash as well:
- Drowsy driving
- Drunk, drugged, or otherwise impaired driving
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Sudden or otherwise risky lane changes
- Driving in a truck operator’s blind spot(s)
- Hazardous road conditions
- Speeding (in violation of posted limits and/or operating too fast for conditions)
- Inadequate training of truck operators
- Inadequate maintenance of trucks and other vehicles
- Unsafe truck operation employment practices
- Auto defects
- Low-visibility due to weather or fire
- Unsafe passing maneuvers
- Slick road surfaces
- Failure to use turn signals
- Unsafe turning and/or merging practices
- The presence of wild and/or domestic animals
Note that some of the above truck accident causes are legally actionable (drunk driving, distracted driving, etc.) while others are not (low-visibility due to weather or fire, the presence of wild animals, etc.). What ultimately determines whether you have strong grounds to file legal action against another party is whether their negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous actions or inactions served as a substantial factor in the causation of your accident and injuries. Once our team has determined causation, we can move on to questions of fault and whether the causation of your accident is legally actionable.
Communicating with Insurers and Considering Settlement Offers
If you have not already done so, please refrain from speaking with insurance providers and others involved in your case until you’ve spoken with our firm. Most accident victims are understandably unaware that anything they say to an insurance company representative can be used as an excuse to devalue or reject their legitimate claims. Our team has extensive experience successfully negotiating with insurance providers, so you can entrust the potentially stressful process of dealing with insurance representatives to us. Our time-tested approach to these communications will help to ensure that your legitimate claim(s) are fairly valued and paid without unreasonable delay.
It is also critically important that you avoid signing any settlement-related paperwork until you’ve had an experienced lawyer review the terms of your offer. If an interested party has offered you a settlement, it is possible that the offer is both fair and fairly valued. Such settlements are usually offered by parties interested in avoiding litigation costs. However, it is also possible that the offer in question is unfairly valued and tramples on your rights as an accident victim. Such offers are generally extended by parties hoping that accident victims are so eager to receive compensation and to “move on” that they won’t fight for the amount that they deserve. If you sign a settlement contract, you will likely surrender your right to sue the party extending the offer. Don’t sign away your rights until an attorney employed by our firm – with only your interests at stake – has reviewed all relevant paperwork and provided you with an objective assessment of their findings.
It can be unquestionably difficult to summon the energy to explore your legal options in the wake of a truck accident. You are recovering from injuries and likely just want and need to rest. Know that once our experienced legal team understands the details of your situation, we’ll do our utmost to take as much stress off of your shoulders as we possibly can. We will negotiate with insurers, file claims, and build the strongest possible case on your behalf so that you can obtain the maximum amount of compensation to which you’re entitled. Please don’t wait until your finances have become unmanageable in the wake of your injuries to contact our firm. Schedule a free, risk-free, confidential consultation today to explore your options. We look forward to speaking with you.