Commercial trucks are essential to California’s economy and the supply chain of the United States. These large vehicles transport important goods and materials to communities throughout the country every day. While most drivers in Orange County are used to seeing large trucks on local roads without issue, it is important to acknowledge that truck accidents do happen in various ways, often with devastating effects on those involved.
If you believe another party is responsible for a truck accident that injured you or a loved one in Orange County, you need legal counsel you can trust to help you navigate the difficult proceedings ahead of you. The right attorney can help prove fault for your accident, guide you through the insurance claim filing process, and assist you in building a comprehensive personal injury claim when insurance alone can’t compensate you for your damages.
Every truck accident case filed in Orange County is unique, and no two victims will have the exact same recovery experience or encounter the same legal challenges as they seek compensation for their damages. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Steven Zwick have successfully represented many clients throughout Orange County in a wide range of civil cases, and we know the challenges you could face in a truck accident claim. The sooner you reach out to our team for assistance, the more time we have to build a compelling case for you.
It’s technically possible for you to file an auto insurance claim and a personal injury suit by yourself after a truck accident, but success with these recovery efforts is more likely when you have experienced legal counsel on your side. The average person is likely to make procedural mistakes with their case when they try to handle it alone, and even if they succeed, they would be likely to overlook valuable avenues of compensation.
If you tried to handle your case by yourself, you would be faced with a complex insurance claim filing process in which the insurance carrier may attempt to take advantage of you. If you must file a civil suit to fully recover, you could overlook key pieces of evidence you need to prove fault, or you may unintentionally settle for less than you deserve. You would contend with court filing deadlines and other procedural obligations while also struggling with the medical effects of your accident, and you could encounter obstacles that you have no idea how to overcome by yourself.
The right Orange County truck accident attorney is an invaluable asset, no matter how simple or complex you believe your case to be. Instead of trying to compile the evidence and documentation you will need for the insurance claim filing process and a subsequent personal injury case, you can have your attorney manage your legal affairs for you while you focus on resting and recovering from your injuries with peace of mind. As your case unfolds, they can be ready to answer your legal questions and address any concerns that arise.
You are not only more likely to succeed with an auto insurance claim and a personal injury case when you have legal counsel you can trust on your side, but also more likely to recover maximum compensation under California law. The Law Offices of Steven Zwick can provide responsive legal advice through every step of your recovery efforts, ultimately guiding you toward the recovery you legally deserve.
The state enforces the fault rule for car accidents, meaning the driver at fault for an accident is liable for all resulting damages. While fault for your recent accident might appear to be clear at first, the reality is that proving liability is more challenging in truck accident claims than it is in standard passenger vehicle accident cases.
The trucking industry is heavily regulated at the state and federal levels, and trucking companies and other businesses that employ commercial truck drivers must meet strict rules for managing their employees. It’s possible for the employer of the driver who caused your accident to share fault for your damages under the legal concept of vicarious liability. This issue often comes into play whenever an employer bears partial fault for the actions of their employee. For example, if the employer of the driver who caused your accident never performed the required background check on the driver and doing so could have prevented your accident, the employer is likely to face vicarious liability for your damages.
It is also possible for more than one driver to share fault for a truck accident. The state’s pure comparative negligence law means that each liable party will have a fault percentage assigned to them, reflecting their respective shares of liability for the victim’s damages. It is also possible for a plaintiff in a civil suit to have a fault percentage assigned to them, and this would diminish the recovery they obtain in a personal injury case.
Proving fault for a truck accident typically requires a combination of various forms of evidence, such as traffic camera footage, cell phone records, vehicle computer data, and testimony from others involved in the accident or from those who saw it happen firsthand. Once you prove liability for the truck accident, you can begin calculating your claimable damages and seeking compensation from the defendant or defendants responsible for the harm you suffered.
Every California driver is legally required to have auto insurance, and this rule applies to trucking companies and truck drivers as well. In fact, many trucking companies have insurance coverage that extends beyond the minimum requirements enforced by the law. However, this does not mean that insurance alone will fully compensate you for your damages or that dealing with an insurance claim will be easy.
Most insurance companies train their claim adjusters and representatives to look for reasons to deny claims or justify the lowest possible settlements. In many cases, they are hoping that the claimant’s desperation compels them to accept whatever they can get as quickly as possible rather than fighting for a larger settlement. Some insurance companies go as far as to engage in unethical, bad-faith tactics to avoid paying out on claims. When you have an experienced Orange County truck accident lawyer representing you, you are far less likely to encounter such issues. Your attorney can resolve any problems you encounter with the insurance claim filing process and ensure you receive a fair settlement.
Whenever the defendant’s insurance cannot fully compensate the plaintiff’s damages, the plaintiff has the right to file a personal injury claim against the defendant. The goal of any personal injury claim filed in Orange County is for the plaintiff to receive the compensation they need to recover from their damages as fully as possible. Success with a personal injury case requires proof that the defendant is directly responsible for causing the plaintiff’s claimed damages and evidence showing the full extent of those damages. Additionally, the plaintiff must prove their damages did not occur from any other cause.
The plaintiff has the right to seek various forms of compensation from the defendant, typically divided into economic and non-economic designations. Economic damages are straightforward and proven with the appropriate documentation. These include the direct financial effects of the injury. California law allows a personal injury plaintiff to claim property damage, medical expenses, and lost income as economic damages.
It’s important for the plaintiff to keep in mind that this rule applies to both immediate and future economic damages. For example, you can not only claim compensation for your immediate medical expenses but also the cost of any future care you will need to reach maximum improvement. Similarly, if your ability to work is diminished by your injury, the defendant is liable for lost income and lost future earning capacity if you cannot return to work in the future.
Non-economic damages in a personal injury claim include intangible losses like physical pain, psychological trauma, and emotional distress caused by a defendant. There is no limit to how much a plaintiff can seek for their pain and suffering in a truck accident case, and the amount sought from the defendant should reasonably reflect the overall severity of the plaintiff’s experience.
Attorneys typically use two methods for calculating pain and suffering compensation for their clients. The first is the multiplier method, often used for plaintiffs who have suffered extreme permanent damage. The attorney multiplies their total economic damages by a factor of one to five to reflect the severity of their condition and then adds this amount to the claim. The second method is the per diem method, which is more applicable to plaintiffs who are expected to fully recover from their injuries in the short term. The attorney sets a daily compensation rate and then multiplies this amount by the number of days it takes the plaintiff to fully recover.
If your accident happened because the defendant broke the law, you could also receive punitive damages alongside your claimed losses. The plaintiff does not necessarily claim punitive damages directly. Instead, they are assigned at the discretion of the judge handling the case. The judge will typically base their determination on the defendant’s financial status and the severity of their actions. It is also possible for a plaintiff in a civil suit to receive restitution from the defendant as an element of their sentence in a criminal trial. Your Orange County truck accident attorney can advise you as to what you can expect in terms of punitive damages and/or restitution to reflect the illegal behavior that caused your injury.
The actual process of finalizing your recovery efforts after a truck accident can be more time-consuming than you might initially expect. Having an experienced Orange County truck accident attorney assisting you can streamline this process, from helping you file your auto insurance claim to building a comprehensive personal injury claim that compels the defendant to seek a settlement.
Most personal injury claims are resolved through settlement negotiation. This is a private process that allows the parties involved in a civil case to reach mutually agreeable terms while avoiding the stress and expense of litigation. As long as the defendant accepts liability for the damages and the plaintiff has experienced legal counsel on their side, it is possible to settle a civil case in a matter of weeks to a few months. By comparison, litigation takes much longer, potentially more than a year, to complete for a complex case. Additionally, the final outcome of a litigated civil suit rests entirely in the hands of the judge.
When you choose The Law Offices of Steven Zwick to represent your truck accident claim, our goal is to help you recover as fully as possible and as quickly as possible. We will aim to settle your case if we can, but our team is prepared to represent you in the courtroom if necessary. You have a limited time in which to file your personal injury claim and an even shorter time limit on an auto insurance claim after an accident. The sooner you reach out to our firm for assistance, the more time we will have to build the strongest possible case for you and the more likely you will be to maximize your recovery.
A: Hiring legal representation to help with your truck accident case may not be strictly required under the law, but the right attorney can make a tremendous positive difference in the outcome of your truck accident claim. You could encounter various unexpected legal challenges that you will not know how to resolve alone, and an attorney can not only address these issues for you but also increase your chances of maximizing your recovery.
A: If you can prove another party is directly responsible for causing your recent accident, you have the right to seek recompense for any damages they inflicted with their illegal misconduct or negligence. Your successful case could yield compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost income, and lost future earning capacity. You also have the right to seek pain and suffering compensation, and there is no limit to how much you can claim in a truck accident case. Your Orange County truck accident attorney can offer an estimate of your case’s total potential value.
A: You only have a few days after your recent accident to file an insurance claim, but even if you have no issues with the claim, you may not recover full compensation for your damages. If you must file a personal injury claim to recover fully, you have two years in which to file your claim. This statute of limitations begins on the date your accident happened, and it is always advisable to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to have the greatest chance of success with your case.
A: Under California’s pure comparative fault law, you can bear partial liability for your recent accident and still recover compensation for your losses. You will have a fault percentage assigned that reflects your level of liability for causing the accident. This percentage is how much of your case award you will lose as a penalty. For example, 10% fault means you lose 10% of the total compensation recovered from the defendant. Your attorney can help minimize your fault percentage to alleviate any such penalty.
A: There is no need to worry about overly expensive legal fees when you choose The Law Offices of Steven Zwick to represent your truck accident case. We take these claims on a contingency fee basis, so our client only parts with a percentage of their final case award as our fee. Additionally, they will only owe this fee if and when we win their case. There are no upfront legal fees and no fees at all if we are unable to secure compensation for your damages.
The right attorney can help you navigate the complex legal issues that you are likely to encounter in the aftermath of a truck accident. The team at The Law Offices of Steven Zwick has years of professional experience helping clients throughout Orange County with all types of vehicle accident cases, including truck accident claims. We’re ready to put this experience to work for you in your recovery efforts, so contact us today to schedule your free consultation with an Orange County truck accident attorney you can trust with your case.