Working with a California Trucking Accidents Lawyer
Any type of vehicle accident can result in devastating injuries and significant economic damages, but accidents involving large trucks are almost always among the most damaging. If you have suffered injuries or financial losses in any type of accident with a large truck, call our firm. A Sacramento, California truck accident attorney can help you determine the best steps to take toward recovery. The Ward Firm is ready and able to assist you after such an accident. Our firm has the skills and experience to guide you through your claim and reach a desirable outcome.
Why Choose the Ward Firm?
Attorney Justin L. Ward is a firm believer in aggressive, high-quality legal representation for every client in every type of case. With extensive experience in both criminal defense and personal injury law, Attorney Ward has the skills necessary to handle the most challenging truck accident cases. It’s essential for any Sacramento, California 18-wheeler accident lawyers to understand the complexities of truck accidents and how these cases tend to involve multiple defendants. Even if liability isn’t immediately clear with your truck accident claim, the Ward Firm can help you obtain the recovery you need to get your life back to normal after a serious truck accident.
Our legal team has successfully represented many truck accident claims in the past, and we’re familiar with the types of evidence and legal concepts that come into play with these claims. If you suffered injuries and other damages from a truck accident and are unsure who is to blame or whether you have grounds for legal action, we can help.
Why Do I Need a Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer?
You might think that your truck accident case is clear enough that you do not need to invest in legal representation for your claim. However, a truck accident is likely to be anything but simple. Truck accidents tend to raise complex questions of liability and result in significant damages. It is essential for an injured plaintiff to understand the value of legal representation, especially when a Sacramento truck accident lawyer offers contingency fee billing.
A contingency fee agreement means that the plaintiff pays legal fees as a portion of their final case award, not by the hour. If the client loses their case, they pay nothing in legal fees. Most personal injury attorneys offer contingency fee billing; therefore, it makes no sense to accept losing cases. If you approach a Sacramento truck accident lawyer for representation in a personal injury case and they accept with a contingency fee agreement, consider this a good indication the attorney believes you will win your case.
Hiring an experienced Sacramento trucking accident attorney is essential, especially after suffering severe injuries. It is incredibly difficult to handle legal proceedings without an attorney, but it is especially hard to do so while recovering from serious injuries. Consider your choice to hire a Sacramento truck accidents lawyer an investment in the success of your case. The right attorney will handle all your procedural matters with the court, such as the submissions of necessary forms and documents and providing supplemental documentation for various court proceedings. You can rest assured knowing your truck accident claim is in capable hands when you choose Attorney Justin Ward as your Sacramento trucking accident attorney.
Can I Sue for Being Hit by a Semi-Truck?
If you are struck by a tractor-trailer, you will likely suffer severe enough injuries that a loved one may need to take responsibility for your legal action if you are incapacitated. Tractor-trailers weigh tens of thousands of pounds and stand more than 12 feet tall, far outsizing most passenger vehicles on the road. Vehicles involved in trucking accidents often sustain serious damage or are completely totaled.
You have grounds to take legal action for a semi-truck collision if you believe the accident occurred due to the negligence of the truck driver or one or more other parties. For example, a third-party driver who swerved suddenly in front of a semi-truck and caused an accident would be liable for the chain reaction of collisions this is likely to cause. A truck driver who causes an accident due to drinking and driving will likely face criminal action in addition to civil liability. If their employer should have caught their likelihood of engaging in DUI with a background check, the employer will likely absorb vicarious liability, too.
These are just a few examples of how truck accident claims can be complex legal issues. If you believe you have solid grounds to take legal action for a recent trucking accident, contact our office. It is best to meet with a Sacramento trucks accident lawyer as soon as possible to determine your best legal strategy.
How Do I Pick the Best Truck Accident Attorney?
Finding the right attorney to handle your truck accident claim is the first step in securing compensation for your losses. This is an important decision, so take your time and make an informed and calculated decision about your legal representation. Start your search for the right attorney by asking for recommendations from friends, family, and coworkers. If anyone you know recently took any type of legal action for a truck accident, they can potentially point you in the direction of a reliable Sacramento trucking accident attorney.
Take advantage of free consultation offers and develop a list of questions to ask potential attorneys during these meetings. Your questions should consist of several questions that will allow you to gauge the attorney’s experience and willingness to represent you as well as specific questions about your case. Ultimately, it is best to trust your instincts and choose the Sacramento trucks accident lawyer who makes you feel the most confident about your position.
Your truck accident lawyer will perform several valuable services during your legal proceedings. They should begin by fully reviewing your case and investigating all available evidence for credibility. Next, they should identify any individuals who can provide eyewitness testimony or expert witness testimony to support your case. Your attorney will also handle court filings and keep you updated about your legal proceedings.
Determining Negligence in a Truck Accident Claim
One of the most important aspects of any personal injury claim is negligence, or a failure to act with reasonable care. In most personal injury lawsuits, one party, the defendant, was negligent in such a way that it resulted in injury or financial harm to another party, the plaintiff. Negligence may or may not be immediately clear. It’s always possible for a defendant to claim the plaintiff filing a personal injury lawsuit is the one responsible for the claimed damages.
All drivers in California have a duty of care to drive responsibly and follow the rules of the road. However, truck drivers and other commercial drivers who operate large vehicles as part of their job duties are held to a higher standard. These individuals have a responsibility to use extra caution on California roads. When truck drivers fail in this responsibility, the sheer size of their vehicles can cause devastating damage.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff filing the suit must identify the defendant and, with the help of an attorney, prove the defendant failed to act with reasonable care in a given situation and directly caused the plaintiff’s claimed damages. To prove negligence in a personal injury lawsuit, a plaintiff’s attorney must establish that the defendant in the case owed the plaintiff a duty to act with reasonable care, failed to meet this obligation, and directly caused the plaintiff’s claimed damages.
Comparative Negligence in California
The defendant may counter the plaintiff’s claim and offer their own evidence to establish comparative negligence on part of the plaintiff. California follows a pure comparative negligence law, meaning a plaintiff can still recover compensation even if they are partially responsible for the claimed damages. Unlike many other states that follow modified comparative negligence laws and bar recovery if the plaintiff is more at fault than a defendant, California does not bar the plaintiff’s recovery, even if the plaintiff proves to be more at fault for the claimed damages than the defendant.
How Can Truck Accidents Be Prevented?
Some truck accidents occur to forces beyond anyone’s control, but many serious truck accidents could have been prevented in many different ways. Truck drivers, their employers, and all drivers on the road can prevent truck accidents by being safe, defensive drivers and by following a few simple best practices:
- All drivers should refrain from aggressive driving at all times, such as speeding, swerving, weaving between lanes of traffic, or changing lanes without signaling. These actions can startle other drivers, including truck drivers whose vehicles are not as maneuverable as smaller passenger cars.
- Driving under the influence is incredibly dangerous for the impaired driver and every other driver around them. When trucking accidents happen because of DUI, the offender is likely to face severe criminal penalties in addition to civil liability for the damages the accident caused.
- All drivers should be wary of large tractor-trailers and pass around them with care. All vehicles have blind spots where drivers cannot see other vehicles nearby, and these blind spots are much larger for commercial trucks.
- Trucking companies and organizations that employ truck drivers must develop and maintain robust background check procedures for their drivers. Employers must assign drivers to routes appropriate for their experience levels, verify all drivers possess necessary certifications, and ensure ongoing training as required by state and federal laws. Properly vetting and hiring processes help to ensure that dangerous truck drivers do not have the chance to cause serious accidents.
- Proper truck maintenance can prevent semi-truck accidents caused by mechanical failures. Bursting tires, damaged brakes, and other maintenance issues can cause accidents. When they do, the party responsible for performing maintenance on the truck in question absorbs liability for the aftermath.
Unfortunately, not everyone will follow these best practices, and truck accidents can and do happen in Sacramento and throughout the US. When they do, proper legal representation is the best asset in your pursuit of recovery.
Potential Recovery from a Truck Accident Claim in California
An accident with a semi-truck can result in serious injuries, expensive or irreparable damage to the victim’s vehicle, and lost income from missed time at work while the victim recovered. These accidents can also be incredibly traumatic. In some situations, an injured plaintiff can claim compensation for the traumatizing experience and pain suffered as a result of their injuries. A Sacramento, California semi-truck accident attorney can help a plaintiff recover various types of damages from a successful lawsuit, including:
- Medical expenses. An attorney can seek compensation for the plaintiff’s medical expenses directly resulting from the defendant’s negligence, such as hospital bills, ambulance fees, and any costs incurred for necessary long-term rehabilitative treatment.
- Lost income. If the plaintiff’s injuries force the plaintiff to miss work for an extended time, the plaintiff’s attorney can fight for compensation for wages lost during that time. Additionally, if the plaintiff’s injuries prevent them from returning to work, their attorney may move to seek compensation for lost future income.
- Property damage. A truck accident involving a smaller passenger car will at the very least partially damage the smaller vehicle, if not completely destroy it. The plaintiff’s attorney will seek compensation for the cost of repairing the damage to the plaintiff’s vehicle or replacing the vehicle.
- Pain and suffering. Plaintiffs who experience painful injuries and/or develop psychological distress from their truck accidents can seek compensation for their physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress resulting from their accidents.
- Punitive damages. In cases where a defendant acted with willful disregard for the safety of others or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the court may award punitive damages to the plaintiff to further punish the defendant, often with the intent of discouraging similar behavior from others.
Recovery in a personal injury lawsuit exists to help an injured plaintiff become “whole” again after sustaining injuries and other damages from another party’s negligence.
Choose a Reliable Sacramento, California Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accident cases could involve one or more defendants depending on how the accident happened. The truck driver’s employer may absorb liability in some situations while the driver may absorb full liability in other scenarios. If a failure to conduct proper maintenance on the 18-wheeler caused the accident, the trucking company or maintenance personnel responsible for the vehicle’s maintenance could be responsible. Ultimately, these cases can be deceptively complex, and experienced legal representation is a necessity for any plaintiff who wishes to maximize their recovery.
The Ward Firm is here to help if you need a Sacramento, California semi-truck accident lawyer in your corner. We will help you recover your medical expenses, lost income, property damages, and pain and suffering resulting from your recent truck accident. Call us today at (916) 694-0730 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with attorney Justin L. Ward at our Sacramento, California office.