The average settlement for large truck accident claims in the US is around $425,000. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident or lost a loved one in a truck-related accident, you could be entitled to such a settlement. To find out if the damages you experienced in a truck accident may be a legitimate personal injury claim, speak with a Stockton truck accident lawyer.
According to recent yearly statistics reported by the US Department of Transportation, there are more than 6,300 large truck accidents annually in California, 3,300 of those being accidents involving semi-trucks. Furthermore, these accidents result in around 2,000 injuries each year. These accidents can cause serious consequences and result in life-changing personal injuries.
Last year alone, there were approximately 300 fatal semi-truck accidents in California that claimed the lives of truck drivers, other vehicle drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. In fact, California had the second highest number of truck accidents in the country, second only to Texas.
The Ward Firm takes an aggressive approach to the representation of their clients involved in personal injury claims that result from truck accidents. Our firm believes each one of our clients deserves personal attention and high-quality legal services.
With legal team members who have experienced both sides of the courtroom, as founding lawyer Justin L. Ward is a former prosecutor for a personal injury insurance defense firm, The Ward Firm is well-equipped to handle your Stockton truck accident claim.
Why Are There So Many Truck Accidents?
There are many types of trucking accidents that occur on the road due to a number of reasons. Long hours and short breaks too often result in driver fatigue, which causes drivers to get drowsy behind the wheel, which results in them paying less concentration on the road.
Also, the generally large size of trucks contributes to frequent accidents because their size makes it difficult to maneuver them in the wake of obstacles such as sudden traffic stops, debris in the road, dozing off, or accidental swerving. To recover from one of these types of road hazards is more difficult for a truck than for a smaller vehicle.
Why Hire a Stockton Truck Accident Lawyer
Enlisting the legal assistance of a truck accident lawyer in Stockton, CA is essential in getting the compensation you deserve for your personal injury claim. In fact, there’s a chance your claim could be denied altogether, but with the representation of an accident attorney, the chances of your claim getting rejected go down significantly. There are a couple of reasons why an attorney could benefit your case. The primary reasons are described below.
Due to the high number of commercial truck accidents and related personal injury claims filed each year, insurance companies that support the trucking industry are quick to find any reason to deny a claim and avoid having to pay it. An experienced attorney can provide the legal advice necessary to prevent insurance companies from getting out of compensating you.
When necessary to prove liability, credible and professional witnesses must be called on to verify who was at fault for the accident. Additionally, medical professionals may be needed to confirm injuries. An attorney with a successful track record for personal injury cases has a network of existing connections to call on. Attorneys know who to call and when to call them to build a strong case.
Proving negligence may also mean investigating deeper elements involved with the accident. For example, if the accident was caused due to the truck company’s failure to perform proper maintenance on the vehicle. This would make the truck company liable for the accident rather than the truck driver, which may not be revealed without a complex analysis of the case details. A detail like this can optimize the settlement amount.
Not only do insurance companies try to deny claimants a settlement altogether, but when they do pay, they prefer to pay the lowest amount possible. In fact, many people don’t know that the insurance company’s first offer is their lowest offer. A knowledgeable attorney can effectively negotiate a settlement that reaches the maximum payout the insurance adjuster is willing to pay.
The legal system is complicated, but with the guidance of a Stockton truck accident lawyer who is well-versed in California personal injury laws and statutes, you don’t need to learn every facet of the law to determine what applies to your case. An attorney can explain the applicable laws and answer your questions in a clear and straightforward manner. Understanding your options makes navigating the process easier.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Truck Accident in CA?
The California statute of limitations for large truck-related accidents is two years. If you file a claim outside of this timeframe following your accident, no matter its validity, the court is not likely to hear your case. In most instances, it will be automatically dismissed. Thus, it is not recommended to wait to file a claim because oftentimes, essential evidence necessary to prove negligence tends to lose merit as time passes.
For instance, memories are not as clear, witnesses disappear, the site of the accident is changed either naturally or by development, and it becomes overall harder to convince the court that compensation is in order. It is also important to note that claims against government employers have a statute of limitations of just six months, making it imperative to contact a Stockton truck accident lawyer as soon as possible following your accident to get your personal injury claim started.
How Much Are Most Truck Accident Settlements?
The amount of a truck accident injury claim settlement can vary depending on the severity of the injury, comparable negligence, and the necessary expenses to cover medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even punitive damages. These are explained in more detail below.
Comparative negligence – California’s comparative negligence law allows defendants in personal injury accident cases to establish comparative negligence against the plaintiff. If there is adequate evidence to show that the other party was at fault to some percentage, the plaintiff’s compensation will be diminished by that percentage, and the defendant can even receive compensation for the difference in damages.
Medical expenses – A settlement amount can be affected by medical expenses that may include hospital bills, ambulance, emergency room costs, the cost of treatment, rehabilitation, medication, or equipment necessary for the treatment or rehabilitation of injuries caused due to the negligence of the at-fault party.
Property damage – The cost of repair or replacement for the property damaged by the accident, such as the claimant’s vehicle, can affect a settlement.
Lost wages – If the injury incurred by the accident causes the claimant to miss work for an extended period of time, those lost wages can be compensated in a personal injury settlement. Future lost wages may also be a factor.
Pain and suffering – Painful, psychological, and distressing injuries incurred by the accident, such as physical pain, emotional distress, or mental anguish, can be compensated in a personal injury settlement claim if those injuries were a result of the truck accident in question.
Punitive damages – In order to punish the defendant for their negligence, courts sometimes award punitive damages to injured victims when the at-fault party willfully endangered others, such as by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In many cases, all of the above-mentioned factors can affect the final settlement award amount, and even then, the insurance company may still be in a position to negotiate the amount. While the average settlement award for personal injury victims of truck accidents is around $425,000, having an established Stockton personal injury lawyer represent you and communicate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf can potentially maximize any settlement award.
How Much Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?
A Stockton truck accident lawyer who works on a contingency fee will cost their client nothing unless they win their settlement case. If they win, the attorney will receive a percentage of the settlement amount as pay. There is no hourly fee. What makes contingency fee billing even better is that it motivates the attorney to win the case, and this drive remains high throughout the case.
Hiring a Stockton Truck Accident Injury Attorney
If you or someone you know was involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, semi-truck, big rig, or other large truck in which another driver was at fault, you could very well be entitled to compensation for any injuries, property damage, pain, suffering, or lost wages that you incurred as a result of the accident. Alternatively, if you were the at-fault party in such an accident, you may not be completely responsible for the entirety of the damages and injuries caused by the accident.
The only way to truly know if your accident injury is eligible for compensation for a personal injury settlement is to speak with a Stockford truck accident attorney. The sooner you speak with an attorney, the better, due to the impending statute of limitations explained previously. Don’t wait another minute to contact The Ward Firm and speak with a member of our legal team to learn how our qualified truck accident attorneys can benefit you and your personal injury case.
Schedule a Free Consultation
At your free initial consultation, you will meet directly with Justin, and he will explain how he can best help you with your case. If you decide to work with us, we will immediately get started on creating a strategy that protects your interests.
To get more information, call our office at 916-443-2474 or send us an email using our contact form. We are available by phone 24 hours a day. Se habla español.
The Ward Firm is open and actively assisting clients with personal injury, criminal, and employment related matters, and we do not anticipate any interruption in representation. However, please understand that all appointments will be telephonic as we observe the CDC's recommended social distancing.