Laguna Niguel Truck Accident Lawyer

If you were hit by a truck on the road and sustained injuries, you may be struggling to sort out the aftermath and looking for answers. With so many commercial trucks on overcrowded roads these days, the sad fact is that truck accidents are a common occurrence. You may be wondering who will pay for the damages you have sustained – which can include medical expenses, lost wages, or even lost future earning capacity depending on your injuries. Fortunately, a dedicated personal injury attorney could help with the recovery of your damages.

In addition to compensation for your injuries, you might be entitled to damages for psychological or emotional suffering. If a court finds that the negligent party acted in a way that was willful or reckless, you might also be entitled to punitive damages. A Laguna Niguel truck accident lawyer could provide you with detailed answers and walk you through the steps to filing your personal injury claim.

Establishing Negligence in a Truck Accident Case

To have a claim for damages following a truck accident, the injured party must be able prove there was negligence on the part of the truck driver. A Laguna Niguel tractor-trailer crash lawyer could provide clarity in this regard. The following are some examples of negligent behavior on the part of the truck driver:

  • The driver failed to follow traffic laws
  • The driver had inadequate training
  • The driver had been on the road too long without stopping for a break
  • The driver was operating an oversized truck on a narrow road
  • The driver was unfit to perform their job
  • The driver was driving an overloaded truck
  • The driver did not have adequate experience to be operating the vehicle
  • The trucking company that employed the driver was unqualified or unfit

Truck drivers must operate under a strict duty of care as outlined by the regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). For example, they must document their hours of service and drive no more than ten hours per day. They must be able to properly load their cargo and handle any hazardous materials with special care. Other common reasons truck drivers act negligently include texting while driving, speeding, running a red light, and falling asleep at the wheel.

Can a Third Party Be Liable?

In many cases, a court will find third parties vicariously liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, such as the trucking company, the truck owner, the manager, and any applicable insurance companies. When a court finds that a truck driver and other third parties breached their duty of care by acting negligently or failing to act, thereby causing the accident that resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries, it will award the plaintiff compensation in the form of a settlement.

Comparative Negligence in Trucking Accidents

California law follows a comparative negligence model for civil claims. That means that a court will conduct an assessment to determine what percentage, if any, the injured party was at fault for causing the accident. If the court finds fault on the part of the plaintiff, the settlement award total will be reduced by that percentage of fault.

For example, if an injured party was found to be 20 percent responsible for the collision, they will only receive 80 percent of their final damages award. A nearby truck accident attorney could work hard to defend the plaintiff against liability accusations. Even if a court deems an injured party to be 99 percent liable for the crash, California law still allows the injured party to recover that final one percent of compensation.

Contact a Laguna Niguel Truck Accident Attorney for Assistance

Following a truck accident, navigating the process of filing your claim without help can be overwhelming and stressful. A Laguna Niguel truck accident lawyer could help you feel confident that your rights are being adequately represented while you focus on your physical recovery. Contact a legal professional today to discuss how you could secure compensation.