Agoura Hills Truck Accident Lawyer
No matter how much you like to imagine your little community of Agoura Hills as a small town, it’s still just a hub within the Greater Los Angeles Area. And with that comes a steady stream of big rig traffic all along 101. You try to time it just right but “rush hour” in Southern California is an all-day affair, including eighteen wheelers at all hours of the day. You tend to squeeze the steering wheel a little tighter whenever you’re stuck in the shadows in-between two or more of these monsters. Fortunately, commercial truck drivers are typically skilled at their job and do their best to avoid accidents.
On the other hand, they’re often under impossibly tight deadlines and don’t always get the appropriate amount of sleep before their shifts. And what if a tire blows out or the truck jackknifes unexpectedly? You can’t allow these concerns to keep you off the freeway but it’s good to know what to do should you be involved in a truck accident, including how liability is established and the importance of working with an experienced Agoura Hills truck accident lawyer at Walch Law. Trucking accidents can leave a lasting impact but the money we get you can greatly help keep you and your family financially afloat and provide for the impact the accident has had on your life now and going forward. We are ready to get started today, all it takes is one call.Who’s at Fault in a Commercial Truck Accident?
There are several different factors that can contribute to a commercial truck accident, not least of which is the sheer number of parties that may be involved in different ways. Most truck drivers don’t drive trucks they own (although some do) nor do they typically haul their own loads (usually they’re contracted out to other companies). Even if it’s a matter of driver error, there could be other parties at fault (or liable) for any injuries they cause to others.
The point is, it’s complicated and seldom a matter of the driver alone being at fault for your injuries. For starters, there are three main types of commercial truck drivers:
- Owner-operators (they own their trucks and work as independent contractors or lease their truck from a trucking company)
- Company drivers (they’re employees of a trucking company, which owns the truck)
- Fully independent owner-operators (these are drivers who own their trucks and haul their own loads)
If the driver fell asleep because they were forced to work overtime without adequate rest, a case could be made that the employer (or contracting party) is at least partially liable. If the company responsible for servicing the truck failed to adequately check the brakes, leading to brake failure and an injury accident, then that party could be held liable. These things are complicated and best left to the expertise of an experienced Agoura Hills truck accident lawyer.Establishing Negligence for an Agoura Hills Truck Accident
Most truck accidents are the result of negligence, which means one or more parties owed another party (or parties) a duty of care—a legal responsibility to drive in a manner consistent with that of a reasonable person—and breached that duty. Since trucks are much heavier than cars and other non-commercial vehicles, and thus capable of inflicting serious damage, commercial truck drivers owe a much higher duty of care to motorists than do other motorists. For instance, they often have a lower speed limit and also have a much lower blood alcohol concentration limit under California DUI laws.
Although your claim will almost always be settled out of court, you’ll still have to satisfy the legal elements of a negligence claim, which are:
- The defendant (at-fault party) owed a duty of to the plaintiff (injured party)
- The defendant breached that duty
- The plaintiff’s injuries were in fact caused by this breach
- The defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of the injury(ies), meaning the injuries would not have occurred if not for the defendant’s negligence
- The plaintiff has suffered actual damages (legally recognized injuries), such as bodily injury
Keep in mind that more than one party may be held liable, whether it’s negligence or strict liability (for instance, defective brakes). Your Agoura Hills truck accident lawyer will help you sort this all out.Truck Accident Injuries: Claims for Damages
The term damages refers to the monetary claims you make based on your losses resulting from the other party’s liability. Some of these, such as medical costs and lost wages, are more obvious and quite common. Other, less-obvious damages may include (but aren’t limited to):
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished future earning potential
- Loss of consortium (intimacy and affection)
Automobile accidents are quite common, unfortunately, but commercial truck accidents have the potential to cause very serious injuries and even death. If another party’s negligence has resulted in your injuries, you’ll want to seek compensation for your losses. The seasoned pros at the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation will help you assess the full value of your claim and will work hard to make sure you get every penny. Hiring us is easy- it just takes one call. We work hard and tirelessly for our clients and are always available to answer questions and give case updates. Call today to learn why we only have happy clients.