Malibu Truck Accident Lawyer
It’s not everyday that you see big trucks traversing the easy streets of Malibu. When you do, it’s usually delivery vehicles or flatbed trucks carrying construction materials. So getting into a truck accident while driving to your Malibu beach getaway never really crossed your mind. But that’s exactly what happened as you rounded the corner toward your neighborhood and a furniture delivery truck—halfway in your lane—smashed into the front fender of your car. You knew from the moment of impact that you suffered serious injuries, including a few broken bones.
You’d learn later, thanks to some diligent investigation by your Malibu truck accident lawyer at Walch Law, that the driver was reading and sending text messages at the time of the accident. You were paying attention, but it was impossible to see him until it was too late, since your view was blocked by a giant cypress tree. The driver was clearly at fault, but who do you sue for your injuries? The driver? The furniture company? Some other party? We’ll discuss how liability is established in truck accidents, the types of injuries for which you may claim damages, and more.Who’s Ultimately Liable for Commercial Truck Accidents?
Although the driver was careless and likely would be considered negligent for the accident that led to your injuries, it’s not always clear who’s financially liable. Perhaps the driver is an independent contractor, or maybe they’re a permanent employee of the furniture company. And while it’s probably not the case in this scenario, some accidents are the fault of yet another third party that failed to properly service the vehicle (for instance, brakes going out and leading to an accident).
First of all, let’s take a look at the main types of drivers (which will impact how a claim is filed):
- 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; for instance, a private moving company may fit into this category)
If, for example, the person driving the furniture delivery truck was fully employed by the furniture or trucking company, then the employer would be the main target of an injury lawsuit. If they were an independent contractor, then they would shoulder the burden of liability in most cases. If, however, it can be shown that an owner-operator who leased their car from a trucking company that failed to properly service the truck—and that this failure directly led to an accident—then the trucking company may be held liable for any resulting injuries. Ultimately, we hold every party that is connected to the accident responsible in order to maximize your financial payout.Negligence and Truck Accidents
When a party is responsible for an accident because they were careless or failed to follow certain rules of the road (or by virtue of being the careless driver’s employer), then they may be found negligent. As in any injury claim, it’s up to the plaintiff (the injured party) to prove the existence of certain elements. The elements of a negligence claim are:
- The defendant (at-fault party) owed a duty of to the plaintiff
- 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
You can see why it makes sense to work with an experienced Malibu truck accident lawyer instead of just winging it yourself. Your attorney will know how to build a strong case that establishes liability and results in the injury settlement you deserve.Claiming Damages for Your Malibu Truck Accident
Since you’ve suffered serious injuries, you’ll want to claim damages (monetary claims pertaining to your injuries) for medical costs, ambulance service, medications, physical therapy, and lost wages from missing several weeks of work. But other damages may not be so obvious, which is another reason why you’ll want to work with an attorney.
These may include:
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished future earning potential
- Loss of consortium (intimacy and affection)
And when you’re dealing with multiple defendants and counterclaims, as is often the case with truck accidents, it can get really tricky. Your attorney will know how to represent your interests.Get Professional Help With Your Malibu Truck Accident Claim
Truck accidents often result in serious injuries, given the weight and size of most trucks. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you’ll want to work with a skilled Malibu truck accident lawyer. Get started on your claim today by calling the legal experts at the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation. We take all our claims on a contingency fee basis and have over 40 years of experience helping clients in your very situation get the most for their accident. We are ready to get started when you are—it only takes one call!