Oak Park Truck Accident Lawyer
Thankfully your tiny community of Oak Park is far enough off the freeway that you don’t see (or hear) the constant barrage of eighteen-wheelers on 101. But many of these trucks still have to come into town and deliver goods. What happens if one of them cuts you off or otherwise causes a serious injury accident? Since commercial trucks are bigger and heavier than your typical automobile, truck accidents tend to be quite serious. And determining who’s liable can be confusing when you’re dealing with trucking companies, leasing companies, independent contractors, and other parties.
If you do find yourself injured in a truck accident, your best course of action is to contact an experienced Oak Park truck accident lawyer at Walch Law. They’ll be able to fully assess your losses, gather the appropriate information, negotiate with insurance companies, and manage the more delicate legal processes involved. Walch Law lawyers have a 95%+ success rate and don’t cost a penny to hire. Give Robert and Gary Walch a call today to learn how they can help, get your questions answered and get started! We’ll discuss the basics of commercial truck accidents below, including how fault is determined, the meaning of negligence, the advantages of working with an attorney, and more.Oak Park Truck Accident: Who’s Liable?
When you’re in a truck accident because the driver was being careless, not paying attention to other motorists, or being reckless, then they’re at fault. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the sole party responsible for the accident. For starters, most commercial truck drivers don’t own their own vehicles. Even many trucking companies lease their vehicles from yet another party. You also have to consider the fact that other parties may be responsible for servicing the trucks. In any event, several parties can be liable for a single incident.
The way in which your attorney will proceed with your claim will partly depend on the type of truck driver. These include:
- 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, let’s say a company driver caused your accident because he was forced to work overtime without adequate sleep. Had he refused, perhaps he would have lost his job. This means the employer would likely be liable for any injuries and damage caused as a result of him falling asleep at the wheel and causing an accident. Suppose the company responsible for checking the brakes chose to sign off on a truck without actually checking its brakes. If the brakes fail and this leads to an accident, this company could be held liable for its failure to do its job.
These types of accidents can be complicated. Your Oak Park truck accident lawyer will help you determine who’s liable and determine the best legal strategy for your claim.Establishing Negligence for an Oak Park Truck Accident
In most cases, commercial truck accidents are the result of negligence. If a party is negligent, it means they owed a duty of care (a legal responsibility to act in a reasonable manner) to the injured party but breached this duty (failed to act in a reasonable manner), resulting in injury. Any losses pertaining to these injuries may be claimed as damages.
Although you’ll likely settle your claim through negotiations with the insurance companies and other involved parties (with help from your attorney), you’ll need to satisfy the legal elements of a negligence claim:
- 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
Again, more than one party may be liable for your injuries, while some parties may file cross claims against one another. That’s why you’ll want to work with a skilled Oak Park truck accident lawyer.Calculating Damages for an Oak Park Truck Accident
The ultimate goal of an injury claim is to be “made whole” through financial compensation for your losses. Obvious losses, or damages, include lost wages and medical expenses. But other, less-obvious damages may include the following:
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished future earning potential
- Loss of consortium (intimacy and affection)
Even a fender bender can cause serious injuries when you’re up against a big rig. Commercial truck accidents tend to be quite serious and complicated, which is why you should consider working with a skilled attorney for your claim. The winning team of lawyers at the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation will make sure they do everything in their power to ensure you get a fair settlement for your injuries. We take all our cases on a contingency fee basis meaning we only get paid when we get you paid to help take additional financial stress off you shoulders during this difficult time. We are ready to get started as soon as you call.