Van Nuys Truck Accident Lawyer
You identify as an “Angeleno” but you technically live in the neighborhood of Van Nuys. It’s a cozy little enclave, close enough to downtown L.A. but retaining its own identity. Part of that identity, for better or worse, is its proximity to the always-gridlocked 405 connecting to Orange County. It’s convenient because you work in Anaheim, although you’d rather not make that commute every day. It’s also a busy trucking route and you’ve occasionally been stuck in even-worse traffic after a commercial truck accident.
Big rig accidents are scary and can lead to serious injuries and death, given the weight and velocity of eighteen-wheelers compared to their four-wheeled counterparts. You hope you never have to worry about it but sometimes you wonder just how you’d handle the aftermath of a truck accident. Who’s to blame, the driver or the trucking company? Or both?
Well, it depends on a number of factors best left to the expertise of a winning Van Nuys truck accident lawyer at Walch Law. With over 45 years of experience and a 98%+ success rate, Robert and Gary Walch are who you want fighting for you and your family following a truck accident. We know how to win these cases and get you the most for your accident. Call us now to learn more.Van Nuys Truck Accidents and the Different Types of Drivers
If you’re involved in a truck accident due to no fault of your own, you have the right to seek monetary compensation (or damages) for your losses. If you played a role in the accident you can get money for the portion you didn’t cause, which can still be a lot of money. But knowing who is actually liable (legally responsible for this compensation) is not as simple as it may seem. Besides the driver and the company they work for (if applicable), there may be issues with how the truck was serviced or other matters that include additional parties.
First, you’ll want to identify the type of commercial truck driver:
- 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 your accident involves a company driver, then the employer most likely is liable for your injuries. But trucking companies that hire independent contractors may not be liable at all for the negligence of their drivers. It’s best to let an experienced Van Nuys truck accident lawyer sort this out.Establishing Negligence for Your Van Nuys Truck Accident
It’s highly unlikely that the truck driver intended to cause an accident, especially one that causes serious injuries and puts their job in peril. Since the vast majority of truck accidents are the result of negligence, we’ll focus on that. To be negligent is to owe a duty of care to others, such as the legal obligation to follow traffic laws and trucking regulations in a manner that ensures the safety of others. To breach this duty is to fail to act in a reasonable manner, resulting in injuries.
Although very few accidents claims actually go to court and are instead settled beforehand, you’ll still have to show that the elements of a negligence claim are satisfied. They are as follows:
- 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
Often, multiple parties are at fault and thus liable for commercial truck accidents. It just depends on the facts of your particular case. Your attorney will be able to determine this through research, investigations, and their legal expertise.Claiming Damages for Your Van Nuys Truck Accident
Injuries can cause a significant disruption in your life, often impacting things you may not have considered at first glance. This is especially true with truck accident injuries, which are often among the worst. Obvious damages will include things like medical bills, in-home care, and lost wages from missing work. Other, not-so-obvious damages may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished future earning potential
- Loss of consortium (intimacy and affection)