Westlake Village Truck Accident Lawyer
Westlake Village is a quiet suburb of L.A., with plenty of trees to go along with its namesake lake, so you don’t see a lot of big rigs or other cross-state traffic. But traffic does get a bit heavy along the 101, especially near Westlake’s busy Costco store. Trucks delivering goods to the warehouse store use a different entrance than the one used by customers, but there’s still plenty of big rig traffic along the freeway. And where there are big rigs, there is the potential for commercial truck accidents.
Commercial truck drivers are professionally trained and held to a higher standard than your typical motorist, including a much lower blood alcohol concentration limit. But when truck accidents do occur, they have the potential to be quite devastating, often resulting in very serious injuries or even death.
When a truck accident is the truck driver’s fault (or perhaps even another party), it’s in your best interests to contact a skilled Westlake Village truck accident lawyer at Walch Law who understands how to navigate the often-complicated legal underpinnings involved. Learn more about truck accidents, how liability is established, and more below.Who’s Responsible for Your Westlake Village Truck Accident?
When you’re driving in the vicinity of big rigs, it’s important to understand that they have limited visibility (don’t linger in their blind spots!) and aren’t nearly as agile as their lighter four-wheeled counterparts. But since they carry such a heavy and potentially dangerous load, they’re responsible for taking extra care for everyone’s safety.
Your claim for a truck accident may differ according to the kind of driver involved in your accident. 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, a private moving company may fit into this category)
If the driver is a company driver, for example, then the trucking company typically has a much greater liability for accidents than if the driver is fully independent. Your Westlake Village truck accident lawyer will know how to position your claim so that no responsible parties are off the hook which also helps to maximize the worth of your case.Truck Accidents and the Basics of Negligence
The vast majority of automobile injury claims are chalked up to negligence, which means a party (or parties) failed to follow traffic rules, drive defensively, or properly respond to a given situation in a way that caused an accident. Given the size and weight of commercial trucks, not to mention the nature of the job, truck drivers have quite a high duty of care (legal responsibility to do or abstain from something that may cause injury) to other motorists. Other potential defendants in a truck accident claim are similarly held to a high standard. In order to prove negligence, the plaintiff (injured party) must prove the following elements:
- 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
Whether the driver was solely to blame, the employer shares liability, there was a defect in the truck, or some other reason for the accident that led to your injuries, your attorney will know how to proceed with your claim. California is a comparative negligence state which means that even if you played a role in the accident, you can still get money for the percentage you didn’t cause!Westlake Village Truck Accident Claims: Damages
When you file damages, you’re tallying up the monetary losses you’ve suffered as a result of the injuries for which the defendant is liable. These usually include things such as hospital bills, lost wages from missing work, and related matters. But they also may include (but aren’t limited to) the following:
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished future earning potential
- Loss of consortium (intimacy and affection)
If you were involved in a commercial truck accident and were able to walk away with just minor injuries, then count yourself lucky. Sadly, these types of accidents often cause very serious, life-changing injuries. In any event, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney before filing your claim, since there may be multiple parties (and insurance companies) involved. For the best results, call the experienced professionals at the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation today. We are local to the area and have been helping individuals and families in Westlake Village for over 40 years. We have the track record of success and personal approach you want handing your truck crash case—call us today to learn more about how we can help and get your questions answered.