Large commercial vehicles, including tractor-trailers or big rigs, are essential to the supply chain of California, and many communities in Orange County and beyond rely on commercial trucking to deliver the materials and goods they need every day. Most drivers encounter large trucks regularly without any problems, but accidents involving large trucks do occur for various reasons and often cause far worse damages than standard passenger vehicle accidents.
Within the past two decades, the frequency of truck accidents has risen as more big rigs take to the roadways across the country. Though large trucks are responsible for a mere 3 percent of motor vehicle accidents that cause injuries, they are frequently more severe than accidents involving commuter vehicles because of the massive weight and size of the majority of trucks.
When a truck accident does occur in Orange County, the victim faces a similar series of legal proceedings as they would face after a standard passenger vehicle accident. However, their case is likely to involve more significant damages as well as more complex legal issues that might arise between them and their final case award. Having an experienced Orange County truck accident attorney on your side for this type of case is invaluable.
When you select Duque & Price to represent your case, you can rest assured that you will have a dedicated legal advocate readily available to answer your questions and address your concerns throughout all stages of your case.
Commercial trucking accidents can be quite a bit more complicated than a simple traffic accident. Both the driver and owner of the truck will generally be involved in any lawsuit filed, and you often need to have some knowledge of the industry to fully understand the potential case. The knowledge of the common reasons for trucking accidents and relationships between those who have to do with the truck, trailer, and load are extremely helpful in determining the validity of your claim and presentation of your case.
While you can pursue recovery by yourself, this is not advisable, even if you think that the fault for your accident is readily obvious. California law does not strictly require that you hire an attorney to represent you in your case, but doing so will dramatically improve your chances of successfully proving liability for your damages and maximizing your total compensation. An experienced Orange County truck accident attorney can streamline every stage of your case, shortening the time it takes for you to recover your losses.
If you tried to handle your truck accident case without hiring legal representation, you would be forced to contend with strict court filing requirements and procedural deadlines while managing the medical effects of your injury and your personal affairs. Ultimately, having an attorney you can trust to help with these issues will make the entire recovery process easier to handle and more likely to yield optimal results. Duque & Price has a strong record of successful cases, and we are confident in our ability to guide you to a positive outcome for your truck accident case in Orange County.
The trucking industry is mandated by federal regulations that have established a set of standards and can determine the responsible party in a trucking accident. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains most applicable regulations. Fortunately, the experienced attorneys at Duque & Price have understood these regulations and have successfully fought numerous cases over the years.
It’s possible for the truck driver to face sole responsibility for your damages, or fault may also fall to their employer. If the employer failed to follow applicable trucking industry regulations in any way that contributed to your accident, the legal issue of vicarious liability will apply to your case. Your Orange County truck accident attorney can explain the implications that vicarious liability could have for your recovery.
It is also possible for another driver to have caused your truck accident. In this situation, you would follow the standard process of recovery that usually follows a passenger vehicle accident, but the fact that a truck was involved means your damages are likely to be severe. Ultimately, your case could involve trucking industry regulations and complex questions of liability, so it is crucial to have legal counsel you can trust to guide you through the case efficiently.
In any truck accident, there is a large number of possible responsible parties. These include the truck owner, whoever leased the truck from the owner, the driver, the manufacturer of the vehicle or any parts, shippers and loaders, etc.
Your Orange County truck accident attorney can help identify every liable party to target in your recovery efforts. It’s important to remember that the state upholds a pure comparative negligence law, meaning that when multiple parties share liability for damages cited in a civil suit, each liable party will have a percentage of total fault assigned to them. This determines how much of the damages they are responsible for repaying.
For example, if there are two defendants in your case, the facts of the case could show that one is 60% at fault and the other is 40% at fault, and they will each absorb liability for a corresponding percentage of the damages cited by the plaintiff.
It is also possible for a plaintiff in a civil suit to share liability for their claimed damages. Under the state’s pure comparative fault rule, it is possible for a plaintiff to share liability and still recover compensation for their losses. However, their fault percentage is deducted from their final case award as a penalty, and they keep the remainder.
For example, if a plaintiff is shown to be 25% at fault in a personal injury case, they lose 25% of the total compensation won from the defendant. The amount of damages you can seek in your truck accident claim can be affected by your comparative fault and can make a sizeable dent in your recovery. If you are concerned about any partial liability on your part, it is crucial that you speak with a seasoned Orange County truck accident attorney immediately.
In an attempt to separate themselves from the drivers, vehicles, and other equipment and to avoid liability in case of an accident, trucking companies have employed several measures to protect themselves. While they are the ones with the necessary permits to operate the vehicles, they often do not own the equipment that is used to haul the load. They also hire drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. These practices have enabled them in the past to shift the responsibility over to the owners and drivers of the truck.
However, federal regulations have since made it so that any company that owns a trucking permit is liable for any accident that involves a truck with its name or placard on the vehicle.
Additionally, accident victims historically had to rely on witness statements and police reports to get an account of the accident. Now, data from high-tech devices, as well as information from government agencies, are also available for greater understanding.
These factors may appear to complicate your impending case, but the reality is that a good attorney can take full advantage of the issue of vicarious liability and the availability of evidence to help maximize the total compensation you win from your case. When you select Duque & Price as your legal representatives, we can carefully examine the facts of the case and guide you through the difficult proceedings that your recovery efforts are likely to entail.
The most frequent causes of big rig accidents are driver error, mechanical failures, road design, weather conditions, and traffic signal failures.
Driver error accounts for 88% of trucking accidents, according to FMCSA. These accidents are caused by a driver’s action or failure to take action. The most common cause of driver error is through driver fatigue and sleep deprivation.
The second most common cause of truck-related accidents is mechanical and equipment issues. These can include design errors in the vehicles, manufacturing mistakes, or some other issue that interferes with the truck running smoothly. The majority of mechanical causes of these accidents are a result of a failure to maintain the equipment properly. These can include the following: jackknifing of a truck, which is caused by failure of the brakes as a result of inadequate adjustments, blowouts of the tires because of wear and tear, the depowering or removing of the front brakes, truck rollover because of improper securing of the load distribution, defective steering, transmission failure, incorrect trailer attachment, defective lighting on the rears or sides of vehicles, and many more.
No matter how your truck accident happened, it is crucial to gather evidence that firmly proves liability for the incident and the resulting damages. Various types of evidence could be essential to your case, including testimony from witnesses and others involved in the crash, digital evidence like vehicle computer data and cell phone records, and physical evidence recovered from the scene of the accident.
Any vehicle accident has the potential to inflict life-changing injuries, but this risk is exceptionally high when it comes to truck accidents. These large vehicles are many times larger and heavier than even the largest passenger vehicles on the road, and when accidents happen involving commercial trucks, there is a significant risk of catastrophic or fatal injury to those involved.
Some of the most commonly reported injuries from truck accidents include broken bones, facial injuries from airbag deployment, spinal cord injuries that sometimes result in paralysis, and traumatic brain injuries that may entail substantial long-term effects. Many people injured in truck accidents face very difficult roads to recovery that entail months or even years of rehabilitative care, and many are left permanently disabled due to the severity of their injuries.
Identifying the party responsible for your accident is the first challenge you face in recovering your losses. Once you identify the liable party and prove how they caused the accident, the next step is to calculate the full extent of your claimable damages. Success with your case will require proving fault and then proving the effects of the defendant’s actions. You can only claim compensation for the direct result of their negligence or misconduct.
Recovery from any vehicle accident usually begins with a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance, and this same rule applies to truck accidents. In fact, most trucking companies have greater insurance coverage than the average individual driver in Orange County, but this does not mean you will be able to fully recover your losses with just an insurance claim. Additionally, there is never any guarantee that dealing with an insurance company will be easy.
Your Orange County truck accident attorney can guide you through the insurance claim filing process, and they can be essential for resolving any issues you encounter with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Once you have received your settlement offer, they can determine whether it is suitable under the terms of your policy, and if so, you will receive your settlement offer.
When you have outstanding damages that insurance can’t cover, the next step of your recovery process is to file a personal injury claim against the defendant who caused your accident.
The goal of a personal injury claim is for the plaintiff to obtain the compensation they need to recover as fully as possible from their damages. Under the state’s personal injury statutes, a plaintiff has the right to claim full repayment of any direct financial losses incurred because of the defendant’s negligence or illegal action.
The average person should be able to identify immediately recognizable damages, but calculating the full long-term financial impact of a personal injury can be much more challenging. The economic damages you could potentially recover in your truck accident suit include:
After assessing the total of the economic losses you can claim from the defendant, you may learn that your case is more valuable than you initially anticipated. However, you also have the right to claim recompense for your non-economic damages. The severity of your injuries can affect your claimed damages even more and could amount to more than your claimed economic damages.
California’s personal injury statutes allow a plaintiff to seek recompense for the intangible damages they suffered because of a defendant’s actions, specifically their physical pain and psychological distress. The average person is likely to find it difficult to determine appropriate financial amounts to reflect such losses, but your Orange County truck accident attorney can provide direction in this aspect of your claim.
The state does not impose a limit or cap on the amount of pain and suffering compensation a plaintiff may seek in a truck accident case. This means you can seek as much as you believe to be fair to reflect the overall severity of the harm you suffered and the long-term complications you might experience due to the accident.
Your Orange County truck accident attorney can help calculate appropriate recompense for your pain and suffering based on how long it will take you to recover and/or the extent of long-term harm you face because of the defendant’s actions.
Many personal injury plaintiffs win more in pain and suffering compensation than they receive as compensation for their economic damages. This is especially true for plaintiffs who have suffered permanent harm from their personal injuries. When you hire Duque & Price to represent your claim, we can carefully review the full extent of the damages you suffered to ensure the pain and suffering compensation you secure is fair and reasonable to reflect the severity of your experience.
If you intend to file a personal injury claim in response to your recent truck accident or any other vehicle accident, it is natural to worry whether you must take the case to court. While litigation may be necessary to resolve some civil claims for damages in Orange County, it is more likely that your case can end in private settlement negotiations.
The private settlement process allows the parties involved in a civil case to resolve the issue more quickly than litigation. They also retain more control over the final outcome of the case and are able to negotiate mutually agreeable terms, whereas litigation would mean the judge has the final say on the outcome of the case. As long as the parties involved in the case are willing to negotiate, a settlement can allow them to resolve the case in a fraction of the time that litigation usually requires.
However, if settlement proves fruitless, or if the defendant denies their liability for the plaintiff’s damages, the case will need to go to court. A judge will consider evidence and testimony presented by both sides of the case and then deliver a ruling. They will decide the fault for the incident and how much compensation will be awarded to the plaintiff.
They also have the discretion to assign further penalties to the defendant based on the severity of their actions. For example, a judge may award a plaintiff punitive damages along with their other compensation if the defendant broke the law in causing their injury or if they were egregiously negligent.
Regardless of how your truck accident claim unfolds, your Orange County truck accident attorney is your most valuable asset when it comes to streamlining these proceedings and maximizing the compensation you win from the defendant who caused your damages. When you hire Duque & Price to represent your case, you will have instant access to an experienced legal advocate who can address any concerns you may have about the direction of your case and the final outcome.
It is understandable for anyone to worry about the potential cost of their legal fees when they are already struggling with the economic effects of their accident. However, there is no cause for alarm if you choose Duque & Price to represent you. Our firm only collects a fee from our client after we win their case, and we take nothing if we are unable to secure a recovery on our client’s behalf.
This contingency fee policy makes legal counsel more accessible to those who need it most, allowing them to approach their case with peace of mind and the confidence of knowing they have the legal advocacy they need in this challenging situation.
When you accept an attorney’s representation under a contingency fee agreement, the attorney’s fee is a percentage of the final case award. The percentage is typically determined by the overall complexity of the case and the amount of the plaintiff’s claimable damages. While you may be concerned with paying out a percentage of your case award as legal fees, remember that even after you account for your contingency fee, the attorney is likely to reach far better results in your case than you could manage alone, and do so within a much shorter timeframe.
If you have had the misfortune of being in a truck accident, you will find it can be quite complicated because there are so many individuals involved. It can be quite overwhelming trying to navigate through the events and responsible parties without the guidance of someone who is knowledgeable and skilled with trucking law.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in the state of California, Duque & Price has the experience to be able to help you figure out who exactly is responsible so that you can proceed with a strong case and get the reparations that you deserve for your suffering. You will want a personal injury attorney to help you in your case after a truck accident, and Duque & Price is here to help you. Call our office today or leave a message for us online.
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