Large Commercial Vehicle
Murrieta Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer
Commercial trucking is a crucial element of the supply chain of the United States. Drivers throughout the Murrieta area are accustomed to seeing large commercial trucks regularly, and most reach their destinations without issue. However, while commercial truck accidents are less common than most other types of vehicle crashes, they are far more damaging when they do happen. If you or a family member recently suffered injuries and economic losses in a commercial truck accident that someone else caused, it is vital to have legal counsel you can trust to guide you through your recovery efforts.
Experienced Legal Representation for Commercial Truck Accident Claims in Murrieta, CA
The attorneys at Kampf, Schiavone & Associates can provide the comprehensive support you need to navigate your recovery efforts successfully. Our firm has more than 30 years of experience representing clients in Murrieta and surrounding communities in all types of civil cases, including those arising from serious traffic accidents. We have a strong record of success with our cases because of our close attention to detail and commitment to providing individualized legal support to every client we represent.
Benefits of Hiring Legal Counsel for a Commercial Truck Accident Case in Murrieta
You may wonder whether you really need to hire an attorney to help file a commercial truck accident claim in Murrieta. While it’s true that there is no law strictly requiring you to hire legal counsel for your case, you have a much greater chance of success with your recovery efforts when you have legal counsel advising you.
An experienced attorney can handle all your legal proceedings for you so you can focus on recovery from your injuries. If you tried to handle the case on your own, you would be forced to contend with strict court filing deadlines and various procedural issues while simultaneously managing the medical effects of your accident.
Your Murrieta truck accident attorney can help prove liability for your accident, which is an essential first step in your recovery process. You need to identify the party responsible for the accident before you can recover any compensation for the losses you suffered. Once fault is established, you can proceed with filing an auto insurance claim, followed by a personal injury suit, when insurance alone cannot compensate your damages. Ultimately, legal counsel you can trust is your most important asset when it comes to maximizing your recovery in the shortest possible timeframe.
How to Prove Liability for a Commercial Vehicle Accident
California enforces the fault rule, meaning the driver at fault for causing an accident is liable for all resulting damages. Truck accidents can happen for many reasons, including:
- Truck driver error. All commercial truck drivers have a greater duty of care to drive responsibly than the average individual driver. When a truck driver is negligent behind the wheel or they lack the necessary experience to handle a route safely, they can easily cause devastating accidents and face liability for the resulting damages.
- Any time a driver exceeds the posted speed limit, they create a hazard for themselves and others around them. Speeding not only increases the chance of an accident happening but also the severity of any resulting damages. Speeding is especially dangerous for large trucks because they require much greater time and distance to slow down or stop to avoid a collision.
- Moving violations. All drivers have a responsibility to heed posted traffic signals and refrain from moving violations at all times. Running red lights or stop signs, performing illegal lane changes or illegal turns, and failing to yield the right-of-way are just a few common examples of moving violations that may result in commercial vehicle accidents.
- Driving under the influence (DUI). It is illegal for any driver to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A driver who causes an accident in this manner faces criminal charges along with civil liability for damages they inflict on others. If a truck driver causes a crash because of DUI, they not only face criminal prosecution but also the loss of their commercial driver’s license (CDL).
This is not an exhaustive list of all the ways a truck accident could happen. Your Murrieta truck accident attorney can assist you with gathering the evidence you will need to establish liability, including traffic camera footage, vehicle computer data, and statements from any witnesses who saw the accident happen.
While proving fault may seem like a straightforward issue, truck accidents are more complex than standard motor vehicle accidents. The legal concept of vicarious liability comes into play whenever one party bears fault for the actions of another party. This issue most commonly arises when an employer is responsible for the actions of their employee. For example, your truck accident may have occurred because the employer of the truck driver who hit you never ensured proper training for the driver, failed to conduct a proper background check, or a similar issue.
Your Murrieta truck accident attorney can be invaluable for the assistance they can provide in proving liability, regardless of whether one or more parties bear fault for your damages. It’s important to remember that the state enforces the pure comparative liability rule. This rule comes into play in any civil case in which multiple parties bear liability for the damages, and it is possible for a plaintiff to share fault under this rule.
When comparative fault applies to a civil suit, each liable party is assigned a fault percentage to reflect their level of liability for causing the damages. If a plaintiff is found partially liable, they lose a percentage of the total case award claimed from the defendant to reflect their shared fault. For example, an investigation could reveal a plaintiff is 25% at fault for an accident, in which case they would lose 25% of the total case award won from the defendant. If you are concerned in any way about bearing partial responsibility for a recent commercial truck accident, it is vital to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
Filing an Auto Insurance Claim for Commercial Truck Accidents in Murrieta
California law requires all drivers to have auto insurance, and this requirement extends to commercial trucking companies and their employees. In fact, the insurance available after your recent commercial truck accident could be much more than you could expect from a typical individual driver. However, this does not mean you can expect complete recovery from your damages through insurance alone or that filing your claim will be easy.
Insurance companies typically attempt to push back against claims whenever possible, hoping that a claimant’s desperation for any compensation they can get will compel them into accepting a lowball settlement. When you have an experienced Murrieta truck accident attorney representing you, they can ensure that the insurance company handles your claim in good faith and delivers a fair settlement offer.
Claimable Damages in a Personal Injury Suit
When insurance cannot fully cover the damages you suffered in your recent commercial truck accident, the next option you have for recovering the remainder is filing a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver. Under California’s personal injury laws, the defendant responsible for causing your damages is liable for:
- Medical expenses. If you were injured in the accident, the defendant is liable for all medical treatment costs you face in the aftermath. This includes both immediate and long-term medical care expenses if you suffer a serious injury that demands ongoing care.
- Lost income. When you cannot work because of your injury, the defendant is liable for the income you are unable to earn during your recovery. This applies to future income you can no longer earn if the accident left you disabled and you cannot work anymore. Your Murrieta truck accident attorney can help calculate how much you would have reasonably been able to earn in the future and add these projected losses to your civil claim.
- Property damage. The at-fault driver’s insurance may include property damage coverage, but it may not be enough to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle fully. Any property losses not covered by insurance can be included in your personal injury suit.
- Pain and suffering. State law allows a plaintiff to claim compensation for the non-economic damages resulting from the accident. Your attorney can help determine a fair amount to reflect the physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma you experienced because of the defendant’s actions. There is no limit on pain and suffering compensation in a truck accident case.
Other variables could also come into play to influence your total case award. Ultimately, you could be entitled to receive much more than you may initially expect, and the right attorney can provide comprehensive support and guidance through every phase of your recovery efforts.
How Your Attorney Can Help You Recover
The right Murrieta truck accident attorney is an invaluable asset in your commercial truck accident claim. When you choose Kampf, Schiavone & Associates to represent you, we can help gather whatever evidence you require to firmly establish fault for the accident, identify those responsible for your damages, and help prove the full extent of your immediate and future losses. Our goal for every client is maximum recovery in the shortest possible time, so contact us today to schedule your consultation with a Murrieta truck accident attorney you can trust with your case.