Murrieta Truck Accident Attorney
Murrieta Truck Accident Lawyer
Large commercial trucks are common sights on California roads, and most drivers in the Murrieta area regularly encounter these vehicles while driving without issue. However, truck accidents do occur, often with devastating results. These vehicles are much larger and heavier than most other vehicles, which means they are capable of inflicting more destruction than a typical passenger vehicle when an accident happens. Additionally, truck accident cases tend to raise more difficult questions of liability and more complex civil claims than accidents involving smaller vehicles.
Helping Truck Accident Victims Recover in Murrieta, CA
If you or a family member recently suffered injuries and economic losses from a truck accident, it is crucial to know your most viable options in regard to legal recourse against whoever caused the accident. You must be prepared to identify the party or parties responsible for your accident, prove the extent of your damages, and navigate a potentially complex series of legal proceedings to recover as fully as possible. While it is technically possible to manage your recovery efforts alone, you have a far better chance of maximizing your recovery when you have legal counsel you can trust on your side.
Kampf, Schiavone & Associates has years of professional experience handling all types of motor vehicle accident claims on behalf of clients in Murrieta and surrounding communities. If you are unsure how to proceed with recovering from a truck accident that another party caused, we are ready to help you understand the legal options available to you. We take time to listen to each client’s story and provide compassionate, client-focused legal counsel in every case we accept.
How to Prove Liability for a Truck Accident
The state enforces the fault rule when it comes to resolving vehicle accident cases. This means that whoever caused an accident is responsible for the resulting damages. However, proving fault for some accidents is more difficult than it may seem at first, and this is especially true for truck accidents. It’s possible for liability for your accident to fall to a single party, such as the driver of the truck that hit you or a third party who caused the accident with the truck while you were nearby. However, it is also possible for vicarious liability to come into play if the truck driver’s employer bears partial responsibility for the accident.
Trucking companies and other businesses that employ commercial truck drivers are beholden to strict regulations. When they fail to follow these regulations, enforce applicable work safety rules, or are negligent in the hiring and onboarding process, they may eventually bear fault for the actions of their drivers. For example, if a truck driver caused an accident because they were driving under the influence (DUI) and their employer never performed an appropriate background check that would have revealed their pasts DUI convictions, vicarious liability is very likely to come into play, and the employer would share fault for the actions of their employee.
Your Murrieta truck accident attorney can be an invaluable asset when it comes to gathering the evidence you will need to firmly establish liability for your damages. Evidence you may need may include vehicle computer data and cell phone records. Traffic camera footage from the scene of the crash could also be crucial for proving fault, and your attorney can help you obtain witness testimony from those who saw the accident happen. Once you have proven liability for the truck accident you experienced, you can proceed with your recovery efforts.
Filing Auto Insurance Claims for Trucking Accidents in Murrieta
Every driver is legally required to have auto insurance coverage that meets specific minimum requirements. Most truck drivers are covered by their employers’ policies, and it is common for trucking companies and other businesses that rely on commercial truck drivers to purchase insurance coverage beyond the minimum requirements. However, this does not guarantee that you will be able to fully recover from your accident through insurance alone or that an insurance carrier will process your claim in good faith.
Insurance companies tend to look for all the reasons they can possibly find to deny claims or justify the lowest possible settlement offers. Some even engage in unethical tactics, hoping that the desperation of a claimant will coerce them into accepting the lowest settlement possible. When you have an experienced Murrieta truck accident attorney handling your case, you are far less likely to encounter any such behavior. Additionally, should any disputes arise with your insurance claim, you will be equipped to address them with your attorney’s assistance.
The team at Kampf, Schiavone & Associates has years of professional experience confronting major auto insurance carriers on behalf of our clients. We know their tactics and what they do to try to avoid liability for legitimate claims. When you have our team representing you, we will do everything we can to guide you through the insurance claim filing process as efficiently as possible, ensuring your claim receives fair consideration. Once you have recovered as fully as possible through auto insurance, we can help file a personal injury claim against the party or parties responsible for your truck accident to recover the rest of your damages.
Recovering With a Personal Injury Claim in Murrieta
The driver who caused your recent truck accident is fully liable for all damages they inflicted with their negligence or intentional misconduct, but insurance may only cover a fraction of your total damages. If you cannot fully recover with an insurance claim or an at-fault driver does not have insurance, you will need to file a personal injury claim to recover your remaining losses.
California law allows the plaintiff in a personal injury case to seek full repayment of all financial losses they incurred due to the defendant’s actions. When you have an experienced Murrieta truck accident attorney handling your claim, you could potentially secure compensation for:
- Property losses. When the at-fault driver’s insurance cannot fully cover your vehicle repair costs, the remainder and any other property losses you suffered may be added to your personal injury claim as economic damages.
- Medical expenses. Truck accidents have a high chance of causing tremendous physical injuries, some of which may require extensive ongoing rehabilitative care. The defendant is liable for all medical expenses you incur because of their actions. Their insurance may cover some initial medical treatment costs, but your attorney can help ensure that the defendant is held fully responsible for all immediate and future medical expenses you face because of their negligence or misconduct.
- Lost income. Many people injured in truck accidents are unable to work during recovery from their injuries. Some are left completely unable to return to work at all due to the severe permanent harm they suffered. State law allows a personal injury plaintiff to seek full repayment of lost income caused by a defendant’s actions, and this includes lost future earning potential. Your Murrieta truck accident attorney can help you accurately calculate these projected future losses to ensure the defendant is held appropriately accountable for the lost earning potential resulting from their actions.
The law states that when one party’s negligence harms another party, the at-fault party is fully liable for all resulting damages. However, if a defendant caused your injuries and economic losses through some illegal misconduct, they face not only liability for your civil damages but also criminal prosecution from the state. Drunk driving is one of the most common examples of how this might occur. Your Murrieta truck accident attorney can advise you as to how a criminal case from the state could impact your recovery, such as the potential to receive punitive damages or restitution alongside the compensation you secure for your civil damages.
You could be surprised to discover that you can claim much more in economic damages than you initially expected, but your recovery will not end with compensation for your financial losses. California law also allows you to claim pain and suffering compensation, and there is no limit on this aspect of your recovery in a truck accident case.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Compensation in a Murrieta Truck Accident Claim
When the average person hears the term “pain and suffering,” they may struggle to determine how these intangible losses could translate to monetary figures. It can be difficult for the victim of a truck accident to fully grasp the total impact of their accident, and an experienced attorney is an invaluable asset for maximizing their pain and suffering compensation. Two methods are most commonly used to calculate pain and suffering for personal injury plaintiffs:
- The per diem method is most applicable to plaintiffs expected to make full recoveries from their injuries. The attorney sets a reasonable amount of daily compensation and then multiplies this amount by the number of days it takes the plaintiff to reach maximum medical improvement.
- The multiplier method is more suitable for plaintiffs who have suffered severe or catastrophic injuries. The attorney simply multiplies their client’s total economic damages by a factor that represents the severity of their condition, usually one to five.
If you choose the right attorney to handle your truck accident claim, the amount of pain and suffering compensation you secure from a successful case could overshadow the total of all your other claimed damages. Kampf, Schiavone & Associates can carefully review the details of your accident and your damages, helping you determine the maximum amount of pain and suffering compensation you could reasonably claim from the defendant.
Comparative Fault in a Civil Case
Proving liability can be one of the most challenging aspects of any motor vehicle accident claim, and it is possible for more than one party to share fault for an accident. California upholds a pure comparative fault rule, which means that each liable party will absorb a specific percentage of fault for the damages based on each party’s level of liability. When a plaintiff bears partial fault, they can still claim compensation for their losses, but their fault percentage is subtracted from their final case award.
A judge must assign fault percentages whenever comparative fault comes into play in a civil case. For example, a judge may determine that a plaintiff is 25% at fault for the damages, which means they would lose 25% of the total compensation they win from the defendant. There is no fault threshold that bars plaintiff recovery under the state’s pure comparative fault rule, but it is still crucial for the plaintiff to minimize their fault percentage as much as possible.
Resolving Your Truck Accident Claim in Murrieta
The recovery process following a truck accident in the Murrieta area can be very challenging, beginning with a complex insurance claim process and leading to a series of civil proceedings. If you must file a personal injury claim for your recent truck accident in Murrieta, you will need legal counsel you can trust to guide you through your case. Kampf, Schiavone & Associates aims to help every client we represent settle their case as quickly as possible, but we are fully prepared for litigation when necessary.
During private settlement negotiations, the plaintiff and the defendant meet privately with their respective legal advisors to negotiate terms for resolving their case. As long as both parties are willing to compromise, they can resolve the matter in a fraction of the time that litigation would require. A settlement also allows both parties to have more influence over the final outcome of the case. Whenever a civil claim goes to litigation, the judge has the final say on the results.
Kampf, Schiavone & Associates can provide the compassionate and responsive legal counsel you need to approach a truck accident claim with confidence. We know how to streamline your recovery efforts and maximize the compensation you secure for your damages. Time is a crucial consideration for anyone who intends to file a civil suit in Murrieta, and the sooner you reach out to an attorney you can trust, the more time they will have to work on your case. Contact Kampf, Schiavone & Associates today to schedule your consultation with a Murrieta truck accident attorney and learn how our firm can assist you with your recovery efforts.