Just like many other states across the country, California is a major thruway for truckers hailing from all over the US. This means that you’ll often be sharing the road with these massive vehicles. While many of these interactions are fine, sometimes truck accidents do occur. Tragically, when they do, the end result can cause life-threatening and even fatal injuries to those involved. Because of their sheer size and weight, truck accident victims in Orange, CA are often left with extensive truck accident injuries and costly medical bills, making filing a truck accident claim in California necessary.
Truck accident victims only have two years from the date of the incident to file a truck accident claim. This is called the statute of limitations and once it closes, so does your ability to collect compensation.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to file a truck accident claim in Orange, CA, and how an experienced truck accident lawyer can help.
Collect Important Trucking Accident Evidence
Before you can file a trucking accident claim in Orange, California, you have to first collect evidence from the accident–but first and foremost, you should check on your well-being and seek medical attention as soon as possible. The aftermath of a truck crash often masks the severity of injuries, so even if you feel fine, it’s best to err on the side of caution and get checked out by a professional.
If you are able to, take photos and/or videos of the accident scene. Then, get the name, contact information, and insurance info from the truck driver and any other parties involved in the crash. Make sure you gather as many details of the accident as you can, even if a police report was filed. You’ll need this information to help establish liability and move forward with a truck accident claim with the insurance company with the help of your attorney.
Determine Who’s At-Fault for the Truck Accident
Unlike passenger vehicles where liability usually falls on the negligent driver, multiple parties can be liable for a truck accident. This includes the:
- A truck driver who may have been driving recklessly or was distracted
- Companies that did not conduct a thorough background check on their drivers before hiring
- Employers who did provide adequate training before sending their truckers on the road
- The trucking company engaged in ill-advised and negligent actions
- Employers who failed to maintain their trucks’ condition
- Cargo companies who incorrectly loaded the vehicles
Regardless of where the fault lies, all truck accident lawsuits must establish negligence. As outlined under California’s negligence law, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to you and that they not only breached that duty of care but the breach was directly responsible for causing your injuries.
An experienced truck accident attorney in Orange can help you establish liability by looking at the truck’s black box for important driving information, as well as conducting a thorough investigation into what caused the crash.
Compensable Damages After a Truck Accident in Orange, CA
The injuries truck accident victims sustain are usually severe. The most common injuries sustained after a truck accident are spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and loss of limbs. Once liability has been established, plaintiffs can seek compensation for the following damages:
- ER visit/medical bills
- Medical supplies
- Prescription medicines
- Rehabilitative care and ongoing treatment
- Lost wages from being unable to work
- Lost earning capacity if you become temporarily or permanently disabled
- Future medical treatment
These are known as economic damages. However, with the help of an experienced Orange truck accident attorney, you may be able to pursue non-economic damages, as well. These are damages that don’t necessarily have a traditional value placed on them, rather they are determined by a judge and jury with the help of an experienced Orange truck accident lawyer:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
- Pain and suffering/emotional distress caused by the accident such as fear of driving or development of PTSD
Can I Still File a Claim Even if the Accident Was Partially My Fault?
This is a common question, but the answer is yes, you can file a claim even if you’re partially to blame for the truck accident. California is known as a comparative fault state, which essentially means that anyone who is injured in a truck accident can still pursue a compensation claim even if they’re found to be partially at fault.
Your compensation award will be determined by your percentage of fault for the truck accident. So, if you’re found to be 10% responsible for the truck accident, your compensation award will be reduced by the same amount, awarding only 90% of the total, instead of the full amount.
File a Truck Accident Claim Today
Were you injured in a trucking accident in Orange, CA? Don’t handle the aftermath alone. Truck accident claims are especially complex due to the various parties involved and who are held responsible. Call a personal injury lawyer from Santiago Accident Lawyers today at (714) 912-6901 for a free consultation. File a trucking accident claim immediately and hold the person responsible for your injuries and damages.