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Santa Rosa Truck Accidents

Santa Rosa Truck Accident Attorney

Commercial trucks are a staple of the California economy, delivering vital goods to countless communities throughout the Santa Rosa area and the rest of the country every day. Tractor-trailers are familiar sights on California roads, and the drivers of these vehicles spend more time behind the wheel than most other drivers on the roads today. All drivers must not only know how to drive safely around large commercial trucks, but they must also know what to do when a truck accident occurs. Truck accidents tend to be far more damaging than accidents involving smaller passenger vehicles, and these incidents often raise difficult questions of liability.

Take Legal Action for Your Recent Truck Accident in Santa Rosa, CA

Rush Injury Law can provide the legal representation you need after experiencing a truck accident in Santa Rosa, CA. Your accident may have left you seriously injured, facing expensive medical bills, and unable to work until you recover. Your economic damages may only be part of the aftermath you face. These accidents are highly traumatizing and likely to cause long-term medical complications for victims and financial strain for their families. We can provide the meticulous legal representation you need to identify the party or parties responsible for your truck accident and hold them accountable for their actions.

What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do?

A Santa Rosa truck accident attorney can provide several valuable legal services and increase the chance of you maximizing your recovery from your truck accident damages. Attempting to handle any civil claim without an attorney is much more complicated and demanding than most people may realize at first. Filing your claim requires meeting particular filing rules with the court, and even slight errors can lead to significant delays in the court’s processing of your claim. Even if you manage to successfully complete your procedural requirements while handling the personal aftermath of your truck accident, you are likely to overlook critical aspects of your claim and may unintentionally settle for much less than you could have secured with an attorney’s assistance.

Your Santa Rosa truck accident lawyer will handle the procedural aspects of your claim, ensure you meet all court filing deadlines, and manage preliminary motions relevant to your case. In addition, they can help you explore the full scope of your claimable damages, often uncovering avenues of compensation you would have likely overlooked on your own. One of the best aspects of hiring an experienced lawyer to represent you is that you can rest and recover with peace of mind knowing your case is in capable hands rather than attempting to handle the entirety of your recovery completely unassisted.

How Do Truck Accidents Happen in California?

Truck accidents can happen without warning for many different reasons, some of which are preventable with appropriate care and caution. The most commonly cited causes of truck accidents in California include:

  • Speeding. Tractor-trailers are incredibly dangerous at high speeds, and accidents that occur at high speeds are most likely to result in devastating injuries to those involved. Unfortunately, a truck driver can speed and cause an accident, or another driver’s speeding may cause a truck accident that results in injury to you.
  • Improperly loaded cargo. Tractor-trailers are larger and stand higher off the ground than most passenger vehicles, so they have higher centers of gravity. Therefore, when their cargo is not fully secured or not loaded in a balanced configuration, the truck becomes vulnerable to tipping over in some situations.
  • Truck driver errors. All truck drivers must complete commercial driving certification and possess adequate experience before handling challenging routes. When a driver’s error directly causes a truck accident, the driver may incur sole liability for the resulting damages, but their employer may also face liability if they failed to ensure the driver was properly trained and certified before assigning them their route.
  • Ineffective or improperly performed truck maintenance. Commercial trucks have much greater maintenance requirements than standard passenger vehicles, and they experience more wear and tear due to the time spent on the road. When the parties responsible for truck maintenance fail to perform maintenance correctly or overlook truck maintenance standards, they put the driver and everyone around them at risk of an accident caused by a mechanical failure.
  • Distracted driving. The leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents in the United States is distracted driving. All drivers have a responsibility to pay attention to their surroundings at all times behind the wheel. Unfortunately, even momentary distraction can result in a devastating truck accident.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI). It is illegal for any driver to operate their vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For example, suppose a truck driver causes an accident due to intoxication behind the wheel. In that case, they are likely to face criminal prosecution in addition to civil liability for victims’ damages, and their employer may incur liability as well.
  • Regulatory violations. Government agencies such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforce various regulations for the trucking industry. All drivers and their employers must adhere to these regulations at all times. Therefore, when a truck driver violates hours of service rules, vehicle weight standards, or any other regulation, they face not only liability for resulting damages but also fines and other legal penalties from government oversight agencies.
  • Third-party negligence. When a truck accident occurs, the truck driver may not be responsible for causing it. However, if a third party engages in reckless driving or otherwise causes a collision with a tractor-trailer, this can create a chain reaction that injures multiple drivers.

These are just a few of the most common examples of truck accidents in the Santa Rosa area and throughout California. Suppose you are unsure whether you have grounds for a civil claim to recover your truck accident damages. In that case, the first step toward recovery is determining whether another driver bears fault for causing the accident. In some truck accident cases, multiple parties are responsible for a plaintiff’s damages.

Determining Liability for a Truck Accident

For multiple reasons, truck accident claims are some of the most complex motor vehicle accident claims filed in Santa Rosa, CA. These accidents often involve more substantial damages than typical car accident claims, and they often raise difficult questions concerning liability for those damages. The legal concept of “vicarious liability” can come into play in a truck accident claim when a truck driver and their employer bear responsibility for causing a truck accident.

For example, if a trucking company failed to conduct an appropriate background check or skills check on a driver before assigning them a delivery route and the driver causes an accident, the driver would absorb some measure of fault for the incident, but their employer would also face vicarious liability for their failure to ensure the driver was capable of handling the job. Likewise, trucking companies and other truck driver employers can face vicarious liability when they fail to uphold applicable industry regulations, fail to conduct appropriate fleet vehicle maintenance, or when they fail to conduct appropriate background checks on their drivers.

Damages and Compensation in Your Truck Accident Claim

Commercial tractor-trailers are the most oversized vehicles on California roads and can easily inflict massive damage to other motorists when truck accidents happen. If you or a loved one recently experienced a truck accident, you have likely incurred substantial damages from the experience, not all of which may be immediately calculable. Your Santa Rosa truck accident lawyer will be an invaluable asset if you want to maximize your recovery to the fullest extent possible under California state law.

A personal injury plaintiff in California has the right to seek full compensation for all economic damages caused by a plaintiff’s negligence. These economic damages typically include:

  • Property damage, such as the cost of repairing or replacing the plaintiff’s vehicle and any personal belongings lost in the truck accident.
  • Medical expenses. Truck accidents often cause devastating physical injuries, many of which will require extensive long-term medical care. Therefore, you can claim immediate medical expenses like hospital bills as well as your anticipated future medical costs for any necessary ongoing care you might require after your truck accident.
  • Lost income. The victim of a truck accident will likely be unable to work for an extended time after their accident, and severe injuries can cause disabilities that prevent victims from working permanently. Your Santa Rosa truck accident lawyer will help you claim compensation for immediate lost wages as well as your lost future earning potential if you cannot return to work because of your injuries.

Economic damages are likely to only form a portion of your overall recovery from a successful truck accident claim. California law allows personal injury plaintiffs to recover non-economic damages for pain and suffering caused by a defendant’s wrongful act. As a result, you can receive substantial compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress you experienced from your accident. The amount you receive is proportionate to the severity of your injuries and the chance you will face long-term medical complications because of them.

Beyond economic and non-economic damages, it is also possible for a truck accident claim plaintiff to receive punitive damages. For example, suppose the defendant broke a federal regulation or the truck accident occurred due to gross negligence or criminal activity. In that case, the judge overseeing the case may award punitive damages to the plaintiff to further punish the defendant’s actions. The amount paid in punitive damages typically depends on the overall financial status of the defendant.

What Happens If a Truck Accident Is Fatal?

Unfortunately, not all truck accident victims survive these experiences. If you have lost a loved one in a Santa Rosa truck accident, you would have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim. This type of civil action is very similar to a personal injury claim, but while a personal injury claim seeks to compensate the victim’s losses, a wrongful death claim serves to compensate the surviving family’s losses after they have lost a loved one due to negligence. California enforces specific rules for wrongful death claims, including who may file them and the damages available from successful wrongful death claims.

What to Expect From Your Santa Rosa Truck Accident Lawyer

Pursuing any civil claim is much easier when you have a reliable attorney on your side. Truck accident claims are some of the most complex personal injury claims a plaintiff can face due to the difficulty determining liability and the substantial damages they often entail. Hiring an experienced attorney to represent you through this complicated process will allow you to rest and focus on recovery with peace of mind. In addition, your legal team will handle the procedural aspects of your case and keep you updated on the latest proceedings. They will also prepare you for all required court appearances and help you through the settlement negotiation process.

The vast majority of personal injury claims filed in the United States settle outside of court. Swift settlement benefits both the plaintiff and the defendant, allowing the former to secure compensation more quickly than they would by going to trial and allowing the latter to avoid the stress and exposure that litigation often entails. Your Santa Rosa truck accident attorney can guide you through the settlement negotiation process until you reach mutually agreeable terms with the defendant. If, for any reason, the settlement does not prove fruitful, or if the defendant contests liability or demands a trial, Rush Injury Law can provide the legal representation you will need in the litigation process.

Find Legal Counsel Today

Time is a critical factor in any personal injury case. The sooner you file your case and start the process, the sooner you can secure compensation for your losses. Rush Injury Law has years of experience handling complex personal injury claims for our clients in the Santa Rosa, CA, area. We know how trucking companies and their insurance carriers typically approach claims from individuals injured by truck drivers, and we can guide you through your case proceedings toward a positive outcome. So, if you are ready to discuss your legal options after a truck accident, contact Rush Injury Law today and schedule a free case review with a reliable Santa Rosa truck accident lawyer.

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