Commercial truck accidents occur at an exceptionally high rate in California. These accidents often result in significant damage due to the extreme size and weight of these vehicles. If you were injured in a crash, an experienced Westchester personal injury lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation from the liable party.
At ASWT, we know the challenges that truck accident victims tend to face. In our 30+ years of serving accident victims, we have helped countless clients get the money they need and deserve from those responsible for their damages. Contact us today by phone or through our website to schedule a free consultation with a Westchester personal injury lawyer from our firm.
File Your Truck Accident Lawsuit Before the Filing Deadline
The personal injury statute of limitations in California typically allows accident victims two years to file a lawsuit for injury-related damages and three years for property damage. Failing to file the required paperwork before this deadline will likely result in the loss of your right to claim damages.
However, even if you have missed this cutoff date and believe you no longer qualify to file a lawsuit, it is still critical that you contact an experienced truck accident lawyer. Special circumstances may apply to your case that permit you to file beyond the usual two-year deadline, and an attorney can help you identify whether or not you still have the option to sue.
Of course, you also need to realize that the filing deadline can shift in the other direction. Depending on the details of your case, you could find yourself with far less time to file. The best way to avoid losing your right to claim compensation because of an unforeseen deadline is by contacting an experienced attorney from our team soon after your accident.
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Higher Safety Standards for Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies
Because of the massive damage that commercial trucks are capable of inflicting in the event of a crash, special safety regulations apply to the operators of these vehicles to help minimize the risk of damage. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces a wide array of trucking regulations aimed at minimizing the risks that these vehicles pose.
A key part of these regulations is the various hours of service rules that truck drivers must follow. These rules include:
- A 10-hour off-duty requirement
- A 14-hour on-duty limit
- An 11-hour driving limit
- A 30-minute break
- A 60/70-hour limit
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Truck Accident Cases Usually Settle Out of Court
When pursuing damages following a truck accident, it is important to understand that these cases are usually resolved through out-of-court settlements. The reason for this is that a settlement is typically in the best interest of all parties involved. For the victim, settling means a quicker recovery of compensation and not having to worry about an unpredictable jury trial.
Meanwhile the at-fault party benefits from paying less in legal fees. Furthermore, avoiding a court appearance means minimizing any unwanted media coverage surrounding the accident that might accompany a trial.
Although your case will most likely settle out of court, you still need to be prepared for a potential court date. There is always the possibility that you will not be able to come to terms with the liable party on a settlement deal. Additionally, being prepared to take your case to trial will improve your leverage in settlement negotiations.
Damages You Can Recover After a Truck Accident
Following a truck accident where you suffered significant injuries, there are a variety of damages you will likely be able to claim. To ensure you collect the full amount to which you are entitled, it is critical that you identify all of the damages that apply. An experienced attorney can help you determine what damages you can claim.
At our firm, we have helped countless injury victims calculate and pursue damages after a crash. Our case results speak for themselves.
Any losses you incurred because of your accident that impacted your financial situation are considered economic damages. Economic damages are awarded to compensate for both money you had to spend after your accident and any income you were prevented from earning. The most commonly awarded economic damages in these cases include:
- Lost wages
- Decreased ability to earn income
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Projected future medical bills
All other losses resulting from your accident are considered to be non-economic damages. Non-economic damages can vary significantly. Instead of being financial in nature, these losses tend to affect victims on a much more personal level. The most commonly awarded non-economic damages in these cases include:
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Decreased quality of life
- Loss of consortium
In rare cases, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages are not used as a means of compensating an accident victim for the losses they incurred, as with the damages mentioned above.
Instead, the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the liable party for the part they played in causing the accident to occur. For the court to award punitive damages, the responsible party must have acted in a manner deemed criminally negligent or with the express intent of causing harm to others.
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Reach Out to an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Westchester Today
After suffering damages in a truck accident, retaining the services of an experienced truck accident lawyer is critical. At ASWT, our team has a proven track record of success in handling these types of cases. With over 300 years of combined experience, we can help you recover the compensation you need and deserve.
Contact us today through our website or over the phone and schedule a free case consultation with a member of our legal team.