The damage, harm, and impact of a truck collision are some of the most significant that can happen on the roads. The damage and costs that these accidents create are the responsibility of those who caused them and are most often paid by their insurance providers. Working with a Miami Truck accident lawyer can be critical to ensuring that you get the compensation that you deserve.
The size disparity of a truck compared with other vehicles on the road creates a significant level of danger for anyone involved. That is why truck collisions are often some of the most complex motor vehicle accidents, often involving multiple parties. At Callejo Law, we have experience with these kinds of accidents and with the insurance companies that are involved in these kinds of claims. We work hard to seek the restitution that our clients deserve.
In the process of seeking proper compensation for your injuries, a Miami truck accident lawyer must take on several important tasks. Often, this means beginning with the circumstances of the accident.
The first thing that your truck accident attorney must determine is which party is liable for the accident. This can be an especially complex issue in a truck accident, as compared with other motor vehicle accidents. This is because of how many potential parties are involved in a trucking operation. Given the nature of this industry, it’s quite possible that a mishap that leads to an accident could happen at any number of points in the trucking process.
Your lawyer must investigate precisely which of these parties should be held accountable for the accident and the injuries that occurred as a result. They need to gather evidence that can be helpful in proving this liability. Additionally, they must also look for evidence that could be used to argue against any claims that you were liable for the accident. This kind of argument is often used to reduce the compensation that you receive, so it is critical to find ways of defending against such accusations.
Before a claim gets taken to court, there is often an attempt to reach some kind of settlement through negotiations. Settlements sometimes have the benefit of saving both parties months or years before getting a resolution. They also avoid subjecting either party to the risk of a ruling that is not in their favor, as could happen in a trial.
Lawyers can offer some real advantages when negotiating on behalf of their clients. One of these is that it protects their clients from saying something that could be used against them. Insurance companies will be looking for anything that even slightly sounds like taking the blame for the accident. They will use that against you and argue for decreased compensation. A lawyer, though, can help avoid that.
Having a lawyer with you often leads to the other party taking the process a little more seriously. They know that they aren’t likely to get anywhere with a lowball offer, as an experienced lawyer can quickly identify and call out such a tactic. There is also the implicit threat of the claim going to court when a lawyer is present. If the insurance company has a strong desire to avoid a claim, this could encourage negotiations.
While the goal may be to find an agreement that avoids a trial, that agreement must be fair. If fair settlement parameters can’t be reached, then it may be necessary to take the claim to trial. If that happens, your lawyer must make the case for liability on the part of the defendant and why they should compensate your costs. They must also defend against any accusations of fault on your part.
While the question of liability in a truck accident may seem like a simple one, it can actually be quite complex. While the driver of the truck might be presumed to be the most likely candidate for being at fault, this is not always the case. Even when the driver is at fault, they may not be the only potentially liable party. Some of the parties that could potentially be liable in a truck accident include:
Fault in a truck accident is proved by the same basic process as any personal injury claim, of which it is a subset. The proof of fault, or negligence, is what justifies the collection of compensation from the defendant. Therefore, the plaintiff’s lawyer must use whatever evidence and witness testimony that they can to prove the three elements that are involved in negligence.
To prove negligence, it must first be shown that there was a duty of care that existed on the part of the defendant in that situation. In broad terms, this means that they had a responsibility to take reasonable measures to prevent harm from coming to others. In cases involving trucking, this is not particularly difficult to prove. Given the seriousness of the damage that a truck can do, it is generally well-understood that the process should be treated with care.
Once a duty is demonstrated, it must then be shown that the duty was not met in the situation in which the accident occurred. This may be a little different from case to case, depending on who the liable party is. For a truck driver, a failure to follow traffic laws or a similar mistake is typically what the breach will involve. However, if the defendant is a company, it may be an issue with policy. The breach will be very specific to the duty that was present.
To prove this element, the plaintiff’s team must prove exactly what the defendant did in a given situation, using the evidence that they gathered. Then, they must justify and describe what made those actions a breach of duty. Sometimes, it can help to call in a professional who works in the defendant’s industry. They can explain to the court what the defendant should have done and how they failed to do so.
Finally, the breach must be the direct cause of the injuries in question. For a truck accident, this means first proving that the breach was the cause of the accident that occurred. That’s not always clear, as there are breaches that could not necessarily be the cause of an accident. For instance, sending a quick text at a stoplight could technically constitute a breach. However, that breach isn’t the cause if they are rear-ended at that same light. Therefore, a lawyer must show how the accident came about as a result of the breach.
Once that is established, the injuries in question must also be shown to be a result of the accident. Although you may not think that this would be controversial, it’s important to consider the possibilities. There are times when some people have lied about the source or severity of an injury to receive compensation. Your lawyer must demonstrate a clear connection between the breach and the accident to receive compensation.
The compensation for a truck accident must also have a direct connection back to the breach. This is why the plaintiff’s lawyers must show that the costs were a direct result of the injuries that were suffered because of the breach of duty. The damages through which these costs are paid come in a few different forms:
If a cost has a clear financial component, then it will most likely be compensated through economic damages. This includes all the medical bills that are related to the injuries, any property damage to the vehicle involved, and lost wages.
In the case of more serious injuries, where some of these costs are expected to be ongoing, future medical costs and lost earning capacity are also addressed.
The injuries sustained in a truck accident can often have psychological and emotional components. For instance, pain and suffering or mental anguish are not uncommon costs, and these are addressed through non-economic damages. Money, of course, won’t fix these issues, but it can be helpful in managing them.
Although rarely awarded in a truck accident, the possibility of punitive damages exists. These are awarded as a condemnation and punishment based on the defendant’s behavior. Therefore, punitive damages will only be awarded if there was something malicious or otherwise egregious about the defendant’s actions.
A: The standard statute of limitations that applies to a truck accident claim in California is four years. This means that those who have been in a truck accident will have four years to prepare a case and possibly negotiate, but the claim must be filed by four years from the incident.
There are, though, a variety of potential exceptions, extensions, and even reductions involved as well. The deadline to file can be impacted by a number of significant factors, including who is being held liable, when the injuries were found, and if the injured party was a minor.
It’s critical that you speak with a truck accident lawyer soon after your accident so that you can have a firm understanding of the statutes of limitations that apply to your situation.
A: There’s no standard answer to the question of whether to settle a claim or take it to court. The decision will be highly influenced by the specifics of your case, negotiation results, and personal preference.
Generally, settling a claim is going to mean less money awarded than if you successfully took the claim to court. However, passing up on this opportunity can often be worth it for some because of the benefits, one of which is the uncertainty of whether the trial will go perfectly or not. It could also end up being a disaster if you are ruled entirely against. A settlement, at least, establishes a guaranteed amount that you would receive.
Another potential benefit is time, as settling a case can often be done much quicker than taking the claim to court. For some, settling can mean receiving funds months and possibly years before they might have finally received them following the conclusion of a lengthy court case. Therefore, for those who have a more urgent need for funds, a settlement can be a critical way of getting compensation more quickly.
A: Comparative negligence does have the potential to impact your case. This is a system that will give the defendant’s lawyers the opportunity to argue for your fault and prove negligence regarding your actions in the accident. They will need to prove the same components of negligence that your lawyers do. If successful, then you will be assigned a value that represents your share of fault for the injuries.
In some states, a share of fault above 50% means an automatic disqualification from being able to collect damages. Fortunately, because California uses a system of pure comparative negligence, even someone who is 99% at fault is still able to collect damages.
However, the damage award will be reduced proportionately to the share of fault that the plaintiff bears. For example, someone who has a damage award of $500,000 but was found to be 10% at fault will now collect $450,000.
A: If you’ve been in a truck accident in Miami, FL, there are a few important things to remember. How you handle the aftermath of the accident could have an impact on your case. Some of the important considerations are:
Truck accidents are some of the most dangerous incidents that can happen on the road. The impact of a collision with a truck can do significant damage to a vehicle and the occupants inside. These crashes often come at a tremendous cost to those involved, both financially and psychologically.
It’s the right of those injured by someone else’s negligence to seek compensation for those costs. However, to do so can often require the help of a Miami truck accident lawyer, like you can find at Callejo Law, to get fair restitution. Contact our office in Coral Gables to discuss your truck accident and compensation. Our attorney is fluent in Spanish and ready to discuss your case.
Fields marked with an * are required