When big rigs collide with small passenger vehicles, catastrophic injuries are likely to result. Cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs are simply no match for forceful impacts with 18-wheelers.
If you sustained head trauma in a large truck crash, you may be wondering how you will be able to restore some sense of normalcy. While there’s no way to go back in time and undo the wreck, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages it has caused. And if you can hold all liable parties financially accountable, it may be easier to put your life back together.
Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about truck accident brain injury claims:
1. Who Could Be Liable for a Large Truck Crash?
The first step to building a strong truck accident claim is identifying all responsible parties. Your legal team will start by conducting a thorough investigation and consulting relevant experts to determine what happened in the moments leading up to the crash.
The circumstances surrounding the collision will ultimately determine whom you name in your claim. For most large truck crashes, at least one of the following parties is usually to blame:
- The trucker;
- The motor carrier that employed the trucker;
- The motor carrier’s maintenance contractor;
- The cargo loading company;
- A vehicle or parts manufacturer;
- Other motorists who were involved; and/or
- The government agency responsible for designing or maintaining the roads.
2. How Can I Prove Liability for the Accident in Which I Was Hurt?
While conducting their investigation, your legal team will gather the evidence needed to demonstrate the role each party played in the accident. The strongest evidence of liability will depend on the facts of the case, but it will probably include some combination of the following:
- Photographs of the wreckage;
- Eyewitness statements;
- The official police report;
- Dash cam footage;
- Surveillance recordings from cameras near the scene;
- Black box data;
- Driver’s logs;
- Cell phone records;
- Toxicology reports;
- Weigh station receipts;
- Maintenance records;
- Statements from an accident reconstruction expert; and
- The motor carrier’s hiring practices, training requirements, and standard operating procedures.
3. What Kinds of Damages Might I Be Able to Seek?
Because of its impact on cognitive function, a brain injury can alter your life in significant—and permanent—ways. With help from a resourceful personal injury attorney, though, you can seek compensation for all the damages you incur as a result of your condition.
Under some circumstances, California allows for the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages including:
- Emergency medical care;
- Ongoing rehabilitation;
- Home care;
- Home and vehicle modifications;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Property repairs;
- Alternative transportation;
- Child care;
- Domestic help;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of enjoyment in life; and
- Pain and suffering.
If you happen to be in a long-term relationship, your spouse or registered domestic partner may also be entitled to compensation for loss of consortium. This encompasses the loss of love, companionship, and affection that he or she will incur as a result of your brain injury.
4. What If I Played a Role in the Accident or Contributed to the Severity of My Injuries?
When a large truck crash occurs, it’s not uncommon for multiple parties to have played a role. Under California’s pure comparative fault rule, accident victims are not barred from recovering compensation if they contributed to their damages. The payout to which they are entitled is simply reduced by their own percentage of fault.
That means if you played a role in the wreck—or failed to mitigate damages afterward—you may still file a claim. You should be prepared, however, for the opposing party to shift some portion of liability to you.
5. If I File a Brain Injury Claim, Will I Have to Go to Trial?
Navigating complicated legal proceedings is the last thing anyone wants to do when adjusting to life with a brain injury. Fortunately, most personal injury claims are resolved before trial.
Since there’s always the chance that yours will be one of the few that end up in court, though, it’s wise to seek counsel from a seasoned trial attorney. A reputable litigator will prepare your case for court even if a settlement is the expected outcome. This will prevent unnecessary delays while also letting the opposing party know that you’re committed to seeing the case through to the end.
6. When Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
It’s advisable to call an attorney as soon as your condition stabilizes. You will have a lot to do in the wake of the accident, but you should make an effort to prioritize your brain injury claim.
Enlisting legal help right away is a good idea for several reasons. First, it will give your legal team the opportunity to gather time-sensitive evidence before it’s altered or destroyed. Second, it will ensure you don’t miss any filing deadlines if the opposing party proves uncooperative and you end up having to enter litigation. Third, it will allow your lawyer to track damages from day one so none of your losses goes overlooked.
Call (562) 206-1939 to Discuss Your Case with a Long Beach Truck Accident Attorney
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
At the Law Office of Michael D. Waks, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a serious brain injury can take on the whole family. If you were struck by a distracted, drowsy, or otherwise reckless trucker, let us help you put your life back together.
Michael D. Waks has been representing the injured and their families for more than 30 years. Call (562) 206-1939 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Long Beach.
Download Our Car Accident Emergency Response .PDF
To ensure you’re prepared for all eventualities, print out our Car Accident Emergency Response .pdf, and keep a copy in your glovebox. Should you end up in a wreck, this handy checklist will help you record the scene thoroughly. Download it HERE for free.
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