The back is composed of tendons, ligaments, muscles, discs, nerves, and vertebrae. Although these structures can withstand minor bumps and jolts, they are prone to severe damage in forceful impacts.
If you hurt your back in a large truck crash, you may be struggling to cope with the physical, emotional, and financial effects of such a debilitating injury. While filing a claim against those liable for the wreck won’t erase the trauma you’ve experienced, it could yield the funds needed to put your life back together.
Let’s take a look at the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about building a personal injury claim in such a scenario:
1. Who Might Be Liable for My Back Injury?
The circumstances surrounding the accident in which you were hurt will determine whom you name in your back injury claim. When it comes to truck accidents, there are a number of parties that could be responsible. Some of the most likely defendants include:
- The trucker;
- The motor carrier that employed the trucker;
- The motor carrier’s maintenance contractor;
- A vehicle or parts manufacturer;
- The cargo loading company;
- The municipality that designed the roadway (or failed to maintain it to a reasonably safe standard); and
- Another motorist who was involved.
A resourceful legal team can help you conduct a thorough investigation to identify all liable parties. If multiple parties were to blame, you will want to include all of them in your claim to maximize the potential settlement or verdict.
2. How Can I Prove Liability for My Back Injury?
Over the course of the investigation, your legal team will attempt to gather the evidence they need to prove liability. Naturally, the strongest evidence will depend on the facts of the case, but it will most likely include some combination of the following:
- Driver’s logs;
- Black box data;
- Eyewitness statements;
- The official police report;
- Toxicology results;
- Cell phone records;
- Weigh station receipts;
- GPS data;
- Dash cam footage;
- Recordings from surveillance cameras near the scene; and
- Maintenance records.
3. How Much Is My Back Injury Claim Worth?
Since legal proceedings are inherently unpredictable, a reputable personal injury attorney will never promise to secure a specific dollar amount for you. He or she can help you track all recoverable damages, however, to determine a starting point for the negotiations. In California, such damages include:
- Property repairs;
- Pain and suffering;
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Home care;
- Reasonably necessary replacement services;
- Home and vehicle modifications;
- Alternative transportation;
- Emotional distress; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
It’s important to remember that the figure your legal team arrives at for the damages listed above will just serve as an estimate. Should your truck accident claim prove successful, a number of factors could ultimately influence the final settlement or verdict that you recover. Examples include:
- The strength of the evidence you present;
- The opposing party’s willingness to cooperate;
- The liable party’s total available insurance coverage;
- The role you played in the accident;
- The steps you took—or failed to take—in the aftermath to mitigate damages; and
- Whether you’re entitled to a punitive award on top of the standard compensatory damages.
4. What If the Claims Adjuster Absolutely Refuses to Offer a Fair Settlement?
Most truck accident claims are settled because both parties want to avoid the hassle and expense of going to trial. Should the claims adjuster challenge the total extent of your damages, however, or refuse to acknowledge their policyholder’s liability, proceeding to litigation may be the only way to pursue the compensation you deserve.
As such, it’s wise to hire an attorney with trial experience from day one. Look for a lawyer who will prepare your case for court even if a settlement is the expected outcome. This will prevent unnecessary delays should you end up having to file a formal lawsuit.
In California, personal injury claimants generally have two years from the date on which they were hurt to file suit. Should they attempt to file a lawsuit after this deadline has passed, the judge will most likely dismiss the case.
As there are several exceptions to the standard statute of limitations, it’s wise to consult an attorney as soon as possible. If it turns out a government entity was to blame for the truck accident, for example, you may have as little as six months to commence the proceedings by filing an administrative claim with the appropriate agency.
The government will then have 45 days to conduct their own investigation and respond. If they deny your request for compensation, you may proceed with the lawsuit within six months from the date on which you received the rejection letter. If you never received a denial, the standard filing deadline of two years will most likely apply.
Call (562) 206-1939 for a Free Consultation with a Long Beach Truck Accident Attorney
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
If you were seriously hurt in a large truck crash, you can count on the Law Office of Michael D. Waks for exceptional representation at every stage of the claims process. Attorney Michael D. Waks has the resources and experience to take on even the largest motor carriers and insurers, and he’s determined to see every case through to the end. Call (562) 206-1939 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Long Beach.
Download Our Car Accident Emergency Response. PDF
Tractor-trailers use all the major roadways across the country, which means if you drive regularly, there’s a chance you’ll be involved in a large truck crash at some point. Should this happen, documenting the scene thoroughly will give your claim the best chance of success. By keeping our Car Accident Emergency Response .pdf in your glovebox, you’ll have a detailed guide on hand that lists all pertinent information you should record before leaving the area. Download it HERE for free.
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