Commercial vehicle accidents tend to be more complicated than a typical motor vehicle accident and handling this type of claim requires legal knowledge and experience that many people simply don’t possess. For this reason, it is often ill-advised for you to try and handle this type of claim on your own. Give serious consideration to sitting down with an experienced attorney who you may entrust your case before trying to handle it on your own and avoid the risk that you may make mistakes that are irreparable.
What is the Timeframe to File a Trucking Accident Suit in California?
There are limitations on the amount of time that you may file a lawsuit, which is referred to as the statute of limitations. The statute varies depending on the state, so it’s very important that you don’t delay in speaking with an attorney, otherwise you may lose your legal rights because of the statute of limitations. In California, claims for personal injury are generally subject to a two-year statute of limitation.
Who Is Potentially Liable for an Accident Involving a Commercial Vehicle or a Semi-Truck?
The parties liable for a commercial vehicle accident are not always limited to the driver of the commercial vehicle. In addition to the commercial vehicle driver, any person who bears some fault, responsibility, or blame for causing the accident can be held liable for the accident as well. For instance, the owner of the commercial vehicle, the driver’s employer, and even the California Department of Transportation are potentially liable when there’s an accident. Of course, each case is unique and you will want the help of an attorney to determine the identity of all the parties that are potentially responsible for your accident.
If the Accident was Due to Road Conditions or other Natural Phenomena, Do I Still Have a Valid Claim?
It depends. If an accident occurred due to road conditions or other natural phenomena, because of improper or inappropriate maintenance of the road despite knowledge of an unreasonably dangerous condition on the road, then there’s the potential that the Department of Transportation bears some fault, or responsibility for the accident, and may be held liable. However, if the driver who was injured was the sole negligent cause for the accident, it would be challenging to find a valid claim against someone other than the driver who was injured.
What are the Biggest Challenges Involved in a Trucking Accident Case?
Each case varies. Sometimes it may be a case where the insurer or insurance company of the semi-truck or other commercial vehicle denies coverage, in which case then there’s the complication in having to submit a first-party insurance claim, a claim to one’s own insurance. Other times the injuries may be fairly significant, so the treatment is going to be fairly extensive and it’s going to require a great deal of time in order to reach a point where you are stable and in a position where we may submit a demand on your behalf to the insurance for the other driver.
Can Companies Avoid or Deny Liability in a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
Yes. They can try to prove that the accident was not their fault, so in that case they would be fighting us on liability. In some cases they may be arguing from a position of comparative fault, so even if some parts of the accident was their responsibility, they are claiming that it’s not completely their responsibility, so then they would maintain that whatever compensation you receive should be discounted to reflect your comparative negligence in the matter.
Another way that they can sometimes fight or defend a case is to claim that you were not injured because of the accident. Perhaps you have a prior existing condition and they will try to point to the prior condition being caused by something else other than the accident. Another way that they may also defend on this matter is to argue that the medical care and the expenses were not reasonable and necessarily incurred because of the accident, so that they may minimize the amount awarded to you as compensation.
What are the Remedies If a Company Denies My Claim?
If you have an attorney, then it would be your attorney’s responsibility to follow up. Again, it really is complicated for somebody to try to handle this on their own, but to answer that question; it’s really going to depend on the reason why the company has denied your claim.
If it’s a coverage issue and they’re claiming that the other driver did not have insurance because perhaps the insurance had lapsed or the policy did not cover this particular driver, then we’re going to need to try to find some other insurance in order to cover the claim. Typically this is going to involve making a first-party claim to your own insurance, and then have your attorney proceed with the filing of a lawsuit if the uninsured motorist coverage is insufficient to cover all of your damages.
For more information on Initiating a Trucking Accident Claim, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (714) 697-8600 today.