San Jose Trucking Accident Lawyer

There is no question that commercial trucking helps to ensure that California’s economy thrives. Federal data suggests that roughly 11.84 billion tons of freight were hauled via large commercial trucks in the U.S. during 2019 alone. Although planes, trains, and ships help to transport exports, imports, agricultural products, wares, and raw materials, commercial trucking remains the primary way in which physical goods are transported throughout California and the rest of the nation. Unfortunately, due to the ways in which they’re constructed, large commercial vehicles are not just prone to crashing, they are prone to causing devastating harm when they crash. U.S. law allows semi-trucks to weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, which exceeds 20 times the weight of an average passenger car. Some semis operate with multiple trailers attached, which means that they can reach 75 feet in length. Their imprecise turning radius, slower-than-average braking time, and sizable blind spots only make their imposing size and weight that much more inherently hazardous.

When these massive vehicles crash, the consequences can be catastrophic. If you have recently been injured in an accident involving a large truck, you’re all too aware of this reality. It can help – at least somewhat – to understand that you’re not alone and that you almost certainly have opportunities for legal and financial recourse available to you in the wake of a crash. Our firm chooses to offer free consultations to all truck accident injury victims, both truck operators and those who don’t drive professionally, because everyone who has suffered harm deserves to understand their rights under California law. Even if you partially contributed to the cause of your crash, if another’s negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct served as a substantial factor in the cause of your injuries, you may be able to hold them financially accountable. Additionally, you may be eligible to receive compensation even if your accident was completely your fault if you were driving for work-related purposes at the time of your crash. Schedule a free, risk-free, confidential consultation with our firm today to learn more.

Fighting for the Rights of Injured Motorists and Truck Operators

Our firm has earned a reputation for providing quality, comprehensive legal services and for effective advocacy on behalf of our clients. This reputation was built over time, by focusing on the core value of investing our efforts on behalf of the client first, foremost, and always, and investing efforts on behalf of our business second.

 This reputation was built over time, by focusing on the core value of investing our efforts on behalf of the client first, foremost, and always, and investing efforts on behalf of our business second. When you arrive for your free consultation, we’ll answer any questions you may have about your legal situation before providing you with an objective case analysis that will allow you to make informed decisions moving forward. We’ll also explain our approach to representation and what you can expect from developing an attorney-client relationship with one of our skilled and experienced lawyers.

Our firm prides itself on being simultaneously tenacious and trustworthy when it comes to client representation. We look forward to learning about how we can apply this approach for your benefits during your no-cost case evaluation session.

Truck Operators and Motorists Injured While Traveling for Work

Large truck accidents almost always involve at least one injury victim who was driving for work-related purposes at the time of the crash. It is important to understand that drivers injured while traveling for work-related purposes are often subject to different opportunities for legal and financial recourse than those who are injured while traveling for reasons that are not work-related. If you were injured while driving for work, whether you were operating a work-issued vehicle or you were simply running an errand for your boss at the time of your collision, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits as a result of your injuries. If you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, your opportunity to file a personal injury suit related to your accident may be impacted by this eligibility.

Workers’ compensation benefits are made available to eligible workers, regardless of how their work-related harm was caused. This means that fault for the harm in question isn’t relevant to an injured or ill worker’s eligibility for a benefits award, unless that worker is trying to commit fraud, was injured by starting a fight, or was impaired by substances at the time they were injured. The only significant concern that must be proven in order to file a workers’ compensation claim successfully involves whether the harm was, indeed, work-related.

“In exchange” for the ability to collect workers’ compensation benefits regardless of issues related to causation and fault for work-related harm, employees eligible for workers’ compensation benefits give up the right to sue their employers directly for any part that their employers may have played in causing the harm in question. Therefore, if you’re eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits (eligibility extends to most full-time and part-time employees but not to independent contractors) you will be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against any third parties whose negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous conduct led to your harm – except your employer.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim Related to Harm Caused by a Truck Accident

If another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous conduct served as a substantial factor in the cause of your injuries, you likely have strong grounds upon which to file a personal injury claim in the wake of your accident. As noted above, if you were harmed in a work-related crash and you’re eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits, you cannot sue your employer directly via the personal injury claims process. However, under virtually all other circumstances, you can hold others responsible for causing your injuries as a result of negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct. If your personal injury claim is successful, you may be entitled to receive significant compensation as a result of the harm you have suffered.

Fault and Causation Considerations

Before you commit to the idea of filing a personal injury claim, our firm will need to evaluate the cause(s) of your accident and determine which party/parties are at fault for the harm that resulted from that crash. There are cases in which no one is to blame for the harm caused by a truck collision. For example, a truck operator is driving at night, is paying attention to the road, and is operating their vehicle safely. Suddenly, a large animal darts into the road, several motorists must swerve to avoid colliding with it and the truck runs into the ditch to avoid hitting the other cars. In this scenario, no one is to blame for any injuries that the truck driver incurred while swerving into the ditch. However, most of the time, at least one party is to blame for harm caused by an accident.

Once our team determines WHY your collision occurred, we can investigate which party or parties may be held legally liable for the resulting harm. Depending on the unique circumstances surrounding your crash, you may be able to hold another vehicle operator involved in the crash, the employer of the trucking company, and even the government agency responsible for safe maintenance of the road you crashed on legally liable for the harm you’ve suffered. According to federal data, roughly 87 percent of truck accidents involve vehicle operator error, 10 percent involve inadequate vehicle maintenance issues, and three percent involve unsafe roads. Our team will not make assumptions about the causes of your crash – we’ll investigate thoroughly until we uncover the truth. That way, you’ll be placed in the best possible position to make informed decisions about your legal options.

The Advantages of Comparative Negligence

California state law honors a legal theory known as “comparative negligence.” This is great news for motor vehicle accident victims because it means that they aren’t barred from seeking compensation from others simply because they may have been partially to blame for the accident in question. In contributory negligence states, many injury victims are not permitted to pursue legal remedies against those who have caused them harm if the injury victims themselves contributed to the cause of the crash under consideration. By contrast, in California, as long as accident victims are not solely to blame for the harm they’ve suffered, they may seek restitution from others whose negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct served as a substantial factor in the direct cause(s) of their injuries.

If it is determined that you are partially to blame for your recent crash, the compensation amount you’re eligible to receive will be reduced by your assigned percentage of fault. For example, if your harm is valued at $70,000 and you’re deemed to be 10 percent responsible for your crash, you’ll remain entitled to pursue up to $63,000 from others who were also partially responsible for your collision.

It is therefore important to avoid making assumptions about what your case is worth and whether or not you have grounds to file a claim based upon your perceptions of what caused your crash. After our team investigates, we may discover that you’re far less to blame and owed far more compensation related to your crash than you’ve assumed that you are.

Employer Retaliation Concerns

It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against a worker for reporting their injuries, participating in activities related to worker safety, filing a workers’ compensation claim, or otherwise exercising their rights under the law. With that said, not every employer behaves with this legal prohibition in mind. Therefore, if you have any concerns about employer retaliation in the wake of your accident, please voice these concerns during your free consultation. Our experienced legal team can both explain your rights under the law and work to ensure that these rights remain protected as you move forward.

Contact Our Firm Today for a Free Case Evaluation

Work-related injuries caused by truck accidents must be reported to an injury victim’s employer within 30 days if that employee wishes to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Although injury victims do not have to act quite as quickly to exercise their rights under California’s personal injury statutes, it remains important to connect with a lawyer to discuss your options as soon as you possibly can. Critical evidence related to your crash may need to be preserved quickly in order to better ensure that your case remains as strong as it can possibly be. Additionally, acting quickly may allow you to take some time to think your options through, in informed ways, before the statute of limitations that applies to your case has run.

If you haven’t yet scheduled a free, confidential, no-risk consultation with our experienced Northern California truck accident attorneys, please do so today. By investing an hour or two of your time now, you may preserve your rights as an accident victim and your ability to obtain significant compensation down the road. We look forward to speaking with you.

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