If you or a loved one is the victim of a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact a San Diego truck accident attorney to learn more about your rights to a financial recovery.
In an instant, your world can be turned on its head. For instance, a truck crosses over into your lane and clips your car, causing it to careen into a guard rail before finally coming to rest upside down in a ditch. In that instant, you become a victim with serious physical and emotional injuries and find yourself mired in a financial pit deeper than the ditch where your car came to rest. When that happens, you may find yourself asking a lot of questions:
“What are the extent of my injuries?”
“Do I have a valid claim?”
“How long will I be out of work?”
“What can I recover?”
“How much would it cost to hire an attorney?”
The accident will likely give you a laundry list of concerns that consume your every waking moment. These could include filing for short/long-term disability, handling insurance claims, and paying medical bills, or they could mean balancing a budget with reduced income now that you’re on short-term disability. They could also mean many appointments with your physical therapist so that you can learn to walk normally again.
Once you’ve had a chance to process your situation, you should pick up the phone and call a personal injury lawyer.
The first thing your attorney will do is gather the facts of your case to determine whether you, the plaintiff, have a valid claim. In a personal injury case, there are five elements of negligence to meet. These five elements are: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
In the case of a truck accident, “duty” is a legally recognized relationship between a defendant (truck driver) and a plaintiff (injured motorist) that a defendant should behave according to prescribed manners toward a plaintiff. In our example, the truck driver has a duty of care to stay in his lane.
“Breach” of that duty occurs when a defendant fails to exercise reasonable care in fulfilling that duty. When the truck driver crossed over into the next lane, he breached his duty of care.
Causation means that there must be a connection between the driver’s breach and the accident, and finally, damages are a way of showing an actual, concrete harm occurred. In a personal injury case, a plaintiff must prove a legally recognized harm, like a physical injury, emotional distress, or lost wages.
Proving your damages is a critical part of any personal injury case. Some of the damages your personal injury lawyer will attempt to recover include the following:
In most personal injury cases, you will only pay if you settle your case or win in court. This is called a “contingency fee” arrangement. This means you will not pay your attorney up front, but rather, your attorney will take a percentage of your settlement or verdict.
When you’re involved in an accident, especially if your injuries are serious, the stakes are simply too high to go it alone. After you tend to your injuries, your next call should be to a personal injury lawyer.
There are many factors to consider when selecting a law firm following a truck accident. You should feel confident that whoever your attorney might be, that person will advocate zealously for you. You should feel comfortable with the fee schedule and representation agreement you will enter into with your attorney. And while no attorney can promise results, you can expect a better outcome than you could have achieved on your own. Focus your energy on physical, emotional, and financial recovery. Let your attorney focus on making your case and telling your story.