Semi-truck or tractor-trailer accidents tend to result in the most catastrophic property damage and injury. After these incidents, California injury law allows victims and their loved ones to collect damages from any negligent party. While the negligence standard may seem straightforward, the law encompasses many complex nuances that make financial recovery a challenging process.
Damages after a California truck accident typically fall into two main categories, compensatory or punitive damages. Compensatory damages include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are designed to address objective losses that have a dollar value. Typical economic damages include medical expenses, emergency room treatment, prescription drugs, medical supplies, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity; non-economic damages refer to subjective non-monetary losses. Some common non-economic damages may include emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. Punitive or “exemplary” damages refer to damages designed to punish and deter the at-fault party. Courts permit these damages in a narrow subset of cases that involve malice, oppression, or fraud.
After a California trucking accident, the victim may file a claim for damages against any liable party. Some negligent parties may include the truck driver, the trucking company, or any defective truck part manufacturer. In some instances, the exact cause of an accident is unclear. For example, local news reports described a California multi-vehicle crash on the Route 15 freeway. According to Highway Patrol, a sedan with a blown-out tire was traveling slowly when a semi-truck slammed into the vehicle. The truck continued and struck a pickup truck hauling a trailer. Emergency responders transported four people to local hospitals with one critically injured person life-flighted. The Highway Patrol stated that the cause of the accident is still under investigation.
In California, an accident victim may still recover damages even if they shared some responsibility for the accident. Under this framework, the judge or jury reduces the victim’s damages proportionate to their level of fault. However, it is essential to note that California allows defendants to purport certain affirmative defenses that many other states do not permit. For example, under the law, the negligent driver may use the injury victim’s failure to wear a seat belt as evidence to support comparative negligence. Injury victims should consult with an attorney to ensure that they have all the necessary evidence to present their case compellingly.
Were You Involved in a California Truck Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries in a California car or truck accident, contact the Neumann Law Group for assistance. The attorneys at our firm are committed to justice and ensuring that injury victims have access to the compensation needed to become whole again. Our office handles California cases resulting from car accidents, catastrophic injuries, construction accidents, dog bites, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, and defective product lawsuits. We have recovered significant amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients, and look forward to helping you with your case. Contact our office at 800-525-6386 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.