Commercial trucks pose a great risk to everyone else on the road, which is why drivers of these vehicles must follow additional safety regulations. Neglecting to follow these regulations can increase the danger to others. One of the most common causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. If a fatigued truck driver injured you, you could be entitled to collect damages.
At Triumph Law, our team of personal injury lawyers in California has helped our clients recover significant compensation in these cases. We can help you hold the liable party responsible and get the money you deserve. Contact us today by phone or by using our website and set up your free case consultation.
Proving Negligence in an Accident
Before you can recover compensation after an accident, you need to determine who is to blame for the crash. You can show fault by establishing that someone else was negligent or that they acted with the intent to cause harm. Proving negligence will likely require the help of an experienced California fatigued driver truck accident attorney.
To show that the truck driver was negligent in your case, you must prove that:
- The driver owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty of care
- You suffered damages
- The driver breaching their duty of care was the direct cause of your damages
Duty of Care
Establishing that the truck driver owed you a duty of care is simple. Every driver owes a duty of care to everyone they share the road with whenever they are behind the wheel. That means that if the truck driver was driving at the time of the accident, they owed you a duty of care, the same as you owed them a duty of care if you were also behind the wheel.
Breached Duty of Care
Demonstrating that the truck driver breached their duty of care in your case can be a bit more complicated. It can be challenging to show that a driver was fatigued at the time of an accident. However, there is evidence you can use to establish that the truck driver was in violation of their duty of care.
Witness testimony stating that the truck was drifting in and out of their lane is one piece of evidence you can use. Video footage of this can also be incredibly helpful. You can also obtain a copy of the truck’s black box data and the driver’s log. This information can be used to show that the driver violated the hours of service regulations for commercial drivers.
Damages You Suffered
The next step is to prove that you incurred damages as a result of the accident. You can do this by providing copies of your medical records and any invoices for repairs to your vehicle. However, it is essential that you get medical attention immediately after your crash. If you wait, the truck driver’s attorney will claim that an unrelated incident caused your injuries.
The Breached Duty of Care Caused Your Damages
The final element of negligence you must prove is causation. You must demonstrate how the truck driver breaching their duty of care caused the accident that resulted in your damages. An experienced California fatigued driver truck accident attorney will be able to help prove the chain of events.
Damages You Can Pursue Following a Fatigued Driver Truck Accident
If you were injured because of a fatigued truck driver, there are various damages you will be eligible to claim. All compensatory damages are divided between economic and non-economic damages.
All financial losses caused by your truck accident are labeled as economic damages. The most often claimed economic damages in fatigued driver truck accident cases are:
- Lost wages
- Diminished ability to earn income
- Property damage
- Necessary modifications to your vehicle or home to accommodate an injury
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
Any losses that are not monetary in nature fall into the category of non-economic damages. The most often claimed non-economic damages in fatigued driver truck accident cases are:
- Permanent disability
- Scars and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
- Diminished ability to enjoy life
- Mental anguish
Punitive damages are only awarded in a very small portion of fatigued driver truck accident cases. These damages are typically reserved for cases involving criminal negligence or actions taken with the purpose of causing harm.
The main way punitive damages differ from compensatory is by whom they focus. Compensatory damages are all about the victims and compensating them for the losses they suffered. Meanwhile, the attention of punitive damages is upon the liable party and punishing them for the part they played in the accident.
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File Your Lawsuit Before the Deadline
If you are planning to sue the at-fault party after an accident, you must pay attention to the statute of limitations. California typically allows victims to file a lawsuit up to two years after the date of the accident. Failing to meet this filing deadline could result in the loss of your options for recovering compensation.
However, the time frame for filing a lawsuit in your case may not comply with the standard deadline. Instead, you could find that you are still eligible to file a lawsuit long after the usual two-year cutoff. Alternatively, the details of your case may put further limits on the amount of time you have to take action, limiting you to a matter of months to file your lawsuit.
To ensure you know the deadline that applies to your case, it is critical that you hire an experienced California fatigued driver truck accident attorney. When you hire a lawyer, they will review your case details to determine when you have to file and ensure that all your paperwork gets submitted on time.
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Reach Out to a Fatigued Driver Truck Accident Attorney in California
When hiring an attorney after a truck accident, it is essential to choose a lawyer with a history of recovering favorable outcomes for their clients both in and out of the courtroom. Hiring a California fatigued driver truck accident attorney who is not afraid to fight your case in court will put you in the best position to recover the compensation you need.
At Triumph Law, we are ready to take your case to trial if necessary. Our team will work diligently to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us today by giving us a call or completing our online contact form and scheduling a free case review.
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