Commercial vehicles are on the roadways around the clock to stock our retail store shelves so we can feed and clothe our families. Many people expect commercial drivers to exercise more than the usual amount of caution when operating their vehicles.
However, truck drivers are human beings, and by nature they are subject to the same poor decision-making as any other drivers. When those bad decisions lead to another person’s injury or death, the law allows you to hold negligent truck drivers accountable. It is not uncommon for truck drivers to experience a lapse in judgment and get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. If your still struggling with injuries from an accident learn what the truck accident attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys can do to assist you in the recovery process.
Drunk Driving Is a Crime
Every state has laws that pertain to drunk driving and California is no exception. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, California also has the second highest incidence of drunk driving fatalities. The statistics do not indicate the number of fatal accidents involving commercial trucks. However, due to the sheer number of commercial trucks on the roadways, a significant number of accidents are caused by impaired truck drivers.
Drinking and driving may subject drivers to criminal proceedings, which could result in the loss of a driver’s commercial license. However, just like any other driver, the threat of criminal action is not always a deterrent. Truckers often are far from home and on the road for several hours a day. Truck drivers often make bad decisions like anyone else.
Injuries Impact on Victims
Drunk driving accidents occur at a staggering rate on California roadways and the injuries sustained by victims are often severe. Someone who is driving impaired may also be speeding which can result in more serious injuries during a car accident. Considering that it takes 40 percent longer to stop a loaded truck than a car, commercial trucks can cause catastrophic injuries. Common injuries after a truck accident include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Cuts and lacerations from broken glass
These are only a few of the injuries one may suffer when they are involved in a truck accident. Should the truck roll over, victims can lose their lives, or may lose a limb due to amputation. The physical toll a truck accident has on victims can have a life-long impact. This is particularly true when victims suffer spinal cord or brain injury that causes permanent disability.
Keep in mind, brain injuries can result in victims suffering dramatic changes in their personalities and render a survivor unable to return to work because they may suffer from paralysis, limited mobility, or cognitive disabilities.
Holding Drunk Truck Drivers Accountable
We know money cannot undo the impacts of a crippling injury. We also know that money cannot replace your loved one who was killed by an impaired truck driver. However, the drunk truck driver must be held financially responsible for their actions. You should not have to bear the costs associated with medical care, time lost from work, or face an uncertain financial future.
The best way to hold responsible parties accountable is to seek the advice of an experienced truck accident attorney. California law requires commercial drivers to carry a higher amount of insurance than other drivers. However, insurance adjusters are going to do everything possible to either reject your claim or pay as little as possible. Often, insurance adjusters will attempt to get you to settle a claim before you are fully recovered from your injury. Before you are fully recovered, it is hard to predict the full extent of your injuries. If you settle too early, you may be paying for unanticipated medical care later.
Deciding to Settle or Litigate
Some victims may decide the best disposition of their truck accident claim is to settle out of court. This may be a good option when an insurance company is willing to negotiate in good faith. If negotiations are unsuccessful, you will want a strong advocate who is willing to litigate your case in court. Therefore, finding an attorney with a proven track record of success is your best option. The past results of a lawyer are not always reflective of what they may accomplish today. However, they are usually a good measure of the lawyer’s intent to advocate in the best interests of their clients.
You have rights as a victim. To protect those rights you should consult with someone who understands California’s accident injury laws. These laws are complex and may be further complicated when multiple parties may bear liability for your injuries. Insurance companies are unlikely to explain your legal rights. They have one goal: Expose their clients to the least amount of financial responsibility.
Your primary goal after being involved in an accident is to regain your physical health. Your recovery period will most likely take several weeks or even months after a truck accident. Working with a lawyer allows you to focus on your physical recovery. They can handle the work associated with helping you recover financially. You also need not worry about dealing with payment because nearly all of these cases are handled on a contingency fee. A contingency fee agreement will waive most legal fees upfront and you will pay for most legal services only after a successful settlement.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a drinking and driving trucker, you will undoubtedly have questions. An experienced attorney can help you get the answers you need to decide how to proceed. Speaking with an attorney can ensure you are fully compensated for the financial losses you suffered.