If you or a loved one has been injured in a delivery truck accident, California law may entitle you to financial compensation. The Riverside delivery truck accident lawyers at Hanson & Mouri can help you with your claim and ensure you and your family receive the justice you deserve. Request a free consultation online or call (951) 419-3199 today.
An accident with a delivery truck can be catastrophic, which may mean months of recovery with bills piling up while you are unable to work. On top of that, truck accident cases can be incredibly complex, and it can be challenging to determine which party is liable for your losses. In most truck accident claims, there are many parties involved that may be responsible. To avoid the stress of determining which party to file a claim against and battling for the compensation you deserve, hire a delivery truck accident lawyer. They will handle every aspect of your claim for you while you focus on getting better.
To ensure you recover maximum compensation, your attorney will perform an extensive investigation into the crash. Your delivery truck collision attorney in Riverside will be responsible for:
You can have peace of mind knowing someone is advocating for you, and your rights will be fully protected.
Determining fault in delivery truck accident cases is typically never straightforward. Unlike a simple traffic accident, more parties are involved, such as the driver, the truck’s owner, the company leasing the truck from the owner, and possibly others. Establishing which parties are liable requires an in-depth investigation.
How an Insurance Company Determines Fault
Once someone has filed an accident claim, the insurance company will assign an adjuster to assess the claim and determine who is at fault. There will likely be more than one adjuster involved in the process since each party’s insurance company will conduct its own investigation. The adjuster will review:
After reviewing the evidence and verifying each parties’ insurance policies and coverage amounts, the adjuster will sometimes assign a percentage of fault to each driver.
Most delivery truck accident cases are settled outside of court. In the off chance that your claim does make it to trial, a judge or jury will determine who was at fault by first examining the evidence and hearing arguments from each side. After which, they will decide which party was negligent and is liable for the other’s losses.
Unlike insurance claims, police reports do not carry any weight with a judge or jury and are typically inadmissible as evidence. However, a traffic violation may persuade the judge or jury of a party’s negligence and, in turn, find them at fault for causing the accident. Expert witnesses are also commonly hired by the injured party to testify and prove how the accident occurred and the extent of injuries.
Delivery companies may argue that a driver was not acting “within their scope of employment” when the accident occurred. Meaning the driver was not considered working at the time. Whether or not this defense will work typically depends on a few factors:
If a delivery truck driver was, in fact, performing a job duty that was within the scope of their employment and was at fault for the accident, their employer will be liable.
In an attempt to limit liability for accidents, many commercial delivery carriers hire “independent contractors” rather than employees to deliver packages. For example, large companies like FedEx and Amazon contract with separate entities to deliver goods on their behalf. If a delivery truck driver is an independent contractor rather than an employee, the company will claim that the driver is responsible for an accident since companies are only liable for the actions of an employee.
Sorting out liability issues and finding the proper defendants (at-fault parties) to take legal action against in FedEx and UPS claims can be very complicated. An attorney experienced with these cases can investigate all angles of your case to determine who is ultimately legally liable for your accident and your injuries.
After an accident with a delivery truck, there are specific steps to take that are critical to your health and insurance claim:
Accidents with delivery trucks can result in catastrophic injuries, which means you may be immediately transported to a hospital. If not, make sure to still be thoroughly evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. Some severe injuries can have delayed symptoms. Also, medical documentation linking any injuries and potential injuries are crucial to an insurance claim.
If you can, document any evidence from the crash, including photos and video of the scene, items from inside your vehicle, the damage to the vehicles, and your injuries. Ask the other parties involved for their contact information, as well as their employer’s. If there are witnesses, ask if they’ll make a recorded statement on your phone or if you can contact them later. Document anything and everything you can, as some evidence, may seem irrelevant at first but can wind up having a significant impact on resolving your claim.
Report the accident to your insurer. If you have collision coverage, you may choose to file a claim under your policy, and they will walk you through the next steps. The insurance company belonging to the truck driver or their delivery company may attempt to contact you for your side of the story. Do not give a recorded statement. Your claim can easily be compromised if you accidentally offer up information that can be used against you. If your injuries are severe and there is evidence of their employee’s fault, the delivery company’s insurer may also attempt to offer you a settlement to resolve your case quickly. Although it may be tempting, this amount will typically be unfairly low, and it is in your best interests to refrain from accepting.
Contact a Riverside or San Bernardino truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. They will evaluate your case for free and advise you of your best course of action. If you choose to hire one, they will handle all aspects of your claim while you recover. Some delivery trucks have a black box, which records data such as speed, sudden accelerations, braking, and more. This information may be what you need to prove your claim, and without an attorney, this data can be lost, misplaced, or purposely destroyed.
After you hire an attorney, they will promptly take action to preserve critical evidence for your case. That may include:
Over time, evidence can be lost or destroyed, and witnesses’ memories can fade. The sooner you hire a delivery truck accident lawyer, the better your odds are that the evidence you need can be preserved.
After a delivery truck accident in Riverside, you have two years to file an injury claim, starting from the date of the collision. California’s law, known as the statute of limitations, sets this deadline. If this period passes, the at-fault party can file a motion to dismiss your case, and you will more than likely lose your right to pursue and recover any type of compensation.
Since California is a fault state, the party responsible for causing an accident is liable for any resulting damages. However, you still have options for how to go about recovering compensation.
If you have collision or comprehensive coverage, you can call or go online to file a claim with your auto insurance company. Your insurer should pay for your car repairs, medical bills, lost wages, and other losses from your physical injuries. You will be responsible for your deductible, but you may receive reimbursement at a later time. If the delivery truck driver was at fault, your insurance company will pursue a subrogation claim to recover compensation from the at-fault party’s insurer for the benefits they have paid on your claim.
If you are confident that the delivery truck driver was at fault, you can file a “third-party” claim with the driver’s insurance company or their delivery company’s insurer. You will not have to pay a deductive; however, these insurance companies have the discretion to either accept or deny your claim. The insurer will send an adjuster to investigate your vehicle and claim, then possibly make a settlement offer. If you disagree with the amount they are offering, you can still file a claim with your own insurer.
If negotiations with an insurer are unsuccessful or they are not offering the amount of compensation you need to cover your losses fully, a delivery truck accident lawyer can help you file a Riverside personal injury lawsuit. Most cases settle before the court date, but filing may be the extra push an insurer needs to settle for a fair amount.
Handling a delivery truck accident case on your own can be extremely stressful. We will fight aggressively to ensure you are treated fairly and that you obtain the compensation you and your family deserve. Call or contact our San Bernardino Accident Lawyers online to schedule a free consultation.