After you or a loved one have been in an automobile accident, you may want to know what you can sue for. When you sue a person that caused an accident, you can sue for different types of damages. However, the amount that you might be entitled to could be limited to certain compensatory damages.
Filing a Lawsuit
When you are in a car accident, motorcycle accident or truck accident, the basics of filing a lawsuit are the same. However, there are some differences. Understanding CA traffic law will help you understand what types of damages you are entitled to. Because of the complexities of the law and what is available to you as damages, it’s best to have an attorney help you with this process.
When you sue someone for an accident, you are most likely going to be entitled to compensatory damages when the other person is at fault. These may include medical bills, time lost from work, the loss of a life of a loved one, loss of income and loss of enjoyment.
Punitive damages may be awarded if the other person’s negligence caused the accident. For example, if the other person was driving drunk and ran a red light, hitting your vehicle, you may be entitled to punitive damages. These are damages over and above compensatory damages and are meant to be a “punishment.”
Negligence in Car Accidents
If the court finds that you are also negligent, it may decrease the award due to you. For example, if you were riding a motorcycle at night and your taillight was out, you are partially at fault for the person who ran into you from behind. While you may still get compensatory damages or even punitive damages, the award may not be as high as it could have been since the court is holding you partially responsible for the accident.
What to Do If You Were Involved in an Accident with a Commercial Truck
When you get into a crash with a commercial truck, the steps leading up to the lawsuit are the same as if though you were in a crash with another car. However, when you file the lawsuit, you’ll need to sue all of the entities and people who may be responsible for the crash. This might include the driver, the trucking company and any other entities that may be involved with the ownership or operation of the truck.
This may be complicated because one person might own the truck, another person is the driver, the owner may lease the truck to another company and they are delivering goods for yet another company. If the truck was the cause of the accident due to a mechanical problem, you may be able to sue the technician who worked on the truck or even the manufacturer of the part the malfunctioned.
Since you want maximum compensation, a personal injury attorney may decide not to sue all parties involved as they may not have the funds to pay damages. This usually applies to the driver, but may apply to smaller companies that are involved with owning and operating the truck.
Independent drivers pose another issue. These drivers usually own and drive the truck. They work independently for various companies. However, the owner/operator’s contract with the company may be worded in such a way that you could sue the company the independent owner/operator is working for at the time.
Finally, truckers not only have to follow traffic laws like everyone else, but they have federal regulations that they must abide by. If you can show that the driver or the company violated traffic laws or federal regulations, you may have a strong case for negligence.
Motorcycle accidents are much like car accidents. Motorcycle drivers do not have any other special rules to follow, with the exception of required safety equipment. If you were hit while you were on a motorcycle, you may get less money than you could have gotten if you violated any of California’s motorcycle safety laws including but not limited to riding with a helmet, having working lights on the bike and having handlebars that are the correct height.
Contact iAccident Lawyer
If you think you have a lawsuit but you are not sure of your rights or who to speak with, you’ll need to contact a California accident attorney. To learn if you have a viable lawsuit, contact iAccident Lawyer at (800) 920-0810 or through our contact page on our website to speak with an accident lawyer in your area.