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It is no secret that car accidents are a serious matter – they are dangerous and regularly cause severe injuries and fatalities. However, most people never consider how much more dangerous and deadly involvement in a truck accident could be for them. Not only are trucks much larger than a normal motor vehicle, most collisions between a motor vehicle and a truck take place at much higher speeds and on freeways. Because of truck sizes – it’s not unusual for 18-wheelers or semis to weigh in excess of 100,000 pounds – collisions involving them result in fatalities far more than other motor vehicle accidents. Over 4,200 truck accident fatalities were reported in 2017 alone. If you or a loved one were hurt in a truck accident, contact a Wildomar truck accident lawyer to learn if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Truck Accidents Risk Factors in Wildomar

Wildomar, a small town of 37,000, is located in Riverside County next to the busy 15 freeway. Riverside County logged more than 2.1 million daily trucking miles, making it the third-busiest commercial trucking county in California. Much of this traffic passes by Wildomar, and Wildomar has many out-of-town visitors that drive in and around the city to reach their parks and nature preserves. In 2016, 128 victims were injured and killed in Wildomar alone due to motor vehicle and truck accidents. The high volume of truck traffic around Wildomar, proximity of the city to a major freeway, and high numbers of visitors and residents using the 15 freeway to enter and leave the city, put motorists at higher than average risk for involvement in injury-causing truck accidents.

Trucking Laws

Trucks are inherently dangerous due to their disproportionate size relative to the rest of the vehicles on the road. To ameliorate the risk as much as possible, the government enacted rules and regulations governing behavior of both truck drivers and trucking companies. These rules were designed to help protect motorists and truck drivers by limiting driver hours, discouraging impaired driving, preventing unsafe trucks from being on the road, and regulating transport of hazardous materials. These governing principles regulate rules and behavior for truckers and the trucking industry in areas such as:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Driver hours limits and mandated rest breaks;
  • Hazardous material transportation;
  • Driver licensing; and
  • Truck maintenance and inspection.

California has gone further than the federal government to regulate truck driver behavior – they have mandated drivers operate at speeds lower than the posted limits while operating on state freeways.

How Do Wildomar Truck Accidents Occur?

Even with the myriad government regulations, serious truck accidents can and do happen around Wildomar. Some accidents are truly due to honest errors, but many others are the result of a driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer, or even government agency behaving negligently. Common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Drowsy driving due to noncompliance with rest break and hour limit laws;
  • Driving under the influence;
  • Speeding;
  • Improperly loaded cargo;
  • Distracted driving;
  • Defective truck parts;
  • Improperly designed, constructed, or maintained roads.

These are not the only causes of truck accident injuries that can give rise to a claim for damages – contact an experienced Wildomar truck accident attorney to help you understand if your situation may entitle you to compensation for your injuries.

How to I Prove Someone Is Responsible for My Truck Accident Injuries?

Truck accident victims in Wildomar commonly recover by asserting someone else’s negligence resulted in their injuries. To establish negligence and make a defendant liable for your injuries, you must prove it’s more likely than not:

  • The defendant owed you a legal duty of care;
  • The duty to you was breached by either an affirmative act or an omission; and
  • Defendant’s breach of duty caused your injuries.

An alternative method of showing negligence is to establish the theory of negligence per se. California has a legal argument which allows victims to sidestep proving the elements of negligence. To do so, you must who the defendant’s negligent conduct violated a law, rule, or regulation. By doing so, you establish the presumption the defendant acted negligently. For example, a truck accident that occurred while the driver was operating 20 miles over the speed limit creates a presumption the driver was negligent.

Recovering Damages for Your Truck Accident Injuries

It’s understandable you may wonder how much you can recover for your injuries. Once you establish a defendant is negligent, depending on the circumstances you may be able to recover both compensatory and punitive damages. Truck accidents commonly inflict extremely traumatic, catastrophic injuries that lead to gargantuan medical bills for the victim. These expenses are not limited to exigent medical care, but long-term treatment and potentially lifelong accommodations and rehabilitation for permanent injuries and disabilities.

Beyond the medical bills, victims are often unable to work for at least a short period of time. Many are out of work for much longer or even permanently. To reconcile these unexpected, life-changing realities for victims with the desire to keep wrongful actors from being financially unable to pay for the harm they have inflicted, the government requires all commercial trucks keep no less than $750,000 of insurance coverage; the amount goes to $5 million for every truck transporting hazardous materials.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are intended to make a victim whole for injuries they have suffered from the defendant’s negligence. These damage awards are intended to compensate both for concrete and abstract harms resulting from the truck accident. Concrete damages include quantifiable harms such as funeral expenses, property damage, and hospital balls. Abstract damages reflect psychological, mental, and emotional trauma such as pain and suffering, permanent disability, and loss of consortium.

Punitive Damages

In some circumstances, if you can show the injurious conduct was perpetrated with fraud, malice, or oppression, you may be entitled to punitive damages. These awards are meant to punish defendant’s vile or reprehensible behavior and deter others from engaging in the same conduct. Because these awards are discretionary and have no cap, they often are much higher than compensatory damage awards. Proving a defendant’s intention, however, can be incredibly difficult – it is best accomplished by skilled Wildomar truck accident attorney to avoid legal pitfalls.

Speak to a Truck Accident Attorney in Lake Elsinore

If you or a loved one were hurt in a truck accident in or around Wildomar, contact the experienced Wildomar truck accident attorneys at Walton Law right away. You need to act quickly to protect your health and protect your claim for recovery. Our attorneys have spent years providing comprehensive, personalized representation for victims like you and secured millions of dollars of compensation for their injuries. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or through our online Contact Page to schedule a risk free, no obligation initial consultation today. The initial evaluation is free, and you pay nothing until we win your case. Let our skilled attorneys review your situation, answer your questions, and start working to secure the maximum recovery possible for you today.