Most utility trucks don’t rival the size and weight of a big rig, but they’re still heavier than any car. If you get into an accident with one, you can easily suffer severe injuries. For example, imagine a car getting into an accident with a garbage truck. The driver of the car could sustain major and even permanent injuries. The impact on them and their family would be physically, financially and emotionally devastating. However, Bakersfield accident victims have the right to sue those responsible for their injuries for compensation. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help a victim piece their lives back together again.
If you were seriously injured or lost a loved one in a Bakersfield utility truck accident, call the personal injury attorneys at The Dominguez Firm right away. We offer free consultations at (800) 818-1818.
Please keep reading for more information on utility truck accidents, your rights and how a Bakersfield truck accident attorney can help you.
How are Utility Truck Accidents Different From Other Types of Truck Accidents?
Unlike large commercial trucks, utility trucks have no limits on where they can travel. They can drive through narrow neighborhood streets, enter parks and even access private neighborhoods. This inevitably brings them into close contact with passenger cars, bicycle riders and pedestrians, which puts them all in danger of an accident. Even traveling at low speeds, any collision can cause life-threatening injuries.
Also, many utility trucks belong to public entities. As a result, truck accident cases involving the government are usually more complicated. There’s more paperwork, multiple deadlines and other red tape for a lawyer to deal with. And just like a big rig accident, your attorney also needs to be familiar with federal, state and/or municipal laws.
Another big difference between regular truck accidents and utility truck accidents is that some utility trucks have the right to go over any posted speed limit. This exception applies to first responder utility trucks such as fire, police and medical trucks.
How Long Do Truck Accident Victims Have to Present Their Bakersfield Utility Truck Accident Claim?
Generally, you have two years from the date of your utility truck accident to present your claim. If your accident was with a government-owned utility truck, you only have six months to file a lawsuit. These deadlines, legally known as the statute of limitations can also change if the victim is a child or active duty military personnel.
Despite all the time frames outlined above, you should never wait to file a claim for your utility truck accident. Waiting can greatly hurt your case and is likely to reduce the amount you’ll be awarded for your injuries and emotional suffering. The main reasons for this are:
- Important accident scene evidence will be lost if you wait.
- Defense lawyers for the utility truck company will question why you waited and whether your injuries were due to your accident.
- You could lose touch with the witnesses to your accident if enough time has passed.
Getting The Dominguez Firm involved right away can greatly increase your chances of obtaining the maximum legal compensation you’re entitled to for your accident injuries. Our in-house investigators and Bakersfield truck accident lawyers can collect fresh evidence from the scene of your accident and get working on your case from day one.
Who Am I Suing For My Trucking Accident Injuries?
Depending on the circumstances of your Bakersfield Utility Truck accident, several defendants may be named in a lawsuit. They can include:
- The truck driver – If the driver caused the accident as a result of reckless or negligent driving, they would be named as a defendant. Examples would include texting and driving or driving under the influence.
- The driver’s employer – A private employer can be named in an accident injury lawsuit if the truck driver wasn’t trained properly or was given an unrealistic schedule.
- A government agency – If the truck belonged to a government agency, they could be named as defendants for the same reasons as a private employer.
- The truck manufacturer – Accidents caused by truck defects can lead to the truck or parts manufacturer being listed as a defendant by your attorney.
An experienced injury lawyer will work to present the strongest personal injury case possible against those who caused your accident injury. This can include the truck driver, their employer, a government agency or a manufacturer.
Note that truck drivers have the same right to sue for their injuries as those in passenger vehicles. If you are a truck driver who was injured in an accident while driving for your job you could potentially have two cases; one for workers’ compensation and another one for personal injury. The trucking accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm have experience handling both types of accident injury claims and have assisted many truck drivers with accident claims too. Call our office for a free consultation at (800)818-1818 today.
What Compensation is Typically Awarded for Utility Truck Accident Cases?
Accidents take a financial and emotional toll on a victim and their family. Our legal system realizes this and awards damages (the legal term for compensation) to those injured in accidents. There are three types of damages:
- Economic damages
- Non-Economic damages
- Punitive Damages
Economic damages are meant to compensate the victim for the expenses caused by their accident. The largest part of a Bakersfield truck accident victim’s damages are medical bills. This can include ambulance fees, medical consultations, visits with specialists, surgeries, prescriptions, rehabilitation, physical therapy and mental health counseling.
Non-economic damages provide financial compensation for the emotional toll of the accident on the victim and their family. Some of the most common non-economic damages awarded include pain and suffering, anxiety, disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life.
There is also a third type of damages, punitive damages. These are rarely awarded and are meant to punish the defendant for particularly malicious behavior more than to compensate the accident victim for their losses. An example would be a driver who deliberately hits and injures another driver due to road rage.
My Loved One Was Killed in a Bakersfield Truck Accident. Can Your Injury Lawyers Help Me?
If you are their legal next of kin, yes. You can sue whoever caused your loved one’s untimely death. This is the legal order of preference:
- Registered domestic partner
- If there are no children, grandchildren
- If the deceased had none of the above, other relatives such as aunts, uncles or cousins may be eligible.
The damages awarded for truck accident wrongful death cases are slightly different from those for personal injury cases. Some examples of the different damages include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of consortium (companionship the deceased would have provided)
- The victim’s lost income from the date of their accident and all the lifetime income they were reasonably expected to earn had they lived.
There is no limit as to how much can be awarded in non-economic damages in Bakersfield, CA. This is why it usually makes up the largest part of the next-of-kin’s compensation. The victim’s family could also be entitled to punitive damages.
At The Dominguez Firm, we know no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one. But providing financial peace of mind at such a difficult time can help make a family’s period of recovery a little easier, especially if there are children involved.
How Do I Pay a Bakersfield Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you’ve suffered an injury in an accident, the last thing you want is legal bills. The Dominguez Firm understands this so our Bakersfield truck accident attorneys work on a contingency basis. This simply means we get paid a percentage of your final compensation when your case ends. You don’t have to worry about any out-of-pocket expenses whatsoever. There are no legal fees or hidden costs, period. And that percentage is fixed, it won’t change according to how much we recover for you.
You can afford quality legal representation from an award-winning attorney at The Dominguez Firm. Trying to handle your claim by yourself could end up costing you dearly in the end.
Call the Bakersfield Truck Accident Lawyers at The Dominguez Firm
Accidents are never expected. One minute you’re driving, the next your world is turned completely upside down. Accidents, especially truck accidents can have overwhelming consequences for everyone involved including other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. Many trucking companies and government agencies have attorneys working for them exclusively. Don’t take them on by yourself, let a truck accident attorney from The Dominguez Firm help you with your personal injury case.
Our Bakersfield trucking accident attorneys have years of experience and a track record of results for truck accident victims. Our injury lawyers have successfully helped thousands of clients, let us help you with your truck accident claim. Call us today for a FREE consultation at 800-818-1818. With locations throughout CA, we can travel to your home or hospital at a moment’s notice.