Benefits of California Truck Accident Lawyers

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Truck accident lawyers help victims of collisions with trucks. At the same time, we try to help the public in ways that are less visible. There are at least five benefits that truck accident lawyers try to provide to all California residents.

Helping truck accident victims receive just compensation

A truck accident lawyer’s most important duty is to help victims recover compensation for injuries caused by careless truck drivers. We cannot restore a paraplegic’s ability to walk, but we can assure that the victim receives funds needed to purchase sophisticated wheelchairs, vans that can be driven with hand controls, and ramps or lifts that will make their homes wheelchair-accessible. We cannot help a brain injury victim regain complete cognitive ability, but we can obtain compensation that will pay for vocational rehabilitation, home health aides, and tutors. We do our best to make sure that truck accident injury victims recover their lost income, their past and future medical expenses, and fair compensation for their pain and suffering. We help the family members of wrongful death victims by working to minimize the financial impact that the death has on the family. Working with victims and their families to achieve justice is a vital part of our lives as truck accident attorneys.

Keeping insurance companies honest

Insurance companies make money by investing the premiums that people pay for insurance coverage. The more money they can invest, the greater profit they make. Since paying claims reduces those profits, insurance companies have a vested interest in paying less than the full compensation to which a truck accident victim is entitled. And since trucking companies typically pay for millions of dollars of coverage, insurance companies can save millions by avoiding payment of legitimate claims. Truck accident lawyers do not let insurance adjusters take advantage of victims. One insurance industry study found that insurance settlements for comparable injuries are more than three times higher when a lawyer represents the victim. That’s why some insurance companies have trained their adjusters to discourage victims from hiring a lawyer. We fight hard to obtain fair compensation for our clients. That not only benefits our clients, it benefits society by forcing insurance companies to be honest.

Lobbying the government as a voice for truck accident victims

Personal injury lawyers care about our individual clients, but we also care about society. For that reason, many of us belong to associations that remind politicians of the need for justice. When the insurance industry lobbies for limits on the damages that juries can award, we explain how expensive it is for a quadriplegic to obtain a lifetime of medical care. When the trucking industry lobbies for deregulation, we remind legislators of the lives that have been lost or damaged because trucking companies placed profits ahead of people. We supported recent regulatory changes that required truck drivers to get more rest between driving shifts. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, that rule alone will prevent more than 1,400 crashes each year. Truck accident lawyers are a political voice for victims who demand justice. We serve that cause in many ways, not just in the courtroom. We are not compensated for the political efforts we make to help society. We do it because we see the carnage caused by truck accidents. We do it because it is the right thing to do.

Taking unsafe drivers off the road

Certain kinds of driving behavior are worse than negligent. Some truck drivers use methamphetamine or other stimulants to stay awake. Some drive after they have been drinking. Some drive recklessly while hauling toxic chemicals, explosives, and other dangerous materials. When truck drivers cause injuries while engaging in behavior that shows an utter indifference to human life, truck accident injury lawyers seek punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are assessed as punishment. Punitive damages are difficult to recover since they are available in only the most egregious cases. When they are available, however, they send an important message. Whenever possible, we try to have punitive damages awarded against the driver’s employer. Trucking companies are responsible for punitive damages in California when the company knew an employee was unfit to drive but allowed that employee to drive anyway. When a company turns a blind eye to a driver’s history of alcoholism or drug abuse, an award of punitive damages provides victims with an extra measure of justice. As importantly, punitive damages act as a deterrent. Companies fire unsafe drivers because they know that personal injury lawyers will hold them liable for punitive damages if they continue to employ a driver despite their knowledge that the driver is likely to cause an accident.

Educating the public

Truck accident lawyers do their part to help the public learn about the devastating impact of truck accidents. Through our blogs, public speaking, and even in arguments we make to juries, we try to educate the public about the risks that drivers take when they share California highways with vehicles that weigh more than five tons. We call attention to the causes of truck accidents, the need for defensive driving, and the importance of enforcing safety regulations. We shed light on poorly understood problems, like obstructive sleep apnea, that afflict many truck drivers and make them prone to drowsiness while driving. We explain why collisions with trucks are more likely to cause serious injuries and death than other accidents. As important as it is to help people who were the victims of negligent truck drivers, we want to raise public awareness so that those accidents do not occur.
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