Commercial drivers are held to higher standards than other drivers. If you are considering filing an accident lawsuit, one of the issues that your accident lawyer in Riverside will assess is whether the truck driver may have violated safety standards. For example, all truck drivers that hold a CDL must have a valid medical card or medical examiner certificate. If the truck driver does not meet the medical requirements but was driving anyway, this issue can point to negligence in an accident lawsuit.
For more information, consult your accident attorney and watch this video. This video discusses the medical requirements that commercial drivers must meet, including having 20/40 correctible vision in each eye. Prospective truck drivers may be denied a CDL if they have insulin-dependent diabetes, very high blood pressure, cardiovascular conditions, or a history of substance abuse.
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was the fault of another party, you may be eligible to file an accident lawsuit with the assistance of an accident attorney in Riverside. Your accident lawsuit will list your damages, which refers to the losses you’ve sustained and the compensation you’re seeking. Generally, a lawsuit can seek two types of damages: economic damages for calculable losses like medical bills and non-economic damages for intangible losses like pain and suffering. However, in some situations, there is a third category of damages that may apply. This is known as punitive damages.
What is the purpose of punitive damages?
Not every accident lawsuit can successfully obtain punitive damages. When a jury does award punitive damages, it is for the purpose of punishing the defendant, hence the word “punitive.” Punitive damages aren’t intended to compensate the plaintiff for his or her losses, although the plaintiff will receive the punitive damages. Instead, it is thought that punitive damages may help serve as a deterrent to prevent egregious conduct from occurring again.
Is there a limit to the amount of punitive damages?
Some states do set limits on the total amount of punitive damages that may be awarded. These limitations are called “caps.” For example, in Colorado, the amount of punitive damages cannot exceed the amount of compensatory damages. However, in California, there is no definitive cap on punitive damages, although the punitive award must be reasonable in comparison to the compensatory damages. Since these laws are subject to change over time, you should consult your accident attorney for the most current information.
Which plaintiffs might be entitled to punitive damages?
Not every plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages. These awards are intended to serve as punishment when a defendant’s conduct is found to be particularly egregious. In California, punitive damages may be available when a defendant’s conduct can be shown to be fraudulent, malicious, or oppressive. For example, the defendant may have displayed a willful disregard for the plaintiff’s safety or rights.
After sustaining injuries in any type of accident, it’s vitally important that you seek medical care right away. An accident causes the release of adrenaline and other hormones, which can temporarily mask your pain and other symptoms. This means that you could be more seriously injured than you initially realize. In addition to protecting your health, there are legal reasons why you should get medical care right away. If you consult an accident lawyer in Riverside , he or she will need access to your medical records before filing an accident lawsuit. The other party may try to impugn your credibility if you delayed seeking medical care; this could compromise the result of your accident lawsuit.
On the other hand, getting medical care right away can support the claims made in your accident lawsuit. When you arrive at the medical center, be sure to inform your medical providers that you were just involved in an accident and that your injuries were caused by it. Be your own patient advocate by proactively asking about imaging studies and other medical tests. Lastly, follow your doctor’s discharge instructions and keep your accident lawyer updated about any changes in your health.
Truck accidents can be among the most serious types of collisions—and the most deadly. The formidable weight and size of a big rig can crush smaller passenger vehicles and inflict catastrophic injuries. If you’re fortunate enough to survive a truck accident, there are some steps you need to take right away. Later on, you can contact an accident lawyer in Riverside to discuss the legal issues that arise from a crash. Your accident attorney may file an accident lawsuit on your behalf against the truck driver, his or her employer, or other defendants.
The catastrophic injuries that can result from a trucking accident can lead to the loss of consciousness. However, if you are conscious and able to move, you should reach for your cellphone right away and call 911. Let the emergency dispatcher know that you’ve been involved in a big rig accident. Let the dispatcher know if you appear to be seriously hurt. If you’re able to do so, check on the condition of your passengers.
If you’re fortunate enough to have escaped serious injuries in a truck accident, you may be able to get out of the car and move away from the road. If so, you can check on the truck driver. Assuming that he or she is not catastrophically injured, you can exchange important information. Your accident lawyer will need the truck driver’s full name, contact information, CDL number, and employer, along with his or her insurance information. Similarly, you should provide your basic information to the truck driver. Avoid saying anything that might be interpreted as an admission of fault for the crash. This includes saying, “I’m sorry.”
Document the Scene
If you’re able to move around, it can be very helpful for your accident lawsuit to gather physical evidence at the crash site. Take pictures of the scene, including the damage to the vehicles, skid marks on the road, and traffic signs and signals. Write down the names and contact information of any witnesses in the area. When the police arrive and take your statement, be sure to ask how you can obtain a copy of the police report.
Get Medical Attention
Before you call an accident lawyer after the crash, you should obtain medical attention right away. During the subsequent weeks and months, keep careful records of your medical problems, treatments, and expenses.
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