When an individual is injured in a work vehicle accident in the state of California, and when that person is a passenger rather than the driver, what are that individual’s legal options for compensation? Can a Pasadena truck accident law firm help?
If at the time of the accident, an injured passenger in a work vehicle collision is working for the company that owns the truck, the injury victim may have a workers’ compensation claim. If the injured passenger is not “on the clock,” he or she may have a personal injury claim.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR WORKER’S COMPENSATION BENEFITS?
If you are injured as a passenger in a work vehicle accident while you are on the clock, seek medical attention at once, report the accident to your employer, and file a claim immediately for workers’ compensation benefits.
Worker’s compensation in California pays two-thirds of your average weekly wage (up to a maximum of $1,215 per week as of 2018) while you are recovering and are unable to work.
WHO QUALIFIES TO FILE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM?
In southern California, if you are injured as a passenger in a work vehicle accident, and if you are not employed by the company or if you are not on the clock at the time of the mishap, arrange at once to speak with an experienced Pasadena personal injury attorney.
If you have been injured because one of the drivers in the accident was negligent, you are entitled by California law to compensation for your medical expenses, your lost wages, your personal pain and suffering, and all of your other related losses and damages.
Of course, you aren’t simply handed a compensation check. You’ll have to prove that you are entitled to compensation, and you’ll need an accident lawyer’s help.
HOW WILL A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER HELP YOU?
Your personal injury attorney will launch an investigation into the collision, will determine precisely where the liability falls, and will fight aggressively to protect your legal rights and to win the compensation – and the justice – that you need and deserve.
In fact, you may not need to file a formal lawsuit or even appear in court. Your accident attorney will negotiate privately and directly for your compensation with the negligent driver’s insurance company. Most personal injury claims in California are settled through out-of-court negotiations.
However, if your claim is disputed, and if no settlement can be reached through private negotiations, your attorney may recommend taking the case to trial and asking a jury to order payment of the compensation you need.
HOW SOON WILL YOU NEED TO SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY?
It’s imperative to contact an accident attorney at once – as soon as you have obtained medical treatment. Don’t even speak to an insurance company representative if you’ve been injured in a work vehicle accident. Instead, refer all of the company’s inquiries to your injury attorney.
If you do speak to an insurance company without your injury attorney’s advice, you could be persuaded to accept a quick settlement for a figure that is far below what your personal injury claim is actually worth. Let your personal injury lawyer negotiate for a better settlement.
When you accept a quick settlement, you waive any right to receive additional compensation or to pursue legal action in the future. Your personal injury lawyer is a trained, experienced negotiator who routinely negotiates with insurance companies. Heed your attorney’s advice.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO AT THE ACCIDENT SCENE?
Your attorney will use every necessary legal tool to help you and will offer you sound legal advice. However, your attorney will not be there when an accident happens, so you must remember to take the following steps – provided that you are not incapacitated by your injuries.
If you are physically unable to take these steps after a traffic crash, ask for someone’s help:
1. Summon medical assistance first if you or anyone else has been injured. That’s the paramount priority.
2. Summon the local police to the scene and learn how you may obtain a copy of their written accident report.
3. Obtain complete personal contact and insurance company contact information from both drivers.
4. Take as many photographs as you can of the vehicle damage, your visible injuries, and the general accident scene. Be certain to photograph the license plates of all vehicles involved.
5. Contact a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as you’ve been examined by a doctor or another healthcare professional.
Even if you do not believe that you have been injured – even if you feel great – have a medical exam within 24 hours of any traffic collision. You may have sustained a latent or difficult-to-detect injury that could emerge in several days or weeks as a serious medical condition.
A quick medical exam can also tie any injury that you may have sustained directly to the traffic accident. If you postpone a medical exam for several days or weeks, an insurance company could claim that you were injured in some other way and not in the accident itself.
WHAT WILL IT COST YOU TO SEEK JUSTICE?
How much will it cost to seek the justice you need after you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence? It costs nothing to get started. California’s personal injury attorneys offer the injured victims of negligence a free, no-obligation first legal consultation.
You will learn how the law applies to your own case and what your legal options are. If you and your personal injury lawyer choose to pursue the matter, you’ll pay no attorney’s fee until and unless your attorney recovers compensation through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
IS THERE A TIME LIMIT FOR TAKING LEGAL ACTION?
But you must contact an injury lawyer at once. The sooner your attorney is on the case, the more likely it is that your claim will prevail. California’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of your injury. After that time, the courts will not hear your case.
Don’t wait two years. If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a work vehicle accident in southern California, arrange immediately to speak with a skilled Pasadena personal injury attorney. Your future may depend on it.