When there is an accident in a construction zone involving a large vehicle like a bus or tractor-trailer, the victims could include construction workers, drivers, and passengers in motor vehicles, pedestrians, and people riding bicycles. If you got hurt in a collision like this and it was not your fault, a California construction accident attorney could help you go after compensation for your losses.
Here are some things you need to know about construction zone accidents with trucks and buses:
What We Have to Prove to Hold the At-Fault Party Responsible for Your Injuries
We cannot automatically file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against all the other people involved in the accident. We have to prove all four of these factors to establish the liability of the negligent party:
- Duty of care. The defendant (person we go after for compensation) must have owed you a duty of care at the time of the collision. Typically, it is not difficult to prove this element because everyone who operates a motor vehicle on public streets has an obligation to operate the vehicle with care and obey the traffic laws.
- Breach of duty. When a person’s actions do not measure up to the legal standard, the person breaches the duty and is negligent. Let’s say that the driver behind your car was watching a television program on his mobile phone and did not notice that traffic had stopped because of road construction. Watching TV while driving is careless and negligent.
- Causation. Careless conduct must be the thing that causes or contributes to the accident. In our scenario, the negligent driver slammed into the back of your car because of his distracted driving. The negligence caused the crash.
- Quantifiable losses. You must have measurable damages to go after the responsible party for compensation. Physical injuries satisfy this factor. If you got hurt in the accident, you have quantifiable losses.
When we can prove all four of these elements, we can pursue a claim for compensation from the at-fault party.
Damages an Injured Person Can Recover for a Personal Injury Claim
After establishing the liability of the defendant, the plaintiff usually can seek to recover the reasonable cost of the medical treatment he needed for his injuries. We can include future medical expenses if your doctor expects you to need ongoing medical interventions, like surgery.
Lost income can also be compensable if you did not get your full, regular paycheck or self-employment income because of the accident. If you have to cut back your working hours or seek a lower-paying position because of impairment from your injuries, you might have a claim for the loss of earning capacity.
You might be eligible for other types of compensation as well, including things like disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and pain and suffering. The amount of money you can pursue for your losses will depend on the unique facts of your situation. Every claim is different. Even if other people in your car got hurt, their injuries and claims might have a different dollar value from yours.
A California personal injury attorney can help you go after the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Please do not wait too long to talk to us. California law gives you very little time to file a lawsuit protecting your right to money damages. If you miss the deadline, you can forever lose the right to compensation for your losses. Contact our office today.