Because of their size, big truck accidents can cause severe and costly injuries, involve complex scenarios, or implicate multiple parties who share negligence. If you suffered a catastrophic injury in a big truck accident, you might not know where to turn for help or how to recover from your losses. Even worse, if you are unfamiliar with the claims process, insurers may take advantage of you by offering you a lower settlement than your claim is worth or denying your claim entirely.
If you need help with a truck accident claim, reach out to a truck accident lawyer to seek the justice you deserve.
How Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Increase Your Chances of Success
Your team of truck accident lawyers can provide many services that help you recover the compensation they need after an accident, including:
#1. Determining Who Caused the Accident
Determining what parties are liable for a truck accident can be challenging, especially if several parties are at fault. Truck accidents may involve many parties, including the truck driver, trucking companies, vehicle manufacturers, mechanics, and contractors. Some cases may involve shared liability between parties, making liability more difficult to prove.
With the help of a truck accident lawyer, you can determine what caused your accident and who is responsible. Your legal team will gather evidence and comprehensive documentation to help identify liable parties and prove they were at fault.
#2. Identifying Which Damages You Qualify to Recover
Victims may be able to recover their truck accident losses in a claim or lawsuit. There are three primary types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. A truck accident lawyer can assess your unique situation to decide which damages are available in your claim.
Economic damages are monetary damages that involve specific amounts of money that victims may recover through compensation.
These could include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income due to time off from work during the recovery process or because of disability
- Lost earning capacity due to temporary, permanent, partial, or total disability
- The cost of physical, occupational, or psychological therapy
- Ongoing treatment costs
Other damages that accident victims may recover include non-economic damages. Non-economic damages involve more abstract losses that are harder to calculate. In addition to pain and suffering, non-economic damages may include loss of enjoyment of life due to the severity of injuries, loss of consortium, or emotional distress due to the accident and injuries.
The third category is punitive damages. While economic and non-economic damages help compensate victims for their losses, courts award punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter others from committing similar acts in the future. Punitive damages are not always available to victims, but the courts may award them if the defendant acted egregiously.
Victims may receive both economic and non-economic damages. Your truck accident lawyer can identify which damages you can seek in a case, but they will need the resources and knowledge to estimate how much the case is worth. This helps them negotiate a fair settlement.
#3. Gathering Sufficient Evidence
To prove liability in a truck accident case, collecting enough relevant evidence is essential. Many types of evidence can support a claim.
Evidence that your truck accident lawyer can gather and organize includes:
- Witness testimonies
- Photos and video footage of injuries and the scene of the accident
- The truck driver’s history of employment, drug and alcohol tests, and qualifications
- Property damage to vehicles
- Inspection of the commercial vehicle involved in the collision
- Data from the electronic control module (ECM) in the truck
- Medical records detailing injuries
- Police reports
All of this evidence plays a critical role in building a successful case.
#4. Understanding State and Federal Laws
Your truck accident lawyer must understand the laws and regulations that govern truck accident suits. They need a working knowledge of state and federal laws that allows them to get things right from the beginning. This knowledge helps them build cases to prove how other parties acted negligently and what makes them liable for your injuries.
#5. Choosing the Right Legal Strategy
Experience with truck accident cases helps a lawyer determine which legal strategy to use for each client. Every case is different and requires individual attention to ensure to employ the right strategy.
You want a lawyer who understands what truck accident cases entail and explore all available options before helping you select an approach. For instance, a truck accident lawyer may advise one client to file a claim with insurers and negotiate a settlement, while another case may warrant a lawsuit and trial. Other claims may benefit from arbitration. You want a trial-ready truck accident lawyer to give you every option available.
#6. Negotiating With Insurance Companies
Truck accident cases often involve settlement negotiations with insurers. Insurance adjusters may seem friendly throughout the negotiation process, but the fact remains that they work for the insurance agency. Adjusters will attempt to reach the lowest payout amount possible, or they may try to find a reason to deny a claim entirely. They may also try to get a recorded statement from you to use against you later if the statement hurts your case.
Remember that insurance companies are not on your side during negotiations. Therefore, you should not accept the first offer you receive from them or provide a statement without first consulting an attorney. If needed, your lawyer can determine how much your case is worth, send a demand letter detailing your losses, and help you prepare a statement that will not compromise your claim. Your truck accident lawyer can calmly but aggressively in negotiations with insurance companies, ensuring they know you will not leave money on the table.
When negotiating with insurers, having an attorney by your side protects your interests and allows you to focus on recovering while your attorney handles communications and paperwork.
#7. Navigating the Claims and Lawsuit Process
In many truck accident cases, the complex claims process confuses individuals who do not have legal experience. Your truck accident lawyers apply their legal knowledge and expertise, collect and organize evidence, negotiate with insurers, and complete other tasks.
Although most truck accident cases will settle before they ever go to trial, some claims wind up in court. If your lawyers believe that a trial is necessary, make sure they will not hesitate to go to court. Look for extensive trial experience so they can handle every step of the pre-trial process and ensure that you have the chance to reach a verdict in your favor.
What Should You Look for in a Truck Accident Lawyer?
As discussed above, hiring a truck accident lawyer can help you recover damages. However, not every truck accident lawyer will be the right fit for you. Consider the following when looking for an attorney to represent your case to help you make a good choice:
#1. Experience with Truck Accident Cases
The attorney you hire should have ample experience handling truck accident claims and understand state and federal trucking laws and other details about truck accident cases.
#2. Past Results
An attorney should also have plenty of results to show that they have succeeded in previous cases. Your attorneys should have handled cases similar to yours and can tell you about past successes.
#3. The Ability to Negotiate a Fair Settlement
A lawyer should never be willing to accept the first offer from insurers if it falls far below your case is worth. With a trial-ready legal team, you enter negotiations knowing that you do not have to accept the first offer. This confidence helps your truck accident lawyer navigate negotiations calmly but aggressively, getting you the money you deserve.
#4. Trial Experience
Sometimes, a truck accident case must go to court. You want to have a lawyer with trial experience represent you in court when this occurs. Defendants will present arguments and evidence during the trial process to show that they are not liable or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Your truck accident lawyers must know how to contest these arguments and present proof that the truck driver or other parties caused your damages.
Your truck accident lawyer must know how to prepare a case during the pre-trial process, collect and organize all necessary evidence, and prepare strong opening and closing statements. They may hire expert witnesses who can reconstruct the accident scene or testify about medical issues when needed, substantiating the case.
#5. The Right Cost
Many truck accident lawyers work on a contingency-fee-basis, which means they do not charge their clients unless they succeed in a case and reach a settlement. Once an attorney wins the case, a percentage of the settlement will cover legal fees and other relevant costs.
Your truck accident lawyer should offer a free case evaluation before ever charging any money. A truck accident lawyer will review your accident to assess your claim. If they take your case, they should enter a written contingency fee agreement with you and send a demand package to the parties at fault. A free case evaluation helps you discover your options and familiarize the lawyer with your case before agreeing to represent you.
Connect With the Right Truck Accident Lawyer
Working with a truck accident lawyer can help you recover a fair settlement during the claims or trial process. If you were in a truck accident and want to learn whether you have a valid case, get in touch with a truck accident lawyer for your free consultation.