Should I Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?
Truck accidents differ from accidents between other passenger cars in several ways. Trucks are huge and heavy, outweighing a regular car by thousands of pounds. For another, special legal issues are involved when you get in an accident with one of those massive vehicles. Whether you were injured in an accident with a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, or commercial truck, hiring a truck accident attorney is always best.
Hiring a truck accident attorney can benefit you in these circumstances.
Complicated Truck Insurance Policies
Most of the time, serious injuries happen in trucking accidents. As a result, the insurance policies that cover drivers and vehicles are very high. The policies are huge because the potential for catastrophe is far greater than what could happen in a crash between two cars.
However, these policies are more complicated than those for a passenger car. They share one thing: the insurance company will try to minimize your compensation claim. You’ll likely have massive medical bills and may never fully recover from your injuries. You could also miss work due to your injuries and endure many other financial hardships. For this reason, it is a smart idea to speak to a truck accident attorney.
Involvement of Federal Laws
Both truck drivers and trucking companies are supposed to adhere to the safety rules and regulations set by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rules detail maintenance requirements for truck fleets, the number of hours a truck driver may drive in one day, and other things.
After a truck crash, an investigation will occur to determine what happened. If it is found that the trucker or the trucking company has violated the rules, it may alter the amount of your compensation in your favor.
Surviving a truck accident is a blessing. However, your injuries will likely keep you incapacitated. You could even become permanently disabled due to the negligent truck driver. Right after an accident, drivers are advised to get evidence of the accident scene for their claims.
In an accident with a truck, you may not know what happened until you wake up in the hospital. Instead of losing crucial evidence, having a truck accident attorney means they will start gathering evidence and building your case while you recover from your injuries. By acting quickly to get legal representation, your attorney can get surveillance footage from traffic cameras, black box data, witnesses’ contact information, and the police report to assemble the evidence.
There is much more money at stake in a truck accident, and the insurance company for the trucking company will want to pay as little as possible. The higher the damages, the higher the compensation in most cases. Without an attorney, the insurance company may try to convince you to take a settlement that barely covers your medical bills, let alone all the other expenses you’ve incurred from this incident.
The Possibility of Multiple At-Fault Parties
Many truck accidents involve multiple entities, and the situation becomes far more complicated with all the involved parties. Sometimes, more than one of these parties is at fault in a trucking accident. That would mean that they would each be responsible for your damages.
It’s important to pursue the full value of your claim, and after an investigation, it may become apparent that there are more liable parties. The truck driver, the trucking company, the shipping company, the company that maintains the trucks for the fleet, and the company that loaded the cargo could all have played a role in your accident.
Often, settlements are reached in truck accident lawsuits before a trial is necessary. With an attorney, you’ll discover if the settlement you’re offered is sufficient to cover your damages. If not, they will continue the negotiations until you get offered a reasonable amount.
However, sometimes it may be necessary to go to trial. This can be riskier because there may be a chance that the judge or jury will not agree with the amount requested for compensation. They may also decide that based on the evidence, the parties you’ve named in your lawsuit are not at fault.
It’s a gamble, but in most cases, the insurance company may return with a fair settlement before a trial becomes necessary. If not, having a truck accident attorney means you have someone to advocate for your legal rights in court.
Getting the Proper Value For Your Truck Accident Claim
Your case will vary in value based on the circumstances of your truck accident. Many factors will impact what that amount could be, including the severity of your injuries and whether or not you’ll ever recover from them.
If you broke a few bones in the crash, your case would be valued as less than someone who became permanently paralyzed from their injuries. However, no matter your injuries, if the truck driver were drunk during the accident, this factor would increase the value of your compensation claim.
Every case has its own metrics that need to be properly analyzed. Truck accident attorneys know exactly how to calculate these factors and fight for what is fair. Meanwhile, insurance companies will usually have a set range and will be happy to settle beneath the lower end of the range. If what is asked is higher, chances are they may be more inclined to dispute this amount and then go to trial.
Ultimately, hiring a lawyer experienced with truck accident cases benefits you because you have a legal guide looking out for you every step of the way.