A truck accident should always lead you to seek legal assistance from a truck accident attorney, but many victims will put their faith in the truck insurance company and not speak to a lawyer. While it might be obvious to you that someone else should cover your losses, it is not that simple to prove for legal purposes. For more information, please reach out to a truck accident lawyer.
You should always consult with an attorney following a crash, but the following are some situations when your first call should be to after you seek medical treatment.
You suffer an injury
You must contact a truck accident attorney when you suffer an injury from an accident. Truck accident injuries can be debilitating, and medical treatment is expensive. You must follow all medical recommendations to ensure you achieve maximum physical recovery. You might have a long and costly recovery ahead after a truck accident.
Many accident victims do not get treatment because they think the pain will go away or do not want the inconvenience of seeing doctors and getting diagnostic testing. Others are concerned about the cost of treatment, as they do not realize their right to seek compensation for medical bills. However, you need professional medical treatment both for your health and your legal claim.
You need ongoing treatment
Some conditions result in long-term treatment and care to help get you to a comfortable place. You must speak with a local truck accident attorney if you require ongoing treatment. When the insurance company sees a person filing a claim for a complex injury requiring ongoing treatment, they will scrutinize it heavily, find ways to devalue your claim, and even state that you do not need ongoing treatment.
The insurance adjuster will hire doctors and private investigators to find proof that you do not need this medical care. Severe injuries require solid legal representation, so the opposing party does not deny you the compensation you need for ongoing care. The insurance company might quickly push you to settle for less than what you need when they see serious and lasting injuries. A truck accident attorney will fight against these actions.
Catastrophic injuries are not common in truck accidents.
Serious injuries that require ongoing care and substantial settlements are:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- Brain injuries
- Loss of a limb
- Internal injuries
If you have a serious injury, you always want the right lawyer to handle your case.
Identify the responsible party
The insurance company can present huge obstacles when it contacts you and disputes liability, denying the truck driver or other parties’ negligence. Disputing liability is a common way for insurance companies to protect their own interests, as they do not have to pay claims if their policyholder was not responsible.
You need to identify and file claims against all negligent parties. Through an investigation, your truck accident attorney will determine all responsible parties and collect evidence to prove their liability.
Understandably, the authorities will move quickly to clear the scene, which can sweep away evidence. Trucking companies might send representatives to gather evidence to defend themselves, and they might try to withhold this evidence from you. You need a truck accident attorney to immediately investigate the accident and request evidence preservation from the trucking company.
The trucking company might discard trucking records within a specific time, which can hurt your chances of financial recovery. A truck accident attorney will need the full history of the driver, the truck maintenance, and dispatch records. The truck driver’s medical history might also come into question. Once again, your attorney will also need to issue preservation of evidence requests for these records.
Witnesses are vital to compensation recovery; if you wait too long to have a lawyer speak to witnesses, their memories can fade. Your memory of the accident will stay fresh because it directly affected you, but witnesses can move on from the accident as time passes. You might not know where to begin to interview witnesses, but a truck accident attorney does. The sooner their testimony is on the record, the better it is for your case.
Fight the insurance company
The insurance company only cares about their best interests and resolving the issue for the least amount of money possible. They will do anything to accomplish this task, even if that means putting the blame on you and denying your claim. They will rely on vague or unfavorable evidence to shift the blame to you or another party.
Truck insurance is also different from car insurance because there is often more than one policy in play. There is the truck driver’s insurance, cargo insurance, and the trucking company’s insurance policies to maneuver, at least. You need someone who can juggle all of these claims.
While you might believe you have a straightforward case, insurers know they can take advantage of someone who does not have a truck accident attorney representing them. Liability disputes can be ongoing and contentious, so it is best to have someone who knows how to fight the insurance company on your side.
The insurance company will try to contact you after an accident, and it is not to find a resolution; instead, it is to find details that can help them deny or reduce your claim. They will reach out to you when you are in your most vulnerable state and pretend to be empathetic to the circumstances.
Never trust them. Do not make recorded statements, sign medical releases, or answer questions about the accident. Only take these steps under the advice of your truck accident attorney.
Receiving a settlement offer
The first step in monetary recovery is filing an insurance claim. A truck accident attorney is necessary when the insurance company, even before the insurer makes offers or efforts to pay you. If you do not have a lawyer, the insurance adjuster might quickly offer you a lower settlement because they hope you will accept it and walk away. However, when you have legal representation, you show the insurance company that you are standing up for your rights and that you are not going away without a fight.
Do not accept an unfair offer from the insurance company; trust a truck accident attorney who will prevent you from losing money. The insurance company will find different issues in your claim to continue to lower offers, which increases the risk that you might lose money.
When accident victims handle claims independently, there are often costly mistakes. You are focusing on your injuries and well-being, while the insurance company focuses on closing the claim. They might contact you over and over to find holes in your story. They will send you legally binding paperwork, hoping you make a mistake or overlook something and sign it.
Suppose you tell the insurance company one thing on the phone but fill out documents slightly differently; they will use this to paint you as unreliable. To circumvent these accusations and mistakes, refer all communications to your truck accident attorney.
Document your damages
Your word means nothing to the insurance company, and while a truck accident attorney does believe you, they need documents that prove your side of the story. The only way to prove the settlement you need is to show the insurance company or the jury relevant documents that clearly outline your losses. You should work with a truck accident attorney who can help you keep track of and prove your damages.
Applying the law and regulations
Most people will not know what their legal options are and what laws affect their case following a truck crash. However, truck accident attorneys do know the laws and your options. The first legal step is to hire a lawyer and then begin an insurance claim. There are many pre-litigation steps by which your case can resolve. If you file a lawsuit, you will need to undergo various pretrial processes to reach a resolution. If there is no progress towards a fair settlement, your case will get a trial date.
Aside from state laws regarding accidents, trucking regulations also come into play. Truck drivers must maintain up-to-date qualifications and training, accurately log hours and rest periods, and schedule maintenance when necessary. They will also need to keep up with truck inspections.
There are many federal and state trucking regulations, and someone who does not drive a truck will not know what they are. However, your truck accident attorney is familiar with these regulations and can attribute negligence to any violations that led to your truck accident. Having the right legal strategy is vital to getting the compensation you need, and there are several ways to use trucking regulations to the advantage of your case.
If you lose a loved one in a truck accident, you are dealing with grief and emotional pain, and the insurance company will take advantage of this. They might be unwilling to negotiate with you, and you are not in the right mind frame to fight with them. Families often do not realize they are getting a low offer, and it is difficult to put a price on the loss of a family member.
Unfortunately, lawyers must often fight the insurance company to get a fair settlement offer for your tragedy and losses.
A truck accident attorney will calculate the payment for:
- Loss of household support
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of financial contributions
- Burial or cremation expenses
- Loss of guidance
- Loss of companionship
Do not overwhelm yourself with trying to negotiate with the insurance company during a grief-stricken time; let your truck accident attorney fight for you.
Compensation beyond medical bills
Truck insurance companies will move to settle claims quickly because they want to avoid any legal trouble like litigation. They do not want to spend money fighting you, but they will. The insurance company is not telling you that their settlement doesn’t account for future losses, even though it looks attractive. Their initial offer is usually far less than you need to cover future losses.
Having a truck accident attorney helps you recover losses beyond medical bills. Your attorney will investigate and calculate the damages you suffered and will continue to suffer in the future.
You might obtain compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Emotional anguish
The compensation for your truck accident will vary depending on your injuries, liability, and other legal regulations.
Hiring a truck accident attorney is the right decision
Do not hesitate to contact a truck accident lawyer to secure evidence, value your case, and fight for you. You will find peace knowing you have someone in your corner who is ready to go to bat for you while you physically and emotionally recover from this traumatic experience.
Truck accident claims will take time, especially when injuries are catastrophic and require extensive medical treatment. It can take years for you to reach maximum medical improvement, and you need someone with the knowledge to handle the legal intricacies of these claims.
You may need to fight various insurance companies and policies, and it will overwhelm you. Call the right law firm today to discuss your options and determine your best legal strategy.