How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?By Stewart J. Guss on March 18th, 2020
For some of us, budgeting is an ever-present item on our to-do list. We’re constantly weighing our options – is that a necessity or a luxury? Is this a want or a need?
We get it. But there’s one thing you should never, ever forgo in the name of thriftiness: legal representation after a truck accident.
There’s a common misconception that hiring an attorney will cost you an arm and a leg. In reality, many truck accident lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means they do not require any payment upfront. Instead, they collect their fee from a portion of the settlement money they help you obtain.
This means vital legal counsel is available to you, at no upfront cost, as soon as you find yourself in an accident.
Some still have their doubts, thinking “who needs a lawyer at all? I can do this myself.” True, but no one should have to.
Many people think involving a truck accident attorney will complicate everything. On the contrary, an attorney can help schedule your medical appointments, manage all relevant paperwork and evidence, contact witnesses for statements, grapple with insurance companies, and so much more.
Truck accidents take thousands of lives across the United States and cost accident victims MILLIONS of dollars every year.
Victims are distraught, stressed, and probably not so focused on reading up on their legal rights.
Insurance companies know this, and they will try to shut you up with a quick, low settlement offer.
But be aware: injuries are not always apparent right after your wreck. Soft tissue injuries from a truck accident could worsen months later and could even interfere with your ability to work. If you accepted that early settlement offer, waited too long to get examined, or never filed a claim, you’re out of luck.
If you were in a truck accident, you deserve fair compensation. You deserve the guidance of an experienced truck accident attorney.
But Do I Have to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
No one can force you to hire a truck accident attorney, but filing a claim for damages after a truck accident requires careful planning and a strong knowledge of the legal issues unique to truck accidents. It is not a job for just any lawyer. You should seek a lawyer with proven experience – and proven results – in truck accident cases and personal injury law.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Not convinced yet? Okay, let’s lay it all out.
Truck accident lawyers know that A LOT goes into preparing a strong case for damages after a truck accident injury. You’re not just fighting a single driver – you could be going up against a rich and powerful trucking company with the best insurance in the business and the most cutthroat defense attorneys on their side. The deck is stacked against you from the get-go. So what do you get by making the (ahem, smart) decision to hire a truck accident attorney, and not just the first lawyer you find in a cursory Google search?
Managing Medical Expenses
Hospital bills are expensive, and after a truck accident, they can pile up fast. One recent study found that in-hospital costs for a traumatic brain injury range from $2,130 to $401,808 with a median cost of $55,267! And spinal cord injuries – another common injury from truck accidents – can require multiple surgeries and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The average person simply does not have the financial resources to deal with emergency medical bills like these.
This is where a truck accident attorney can help. When you have an open truck accident injury legal claim and an experienced truck accident attorney on your side, medical providers can take some comfort that you will probably have a cash settlement coming your way. An experienced truck accident injury attorney can work to get you a “letter of protection” promising a deferred payment to your medical provider from any settlement or jury award you receive.
The outcome of your truck accident injury case will rely heavily on the quality of the evidence you have to support it.
Experienced truck accident attorneys know what kind of evidence will prove most useful in proving your claim, and they understand where and how to obtain it. They will investigate evidence such as:
- Medical records and expert medical opinions
- Witness statements
- Video and photographic evidence (dash cams, surveillance cameras, cell phone videos, social media records—maybe your accident was captured on Tik-Tok!)
- Accident reconstruction expert reports
These are just some examples of the types of evidence that can help obtain a maximum settlement from an insurance company or convince a jury to deliver a maximum damages award in a truck accident lawsuit. Every truck accident has its own unique facts and circumstances. A truck accident lawyer has the know-how to sort through them to find the evidence that will prove someone owes you money, and how much they owe you.
Identifying Who Owes You Damages
The only thing you can know for sure about all truck accidents is this: they’re complicated.
Many trucks are commercial vehicles. Multiple individuals and businesses typically have interests in them and the cargo they carry.
Did you know every one of those parties could face liability in a truck accident?
Experienced truck accident lawyers know how to target the ones who matter.
Who might be liable? Here are a few of the usual suspects:
- The truck driver: In any motor vehicle accident, the driver of one of the vehicles always has potential liability. Truck accidents are no different. A trucker who makes poor decisions or drives recklessly could face liability for damages.
- The driver’s employer: Employers generally have legal responsibility for the actions of their employees. They also face potential liability if they took actions that contributed to the driver’s dangerous behavior, like forcing the trucker to work long hours or failing to provide proper training.
- A parts manufacturer: It’s scary to think about parts failing an 80,000-pound vehicle, but it’s more common than you think. In fact, many truck accidents result from mechanical failures like faulty brakes or blown tires. When a poorly-designed or defective part causes an accident, the manufacturer can face legal liability.
These are just a few examples. The point is, an experienced truck accident lawyer understands the broad scope of parties who could owe an accident victim money. Why is it so important to identify those parties? Because a lawyer also knows how important it is to target as many parties as possible who have the ability to pay.
Often, the parties who can pay damages are the ones who carry liability insurance policies. Not always, of course. Sometimes a legally-liable party in a truck accident can pay damages right out of its own pocket. Usually, however, getting a truck accident victim compensated requires negotiating with insurance carriers who will try everything they can to weasel their way out of accountability.
That is where the experience and skill of a seasoned truck accident injury attorney can make all the difference. They have the knowledge to go toe-to-toe with the big insurance companies, who often put their most experienced adjusters on complicated truck accident cases. Truck accident lawyers understand that sometimes the legal relationship between parties with an interest in a commercial truck can affect whose insurance pays first, whose steps up next, and so on.
In other words, truck accidents differ from ordinary car accidents. Lawyers do not merely face-off against a single auto liability carrier, but sometimes a whole crowd of insurance adjusters and defense attorneys, each maneuvering to save their clients as much money as possible.
Going to Court
Lawsuit settlements are not always swift and easy – you could get tangled up in a legal tug-of-war over your money. If your case goes to court, you need a skilled truck accident attorney on your side who can explain your complex situation simply and clearly to a jury.
How Much Is a Truck Accident Claim Worth?
Every truck accident has its own unique facts and circumstances. We can’t tell you how much your claim is worth without knowing the details of your case, and we wouldn’t want to steer you wrong by throwing out a random number here.
This is why you need a lawyer who not only knows how to navigate the legal mess a truck accident causes, but one who has the skills and know-how to figure out just how much money you deserve.
An experienced truck accident lawyer knows exactly where to look and who to ask to figure out the maximum damages award you should receive. This compensation will cover the following:
- Medical bills: You shouldn’t have to pay a dime when someone else causes your injuries. Medical bills can bankrupt families who lack the financial resources to cover deductibles and expenses insurance fails to cover. The parties at fault for the truck accident should pay for the costs of medical care you needed to heal from the injuries they caused. It’s only fair.
- Lost wages: Most people can’t afford to take extended time off of work to recover from a truck accident injury. But if you return to work too soon, you can make your injuries worse. If you miss time from work as a result of an accident, you should be reimbursed for those lost wages. Lost wages typically begin the first day you miss work and end only when you can return to work. If you cannot return to work, your attorney could also seek payment of your lost future wages, usually in a lump sum.
- Rehabilitative tools and services: Serious injuries can affect your ability to move around your house, go to work, or even walk. Under these circumstances, you may need mobility aids, occupational therapy, or even home renovations if your house is not accessible. You should not have to pay for those expenses out of your own pocket.
- Pain and suffering: This cost is the hardest to measure, and often what the insurance companies fight the most. Pain and suffering is a so-called “non-economic” cost. There’s no receipt or invoice to record your physical discomfort and emotional anguish, yet you deserve to be compensated. An experienced truck accident lawyer knows how to investigate the impact of a truck accident on your life, and how to convince insurance companies to pay you the maximum amount you deserve.
Top Priority: You
Truck accidents can impact your health, your job, your family, and every other aspect of your life. When your life – and/or your vehicle! – has been flipped upside down, count on a truck accident injury lawyer to fight for your rights. The law allows you to seek fair compensation when someone else’s negligence causes you injury or loss.
Don’t let an insurance company get away with paying you less than what you deserve.
Don’t be left with any more regrets.
Contact an experienced truck accident attorney today for a free case evaluation.
Stewart J. Guss
12777 Jones Rd Suite 297