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How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?

If a negligent truck driver harmed you in an accident, you deserve to work with a legal representative familiar with truck accident law and truck accident lawsuits. Accidents involving commercial vehicles do not work the same as car collisions. Even if you have solid proof of the driver’s wrongdoing before the accident, you must remember that trucking companies and insurance providers do everything in their power to pass the blame onto someone else or reduce your damages. Rather than try to handle your case alone, learn how truck accident legal representatives make their clients’ lives easier.

Determine Liability

Say the truck operator made an illegal lane change immediately before slamming into your vehicle. That means you have a case against the person behind the wheel, right? Truck accidents may involve several responsible parties, so you could have a case against the truck driver and someone else. Potential negligent parties in truck collisions include:

  • The trucking company
  • The cargo loader
  • The truck manufacturer
  • Insurance providers
  • Government entities

Even though the truck driver made an illegal lane change, perhaps the cargo loader failed to secure the truck’s load, which also contributed to the harm you endured. Without the right legal help, you may never realize the part other parties played in your wreck or if you have a case against multiple parties.

Understand Laws for Commercial Truck Drivers

Do you know how to find out how many hours the truck driver spent on the road before the collision? Federal and state laws require commercial truck drivers to take breaks after spending several hours on the road. To make a delivery on time, qualify for a bonus or some other compensation, or to make it home faster, some truck operators drive longer than they should.

Legal advocates who handle truck accidents know the latest laws concerning commercial drivers and how those laws pertain to your case. Sometimes, truck companies attempt to sidestep liability by claiming a driver works as an independent contractor. If that happens to you, count on your attorney to have the resources necessary to determine if the driver works as a traditional employee or an independent contractor.

Build a Tight Case

No matter the at-fault party, expect to fight for your compensation with a solid case. That means gathering viable evidence of your injuries and car damage. Hopefully, you took plenty of images of the accident scene, got the truck driver’s name and contact information, interviewed witnesses for their statements and called the police to the scene to create an official report. Even if you overlooked a few of those steps, your legal team may return to the accident scene to fill in the gaps in your case.

Another vital aspect of strengthening your personal injury case is gathering all medical bills resulting from the accident. Keep track of all your doctor’s appointments, physical therapy sessions, medications, medical procedures, medical assistive devices and all other expenses related to the incident. It even makes sense to keep track of the miles you travel back and forth from appointments, so you receive reimbursement for gas.

Deal With the Insurance Company

No matter if you get into a truck accident or car accident, insurance providers often go to every conceivable length to low-ball victims with inferior settlements. While you may receive an initial offer that seems generous at first glance, it may not account for the range of suffering and pain you endured because of another’s disregard. Settle too quickly or without a legal professional’s insight and you could cheat yourself out of fair damages.

You must also watch what you say to insurance representatives. They may try to weaponize your words against you to dismantle your case, especially if you say you feel fine after the truck collision. Rather than agonize over every word you utter, let a lawyer communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.

When it’s time to negotiate a fair settlement, legal advocates step up for their clients. You could try to negotiate alone, but lawyers know coverage providers’ tricks and how to go toe-to-toe with them on your behalf. Imagine how much time and frustration you could avoid with the right legal counsel by your side.

Prove Negligence

In personal injury cases, the plaintiff must prove negligence to the court and insurance companies. Legal teams help truck accident clients prove the four essential elements of negligence:

  1. The truck operator owed you a responsibility to drive carefully and follow the rules of the road.
  2. The truck operator failed to uphold that obligation.
  3. That breach injured you.
  4. You suffered physical or financial harm or losses from those injuries. 

After proving negligence successfully, you could qualify for damages.

Choose the Most Favorable Legal Strategy

To stand the most favorable chance of recovering full compensation, you may think you should file a lawsuit in a court of law. Your truck accident lawyer may feel it makes more sense to go through mediation or arbitration or settle out of court. Each legal strategy offers unique benefits and considerations, all of which you should expect your legal team to explain.

Ease Your Mind & Protect Your Interests

While a car accident may usher in an endless tide of woe and worry, a truck accident could multiply your concerns and aggravations considerably. Not only must you tend to your injuries and repair your car, but you may also have several negligent parties to deal with. During ongoing legal cases, medical bills pile up, injured workers exhaust their vacation and sick days, and personal injury victims could crumble under the stress.

When you turn your case over to a truck accident attorney, you hand over all your anxieties, stressors and questions to someone with the resources and experience to help see you through your legal battle. Rather than rely on questionable online sources, bring all your questions and concerns to a legal representative.

Gauge Your Fault

Depending on your actions leading up to the collision, you could bear partial fault for the harm you suffered. For instance, maybe you checked a text message on your phone, became distracted by something you saw out the window or ate lunch as the truck careened over into your lane. If the trucking company or insurance provider suspects you played a part in the incident, it could try to use that to undermine your claim.

Even if you bear a percentage of fault for your accident, you may still qualify to receive compensation, albeit a reduced amount. In states that follow comparative negligence laws, courts reduce damages according to the defendant’s and plaintiff’s degrees of fault. For instance, say you suffered $10,000 in damages, but the court finds you 20% at fault and the truck’s cargo loader 80% at fault. That means you only receive $8,000 in damages.

A few states follow pure contributory negligence rules. Under these laws, even if a plaintiff bears 1% of the fault, she or he cannot recover damages. At all. No matter if you caused the accident, you can depend on your lawyer to help you explore your options.

Contact Us

See for yourself how a reputable, well-experienced legal team has everything you need to protect your rights after an accident with a commercial truck. To speak with a Fielding Law representative, call our law offices at 877-880-4090.

Sources:

https://www.findlaw.com/injury/car-accidents/comparative-negligence.html

https://www.findlaw.com/injury/car-accidents/should-i-get-a-truck-accident-lawyer.html

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/truck-accident-lawsuits.html