After a truck accident, consider your physical health, psychological well-being, and financial needs in any legal actions you take. This is why everyone should seek medical attention and hire a lawyer as soon as possible after a truck accident.
Once you go through a complete medical examination and choose your lawyer, you can focus on recovery and any personal obligations you must tend to. Your Chicago truck accident lawyer will guide your claim or lawsuit, and your doctor should provide a recovery and treatment plan.
As You Recover, Your Lawyer Will Take the Reins of Your Claim and May Even File a Lawsuit
Your lawyer will act quickly to file your claim and pursue the entire financial recovery you are entitled to. Expect your attorney to:
Investigate the Cause of the Truck Accident
Your attorney will conduct their own investigation of your truck accident, which will reveal:
- Who caused the collision
- Why the collision happened
- Any instances of negligence that contributed to the accident (such as a trucking company hiring an unfit motorist)
- Who is responsible for covering your accident-related damages
Your lawyer may work with investigators, experts in crash dynamics, and other professionals as they determine fault for the collision.
Obtain Any Evidence That Benefits Your Case (Including Evidence in the Trucking Company’s Hands)
Truck accident lawyers don’t hesitate when it comes time to secure evidence. Many forms of evidence are time sensitive, meaning they may not be available if a lawyer doesn’t secure them immediately.
Evidence in truck accident cases can include:
- Video footage of the accident
- Witness testimony of how the accident occurred
- Witness testimony about circumstances related to the accident, such as negligence by a trucking company, drug or alcohol use by a truck driver, or other events that led to the collision
- An expert’s testimony about liability
- An expert’s reconstruction of the accident
- Blood, urine, or breathalyzer tests if the accident involved an impaired motorist
- Photographs of damage to your vehicle
A trucking company may possess evidence critical to your case, such as black box data from the truck, logs documenting a driver’s history and work schedule, and the truck itself. Your attorney may file a letter of spoliation which requires the trucking company to preserve and hand over any evidence your lawyer finds useful.
Document and Calculate Your Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Truck accident lawyers must determine how their client has suffered because of a truck accident.
Attorneys also obtain all available proof of damages, which may include:
- Photographs of vehicle damages and invoices for all vehicle repairs
- Medical bills, doctor’s diagnoses, and experts’ projections for your future medical needs
- Proof of lost income, diminished earning power, and any other professional harm you’ve suffered
- An expert’s testimony about your accident-related pain and suffering
This documentation can be a crucial piece of settlement negotiations. Faced with convincing documentation, liable parties cannot claim that your damages are nonexistent or exaggerated. This will give your lawyer a strong negotiating position.
Lead Settlement Negotiations
Your lawyer will likely have to fight for a fair settlement. They will negotiate with insurers, civil defense lawyers, or any other party that owes you compensation for your damages.
The good news is that most civil cases end with a settlement, and truck accident cases are no exception. That said, your lawyer must present a convincing case that includes proof of damages, evidence of liability, and a sound calculation of your damages.
Consider Filing a Lawsuit and Proceeding to Trial
Most civil cases result in a settlement—but not all. If your lawyer determines that liable parties won’t offer the settlement you deserve, the next step may be trial.
Truck accident lawyers (and their clients) generally prefer to settle because:
- Settling delivers the client the compensation they deserve as quickly as possible
- Trials can take months or even years to complete
- There is a high cost to completing a trial
- There is risk in going to trial, as a jury will ultimately determine if you deserve compensation and how much compensation you deserve
If the liable parties offer an unfair settlement, your lawyer may advise you to proceed with a lawsuit and a jury trial.
Accident-Related Damages a Lawyer Can Seek Compensation For
The entire point of a truck accident claim is securing compensation for your accident-related damages.
Your lawyer will identify every damage you suffered (and may suffer in the future) because of your accident, which may include:
- Pain and suffering: You can seek compensation for damages without an obvious financial cost, including pain and suffering. This may include acute and chronic pain, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), lost quality of life, and other damages.
- Property expenses: If your vehicle became damaged during a truck accident, a lawyer will seek compensation to repair or replace the vehicle. You may also get compensation for other damaged property, temporary transportation costs, and other property-related harm.
- Lost income: If you can’t work after the accident, you should receive money for lost income, missed bonus opportunities, lost progress toward promotions, and other professional damages.
- Healthcare costs: Medical bills are common among most truck accident victims. You may need imaging services, emergency treatment, surgery, rehabilitation, and other medical services after your truck accident. Liable parties should cover every accident-related medical bill.
Your lawyer will complete a full accounting of your accident-related damages. If you continue to experience damages likely to continue into the future, your lawyer will consult economists or other capable professionals to project future damages.
Damages from Fatal Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are disproportionately fatal, meaning that a truck accident is more likely than a car accident to result in death. Surviving loved ones may hire a lawyer to pursue justice when this tragic outcome occurs.
Not every fatal truck accident involves criminal behavior. In many cases, liable parties were merely negligent, and a civil lawsuit is the only recourse for holding those liable parties accountable.
Your attorney may ensure accountability by obtaining a financial recovery for:
- The decedent’s pain and suffering
- Your pain and suffering (including grief)
- Any treatment you receive for grief and other forms of pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses, which can cost several thousand dollars
- Loss of the decedent’s companionship, guidance, and other forms of non-economic value
- Loss of the decedent’s income and other types of financial support
- Loss of the decedent’s contributions to their household
Wrongful deaths are, without exception, devastating. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to pursue justice, as you may experience significant financial hardship when your loved one passes away because of a truck accident.
You may also need psychological treatment, time off from work, and other forms of care in the wake of a loved one’s passing. An attorney will work to ensure you can receive all the care you need without stress, as a financial recovery may afford you the freedom to heal.
Find a Lawyer to Lead Your Truck Accident Case Today
Do not wait to identify the right lawyer for your case. Most states have statutes of limitations that restrict your time to file a truck accident lawsuit. If you do not file your case before the statute of limitations expires, you may lose negotiating leverage and lose the option of pursuing a lawsuit.
Find and hire a capable Chicago personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. After getting complete medical treatment to stabilize and heal your injuries, having legal representation is the next most important thing to protect your truck accident claim and financial future. Time is of the essence, so never delay in seeking the right assistance with your case.