Were you in a truck accident recently? These are often severe accidents, and your injuries may require months to heal. After all, commercial trucks can weigh up to 20 times more than a typical car and cause devastating injuries.
But every case is different, so how do you know when to hire a truck accident attorney?
The answer is quite simple, as the information below will explain you should always hire a truck accident attorney to represent you after a truck crash.
Never Represent Yourself
Motor vehicle accident victims sometimes believe they can represent themselves to save money on legal fees.
However, serious injuries may compromise your ability to advocate for yourself effectively.
Imagine needing to negotiate with insurance companies and truck company attorneys during a long hospital stay or rehabilitation therapy. This is not something most people want to do, nor will the outcome favor you.
Second, most accident victims lack experience in personal injury law. You probably don’t know how to negotiate with an insurance company or calculate your real damages. For example, your injuries may require months of rehabilitation.
Do you fully understand your future medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering? If you represent yourself, you can wind up with far less money than you need to recover.
An experienced truck accident attorney has extensive experience with negotiations, claims, and trial procedures after a severe truck accident. Your attorney will know what the case is worth and can stand up against stingy, difficult truck company lawyers who want to pay you less than you deserve. Your attorney will also know when to settle a case and when to go to trial.
An experienced lawyer also will handle all communications with attorneys and insurance companies so you can focus on your recovery and family. The severity of the injuries and case complexity usually mean you need a tough truck accident attorney representing you.
Why Truck Accident Claims Are Often Best in an Attorney’s Hands
Commercial trucks are common on American highways and often pose a dire risk to public safety. Trucks may weigh 30 times as much as a passenger vehicle, and a fully loaded truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. These large vehicles often take up to 40 percent more stopping distance than a standard passenger car.
When a truck slams into your vehicle, the size and weight can demolish your vehicle and cause devastating personal injuries, leading to life-changing events that cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars during recovery.
If you suffered an injury in a truck accident and believe the trucker caused it, you can receive ample compensation from the truck company’s insurance providers.
Insurance companies always have the best interests of the trucking company at heart, but your attorney will usually get the maximum compensation from them.
Always hire an attorney after a tractor-trailer accident. These cases are too complicated and usually involve serious injuries, so it is too risky to negotiate a fair settlement yourself.
Also, you may think you are not the type of person who files lawsuits. But after a truck accident, know this: As soon as the trucking company finds out about an accident involving their driver, their attorneys and investigators get involved. Trucking company attorneys may get to the crash scene before the police investigation.
Trucking company lawyers begin working on the matter immediately. If you do not hire a truck accident attorney, you are the party in the case without legal representation. This puts you in a highly vulnerable position.
You May Need More Than an Attorney Who Usually Handles Car Accidents
Perhaps you have realized by now that you should hire an injury attorney to represent you after a truck accident. Maybe you should hire one who settles many car accident cases yearly. Consider that car accidents and truck accident claims differ, and many car accident attorneys lack experience with truck accident cases. Why?
The biggest reason is that there are fewer truck crash cases than fender benders involving two-passenger vehicles, so most car accident attorneys do not develop the legal skills to resolve these complex cases successfully. Many car accident attorneys lack the resources, skill, or experience to handle a truck accident case with severe injuries.
Once you decide to hire a lawyer, look for one with experience handling – and winning – truck crash cases.
You Might Be Under Investigation
Many truck crash injury clients do not realize that trucking companies and insurers play hardball.
First, they might deny liability for your injuries. Even if they admit liability, they still will try to reduce what they pay you. How do they do that? By seeking anything they can use against you.
They might have investigators checking your social media or even watching you in public to see if you do anything that contradicts your injury claims. Many truck accident victims may not worry about the insurance company looking into their social media posts, watching them when they drive to work, etc. After all, what do you have to hide?
However, even if the insurance company doesn’t find anything bad, they will misconstrue anything you say or do to save them money in a settlement or trial.
The Police Report Isn’t Enough to Establish Liability
In a truck accident where the trucker hit your vehicle and caused your injuries, the police report may state this. Since the police report states the truck driver hit you, that makes it plain as day that the trucker was at fault, right? Wrong.
Just because the police say that the trucker is liable does not mean their insurance company will pay damages. The police report contains helpful evidence of liability, but these reports often include an officer’s opinions on what happened – not concrete and irrefutable evidence.
You cannot simply take the police report and prove without an attorney that the trucker or employer or trucking company is liable. Sometimes, you cannot introduce the police report as evidence in a trial. You need more evidence to prove your claim.
Many Parties Might Bear Liability
Another reason to hire a truck accident attorney is that determining who is liable for your injuries can be more complicated than you think. In a regular motor vehicle accident, the at-fault driver must pay the damages to anyone injured.
You can hold several potential parties liable for your injuries and damages in a truck accident, depending on the circumstances.
- The truck driver: You can hold this person financially liable for your injuries and damages if his negligence or recklessness or unqualified driver caused the truck accident.
- The trucking company: Your attorney can hold the company responsible for negligent hiring practices, training, improper truck maintenance, etc.
- The truck manufacturer: If the truck that hurt you had defective parts, you and your attorney can hold them accountable.
Your attorney will hold all liable parties accountable to get you the most compensation possible. It usually takes the skill and knowledge of an attorney to figure out which parties contributed to the accident and which insurance policies should provide compensation.
Evidence Establishing Liability Is Only Half The Battle
An investigation can determine that the truck driver caused the accident and your injuries, but you are only halfway home. You must also prove your losses and damages to receive a fair settlement or verdict award. This sounds simple, but it rarely is. Whatever your damages, the trucking company attorneys will dispute the number.
Medical bills are a common example; if you have a pile of medical bills to treat your injuries and broken bones after a truck accident, you can assume their insurance company will pay them. However, the insurance company can dispute that the bills are real, and you may require several sworn statements from medical providers to prove the bills authentic.
An experienced truck accident law firm in Chicago won’t have a problem proving medical bills are real. But imagine having to do that if you represent yourself. The truth is, even if you receive legitimate medical bills, you must undergo a complex legal process to present them as evidence.
After proving the bills are legitimate, the insurance company can dispute if you needed two months of physical therapy to learn to walk without a limp. The insurance company might argue that you should have had less therapy, and they won’t pay. Defeating this method requires a medical expert to go through the medical evidence and treatments with the jury to prove they were necessary.
The truck company attorneys will likely do the same tactic with lost earnings. They may say you didn’t need to be out of work as long as you were.
If you represent yourself, what can you say to convince anyone?
But your attorney will probably hire an economist to determine your lost income and project how long you will be out of work. The economic expert can work with your medical expert to show the jury that being out of work as long as you were was medically essential.
Don’t Delay in Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney
Hopefully, this information has convinced you to always hire a truck accident attorney. At the very least, ask one to review your case.
Don’t wait until you get a lowball settlement offer to hire a lawyer. The sooner you involve an attorney, the more likely you will get more money.
Speak to a Truck Accident Attorney Today
If a truck hit you recently and you have medical bills and cannot work, you should not handle your case alone. A truck accident attorney can recover compensation for your injuries, including medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Please contact the best personal injury law firm in Chicago today for more information.