When to Hire a Truck Accident Attorney
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you may wonder when you should consider hiring a truck accident attorney. The answer? Immediately. Truck accident cases can get complicated because of the number of parties involved. Moreover, these collisions can cause life-threatening injuries, necessitating high compensation. Insurance companies aren’t always willing to negotiate or pay these claims in good faith.
A truck accident attorney can manage your case, no matter what phase of the legal process you’re in. They can file your claim, itemize your losses, and advocate for what you deserve. Many also offer free consultations where you can explore your options in more detail.
When You Sustain Serious Injuries in a Truck Crash
If you suffer injuries in a truck accident, you may want to have a lawyer seek compensation for them. Injuries from a truck accident are often catastrophic, requiring extensive medical care and resulting in long-term challenges.
Truck accident victims can experience severe injuries, such as:
- Brain injuries or head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries and other back injuries
- Fractured bones
- Ruptured organs
- Lost limbs
- Severe burns
- Scars and disfigurement
- Bruises, lacerations, and abrasions
These injuries can be life-threatening or permanently disabling. They may require long-term care, and in some cases, victims may never return to their previous state. Your injury lawyer can evaluate the severity of your injuries and factor them into your total compensation amount.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help With Your Injuries
Your attorney can make sure that you get the proper medical attention to document your injuries while also maximizing your compensation from the liable party. An injury lawyer can prioritize your best interests and consider the totality of your damages to ensure you seek fair compensation.
On your own, insurance companies may try to take advantage of you by diminishing your injuries, disputing their cause, and offering low settlements. With medical bills and other living expenses adding up, you may feel tempted to accept any settlement out of desperation.
If you take a low settlement but later find out you need additional treatment, it will be too late. Signing a waiver of liability means you can’t return to the insurance company and request more money. A lawyer can factor all your present and future medical expenses into your claim’s overall value. That way, you can fight for what you need from the liable party.
When the Involved Parties Disagree on Liability
It may seem like your truck accident is an open-and-shut case. You may think the truck driver is obviously at fault, but these collisions are rarely simple when it comes to liability. First, the trucking company’s insurer could dispute liability. Its representatives will investigate the crash and look for ways to pin it on you.
Beyond that, the number of parties involved in the crash and the subsequent legal battle increases with truck collisions. Given the size of a semi-truck, it is possible that the truck collided with multiple vehicles. Multiple vehicles mean that multiple insurance companies could be liable. No one will want to accept responsibility, making it take longer to receive a payout and potentially leading to litigation in court.
Attempting to navigate this scenario on your own could leave you outmatched by attorneys and losing out on the compensation you rightly deserve. When you hire a lawyer, you get an advocate who can protect you from aggressive attorneys and pursue financial recovery.
Who Could You Hold Liable for Your Truck Accident Damages?
An attorney can identify the liable parties in your truck accident, then hold them accountable for your losses.
Liability could rest with one:
- The truck driver. Depending on the circumstances, the negligent unqualified truck driver could be responsible for your collision-related expenses. Generally, you would pursue damages from their employer. Yet, matters change if the trucker operates as an independent contractor. That means they would be liable for any damages they cause.
- A trucking company. The trucking company that employed the at-fault trucker could be financially responsible through vicarious liability laws. This means the trucking company could pay for losses stemming from its employee’s negligence.
- A truck manufacturer. If there was a manufacturing defect or an equipment failure, the truck manufacturer may be liable.
- A truck-loading or trailer-fastening company. Sometimes separate companies load and hitch a truck’s trailer. If the truck was over the weight limit, leading to the crash, or if the trailer was improperly connected, the loading or hitching company may be responsible.
- A truck leasing company. When the driver or trucking company leases a semi for the job, problems with the vehicle may arise from the leasing company. The leasing company may have failed to service the vehicle timely or properly.
- A freight broker. The freight broker coordinates the trucking operation from receiving the goods from the manufacturer to delivering them to the end destination. Generally, the broker will select the companies involved in moving the cargo, such as the trucking company and the loading company. If the broker failed to do their due diligence in hiring the company that caused your truck accident, they could bear financial responsibility for your losses.
Managing communications with multiple parties can quickly prove tiring. However, with a lawyer advocating for you, all you have to worry about is putting this event behind you. They can manage all communications and fight for what you deserve.
When the Insurance Company Reaches out to You
The other party’s insurer may attempt to contact you early on in the claims process. It hopes to catch you at your most vulnerable. The insurer also knows that since the truck accident just happened, you probably don’t have an attorney yet. It can use your lack of representation to its advantage.
If the insurer requests a recorded statement, makes an offer, asks for your medical history, or asks you to sign any documents, you should refuse. Any information beyond what’s absolutely necessary could jeopardize your claim. The adjuster is not on your side. They only care about resolving your claim as cheaply as possible.
When an insurance representative tries to contact you, refer them to your lawyer. Your lawyer can answer their questions and supply the necessary information. The sooner you hire an attorney for your claim, the sooner you can put your mind at ease.
When the Insurer Makes a Settlement Offer
If you’ve already proceeded with a truck accident claim without an attorney, and the insurance adjuster offers you a settlement, you can still hire a lawyer. You may not have even had a chance to file a claim against the trucking company, and yet the adjuster is prepared to make you an offer. This is a definite red flag. There’s a high probability that the settlement doesn’t come close to covering your actual damages.
A collision can alter your life in ways you had never imagined. You could be out of work indefinitely with debt and unexpected expenses for weeks, months, or years to come. Your settlement needs to reflect the full extent of the semi-truck collision in your life. That includes financially and mentally.
The insurer doesn’t want you to consider all of your actual losses. That’s why insurers target personal injury victims early. Victims are often too exhausted to think of anything besides getting money immediately. This sometimes prompts them to accept far less than what they actually deserve.
A Truck Accident Lawyer Can Ensure Your Settlement Includes All Your Damages
Your truck accident attorney’s job is to consider all your damages. They can determine the damages you’ve suffered, gather the documentation needed to prove them, and demand financial recovery.
Your lawyer can include these hardships in your case’s overall value:
- Medical treatment costs, both current and future
- Lost income from missing work
- Reduced earning capacity due to temporary or permanent disabilities
- Car damage or replacement costs
- Physical therapy
- Travel costs (such as using a rental car or an Uber)
- Replacement domestic services
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium or companionship
A fair offer should reflect these truck accident damages and any others. On your own, you may not have the time, energy, or resources to build a claim that includes these losses, but your lawyer does. When you let an attorney handle your truck accident claim, you can focus on recuperating from your injuries.
When the Insurer Denies Your Truck Accident Claim
Approaching the insurance company on your own might not be in your best interest. If you started a truck accident claim, but the insurer denied it, you should consider hiring a lawyer for your injury. An attorney can intervene and determine the reason for your claim’s denial.
Perhaps you or the adjuster made clerical errors on the paperwork. It’s also possible that you didn’t supply adequate proof of your injuries or evidence of the truck driver’s fault. An accident lawyer can review your denial letter for the details to take proper action. Your attorney can collect the evidence necessary to fill in any gaps to support your claim.
A Truck Accident Attorney Can Fight Bad Faith Insurance Practices
If the insurer unjustly denied your claim, your truck accident lawyer can hold the insurer accountable under the laws of your state. The law requires insurance companies to pay claims both timely and fairly. When insurers deny or delay claims for no reason, they’re acting in bad faith.
Injury lawyers know the bad faith practices that some insurers employ. They are also aware of the insurance and injury laws that apply to your case, and they know how to interpret the language of convoluted insurance policies. If the insurer refuses to correct the denial appropriately, your lawyer may file a lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve.
You Have a Limited Time to Recover Compensation From a Truck Accident
The statute of limitations governs how long injured claimants have to file truck accident lawsuits in court. Every state has a different deadline, but most only give you one to four years to act. That is not an extraordinary amount of time, and given the severity and complexity of truck accidents, it can quickly run out while you’re still undergoing treatment.
Contacting an attorney right away allows your counselor to start building a case immediately. With enough time, your lawyer can file your case before the statute of limitations runs out.
How Will a Truck Accident Lawyer Build Your Case?
Truck accident cases are seldom straightforward. Yet, if you hire an attorney after a truck accident, you won’t pursue compensation alone. All the challenges of filing a claim are your attorney’s to bear, and they are equipped to overcome them.
Backed by the resources and network of a law firm, your lawyer has the finances and the connections to take on trucking corporations and insurance giants. Your truck accident attorney can manage every facet of your case while you rest and recover as needed.
The duties of a truck accident lawyer may include:
- Investigating the semi-truck crash
- Working with investigators or crash reconstruction analysts to find who (or what) caused the collision
- Gathering evidence to prove the other party acted negligently
- Identifying all liable parties, including the trucking company, truck driver, a third-party vehicle, the truck manufacturer, or a freight company
- Finding qualified medical professionals to provide you with care
- Filing your truck accident claim and supporting documentation with the insurance company
- Handling all communication regarding your case
- Negotiating a fair settlement offer on your behalf
- Filing a lawsuit if the insurer chooses not to pay what you deserve
- Fighting for your rights at trial
When you hire an attorney after a truck accident, you give yourself the time to focus on healing and spending time with your family. In the meantime, a personal injury lawyer in Phoenix can fight for what you need, no matter what stage of the claims process you’re in.