Why Do You Need a Truck Accident Attorney
After a truck accident, you might feel overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take next.
Do you need to hire a truck accident attorney to handle the aftermath of your accident? Truck accident claims can become complicated quickly, especially if the trucking company shares liability for the accident or the truck driver disputes liability for any reason. A Phoenix truck accident lawyer can review your rights and ensure you understand the steps you need to take to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Understanding Truck Accidents
Truck accidents often involve a more complex look at the details than a standard car accident. They can involve severe injuries and a complicated balance of liability, making it difficult to determine whom you need to file a claim against.
What Constitutes a Truck Accident?
A truck accident involves any commercial vehicle, such as delivery trucks, semi-trucks, or large freight trucks. Truck accidents usually involve a corporate entity in addition to the driver, creating complex liability issues. The company often shares liability with the driver that caused the accident. If poor maintenance on the truck contributes to an accident, for example, the trucking company may share liability.
Truck drivers must also follow a strict set of regulations governing the actions they take on the road. Failure to follow those critical regulations can leave drivers and companies liable for damages from a truck accident.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
There are several causes of truck accidents, often including negligence by either the truck driver or the trucking company.
- Driver fatigue: A truck driver can spend up to 11 hours on the road spread out over up to 14 hours, according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations. Those long shifts can make it difficult for drivers to stay awake and alert.
- Reckless driving: Truck drivers may need to meet strict delivery deadlines to avoid facing significant penalties, despite the limited hours they can spend on the road and factors beyond their control, such as traffic. Drivers may choose to speed or engage in other dangerous behaviors to cut down on travel time.
- Improper load distribution: When the loading company fails to balance the load properly, it can increase the risk of accidents, including jackknife accidents and truck rollover collisions.
- Equipment failures or lack of upkeep: Trucks may not receive necessary maintenance or have old, outdated, or dangerous equipment. These factors significantly increase the risk of accidents, including brake failures and tire blowouts.
- Inadequate training: The ongoing truck driver shortage makes it increasingly difficult for many trucking companies to keep trucks on the road. They may fail to provide adequate training for their drivers before they take to the road, even when drivers need to navigate dangerous conditions.
Both truck drivers and trucking companies can bear liability for an accident. A lawyer can determine the liable party for your truck accident and pursue compensation for your injuries.
The Potential Severity and Repercussions of Truck Accidents
Due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, accidents often result in severe damage and injuries. Victims may face high medical bills, loss of earnings, rehabilitation costs, and emotional trauma. Dealing with insurance companies and potential litigation can add to the stress, and truck accident victims may face long-term financial losses.
When to Hire a Truck Accident Attorney
Hiring a truck accident attorney can be crucial in seeking the compensation you deserve after a truck accident. You should usually employ a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible, as their help can be valuable at each stage of the legal process.
Immediately After the Accident
Your priority after a truck accident should be your health. Once you address your immediate medical needs, contacting a truck accident lawyer is essential. Engaging an attorney at the early stage can ensure the preservation of important evidence, recordings of witness statements, and protection of your rights from the start. If you wait to hire a truck accident lawyer, you could find yourself in detrimental negotiations with the insurance company that limit the compensation you can recover.
When Dealing With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies often try to minimize the payout after a truck accident. An attorney can navigate their tactics and ensure you get a fair deal. The complexities of dealing with insurance companies amplify when you don’t understand the insurance claims process. An attorney can take this burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on healing. An attorney can also ensure that the insurance company does not use tactics that reduce the compensation you can recover.
You may encounter:
- Low settlement offers that fail to reflect the damages you sustained in the accident: The insurance company may pressure you to accept a low settlement offer. If you have questions about an insurance company’s settlement offer, discuss your rights with a truck accident lawyer.
- An insurance company that refuses to accept liability for the truck accident: The company may try to place liability with you rather than accepting that the driver or the trucking company caused the accident.
- Difficulty establishing the full extent of your injuries or the treatment you needed: The insurance company may try to claim that you did not require extensive physical therapy after your accident, despite receiving ongoing care.
In all dealings with the insurance company after an accident, an attorney can step in and provide the support you need.
If the Accident Results in Serious Injury or Death
The stakes are high when a truck accident leads to severe injuries or death. Accurate calculations of future medical costs, lost earnings, and other damages may require professional input.
A truck accident attorney has the knowledge and resources to seek full compensation for all damages. In the tragic event of a death, a lawyer can secure a settlement for the surviving family members to cope with the financial aftermath.
If the Accident Involves Multiple Parties
The claims process becomes more complicated if your accident involves multiple parties, such as several drivers or a trucking company. Each party and their insurance company will have lawyers trying to minimize their liability.
An attorney can navigate the complexities, deal with multiple claims, and protect your interests. Navigating those challenges alone can make it incredibly difficult to determine your next steps.
If the Trucking Company Is Disputing Liability
If the trucking company disputes their driver’s responsibility or claims that you share some of the fault, a lawyer becomes invaluable. Lawyers can conduct a thorough investigation and gather evidence that supports your claim. They can effectively counter such strategies and establish who was at fault.
Hiring a trucking accident attorney at the right time can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim. Ensuring you have a professional legal advocate to guide you through the process can dramatically influence the compensation you receive.
The Benefits of Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney
Hiring a truck accident attorney can make the truck accident claims process smoother and more manageable. These professionals offer numerous benefits, including:
Experience in Trucking Regulations and Laws
A truck accident attorney has experience with the nuances of federal and state trucking regulations. They understand the legalities surrounding trucking accidents and can use this knowledge effectively to build and present your case.
Skilled in Dealing With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies often employ strategies to minimize their payout. A seasoned truck accident attorney has vast experience in negotiating with insurance companies and can ensure you receive a fair settlement.
Ability to Accurately Estimate the Value of Your Claim
Truck accident attorneys can accurately estimate the value of your claim, considering factors such as medical expenses, lost income, future medical costs, pain, and suffering. They can ensure you don’t settle for less than you deserve.
Access to Resources for a Thorough Investigation
A truck accident attorney can access various resources to conduct a comprehensive investigation. They can enlist the help of accident reconstruction specialists, medical experts, and other professionals to strengthen your claim.
How to Choose the Right Truck Accident Attorney
Choosing a truck accident attorney is a decision you should not take lightly.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Attorney
Consider factors such as experience, reputation, and a track record of successful settlements and verdicts. It’s also essential to choose someone you feel comfortable with and trust.
Questions to Ask Potential Attorneys
Before hiring an attorney, ask questions about their experience with similar cases, their approach to handling cases, and their fee structure. This will give you a clear picture of what to expect.
Red Flags to Watch Out For
Be cautious of red flags, such as a lawyer who guarantees a specific outcome, pressures you to settle quickly, or fails to communicate clearly and promptly. Get a second opinion if you’re unsure.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer After Your Accident
Hiring a truck accident attorney is a crucial step after a truck accident. These professionals can seek damages, protect your rights, and recover compensation for you. After a truck accident, contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your rights.