Truck crashes are increasing across the US. Data from Statista shows that 5,780 large trucks crashed fatally in the US in 2021. The same is the case with individual counties and US states. For instance, there were 692 semi-truck accidents in St. Louis in 2021.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, the last thing you want to worry about is dealing with the legal process. However, when a negligent driver causes an accident, it’s essential that you have an experienced lawyer on your side.
In this article, we’ll discuss what makes hiring a lawyer after a truck accident essential.
Understanding the Complexity of Truck Accidents
You may have heard that truck accidents are a complex area of law. According to TorHoerman Law, truck accidents can involve multiple liable parties, including the driver and the company that operates the truck. Trucking companies sometimes try to avoid paying out claims by claiming they aren’t responsible because they did nothing wrong.
Hence, understanding where the blame lies and what kinds of defenses might be available will help you get fair treatment. Additionally, truck accidents often involve multiple insurance companies and policies. This means many different ways to handle compensation for injuries or damages.
Moreover, the sheer size of trucks makes their accidents different from other vehicle accidents. Since trucks can weigh way more than passenger cars, their accidents are more damaging. For instance, a semi-truck driver died recently in April 2023 in St. Louis.
According to the Patrol Division of Minnesota, the truck overturned and caught fire, which led to the death. The driver was a 31-year-old resident of Grand Rapids.
Because trucks travel across state lines and into other jurisdictions, your attorney must know how each state handles liability in these cases. Hence, it is best to seek a local attorney who knows the regulations of the area where the accident occurred.
Let’s consider the above example of the St. Louis accident. In that case, hiring a St. Louis truck accident lawyer will ensure he or she knows the local regulations well. This ensures you get appropriate compensation from all responsible parties.
Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer After a Truck Accident
There are many benefits to hiring a truck accident lawyer, such as the ones listed below:
Dealing with Insurance Companies
First, they can help you get the right compensation for your injuries. Truck accidents often result in severe injuries, so having legal representation is crucial when filing a claim with insurance companies. In addition to helping you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, an attorney will protect your rights.
An attorney will know how much time has passed since the incident occurred and how long it should take before receiving payment. They’ll also be able to guide which types of evidence may be helpful when filing suit against another driver’s insurance company.
According to a Forbes article, one-third of the truck drivers in the US reported being involved in an accident multiple times. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you investigate if the driver at fault has a history of such cases. This can increase the strength of your case and get you justice quickly.
A truck accident lawyer possesses the knowledge and expertise to conduct a thorough investigation into the accident. They understand the specific laws and regulations governing the trucking industry, which can differ significantly from those for regular automobiles. This knowledge allows them to pinpoint potential violations and negligence that may have contributed to the accident.
Moreover, truck accident lawyers can access a network of experts and resources to aid the investigation. They can collaborate with accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and forensic experts to gather crucial evidence. The evidence can include accident scene photos, black box data, and medical records. This multidisciplinary approach ensures that no stone is left unturned in determining the cause of the accident.
Additionally, truck accident lawyers are skilled at interviewing witnesses, including the truck driver, other motorists, and any potential passengers. These interviews can yield essential information about the events leading up to the accident and the behavior of all parties involved. Lawyers know how to ask the right questions and can detect inconsistencies or discrepancies in statements.
Establishing liability means proving that the truck driver or the trucking company was at fault. For you to receive a settlement, your lawyer must be able to show that:
- The driver was negligent in some way. This could include speeding through an intersection or failing to yield right-of-way. This is vital to win the case and compensation, especially in some locations with comparative fault rules. For instance, Florida has a comparative fault rule for accidents. Hence, a driver’s liability may be reduced or nullified if the victim is more than 50% at fault.
- The trucking company’s unsafe driving policies and procedures led directly to your accident. For example, if they were using older vehicles with expired maintenance records and no safety inspections, this negligence would be considered “corporate.”
A lawyer can help you prove all such points with the evidence collected by him or her.
An attorney can help maximize the compensation you can get due to the accident. Here’s why you should hire a lawyer to maximize compensation:
- You have a right to be compensated for your injuries and losses. This will help you pay off medical bills and lost wages and cover any pain and suffering from your accident.
- Hiring a specialized truck accident lawyer will mean that your case will be handled by someone with experience handling specific cases like yours. This means they’ll know the best amount you can claim for your case. Data shows that the lawsuits result in an average payment of between $406,386 and $449,792. However, the amount you may get can vary based on different factors.
Hiring a lawyer after a truck accident is not just a prudent decision. It’s often a necessity to ensure your rights and well-being are protected. Hiring a lawyer can alleviate the immense stress and emotional burden that often accompanies a truck accident. This enables you to concentrate on your recovery and overall welfare, with the assurance that a proficient advocate is actively advocating for your rights.
Ultimately, the decision to hire a lawyer after a truck accident can help you move forward with confidence.