Accidents involving large trucks can be devastating. The number of fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses reached 4,889 in 2017. Injury crashes for the same year numbered 116,000. If you’re involved in a semi truck accident, you may wonder if you need to hire a lawyer.
The trucking company’s insurance company will likely make you a settlement offer, so why not just take it?
Hiring a truck accident attorney after a truck accident could help you get more out of your settlement. Insurance companies want to close the case quickly and for as little money as possible.
An attorney can help you ensure the settlement is fair. Hiring an attorney doesn’t mean you’ll have to go to court. Attorneys can help resolve the situation before it gets to that.
Check out these five reasons you should hire a truck accident attorney.
1. You Have an Expert on Your Side
The laws governing personal injury claims and truck accidents vary from one state to the next.
Each state has its own statute of limitations for filing claims. In Georgia, the time limit is 2 years. The processes can also vary significantly.
When your accident involves a commercial truck, the laws become more complex. Truck drivers and trucking companies have to follow different laws and guidelines.
It’s also complicated to determine who’s at fault. Sometimes one person, such as the truck driver, holds liability for your injuries.
Other times it could be multiple defendants. It could be the company that employs the driver, leases the truck, loads the truck, or manufactures the truck.
Most people who are injured in truck accidents don’t have the time to research those laws. Even if they do, they may not fully understand what the laws are saying. After all, legal jargon isn’t the easiest to decipher if you don’t have a background in law.
The last thing you want to do after you’ve been in a serious accident is wade through all of the legal issues or deal with an insurance company.
You need to focus on your recovery. Worrying about deadlines, proper paperwork, and negotiations will only add to your stress and possibly slow down your recovery.
When you hire a lawyer, you get years of experience and knowledge of truck accident claims. Your attorney understands the applicable laws and how they relate to your situation.
You also get personalized recommendations for how to proceed. Your lawyer can explain your options and make suggestions based on the specifics of your situation.
2. Lawyers Investigate Accidents
After an accident with a commercial vehicle, the last thing you’re prepared to do is to investigate the accident. You may have serious injuries that need immediate medical attention. You may be shaken up emotionally from the accident.
Plus, you’re not an expert at investigating accident scenes and documentation. You won’t know what to look for in your research, and you may miss some major evidence that proves the other party is responsible for the accident.
When you hire a truck accident attorney, you get that investigative help. Your lawyer can tell you what type of evidence to keep and what type of information can be helpful in the investigation.
An accident involving a commercial vehicle means there’s a black box involved. The black box is in the truck and records information about the truck’s actions leading up to the accident.
Your attorney can ensure the information on the black box is preserved, so you have that evidence.
3. You Have Legal Support in Negotiations and Trials
Trucking companies come to the table with a team of lawyers who are experts in defending them, even when they’re to blame. The average person isn’t equipped to go up against that kind of legal defense.
Experienced truck accident lawyers know the strategies those defense attorneys will use. They know how to negotiate with companies successfully to get you the compensation for your injuries you deserve.
Your attorney can speak to the trucking company’s insurance adjuster on your behalf or guide you on what to say and what not to say.
4. Attorneys Can Maximize Compensation
The insurance adjuster wants you to accept an offer as quickly as possible. The offer may sound like a lot of money, but it’s most likely much lower than you deserve.
Accident attorneys know how to calculate a fair amount of financial compensation based on your injuries.
Initial medical bills are only part of the equation. You may have ongoing medical needs after the accident. Your attorney can help estimate the cost of those medical expenses.
You might miss time from work, which could entitle you to compensation for lost wages.
You could also get compensation for non-monetary losses, including pain and suffering as a result of the accident.
Attorneys have the experience to calculate fair amounts for the various losses you suffered. That number will likely be higher than what the insurance company offers you.
If you sign an agreement with the insurance company, you’re usually signing away your legal rights to pursue further compensation. That’s why it’s important to contact an attorney right away before you talk to the insurance company or sign any paperwork.
5. It Helps Keep Things Organized
Your attorney takes over all aspects of handling the case with the insurance company and other responsible parties. You don’t have to keep track of court dates, filing deadlines, and other details.
Your attorney handles drafting any documents that are necessary for your case. They keep records of the documents and legal activities related to the case.
Lawyers also coordinate communication with the various involved parties. This is especially helpful if the case involves multiple negligent parties. It’s much easier to let your attorney coordinate those different parties than handling it yourself.
Basically, using an attorney makes the legal process much easier on you. The workload shifts from you to your lawyer, so you can focus on your recovery.
Hire a Lawyer Soon
After a truck accident, you have a lot on your mind, but don’t wait to hire a lawyer. Getting legal support right away helps preserve evidence, establish fault, and earn you financial compensation faster.
Contact us today if you’ve been in an accident involving a truck. We offer free consultations, and our no fee pledge means you won’t pay anything until we win.