Sometimes an accident victim believes the costs associated with having a lawyer represent them following a truck accident are too high. Victims often believe their best option is to file their claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company and negotiate directly. However, this often results in an inadequate outcome after a truck accident.
Hiring a truck accident lawyer can help your case. When you hire a truck accident lawyer who has experience handling truck accident cases, it puts the insurance company on notice that you have someone serving as your advocate and protecting your rights.
Steps a Truck Accident Lawyer Takes to Protect You
You must consider several important factors when filing a truck accident injury claim. The legal processes involved in the claims process are complex and often confusing, so it’s in your interest to seek legal counsel.
Some of the necessary steps which:
- Obtains information about the accident – one of the first steps an attorney will take is obtaining information about the accident that caused your injury. This will mean they have to obtain a copy of the crash report and analyze the contents. Texas Transportation Code §550.062 requires all accidents with more than $1,000 in damages to be reported by law enforcement.
- Requests statements from witnesses – any witness to a truck accident can provide a statement about what they saw leading up to and immediately following an accident. These statements could provide information you may not know.
- Requests traffic camera footage – across Texas, many of our busiest roads have traffic cameras. This footage may be helpful to identify what the truck driver did, which resulted in the accident that caused your injury.
- Requests and analyzes medical records – when doctors treat you for your truck accident injury, your medical records will provide information about the extent of your injuries as well as document a prognosis for recovery. This information can determine how much you can demand for a settlement from the insurance company.
Never forget that while you may have access to most of this information, in some cases, an attorney may need to bring in experts to prove the cause of an accident (such as an accident reconstruction team), the severity of your injuries (an impartial physician), and the monetary losses you could face (an actuary). Most of us do not have the available resources to request this assistance.
Filing Claims With an Insurance Company
Once a lawyer has determined the root cause of the accident and your monetary losses, they can issue a demand letter to the responsible party’s insurance company.
Remember this—insurers generally do not simply pay a claim without making a counteroffer. However, in most cases, they want to avoid going to court. The fact is, fewer than 5 percent of all personal injury claims go to court. That said, you want to prepare to go to court, which is why you should work with a truck accident lawyer as soon after an accident as possible.
Truck Accident Claims Are Complicated
One common question victims of a truck accident often ask is, “what can I sue for in a truck accident“? This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on many factors, including the extent of your injuries.
A truck accident lawyer can fight to recover the costs of:
- Injury-related medical bills – your medical bills begin the minute you are put into an ambulance at the scene of the accident and continue until you fully recover from your injuries. If your injuries have caused permanent damage, that means your medical expenses will last for the rest of your natural life.
- Lost income due to injury – whether you broke your leg or sustained a traumatic brain injury, you will need time to recover. The longer the recovery, the more income you stand to lose. If you cannot return to work due to your injury, your truck accident lawyer will calculate your losses based on numerous factors they will discuss with you.
- Other losses – your lawyer may include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other claims in the initial demand for a settlement. This is where the insurance company is likely to fight back and insist you lower the demand.
With a truck accident, you may need to deal with more than one insurance company. Liability for injuries in a truck accident may divide between the driver of the truck, their employer, a shipping company, or other drivers who shared the road at the time of the accident. This is why you should hire a lawyer to represent your interests after a truck accident.
Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers Benefit Accident Victims
Now that you understand all of the things an experienced truck accident lawyer can do, it is time for you to take action. You want to protect your legal rights and interests throughout your truck accident claim.
Even a low-speed truck accident may result in you suffering a severe injury because trucks outweigh standard vehicles by several multiples, even when they are empty. You do not want to put yourself in a position where you begin negotiating with an insurer without the benefit of a skilled lawyer because they will attempt to take advantage of the fact you do not have a legal background. The insurance company adjuster you talk to has one interest only: To protect the insurance company.
Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to get someone who will aggressively fight for compensation for your injuries on your side.