In 2020, 107,000 trucks were involved in crashes that resulted in an injury. Compared to typical car accidents, truck accidents have a heightened potential for severe injury and trauma due to the size and weight of the vehicles.
When you become a truck accident victim due to someone else’s recklessness or negligence, you have the right to compensation for your injuries. However, to successfully file a claim and secure the maximum compensation, you need the right truck accident lawyer by your side.
Criteria When Choosing a Truck Accident Lawyer
Here are five criteria you should keep in mind when searching:
Experience With Truck Accidents
Truck accidents fall under personal injury law. The scope of personal injury is broad, covering everything from car accidents, slip and fall accidents, dog bite accidents, medical malpractice, product defects, and more.
Each case type has varying considerations, so you need to find a personal injury lawyer with specific experience in truck accidents. Plus, truck accident cases are more complicated than typical car accident cases, so even a car accident lawyer may not be able to properly navigate the case.
An experienced truck accident lawyer understands the ins and outs of a truck accident, including the regulations and hazards involved and the multiple parties that may be responsible.
Pay if You Win
After a severe injury, you’ve likely been burdened with steep medical bills and lost income from an inability to work. As a result, you might feel like you can’t afford a lawyer, but in truth, many personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis.
A contingency fee means you don’t have to pay unless they win your case. Instead of paying an hourly rate, the attorney gets a percentage of the settlement (typically around 33%). Many also offer free, no-obligation consultations to discuss your case. Be sure to ask about their fee structure and how out-of-pocket costs are handled (e.g., court filing fees, copying costs, expert witness fees, etc.).
For some lawyers, you may have to cover out-of-pocket costs even if you lose the case.
Listens to Your Needs
Your truck accident lawyer will be by your side throughout the case, so it’s important to pick someone you’re comfortable working with. You want a lawyer you can trust to take your side and fight for your best interests. If you feel the lawyer is dismissive of your concerns or talking down to you during your free consultation, they’re likely not a good fit for you.
Trial Success Record
Most personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court in the interest of both parties avoiding court costs and saving time. However, if the at-fault party is stubborn about a fair settlement, you want a lawyer ready and willing to fight for your rights and win in court.
The legal process is understandably confusing for the layperson, especially when it’s littered with legal jargon. Your lawyer should be able to simplify their explanations and ensure that you fully understand your options and what the next steps will be.
In addition, you want a lawyer that updates you throughout the process. While you don’t need to be notified of every little thing, your lawyer should at least keep you informed about major changes or concerns.
Reasons To Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer
If your case looks simple on the surface, you might believe that you don’t need a truck accident lawyer. However, you’ll run into many issues that only a skilled truck accident lawyer can resolve, such as:
Complicated trucking regulations
Commercial trucks are subject to certain federal laws and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, which involve annual inspections, scheduled maintenance, load limits, driver qualifications, limited driving hours, and required rest periods. Violations of these rules (e.g., lacking maintenance, overworked drivers, etc.) can be the cause of an accident, and a truck accident lawyer can help you use it to strengthen your case.
Several responsible parties
Unlike car accidents where the driver is the sole person responsible for their vehicle, truck accidents can involve negligence on the part of the truck driver, the trucking company, the maintenance company, or another driver on the road. Figuring out who was truly responsible and dividing the blame among multiple parties will be much easier with a lawyer.
Damages from a truck accident are often much higher. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to estimate how much an accident costs you in medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering, especially because you might not have an objective view of the situation. A truck accident lawyer can help you calculate the full extent of the damages and ensure that you receive compensation.
Dealing with trucking insurance companies
A driver in a car accident typically only has one insurance policy in place, so it’s easy to identify who to file a claim with. In a truck accident, however, there may be insurance policies for the driver, the company, the truck itself, and even the cargo it carries. Multiple policies can complicate the process of filing a claim.
In addition, insurance companies often attempt to pay as little as possible and will dispute your claim fiercely. Again, an experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to handle negotiations and ensure you get the justice you deserve.
Hiring a truck accident lawyer is the best way to protect your safety and your rights if you’ve been injured in a truck accident. Call our team at (213) 252-1070 or schedule a free, zero-obligation consultation.
We’ve handled many truck accident cases over the years, so we’re confident in our ability to represent you in settlement negotiations or court. Let us handle the complicated legal matters of your accident while you focus on rest and recovery.