Our team of specialized attorneys is experienced and knowledgeable on how these vehicles are operated and the details involved with tractor-trailer accidents. A truck accident lawyer understands the complexities of these types of accidents and works to ensure you are paid appropriate compensations for both personal injury and vehicle damage.
A truck accident lawyer can be an invaluable asset if you find yourself on the wrong end of a collision. When there is an accident involving a commercial size truck, having a lawyer can help you get the truck accident settlement you deserve.
When there’s a truck involved, the matter becomes quite sensitive and some of the issues involved make for a complex proceeding. Thankfully, the highly-qualified personal injury legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is highly experienced in this area.
What To Look For In A Lawyer
You likely don’t know much about legal proceedings, unless you have a background in the area. So, how are you expected to know what you are looking for in a qualified truck accident lawyer?
We have compiled some attributes you should look for when choosing an attorney. An experienced truck accident attorney with a relevant skillset can help you get maximum compensation.
Commitment To Injury Compensation
Undoubtedly, going through a truck accident proceeding can be as mentally draining as it is physically taxing. The last thing you want to deal with is an unwilling attorney. The willingness presents itself in multiple layers. A passionate lawyer is worth looking for!
First, upon completing your case evaluation, to what extent did you feel as if the attorney truly wanted to help you? Next, there is the consideration of the willingness to spend the time necessary to settle, regardless of the path that may be necessary to get there.
Note that this is more than just experience handling legal matters. What does the lawyer’s track record look like in dealing with truck accident cases specifically? If you can find an attorney that specializes in this area, then that may even be better for you.
There are bonus points for attorneys who have experience taking cases to trial, as they know how to conduct themselves in a court environment. This will also prove the attorney won’t be afraid to take the case to trial if the insurance company won’t agree to a fair settlement.
Everyone knows that having to pay an attorney upfront is likely going to present a significant hurdle, especially to someone who is trying to fight a personal injury battle following a truck accident.
Well, you may want to verify that your injury lawyer uses a contingency agreement method to bill for cases. That way, you don’t need to worry about any payment unless you are victorious in getting your settlement. At that point, your truck accident attorney’s fee is calculated as a percentage of what you are awarded.
Truck accidents can cause serious and life-threatening injuries. If you are injured and don’t know where to start with filing a case, know that picking up the phone should be your first step. You can get a free consultation with no obligation by clicking the button below. Connect with a truck accident lawyer at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys today.
Compensation Factors in Truck Accident Cases
Truck accidents may be unique, but victims are going to deserve compensation just the same. Of course, the specifics surrounding your accident make all the difference where a settlement is concerned. Let’s look into common types of compensation after a trucking accident.
- Medical Bills: This includes all medical expenses, current and future. Some examples are hospital bills, medications, rehabilitation fees, nursing home care, and surgical operations are just to name a few. Be sure to keep all medical records for your semi-truck accident attorney.
- Lost Wages: Because of the accident, you may have lost your ability to go to work, reducing your income. Additionally, based on the prognosis, your earning potential may have been negatively affected for the foreseeable future. All income loss, current, and future can be compensated.
- Pain and suffering: This is compensation for the physical pain or mental anguish and emotional trauma. Additionally, there is the matter of any disfiguring or permanent scarring that may occur.
- Loss of enjoyment: If the accident caused the truck accident victim to lose the enjoyment of life that can be added to the compensation. An example of this is an avid runner who is no longer able to use his legs and therefore can not run would be able to seek compensation for loss of enjoyment.
- Loss of consortium: spouses may see the loss of consortium if the truck accident victim is no longer able to provide certain martial obligations such as companionship.
- Wrongful death: In fatal truck accidents the immediate family members are able to also seek wrongful death damages. Along with the damages listed above, the attorney can also include burial and funeral costs and loss of inheritance.
- Punitive damages: Occasionally punitive damages can be added into the mix. Punitive damages are designed to add financial compensation as a punishment for the at-fault party. This is done if the truck driver or company was grossly negligent.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accident Cases
Truck accident victims tend to ask a spread of questions that they want clarification on. The best bet is to speak to a personal injury attorney but here are a couple of truck accident questions that are common enough and easy enough to answer for you.
What Do I Do if the Trucking Company Calls Me?
If the trucking firm or its insurance representative calls you after the accident, indicate that you are not willing to speak without your attorney present, even if you are yet to hire a lawyer.
Trucking companies have their own agenda after a truck accident, and it’s not to protect you. Anything you do or say could be negatively used against you. It is always suggested to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer first.
Trucking Companies and their insurance companies will try to get you to settle quickly and for the least amount of financial compensation possible. This is why truck accident lawyers are so important. Having an attorney on your side means the insurance company can’t dismiss your truck accident claim.
How Much do Truck Accident Lawyers Cost?
A truck accident case falls under Personal Injury Lawsuits, which means typically the attorney will work on a contingency fee basis. This means there are no upfront fees or out-of-pocket costs. You only pay if the truck accident lawyer can get you a settlement. Once a settlement is agreed upon for your truck accident injury case, a small percentage will be taken for legal fees.
Truck accident lawyers offer free consultations, so there is no risk to call today and get the legal help you need!
What Makes a Truck Accident Different from a Car Accident?
The two big variables that separate a truck accident from a car accident are the scope of liability and the extent of the injury. Certainly, a car accident can cause fatal injuries and have liability that rests in the hands of a company. However, this is the exception and not the rule.
Truck accidents tend to have a more complex defendant composition as well as the potential for greater damage to victims. Declaring liability could be with the trucking company or negligent truck drivers. Also, due to the size of the truck, there are usually serious injuries associated with the accident.
What Are The Most Common Causes for Truck Accidents?
A typical car accident can cause catastrophic injuries, but when a tractor-trailer is involved the likelihood of injury is much greater. Truck drivers have to go through special training and licensing to help keep themselves and other drivers safe on the roads. A large commercial truck driver has to follow federal regulations but sometimes can still end up causing an accident.
Although often it is, Semi-Truck Accidents are not always due to the truck driver’s negligence. Let’s look into the top causes for commercial truck accidents:
- Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers work long hours on the road, often driving late into the night. When a driver gets tired behind the wheel it could be a recipe for disaster.
- Distracted Driving: When you spend all working hours behind the wheel you are bound to get distracted at some point. Whether you are changing the radio, using a cell phone, or even just daydreaming your focus can easily shift off the road. When you are driving an 18 wheeler, being distracted even for a moment could be deadly.
- Aggressive Driving: Truck drivers may find themselves trying to finish a drive quickly, and start to drive aggressively. This includes cutting other drivers off, following too closely, speeding, and other negligent actions.
- Improper Load: When a large commercial truck is loaded, it can be a heavy trailer to pull. If the trailer is not loaded properly it could increase the risk of tipping causing an accident. If it is overloaded it could cause tire blowouts.
- Brake or Truck Failure: Occasionally there could be an issue with the truck itself. If brakes are not maintained, or there was a flaw due to the truck manufacturers it could also cause a semi truck accident.
These were just a few of the top causes, there are many others such as inexperienced drivers, construction, weather, and poor lighting. Experienced truck accident lawyers understand all of the scenarios, and are able to recover compensation for victims of truck accidents.
What Are Common Truck Accident Injuries?
Trucking accidents often result in severe injuries. Tractor-trailers can weigh up to 80,000lbs when fully loaded. When an 80,000lbs tractor-trailer runs into a passenger car, the results can be catastrophic. Some common truck accident injuries include:
- Broken Bones
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Damage
- Internal Injuries
- Cuts and abrasions
- Internal Bleeding
Truck accident claims can also become a wrongful death lawsuit, as often the victim does not survive their injuries. Even if they do survive, injuries like those can rack up serious medical bills. This is why it is essential to make truck accident claims against the insurance companies, so you don’t get stuck with expenses.
An experienced personal injury will be able to handle all the dynamics of a semi-truck accident. It is encouraged to get a free case evaluation to learn if you have a case.
Who Is Liable in a Commercial Truck Accident?
Proving liability is one of the areas in which truck accident cases prove the extent to which they are a bit more complex than the norm. You see someone driving a truck that causes an accident. It should be a no-brainer that the person behind the wheel is responsible, right?
Who else could have made the mistake if that’s not so? The reality is you may find that the truck driver isn’t the responsible party at all or is only partially accountable. Beyond the immediate circumstances that may appear to lead to the accident, there could be other occurrences that you’re not even aware of.
Maybe an outsourced party responsible for the maintenance of the truck neglected assigned duties and this directly led to the truck being operated in a less than acceptable manner. Whether the truck driver was or was not aware of this also factors into how it unfolds. A manufacturer may have supplied a replacement part that was to blame.
Potentially liable parties include the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, the truck driver, the cargo loader, the maintenance team, insurance companies, or even the government.
The good news is that you don’t have to concern yourself too much with trying to identify who is at fault and who should face the music for what happened to you. That’s one of the responsibilities of your truck accident lawyer.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
As indicated above, truck accidents present much more dangerous variables than other vehicle accidents do. So, the scope of actions you can take may end up being severely limited simply because you are not in our state to function effectively.
- Seek Medical Attention– Truck accidents typically cause serious damage. Due to the sheer size of the truck, a passenger vehicle can be destroyed. If you are inside that vehicle, it could result in serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, bone fractures, and even death. The most important thing to do after an accident is to seek medical care.
- Call the police while on the scene if you can, though it’s very likely that someone else is going to do so. The official police report is a piece of critical evidence that can make a huge difference to the case that your truck accident attorney builds.
- Gather evidence. If you are not seriously injured, collect as much relevant evidence at the accident scene as possible. Take pictures of the accident scene, including skid marks, property damage, street conditions, etc. Also collect registration details of the offending vehicle, driver identification details, parent company if applicable, license plate number, insurance carriers, eye-witness statements, etc.
- Call a truck accident lawyer. As we said above, truck accident lawsuits take more time and investigation than typical car accidents. You need to have the right legal team on your side to make the insurance companies pay you the compensation you deserve.
How Does A Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer Make A Case?
Your truck accident lawyer has several responsibilities in building a case that is strong enough to win the desired settlement. When a tractor-trailer truck is involved there are a few more steps than compared to if it was another passenger vehicle. Let’s look into the steps your truck accident attorney has to take.
First, there’s an investigation. Evidence is fundamental to proving fault and evaluating the damage. Police reports, eyewitness accounts, photos, videos, or any other data sources from the accident scene prove invaluable here. If needed, experienced truck accident attorneys can call on accident reconstruction experts to build a persuasive argument of the accident.
Another important step would be to identify any potentially liable parties and their associated insurance carriers. Considering that trucks are typically contracted under company umbrellas, the defendants could be widespread. A driver, maintenance team, truck company, or any combination could be responsible.
Next, your attorney must build a practical profile of the extent of your suffering. This includes 2 types of damages; economic and non-economic. Economic Damages are damages that are quantifiable, whereas non-economic damages are not.
Economic Damages: Property damage would be included in economic damages. Also includes all medical expenses that are associated with the truck accident as well as lost wages if you are unable to work. Lost wages include missed time immediately after the truck accident, and future wages if you are unable to return to work, or for time missed for doctor’s visits. If the accident was fatal and considered a wrongful death, you could also seek compensation for burial and funeral costs.
Non-Economic Damages: These damages are harder to quantify. This includes the pain and suffering the truck accident caused you. This is for the physical injuries as well as mental anguish that is the result of the accident. Other damages that could be added to the truck accident claim are loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment.
Negotiation and Trial
After a thorough investigation and calculation of damages, a skilled truck accident attorney can calculate the appropriate amount of compensation for your case. With experience and data to prove the demanded compensation, an attorney can negotiate with the insurance company to pay fair compensation. If the insurance company fails to meet the demand, the case will have to go to trial.
Truck Accident Lawyers Ready To Fight For You
Being injured in a truck accident is no joke, and you should never have to feel lost after being a victim. The complexity and process associated with being properly compensated present a slippery slope to navigate.
Luckily, you don’t have to navigate the path to make a truck accident injury claim alone. You can focus on your injuries while our truck accident lawyers pursue compensation for your injuries.
Reach out to the personal injury law firm of Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to schedule a free consultation. Get a free case evaluation from an expert truck accident lawyer without any worry about commitment and learn where to start to make a trucking accident claim.