After a truck accident, deciding whether to retain an attorney or represent yourself to negotiate a settlement should be an easy choice. In almost all cases, it wouldn't be advantageous to try to resolve your case alone.
Without the knowledge to properly assign value to the claim or battle for a fair settlement, you're facing more hassles and complications that you don't need after your truck crash, especially if you're also recovering from injuries.
If you must file a claim, our experienced truck accident attorneys are here to guide you through the process and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Five Reasons to Hire an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
When retaining an attorney, you don't want to hire one who only handles car accident cases. You need to choose someone who specializes in personal injury law involving the commercial transportation industry.
Here’s why an experienced truck accident attorney is so important:
- Federal regulations. Truck drivers and transportation carriers must comply with many federal rules regarding maintenance, inspections, driver hiring practices, hours of service, and other mandates. These regulations are complex, but may be an important part of your claim of negligence against the trucking company and the vehicle operator.
- Fleet company. When a driver is employed by a trucking company, you'll most likely have a claim against the fleet owner either under vicarious liability for the driver’s negligence; or as a separate claim, such as negligent hiring or violation of federal hours of service regulations. Filing a claim against the transportation carrier may result in significantly more insurance coverage to provide proper compensation for your damages.
- Other parties. While there can be more than one negligent party in a passenger vehicle accident, in many cases only the defendant is held responsible. In a truck accident case, it's likely that other parties may be liable. The shipper, a maintenance company, or a parts manufacturer are a few potential entities liable in your claim. Negotiating settlements with multiple parties can be challenging without proper expertise.
- Thorough investigation. An experienced truck accident attorney understands the importance of swift investigative action. His or her first step will be to send an immediate spoliation letter advising the trucking company of your claim and warning it not to destroy evidence important to your claim. Then he'll work with a team of experts to examine the scene, gather eyewitness statements, review reports, and consult with experts to build your case.
- Higher claim value. Injuries in truck accidents tend to be more catastrophic or cause fatalities due to the massive weight and size of the commercial vehicle. This tends to increase of the value of these claims. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney has the expertise to accurately value the worth of your claim based on his handling of other similar cases and negotiate a proper settlement for you.
Follow These Important Steps When Retaining an Attorney
If you've never needed to hire an attorney before, here's what you should do to find a legal partner right for your needs:
- Obtain referrals from legal firms, family, friends, co-workers, the state bar association for your state, or through an internet search.
- Research the attorney’s website for helpful articles, testimonials from clients, as well as past case results.
- Look for an attorney who handles a substantial number of truck accident claims and has a track record of successfully trying and settling these cases.
- Interview your top two to three choices by taking advantage of their offers of a free consultation. Organize a list of questions ahead of time and compare answers.
- Pick an attorney based on his experience and communication skills. You need a legal partner who you trust to take care of the process, keep you informed, and put your mind at ease.
Because the value of your claim may be more, you may need to fight harder and longer to obtain the compensation you deserve. Our truck accident attorneys have years of experience helping our clients obtain rightful settlement amounts to make the recovery process easier.
Contact us online or call our office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule a free case evaluation. We will discuss your legal options and how we can help.