What to Know If You Have Been Involved in a Truck Accident?Truck Accidents
If you have been in a truck accident, the first thing to know is that your health is most important. While you should also know how to seek compensation for any injuries or loved ones you have lost, protecting your health should be the top priority.
After you have ensured proper treatment of injuries, you may then focus on pursuing compensation for your losses. You can hire a truck accident lawyer to handle your insurance claim or lawsuit, as truck accident cases present several challenges that you may have difficulty with.
How to Protect Your Health After a Truck Accident?
You have likely already left the scene of your accident. You may or may not have received treatment at the scene of your accident or in a hospital after the collision.
Regardless, double-check your health status by:
- Following up with any doctor that administered treatment to you post-accident
- Visiting an urgent care center
- Undergoing a full physical examination, as you may have injuries that you are not yet aware of
- Receiving ongoing treatment for any accident-related injuries
Doctors may recommend imaging for any known or suspected injuries. Take them up on these recommendations. It is essential to document all of your accident-related injuries for your own health and any lawsuit you pursue.
By receiving thorough medical care after your truck accident, you will:
- Make sure you are aware of every accident-related injury
- Protect yourself from health complications that may occur because of undiagnosed injuries
- Receive a clear treatment plan for each injury you have suffered
- Create a clear documentary record between your truck accident and the injuries you are now suffering from
Certain accident-related injuries, like concussions, are not immediately detectable. Even if you did not suspect injuries just after your accident, symptoms might emerge in the days and weeks following your crash. Therefore, it is wise to seek medical attention even if you already saw a doctor post-accident.
Most injuries also heal. Therefore, it is important to document your injuries as soon as possible. If you wait too long to see a medical professional, an X-ray or other medical image may not show the true severity of your injury. An attorney can match you with a medical professional.
Do not forget about your mental health. Motor vehicle accidents can cause:
- Depressive mood
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Reduced quality of life
- Other conditions that may cause emotional and psychological distress
You may seek counseling for any emotional or psychological issues caused by your accident. A mental health professional may prescribe medications, talk therapy, and other treatments to address these issues, which can be just as serious as physical injuries.
How to Protect Your Possible Financial Recovery After a Truck Accident?
Once you have received diagnoses and treatment plans for your injuries, you can consider a possible financial recovery. Before you pursue financial recovery, you may ensure that other parties do not deprive you of financial recovery.
You can protect your right to seek compensation by:
- Not admitting fault: Whether you are speaking with an insurance representative, someone else involved in your accident, or anyone else, do not admit fault for your truck accident. Do not even state an apology, as those who oppose your lawsuit or insurance claim may use your words against you.
- Documenting your losses: Keep your medical records, medical bills, and other medical documentation related to your accident. You can also document your losses by photographing damage to your vehicle, keeping a journal of your pain and suffering, and seeking counseling for accident-related trauma.
- Hiring an attorney: A lawyer can help you in several ways, including protecting your rights. A lawyer can advise you about how to deal with insurers and what not to say to insurance representatives.
Your attorney will handle as much of your lawsuit or claim as possible. Simply having a lawyer handle your claim is a form of protection. Insurance companies, trucking companies, or others who do not want your case to succeed cannot manipulate you. Instead, they will have to deal with your attorney.
Unique Truck Accident Legal Challenges
Some motor vehicle accident victims choose to handle an insurance claim on their own. Sometimes, a car accident victim can exchange insurance information, get estimates for vehicle repairs, and accept an insurance settlement. Truck accidents can be significantly more complicated.
Truck accidents may create unusual challenges for victims because:
Trucks Can Cause Severe Injuries and Substantial Property Damage
The typical truck weighs 20 to 30 times more than smaller passenger vehicles, such as cars and SUVs. When such large, heavy vehicles strike smaller, lighter vehicles, occupants of the smaller vehicle face a significant risk of injury and death. The smaller vehicle may be at risk of total damage or at least costly repairs.
Because of these realities, a truck accident may:
- Cause property damage and medical costs beyond insurance policies’ coverage limits
- Cause significant pain and suffering for a victim, and insurance does not generally cover pain and suffering
- Leave the victim with serious injuries that prevent them from handling their insurance claim, let alone a lawsuit
Truck accidents tend to be serious by nature due to the weight of large trucks. These accidents are not fender benders. Victims of truck accidents, therefore, may want an attorney to handle the pursuit of fair compensation.
Trucking Companies May Have Critical Evidence That You Need
The truck itself may contain evidence. Large trucks use computerized systems that record the truck’s movements. Data from this system may help explain how your accident happened.
A trucking company may be unwilling to provide data about your accident. Your attorney may take legal action to secure such data from the trucking company. They may also file a spoliation letter informing the trucking company you plan to seek compensation and requiring the company not to destroy evidence.
Trucking Companies Can Have Their Own Lawyers
Trucking companies send large, dangerous vehicles onto America’s roadways daily. Accidents are inevitable, and trucking companies may keep lawyers on retainer to defend themselves when their drivers cause collisions.
If the trucking company has attorneys to fight your claim, you may want to have an attorney of your own. This may level the playing field for your lawsuit.
How an Attorney Will Assist You Following Your Truck Accident?
If you hire an attorney after a truck accident, you should expect your lawyer to lead the legal process for you. Whether your attorney begins with an insurance claim or immediately pursues a lawsuit, expect the law firm to manage every step in seeking compensation.
By hiring a lawyer, you can continue to focus on treatment, rest, and other personal affairs. Your attorney and their team may:
Identify Liability for Your Truck Accident
Your attorney will determine who is liable for your accident.
Liable parties may include:
- A truck driver who caused your collision
- The trucking company, may be liable whenever its drivers cause a collision
- A truck manufacturer which may be liable for a defective truck
- A municipality, which may be liable for dangerous road conditions that cause a truck accident
Any party that caused your accident may be liable. Even parties that did not directly cause your accident—such as a trucking company—may be liable anyway. The civil legal system sometimes holds parties liable for others’ actions, including employers accountable for their employee’s negligence.
Document Your Damages
A lawyer will identify your accident-related damages.
The attorney may prove those damages by:
- Obtaining medical records of your injuries
- Gathering bills for all of your medical and psychological treatment
- Proving that you have lost income because of your truck accident
- Hiring experts to testify about your accident-related damages
- Taking any other steps that show the damage from your truck accident
Proving damages is important in truck accident cases. Whether you seek compensation through an insurance claim or a lawsuit, liable parties want to see proof of your losses.
Calculate the Cost of Your Accident-Related Damages
If you try to calculate the damages from your truck accident, you may find yourself attempting complex math. Your injuries may have yet to heal, so you may need to project the cost of future medical care. You may also have losses that do not have an obvious financial cost, like pain and suffering.
An attorney and their team will calculate the cost of all your accident-related losses.
Your lawyer will also gather evidence from your truck accident. This includes any evidence in the trucking company’s possession.
Other useful evidence may include:
- Video footage of the collision, which may come from traffic cameras, security cameras, dash cameras, cell phones, or other sources
- Witness accounts of the truck accident
- The police report from your accident
- Experts’ reconstructions of the collision
- Physical evidence, such as damaged portions of your vehicle
Any evidence that shows how your accident happens or indicates the liable parties’ negligence may be important for your case.
Lead Settlement Discussions
An attorney will take the lead in your settlement negotiations. They may negotiate with insurance companies, attorneys for defendants in your lawsuit, or both. Negotiations require a strategy, and experience can be an important asset for a negotiator.
You may seek a law firm with a track record of settlement and verdict recoveries. This record proves that the law firm can negotiate effectively.
Lead Any Necessary Trial
If your case requires a trial, your attorney will handle this process, too. Trials are statistically rare in civil cases. However, the substantial damages that truck accidents can cause may make a trial necessary.
When defendants in a truck accident case refuse to settle fairly, the victim’s lawyer may fight for fair compensation in court.
What Damages Do Truck Accident Victims Suffer?
Truck accident victims may suffer similar losses. The general difference between each case comes in the extent of losses. The severity of injuries, property damage, and potential loss of life are key variables in each truck accident case.
Your recoverable losses may include:
- Medical expenses
- Vehicle repairs
- Replacement of a totaled vehicle
- Temporary transportation expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Treatment for emotional and psychological injuries
- Lost income
- Lost earning power
- Other professional damages
An attorney and their team will evaluate your losses. It is necessary to do an individual accounting of each truck accident victim’s losses, as each case is unique.
Can a Victim Get Compensation for These Damages?
You may be entitled to compensation for all accident-related damages. This is especially true if a truck driver or another party other than yourself is liable for the accident.
Your attorney can review options for seeking compensation. An insurance claim and lawsuit may be the two primary avenues toward a potential financial recovery.
Every Truck Accident Victim Can Afford an Attorney
Some truck accident victims may not hire an attorney because they think that they cannot afford it. However, truck accident lawyers make their services available to all.
With contingency fees, a lawyer only receives compensation if they get a financial recovery for their client. The law firm pays all upfront costs, and the client never pays out-of-pocket. If the attorney gets a settlement or judgment, the law firm gets a percentage of that recovery.
If you were wondering, you can afford to hire a truck accident lawyer.
Is There a Deadline for Hiring an Attorney After a Truck Accident?
Each state imposes a deadline for filing personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. It is generally in your interest to hire a lawyer as soon as possible, even if the filing deadline appears far away.
The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner they can gather sensitive evidence, and the less chance you will face of missing any filing deadlines.
Call a Truck Accident Lawyer Today for a Consultation
Several truck accident lawyers in your area may handle truck accident cases. Find a law firm with positive client reviews and give them a call. Reputable law firms always provide free consultations.