Hire a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Your attorney likely faces a deadline for filing any legal action that you choose to pursue, so retain a law firm as quickly as possible.
Why Do Truck Accident Victims Hire an Attorney Instead of Handling Their Own Cases?
Some of the primary motivations for hiring a truck accident lawyer are:
- The attorney’s knowledge, experience, and training: Lawyers have a professional level of familiarity with insurance claims and lawsuits. Truck accident victims often lack experience, legal knowledge, and training in completing insurance claims and lawsuits.
- The law firm’s resources: Injury lawyers and their firms offer substantial financial resources to truck accident victims. These firms cover the entire cost of completing a case and often hire experts to strengthen the client's case. These kinds of resources are appealing to many truck accident victims.
- The law firm’s client-friendly fee structure: Most truck accident lawyers represent clients on a contingency fee basis. This means the law firm does not require any upfront payment from the client. If the firm wins the case, they get a percentage of the settlement or verdict as their fees.
- The accident victim’s health problems: Injuries often prevent truck accident victims from dealing with their claims. The physical demands may be even greater if a claim progresses into a lawsuit. To protect their health and avoid additional injuries, truck accident victims let their lawyers handle the physical demands of their cases.
- The accident victim’s mental health struggles: Truck accidents can also cause severe mental health problems for victims. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and other mental health problems can make it difficult—and even dangerous—for accident victims to handle their claims.
These are just some reasons you may hire a truck accident lawyer in Chicago to represent you. The chance to protect your health, leverage a lawyer's experience, and take advantage of a law firm's resources may lead you to hire a lawyer.
Reasons to Hire an Attorney as Soon as Possible After a Truck Accident
Now that you know why truck accident victims hire lawyers, here’s why you need to act quickly to retain an attorney:
- Lawsuits generally have deadlines: States generally impose deadlines for filing lawsuits. You never know whether a truck accident case will require you to file a lawsuit, so ensuring you'll be eligible to file one is important.
- Evidence does not last forever: Evidence can make or break your truck accident case. Several forms of evidence, including data from the truck involved in your accident, may not be available for long. When you hire a lawyer as quickly as possible, you give your lawyer the best chance to secure all evidence that can benefit your case.
- Liable parties may hold your hesitation against you: Insurance companies and civil defense attorneys may argue that your delays in hiring a lawyer or pursuing compensation are a flaw in your case. They may claim that you aren't as injured as you claim because you should have pursued compensation right away if you were seriously injured.
These are legitimate concerns that you must consider. The sooner you hire an attorney, the less chance you may have of experiencing these problems.
Risks of Waiting Too Long to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer
There are real risks in waiting too long to hire a truck accident lawyer.
If you let too much time pass before hiring an attorney, you may:
- Lose your right to file a lawsuit: If the statute of limitations for filing your lawsuit expires, you may be unable to pursue the compensation you deserve. Statutes of limitations govern both personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
- Lose key evidence that can help you win your case: As time passes, video footage, witness accounts, and other necessary evidence may fade or become unavailable for your case. Therefore, your case may weaken if useful evidence is unavailable to your lawyer.
- Have to pay out of your pocket for accident-related expenses: If you cannot pursue fair compensation through a lawsuit, you may face the cost of your truck accident. Paying out of your pocket for a truck accident can be financially devastating.
- Suffer psychologically: If you cannot pursue the compensation you deserve and ultimately face the cost of your truck accident on your own, you may suffer psychologically due to financial stress.
As you can see, you may experience a domino effect starting with your hesitation in hiring a truck accident attorney. This initial decision may result in financial hardship and severe psychological problems, which you may avoid by hiring a lawyer as soon as possible.
Also, truck accidents seriously injure passenger vehicle occupants. Serious injuries often require large financial recoveries, so much may be at stake in your case. If you fail to pursue the financial recovery you deserve, you can face a greater financial cost than most motor vehicle accident victims.
What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do for Their Clients?
Truck accident lawyers fight for compensation covering their client’s accident-related damages. These damages can vary from case to case, especially between non- fatal and fatal truck accidents.
To pursue the compensation their clients deserve, truck accident lawyers generally:
Obtain Evidence of Liable Parties’ Negligence
Gathering evidence is one of the priorities for a truck accident lawyer.
Some of the evidence that can help your truck accident case include:
- Video footage of the truck accident
- Data from the truck’s black box
- Eyewitness accounts of the accident
- The police report documenting the truck accident
- An expert’s reconstruction of the accident
- Photographs of damage to each vehicle involved in the accident
Some evidence, including black box data, will be in the trucking company’s possession. Your attorney may file a letter of spoliation demanding that the trucking company preserve such evidence.
Protect the Client from Insurers
Insurance companies often play a vital role in truck accident cases, but they are not always working in your favor. An insurance company may owe you money for your damages but may prefer to keep it in its coffers.
Your attorney will protect you from an insurance company's bad faith tactics by:
- Representing you in all conversations with insurance representatives
- Advising you before you make any on-the-record statements to insurance representatives
- Helping you craft any written statements you need to submit to insurance companies
If your case progresses to the lawsuit stage, your lawyer will also represent you in dealing with any civil defense attorneys.
Document the Client’s Damages
Your attorney will document every damage resulting from your truck accident. Documentation is vital to prove that you deserve the compensation your lawyer seeks.
Useful documentation in a truck accident case may include:
- Medical bills
- Medical records
- Images of your injuries
- Bills for vehicle repairs, temporary transportation, and any other expenses related to your accident
- Your own account of your pain and suffering
- Expert testimony about your damages
The more documentation a truck accident lawyer can gather on their client’s behalf, the stronger their case.
Manage All Case-Related Paperwork and Communications
An attorney manages every detail of their client’s case, including paperwork and communications. These are essential features of a case, as ensuring the accuracy and prompt filing of paperwork is critical.
Leading communications also protect the client. Nobody can twist a client's words or get them to say something that might hurt their case if they are speaking with the lawyer.
Calculate the Value of the Truck Accident Cas
Truck accident lawyers must calculate exactly how much money their client deserves. This requires the lawyer to calculate economic and non-economic damages, which do not always have a clear financial cost.
Many truck accident victims hire a lawyer because an attorney will:
- Know how to calculate all accident-related damages, including non-economic damages
- Ensure that the calculation is correct
- Account for any future damages you will experience
Your lawyer will set their settlement target based on their calculation of your damages.
Negotiate a Settlement on the Client’s Behalf
You can focus on your recovery while your lawyer negotiates a settlement. Lawyers routinely negotiate with insurance companies and civil defense lawyers, giving them valuable experience that they will leverage in your case.
Take the Case to Court if Necessary
Your truck accident lawyer should be willing to take your case to court. While most cases do not require a trial, yours may. A trial may be necessary if your lawyer cannot persuade liable parties to offer a fair settlement.
What Are Recoverable Damages in a Truck Accident Case?
Your lawyer's mission will revolve around your accident-related damages. The harm you experience because of your accident will determine how much compensation your attorney will pursue, and some common damages in car accident cases include:
Truck accidents can cause devastating injuries and expensive medical bills.
You may face bills for:
- Emergency transportation from the scene of the truck accident
- Emergency medical care
- Visits with medical professionals
Truck accidents can cause disabling injuries. In such cases, the accident victim may need medical equipment, a specialized vehicle, and changes to their home. These are the expenses a lawyer will calculate the cost of and seek fair compensation for.
Pain and Suffering
While a truck accident has financial and physical costs, a severe collision's psychological and emotional toll cannot be forgotten.
Your lawyer will seek compensation for every type of pain and suffering you have experienced, which may include:
- Lost quality of life
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety (which may include a fear of being in motor vehicles)
- Sleep issues
Pain, including both acute and chronic pain, may also qualify as pain and suffering.
Victims of truck accidents may experience several professional damages, including:
- Lost income
- Diminished earning power
- Missed bonus and promotion opportunities
- Loss of professional status
- Loss of benefits
- Loss of fulfillment
Losing time at work can cause financial insecurity and distress. Your lawyer will account for your injuries' economic and non-economic costs.
If you need to replace or repair your vehicle, electronics, clothing, or any other property because of your accident, your lawyer will seek compensation covering the damages.
The Loss of a Loved One
Tragically, some truck accidents cause the death of one or more victims.
In such cases, lawyers seek compensation for:
- Funeral costs
- The decedent’s pain and suffering
- Surviving loved ones’ pain and suffering (including grief)
- Loss of a spouse's companionship
- Loss of a parent’s guidance
- Lost financial support
A lawyer's services will allow you to grieve and comfort your loved ones while they fight for financial recovery.
Find a Trusted Truck Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible
The days and weeks following a crash are stressful, but always remember there is risk in waiting to hire a truck accident lawyer. Do not wait to find the right truck accident lawyer and firm to lead your claim.
If you required any medical attention due to your accident, you should get a legal assessment. Case evaluations are free, so you have nothing to lose by calling an attorney today.