The answer is simple: you need a truck accident attorney after any accident with a truck that results in injuries. However, many accident victims do not obtain legal guidance right away because they believe the accident was minor or that the insurance company will handle the entire process. Many individuals feel that hiring an attorney will postpone their compensation and be extremely costly.
A truck accident attorney can obtain a higher settlement offer and often settle your case faster than expected. Insurance companies are notorious for delaying payment. We will discuss several other reasons you need a truck accident attorney here. Do not hesitate to contact a local truck accident attorney when you have been injured or are unsure of how the legal process works.
There Are Serious Injuries or Death
While you should contact an attorney immediately after an accident, a clear sign that you need an attorney is that a loved one passed or you sustained a severe injury. The loss of a loved one is traumatic, and a negligent truck driver should not get away with killing your loved one. A catastrophic injury will alter the rest of your life.
Catastrophic injuries can require loved ones to become caregivers and leave you unable to participate in daily activities. A truck accident attorney can review your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Remember, every accident is different, and you might be under the impression your injuries are minor when underlying issues can make it worse. Recognizing all of your injuries will help you know to contact a truck accident attorney to seek compensation for you.
Some truck accident injuries include:
- Broken bones: This injury is almost certain to happen in commercial accidents. You may have suffered a broken bone when you were younger. However, it is nothing compared to suffering a broken bone in adulthood. There are extensive medical bills that can accumulate. You will also need to take time off work or accept restrictions in the work you do from wearing a cast or splint.
- Spine and neck injuries: The worst-case scenario is to suffer a spine or neck injury. When your spine sustains damage, this can lead to an impairment in the area. You can also become paralyzed.
- Head and brain injuries: Concussions are a common head injury victims face. Many injury victims do not think these injuries are serious, but they can lead to severe cognitive deficits. Concussions are not the only head trauma you can sustain. There are cases where severe brain trauma is present, altering the rest of your life.
- Burns: There are times when a truck is carrying flammable items. The crash can trigger these items to catch fire leading to severe burns. In other cases, your vehicle can catch fire and cause you injury. Burns can lead to long-lasting scars and even disfigurement.
There are many other injuries you can sustain from a truck accident. Due to the truck’s size, you will likely carry these injuries with you. There are also psychological injuries to contend with. Many truck accident victims will suffer from anxiety and PTSD. They find it difficult to get behind the wheel. If they can drive again, they will avoid large trucks on the road and may even need to pull over due to an anxiety attack. Some victims will need a service animal to help them get through the day.
Exhaustive Medical Bills
Accident victims think their health insurance and car insurance policies will pay for most of their medical expenses. Then, the medical bills begin coming in, and there are no funds to pay them. You have been out of work, and your insurance policies completely max out. How will you ever pay for the remaining bills?
Additionally, you will have ongoing medical care that you must also consider. When there are no other options for medical expenses, a truck accident attorney will file a claim and obtain compensation. You will likely reach policy limits reasonably quickly after a truck accident due to the severity of injuries and damage.
The Police Report is Inaccurate
The police report is what will heavily affect your case. The insurance company, court, and attorney will refer to the original police report. If there are inaccuracies in the police report, this can complicate your claim. You will need to provide evidence to your attorney that the information on the police report is inaccurate so they can fight the contents of the police report.
Fighting or correcting the information on a police report is crucial to your case, and you need an experienced truck accident attorney to help you. An accurate police report is vital as this is the basis of your claim or lawsuit.
The Truck Company Was Negligent
The main reason you need to contact a truck accident attorney is that the truck driver acted negligently, which caused the accident to happen in the first place. They will deny they acted recklessly, but negligence will be crucial to your claim. Truck accidents are very complex, and even if the truck driver was not negligent, maybe another party was.
Trucking companies, maintenance companies, and parts manufacturers might have contributed to your truck accident.
You do not need to determine liability. Leave this task to your truck accident attorney.
Depending on specific factors, you may still collect compensation even if you are partially at fault. However, you need to discuss the possibility of settlement with a local truck accident attorney.
Proving a Truck Accident Crash
Let a truck accident attorney prove each
of the four elements of your case:
- Duty of care: Each driver on the road owes those around them a duty of care to operate their vehicle safely. Drivers need to follow all rules of the road along with state and federal guidelines if applicable. Truck drivers have additional duties to those around them since they have higher responsibilities. Trucking companies need to provide adequate training for their drivers. They must also have accurate scheduling, loading, and maintenance practices. When a truck company does not follow these guidelines, it can be held liable for a truck accident.
- Breach of duty of care: Now that duty of care has been established, you must show that the truck driver breached this duty. Whether the truck driver or the trucking company acted recklessly, it constitutes a breach of their commitment to other drivers on the road. The truck driver is often simply trying to do their job, but their employer is pressuring them to break the rules in the name of profits. A truck accident attorney will need to prove these practices were present and led to the accident.
- Causation: You must show that the breach caused injuries or property damage. Causation is where a lot of legal battles stem. Truck drivers and their employers will deny they caused the accident while you are trying to prove that they did. This skill is where a truck accident attorney is essential.
- Damages: Once you show causation, you must then show that the injuries that stemmed from the accident caused you financial loss. These financial losses must be a direct result of the truck accident and not another reason.
A truck accident attorney must prove these four key issues for a successful claim. You might be wondering what you need to prove these elements. The following section will detail the evidence you will need for a successful claim.
Truck Accident Evidence
The last four elements need to be proven so that the insurance company cannot deny your claim. If your case goes to trial, an attorney will present evidence to a judge, who will then determine the outcome. The more evidence you have, the better.
Some crucial evidence you will need for a successful claim include:
- Medical documents detailing your injuries and treatment plan
- Eyewitness statements, preferably people not in your vehicle
- Photos and videos of the aftermath of the accident
- The truck cab camera footage
- Black box data from the truck
- Driver logs
- Expert witness testimony
- Employment records for the truck driver
- Inspection reports
- Maintenance reports
You probably won’t obtain these records independently. Many of the parties involved will be unwilling to provide these records, especially to a person who a truck accident attorney does not represent. An attorney will have a better chance of obtaining these records and the knowledge to use these records to build a solid case in your favor.
Compensation For a Truck Accident
A truck accident claim aims to obtain compensation for your losses. There are different forms of compensation you are entitled to depending on the facts of your case. You will need to consult with a truck accident attorney to determine what compensation you are entitled to.
Examples of compensation for truck accidents include:
- Lost income: Any time you took off work for medical care is recoverable through a truck accident claim. The calculation also includes the time needed to recover physically.
- Future loss of earning potential: If the accident leaves you with a permanent impairment, you cannot return to your original work capacity. Your lifestyle will need to change as a result. Some victims are unable to work at all. You can obtain compensation for these losses.
- Medical expenses: A truck accident injury will require varying degrees of medical treatment. There will be the initial treatment such as the ambulance transport and emergency room care. Once someone has diagnosed your condition, you will undergo treatment for your ailments like surgery, medication, and imagining scans. You can recover monetary damages for all of these items.
- Future medical expenses: When you have a severe injury, you will need treatment for the rest of your life. You may even need to move into a nursing care center. Your attorney will calculate these costs and include them in your compensation claim.
- Non-economic damages: Receipts cannot document some damages. These are called non-economic damages. They include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of quality of life.
Again, work with your truck accident lawyer to determine what compensation you deserve. We have not listed other forms of compensation here. Each case is unique and your truck accident lawyer should handle it with care.
Contact a truck accident attorney immediately following a crash to secure the compensation and care you can recover.