Accidents involving large trucks can cause injuries that impact someone for the rest of their life. When this happens, attorneys provide valuable legal guidance. A strong legal advocate can also help you recover compensation for the losses you endured.
After a collision with a large truck, you might not know when to hire a truck accident attorney. However, there are many situations where accident victims could benefit from an attorney’s help, especially if you sustained injuries or want to hold the liable party accountable for your losses.
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You or a Loved One Sustained Injuries in the Accident
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in the collision, you could file a civil case against the liable party. An attorney can also help you get the medical care you need. Getting medical care immediately could help with your future case and provide a better chance at a full recovery.
Truck accidents can cause debilitating injuries that require extensive medical care, costing you substantial amounts of money. If the accident was not your fault, an attorney could fight for you to recover compensation from the liable party.
Some medical bills you could accumulate include:
- Ambulance transportation: An ambulance could take you to the hospital from the accident scene. In the ambulance, you would likely receive care from the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) on duty. Insurance doesn’t always cover all the costs associated with ambulance transportation.
- Emergency room care: Truck accident injuries could require medical attention immediately. Emergency room doctors often treat life-threatening health conditions.
- Doctor visits: After getting emergency medical treatment, your injuries could require ongoing attention from a medical professional.
- Rehabilitation treatments: You could require physical or occupational therapy to increase your mobility, range of motion, and overall independence. Therapy services can help you or your loved one make a fuller recovery.
- In-home nursing care: If you sustained severe injuries, you could require nursing care.
A truck accident attorney will consider all your medical bills when determining how much compensation to fight for. Medical costs can add up quickly, and you shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s negligent actions. By hiring a truck accident attorney, you can get the help you need to file a claim against the person or entity who caused the accident.
Hiring a truck accident lawyer soon after the accident provides many benefits. First, your attorney can help you find the medical care providers you need. Second, they can take care of all your legal matters, allowing you to focus solely on attending your medical appointments and recovering.
Your Injuries Will Require Treatment
Once a body part sustains serious trauma, it rarely goes back to its normal state. Therefore, you or your loved one could continue needing medical treatment, sometimes for years. Many truck accident injuries don’t resolve themselves quickly. Whether your injuries require surgery or in-home care, future medical costs can accumulate fast.
A truck accident attorney can help you seek compensation for the cost of future medical care. Insurance companies are often reluctant to provide future medical damages. However, an attorney can use their strong negotiation powers to work with the insurance company, providing evidence that convinces them you deserve the compensation you seek.
On top of medical care costs, future treatments also mean you could experience physical pain and emotional distress in the future. The right personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for non-monetary losses like these. If you hire an attorney soon after the accident, it gives them more time to assess all your losses.
Your Injuries Prevent You From Working
If you cannot work because of your injuries, a truck accident attorney can help you try to recover your lost income by taking the proper steps to file the claim. They can also help you seek compensation regardless of how long your injuries cause you to miss work.
People who sustain injuries in truck collisions often deal with:
- Missing work during recovery: Injuries can cause workers to miss time on the job while they recover. For example, a construction worker cannot go back to work with a broken arm or leg. If they lose income because they missed work while recovering, they could qualify to seek compensation through a claim.
- Missing work: Injured victims in truck accidents could also recover lost future income. However, they must prove their injuries prevent them from working for months or years.
- Unable to return to work: The injured party could receive monetary compensation through a claim if they now have a lowered earning capacity or cannot return to work at all.
When a person can no longer work in their job, they might also lose work benefits that significantly impact their livelihood, such as retirement savings, health insurance, and life insurance. If you’re wondering when to hire a truck accident attorney, you should seek their help when you can no longer work.
The Insurance Company Won’t Pay for Their Losses
If you file a claim on your own with the insurance company and they won’t pay, it’s probably time to hire a truck accident attorney. Insurance companies often deny claims in hopes they just go away. However, attorneys know the games that insurance companies play. Insurance companies also typically take correspondence from an attorney more seriously.
A truck accident attorney can send a demand letter on your behalf that includes the losses you endured and the amount of compensation you seek. Your attorney can negotiate if the insurance company still refuses to pay the amount in the demand letter.
If negotiations don’t reach a successful outcome, an attorney can file a lawsuit against the insurance company for you. During a lawsuit, a jury or judge will determine the outcome if the case ultimately goes to trial. However, the two parties can still settle during the litigation. Having an attorney when the insurance company refuses to pay can bring many benefits.
The Liable Party Won’t Admit Fault
You could have a harder time fighting for compensation when the liable party doesn’t admit fault. If the police report is vague or doesn’t clearly state who was at fault, a truck accident attorney can help by investigating the case and presenting clear and concise evidence. An attorney will work to prove the truck driver caused the accident by providing this evidence.
The steps a truck accident attorney might take if the truck driver won’t admit fault include:
- Reviewing evidence from the accident scene
- Looking through the police report
- Interviewing any eyewitnesses
The point of taking these steps is to get to the bottom of who caused the collision. Once they have evidence that the truck driver caused the accident, an attorney can use that information as leverage during negotiations. Experienced truck accident attorneys know how to handle insurance companies and can help you build a case to prove who caused the crash.
You Experienced Physical Pain or Emotional Distress
If your injuries caused intense physical pain or emotional distress, an attorney could help you get money for these damages.
Through a civil case, injured parties can recover compensation for non-monetary damages like:
- Pain and suffering: When physical pain, discomfort, anguish, inconvenience, or emotional trauma accompanies an injury
- Emotional distress: Mental suffering that is an emotional response to the memory of a particular event (symptoms include anxiety, loss of ability to perform tasks, depression, or physical illness)
Anyone who sustains injuries in a collision with a large truck could experience physical pain and suffering or emotional distress. If this happened to you, you could get compensated. An attorney can assess your situation to determine if you qualify to recover these damages and calculate their value.
Personal Injury Attorneys Generally Offer Free Consultations
When deciding to hire a truck accident attorney, it might help to know that many attorneys offer free consultations. You can find out how an attorney can assist you and get your questions answered.
Helpful questions to ask a truck accident attorney during your free consultation include:
- Do you typically settle cases, or do they go to a trial?
- Have you handled similar cases in the past?
- How many cases have you handled involving large trucks?
- How many cases have you handled involving similar injuries to mine?
- How involved am I in the decision-making process of aspects of my case?
- How much compensation could I receive?
- How should I contact you if I need to reach you?
Asking these questions can provide you with valuable information about your case—and perhaps most importantly, if the attorney fits the standard you’re looking for.
Make Sure You Ask About Legal Fees
An important question to ask a potential attorney is their legal fees. Fortunately, many personal attorneys work on a contingency basis. A contingency fee agreement means that you only pay if you recover compensation. If you do not recover compensation, you owe the attorney nothing for their services.
Contingency fee agreements offer truck accident victims many benefits, including:
- You don’t have to pay any money up front.
- You can still get legal representation, even if you believe you cannot afford an attorney.
- The attorneys have more motivation to work hard on the case. If they don’t win, they don’t get paid. Therefore, you can be sure that your attorney will try their best to win your case.
- You don’t have to worry about losing money. The injured party has no risk when hiring an attorney if they only have to pay them a small percentage of the compensation they recover.
When truck accident attorneys work on contingency, it makes it much easier to take the leap and hire an attorney. Whenever you hire a truck accident attorney, they can take on your case where you left off.
Reasons to Hire a Truck Accident Attorney
If you’re still trying to decide if and when to hire a truck accident attorney, it may help to review many of the reasons to hire one.
Liability Could Fall on More Than One Party
Liability could fall on more than one party, depending on how the truck accident happened.
Potentially liable parties could include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck owner
- A parts manufacturer
- The driver of another vehicle on the road
Truck accident attorneys know the proper steps to take to identify one or multiple liable parties. They can review maintenance reports, the truck driver’s driving record, and other evidence to find clues as to who caused the collision.
More Serious Damages Commonly Occur in Truck Accidents
Truck crashes notoriously cause more catastrophic injuries and damage than a typical car crash. Because of their large size and weight, a truck can damage multiple cars in one accident.
When serious damages occur, a truck accident attorney can help. When the injured party seeks high compensation, they need proof that they suffered the damages they claim.
To prove their client sustained damages in the truck collision, an attorney can:
- Review the accident report and get information about the care you received from the EMT on the scene.
- Speak with the medical professionals you received follow-up care from and ask about the severity of your injuries and how they will likely impact your life. Getting answers to these questions helps prove the extent of your injuries.
- Calculate your damages by identifying both monetary and non-monetary losses.
By providing evidence of the severity of your injuries, you have a better chance of recovering the compensation you need to avoid financial difficulties.
Trucking Collisions Differ From Regular Car Crashes
When someone gets injured in an accident involving two vehicles, the injured party files an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance. Truck crashes are usually much more complicated. However, a truck accident attorney will know what steps to take to file a truck accident claim.
Once your attorney identifies the liable party, they can investigate their insurance policy. This investigation will likely provide the information they need for settlement negotiations.
Because truck accidents are more complicated than car accidents, contacting and hiring an accident attorney soon after the collision can help your case immensely.