If you’ve recently suffered a truck accident, it’s normal to feel confused and disoriented. Many victims are unsure how to proceed. How can you gather evidence, prove negligence, file a lawsuit against the truck driver, and receive the compensation you deserve? How can a truck accident lawyer help?
We visited JeffMorrisLawFirm.com to learn how a truck accident attorney can help you build your case. Here’s what we found out.
Talk to the Insurance Company on Your Behalf
One of the first things your lawyer will do is speak to your insurance company or advise you on how to talk to them. The last thing you want to do is to self-incriminate and accept fault for the accident when the truck driver’s negligence caused it. A lawyer can help you avoid saying anything that accepts the blame for the accident.
Conduct a Thorough Investigation
Next, your lawyer will investigate thoroughly to prove that the other driver was at fault. There are many tools a lawyer may use, such as gathering security cameras or dashcam footage of the accident.
If you took any videos or photos at the accident scene (as you should), they may scrutinize them and use them to prove that the driver hit you because they overtook you illegally, for example.
An attorney will also follow up with witnesses and gather their statements to determine what happened. That’s why taking down the numbers, email addresses, and social media handles of bystanders is so essential.
Investigate the Company and Truck Driver
Sometimes, it’s clear that the truck driver is at fault. Perhaps they were intoxicated, ran a red light, or were texting while driving. At other times, however, the accident happened because of something that was not so evident.
Examples could include:
- The company did not maintain its vehicles properly.
- The company did not give the driver enough rest time as the law requires, causing the driver to experience excessive fatigue.
- The driver’s boss rushed them to drive quickly to make deliveries on time.
- The company did not do its due diligence when hiring the driver and hired someone without a CDL license or an expired one.
Sometimes, it can be hard to determine who is at fault. Is it the driver, or is it the company? That can depend on the relationship between the driver and the company. Is the driver an independent contractor driving their own vehicle, or did the company hire them as a standard employee? An experienced attorney will consider all those and other factors.
Calculating Your Total Losses
Your attorney can also help you figure out how much compensation you are eligible for. They might start with your medical expenses, gathering medical reports and bills to show how much you had to pay.
However, you can typically receive a lot more than that. For example, you can get compensation for pain and suffering. That can include emotional trauma, such as PTSD and anxiety. It can also include physical pain, such as a nagging joint injury that doesn’t prevent you from walking but does hurt when you move your limbs or sit down.
The monetary value of pain and suffering is often harder to calculate, but a lawyer can help.
You may also be eligible for compensation for your lost wages if you can no longer work, whether temporarily or for an extended period. Your lawyer may also file for punitive damages against the truck driver or company.
It can be hard to do that yourself, as you may need input from experts, like economists, to determine the total value of your claim.
A truck accident lawyer will help you prove negligence and determine how much compensation you deserve. Typically, they will negotiate with the insurance company first to reach a settlement. Having a lawyer on your side will motivate the insurance company to quickly reach a reasonable agreement. However, a lawyer can also take your case to court if necessary.