Truck accident claims fall under the umbrella of personal injury law. Causes of action can include but are not limited to, general negligence, vicarious liability, product liability, and intentional torts. Truck accident lawyers have specialized knowledge of the trucking industry that helps them secure fair settlements and jury verdicts for their clients.
Truck Accident Lawyers Pursue Tort Claims on Behalf of Their Clients
A tort is a conduct that causes harm or injury to someone. The result is a civil wrong that can be litigated in the courts. The remedy is compensation for damages.
Unfortunately, commercial truck accidents are devastating for the accident victims. Occupants of passenger vehicles sustain most of the injuries and deaths caused by truck crashes.
Truck accident attorneys seek to hold the responsible parties liable for the victim’s damages. The victim can recover economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Past and future lost wages and earning capacity
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Long-term skilled care
- Disabilities, impairments, and disfigurements
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
Some personal injury lawyers handle all types of traffic accidents and may take other types of personal injury cases. Truck accident lawyers can work on other cases or focus their practice mainly on accidents involving the trucking industry.
The Role of a Truck Accident Attorney
Commercial truck accidents are not your everyday traffic crashes. Large truck accidents often involve multiple vehicles, catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, and several parties who share liability for causing the accident. Insurance companies also complicate matters by rushing to investigate claims in an attempt to avoid liability for claims.
A truck accident lawyer handles all aspects of their client’s case. The case might end in a negotiated settlement or jury verdict. Examples of the things a truck accident attorney does include:
Investigate the Truck Accident
Personal injury lawyers conduct independent investigations to determine how their client was injured. Truck accident lawyers must act quickly.
The trucking company, government agencies, law enforcement departments, and insurance companies will fight to obtain evidence. If the attorney waits too long, the evidence could be lost.
Gathering Evidence for a Truck Accident Claim
The injured victim has the burden of proving their claim. Therefore, a truck accident lawyer gathers evidence to support their client’s claim for negligence or other wrongdoing.
Steps the lawyer takes to gather evidence can include:
- Going to the accident scene
- Obtaining information and data from the truck’s black box and other onboard recording systems
- Analyzing the weather and road conditions when the truck accident occurred
- Evaluating the vehicle damage
- Reviewing videos of the crash and the accident scene
- Contacting witnesses to obtain statements
- Looking at photographs taken of the accident scene
- Reviewing police reports and accident reports
Truck accident lawyers might hire one or more experts to assist with the investigation. Experts could include accident reconstructionists, engineers, trucking industry experts, and medical specialists.
Preparing a Settlement Demand Letter
After the client completes medical treatment and the attorney completes the investigation, the lawyer drafts a settlement demand letter. The letter provides detailed information about the victim’s damages and injuries. The attorney also discusses the relevant case law and statutes that hold the party liable for the victim’s damages.
The demand letter is the beginning of settlement negotiations. Many personal injury cases are resolved through negotiations with the other parties.
Settlement Negotiations With Insurance Companies and Defense Lawyers
In most cases, the other party declines the settlement offer and returns a counteroffer. The counteroffer is likely far below the value of the damages. Since the lawyer made an initial offer for an amount higher than the client was willing to accept to settle the claim, there is room to negotiate.
An experienced truck accident lawyer is skilled at the art of negotiating. However, they are also high-trained and seasoned trial attorneys. Therefore, they are always prepared to file a lawsuit and go to court if the insurance company and truck company refuses to negotiate a fair settlement for damages.
Truck Accident Lawyers Are Organized and Detail-Oriented
Commercial trucks are subject to state and federal trucking regulations. It is in the trucking company’s best interest to hide regulations violations. A truck accident attorney must understand the regulations and how they apply to the personal injury case.
Truck accident lawyers must be organized and pay close attention to details. The critical evidence needed to win the case is often buried in enormous volumes of documents and data. A skilled lawyer must look past the clutter to identify what they need to win the case.
A truck accident lawyer’s job is demanding. However, it is also rewarding. Truck crashes devastate victims and change their lives forever. Holding parties guilty of negligence accountable for their actions to get the money truck accident victims need and deserve is satisfying.