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I Got Hurt in a Truck Wreck. Do I Need A Lawyer?

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Truck accidents can occur in a split second, but the devastating injuries that you suffer as a result of the accident could affect you for months or even years. Personal injury attorneys often advise those who have been injured in a truck accident to contact an attorney immediately following the collision, but why? If you plan on recovering compensation for your injuries, you will need the help of an experienced attorney. Here are some of the ways an attorney can help you after a truck accident:

Proving Liability

Before you move forward with your personal injury claim, you will need to determine who is liable for your injuries. In a car accident, the liable party is usually the other driver, but truck accidents can be a bit more complicated.

Due to the “respondeat superior” law, both a truck driver and the truck company can be held liable if a driver was to blame for the accident. For example, if the truck driver carelessly changed lanes and collided into your vehicle, or was texting at the time of the accident, the truck company could be held liable solely because the driver is one of their employees.

A trucking company may also be held liable if it can be proved that the driver was not properly trained to operate a truck. Truck companies have a legal obligation to ensure they are sending qualified drivers on the road, and if they fail to fulfill this obligation, they could face the consequences of doing so.

Accidents can also occur when a trucking company fails to perform maintenance on a truck. Companies are required to perform regular inspections of their trucks, and if an accident occurs because the company did not perform safety inspections, you can hold the company accountable for your injuries.

However, the driver and the truck company are not always to blame. Sometimes, a malfunctioning part can cause the driver to lose control of the truck and lead to a collision. If it is determined that a defective part caused the accident, the manufacturer of that part could be held liable for your injuries.

As you can see, there are various parties that can be held liable after a truck accident, and determining who is to blame is one of the most difficult steps in the process. An attorney can investigate the cause of the accident, consult with experts, and gather enough evidence to show who was at fault. Without an attorney, it will be challenging for you to prove liability, especially in complex cases that involve defective products or the failure to complete inspections.

Calculating Damages

Trucks are much larger and more powerful than cars, so if you collide with a truck, you may sustain devastating injuries as a result. It’s important that you fight to recover the compensation you deserve for these injuries so you are not left with massive medical bills and other expenses. But, how do you know how much you deserve? Let an attorney help you calculate your damages.

Truck accident victims may be able to recover two different types of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those that compensate victims for any expenses that they have already incurred or expenses that they expect to incur in the future because of their injuries. Economic damages are also awarded to compensate victims for lost wages if they have had to take time off of work to recover. An attorney can help you calculate your current losses and expenses and estimate your future losses and expenses.

Non-economic damages compensate victims for emotional pain and suffering they have experienced as a result of the truck accident. It’s challenging to quantify your personal pain and suffering, which is why it’s important to consult with an attorney and ask for his opinion. Attorneys can analyze the severity of your injuries and how they have impacted your life to come up with a fair amount.

Why is it so important to accurately calculate your damages? Let’s say you underestimate your future medical expenses and end up settling with the insurance company before asking an attorney for help with calculating your damages. In the future, you may find that the settlement you were awarded does not cover your medical expenses, so you will be forced to pay out of pocket for anything that goes over. This is just one example of what can go wrong when you don’t work with an attorney to calculate your damages after a truck accident.

Negotiating With the Insurance Company

After an attorney has determined who is liable and calculated how much he thinks you deserve, the next step is to begin negotiating with the insurance company. Insurance companies may attempt to place some of the blame on you so they can pay you as little as possible. If you talk to an insurance company without an attorney, you may fall for this and end up accepting an offer that is well below what you should receive. But, experienced attorneys know how to handle insurance companies, so they will continue to fight on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

It’s best that you don’t make any contact with the insurance company prior to speaking with an attorney. Soon after the accident, the insurance adjuster may contact you to talk about what happened. He may attempt to get you to say something that can be taken out of context and interpreted as you accepting fault for the accident. If you’ve been injured, you have enough to worry about without having to stress over whether you said the wrong thing to the insurance adjuster. The best way to handle this is to avoid saying a thing until you have contacted an attorney.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Schedule a consultation regarding your case with Trial Lawyers for Justice today.

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Trial by Human

Nick Rowley founded Trial by Human, a nationwide legal education course to help trial lawyers improve their skills in the courtroom by "being human".