Any car accident can have serious consequences, but when semi-trucks are involved, the results can be devastating. Accident victims often face lengthy recovery times, or even permanent disabilities, that leave them unable to work and without the money needed to pay medical bills and provide for their families.
Filing a truck accident claim is the first step for victims seeking compensation. While there's no requirement that claimants hire lawyers to help with the process, it's always best to have legal representation from the beginning. Read through the advantages of hiring a truck accident lawyer to find out why.
Help With Determining Liability
In car accidents, determining liability is usually a fairly straightforward process. That's not the case in a truck accident. There may be multiple parties responsible for the crash, including everyone from the drivers themselves to contractors, trucking firms, mechanics, insurers, and even semi-truck manufacturers. An accident attorney can help to determine who should be held liable for the victim's damages.
Ability to Collect and Analyze Evidence
A truck accident lawyer will be able to coordinate an investigation for the victim, including the collection and analysis of relevant evidence. Accident victims can take photos of the scene, collect contact information, or review their medical records and police report, but a lawyer can gain access to a wider range of relevant evidence, which can include:
- The driver's employment history and qualifications
Results of drug and alcohol tests taken after the crash
A full inspection of the commercial truck involved in the accident
The truck's electronic control module (ECM)
Statements from eyewitnesses
Testimony from experts in relevant fields
Smoother Negotiations With Insurance Companies
Negotiating with insurance companies can feel like a losing battle from the start, which leads some claimants to accept compensation packages that won't cover the cost of necessary medical care, let alone other damages. On average, accident victims who hire lawyers before filing claims receive more compensation than those that choose to engage in negotiations alone. Plus, if the insurance company is unwilling to budge, an attorney can explain various strategies and pursue other legal options.
Skilled Courtroom Representation
Although most people prefer to settle their claims outside of court, truck accident lawyers can also provide courtroom representation. It's generally a mistake to wait until it becomes clear that the case will have to go to court to hire a lawyer. Attorneys who have been working with accident victims since before they filed initial insurance claims will have more knowledge of clients' cases, which improves the chances of obtaining a positive outcome in court.
Fewer Hassles for Accident Victims
Accident victims need to focus on going to medical appointments, following up with physical therapy, and otherwise facilitating a fast recovery. Hiring a lawyer to handle paperwork, investigations, insurance negotiations, and the rest of the legwork will free up time and remove weight from a recovering victim's shoulders. It's also much easier to focus on getting life back on track when the injured person knows his or her best interests are being guarded by a legal team.
The Best Time to Call Is Now
For truck accident victims, the best time to call a lawyer is as soon as possible after the crash occurs. Of course, calling a lawyer can wait until after the injured driver or passenger has sought skilled medical care and filed a police report, but it's essential that accident victims seek legal counsel before accepting a deal or signing any paperwork provided by the liable party's insurance company.