Truck accident victims often have to deal with a double whammy. Unexpectedly suffering severe injuries is bad enough, but the problem is much worse if you don’t know how you’re going to cover your bills. Unfortunately, pursuing compensation after a commercial truck wreck differs significantly from a normal accident between two passenger cars.
These cases are more complicated, with plenty of opportunities to see your claim denied. The bottom line is that your financial safety is at serious risk if you represent yourself in a truck wreck case. Here’s why you should call a Virginia truck accident lawyer instead.
Hitting the Brakes on Unnecessary Stress when involved in a Truck Accident
It’s important to note one major upside to retaining legal counsel: having an experienced lawyer handle all the legalese takes off a significant source of pressure you don’t need while recovering from a crash.
Your legal representative takes care of all the complex aspects that you might not be ready to deal with on your own. A skilled attorney tackles issues such as sending demand letters to the truck company and negotiating with insurance adjusters. That means you can stop worrying about those hurdles and focus on your physical and mental recovery after a truck accident.
At The Mottley Law Firm, we’ve often found that truck accident victims are particularly nervous or stressed about the financial side of the accident. But here’s a bit of good news for anyone who was hurt by a negligent trucker: at our firm, the initial consultation and review of your case are free. So determining if you have a case worth pursuing won’t cost you a penny.
But what about after the consultation? In many instances, lawsuits against trucking companies are taken on what’s known as a contingency basis. That means you don’t pay anything upfront. Instead, a portion of any settlement or court judgment is used to pay your attorney.
This sort of arrangement is often crucial for truck accident survivors with astronomical medical bills who can’t get back to their regular jobs anytime soon.
Investigating the Specifics of Your Virginia Truck Accident
When you first alert law enforcement to the truck crash, the officer who arrives at the scene will investigate the collision to determine what occurred. Both your insurer and the insurance provider for the trucking company will also likely look into the crash to determine who was at fault.
Under no circumstances should you allow those entities to be the only ones scrutinizing the circumstances of your truck accident. While the police report can be a useful tool, the insurance provider has a clear incentive to determine that you were responsible for the accident. That way, it doesn’t have to pay you anything.
If you were hurt because a truck driver didn’t follow the rules of the road, you need someone on your side to perform a more detailed investigation. Your attorney may end up gathering evidence like:
- 18-wheeler black box data
- Employee logs
- Eyewitness testimony
- Photos from the crash scene
- Legally required pre-trip checklists for the cargo truck
- The truck driver’s logbook
- Hiring and disciplinary records
- Medical records
- Receipts establishing timelines or showing alcohol was purchased before driving
- Video camera footage
Using Evidence to Help Maximize Your Personal Injury Compensation
After investigating what ultimately led to the collision and your injury, your commercial truck accident attorney should also analyze the evidence. This is extremely important for two primary reasons.
Determining the liable party
There might be any number of reasons why the party pursued for compensation may be the big rig driver, such as driving under the influence or logbook violations that falsify time on the road without sleep. It’s also possible the liable party could be the trucking company that hired the driver, especially if it failed to provide proper training or didn’t have an adequate vehicle repair schedule.
However, those aren’t the only entities that may bear responsibility in large truck accidents. Others include:
- Cargo loading crews
- manufacturers of faulty truck parts
- Mechanics who perform shoddy repairs
A skilled truck accident attorney knows how to use the evidence to build a solid, supportive case.
Placing a value on your damages
You only have one shot to recover damages for your accident, so you need to ensure every possible consideration for how the injury affected your life. Factors such as medical bills should obviously be covered but lost wages, the impact on your future earning potential, emotional suffering, and other elements may also be included.
Safeguarding Your Financial Recovery When Involved in a sTruck Accident
Successful monetary recovery after a truck accident often hinges on having a lawyer who knows how to deal with insurance. One of your attorney’s main duties is to protect you from underhanded insurance tactics to reduce your claim.
In some disastrous cases, trying to deal with insurance yourself might result in your truck accident claim being denied altogether. To avoid that outcome, an attorney can warn you about insurance ploys such as:
- Claiming your injury occurred in the past and wasn’t caused by the truck accident
- Placing the blame on some other party, like another driver on the road
- Running out the clock on the statute of limitations for truck accident personal injury cases in Virginia
- Tricking you into giving a recorded statement and then actively trying to confuse your responses and get you to admit guilt in some way
- Using social media posts against you