You do your best to keep a safe distance from trucks when on the road. You also keep your vehicle visible to truck drivers you may be near as a safety precaution. This is not always enough to avoid an accident. Truck drivers who are inattentive, careless, or reckless are moving hazards, and it may be your misfortune to collide with them. If this happens, your first order of business should be to protect your rights. You are entitled to file for compensation from the trucking company. You should hire an experienced truck accident attorney to do so.
The First Steps
You are unlikely to leave a truck accident unharmed. Even if you do not believe you are severely injured, you should be examined by a medical professional. If you are knocked unconscious or otherwise seriously injured, you will need to be taken to the hospital. You may have to undergo a series of treatments before you are brought back to health.
Being in the hospital will cost you money: in both the hospital bills you will need to pay and the wages you will be forced to forgo. That is why the next step after you receive medical treatment and see your family is to speak to a truck accident attorney.
It is important to understand that the lawyer you hire will be the only professional involved in your case who is completely on your side. The trucking company whose policies and practices may have led to the accident will be against you, as will their insurance company. You cannot even trust your own insurance company to do right by you.
Why the Insurance Company is Not Your Friend?
Insurance companies exist to make money. They make profits by collecting premiums and finding ways to deny claims. Even if you were in the right and the driver of the truck was in the wrong, the insurers of the truck company will try to find ways to minimize the amount of money they must pay you or to deny your claim outright.
Indeed, the insurance adjuster you deal with may even discourage you from speaking to an attorney. They may present themselves as someone who is trying to offer you a fair settlement. But if the money they offer comes nowhere near paying for the bills you have accumulated and the money you have lost, then you will need to press on. The only way to do this is through a lawyer who has significant experience in handling cases like yours.
The Difficulty of Winning a Lawsuit Against a Truck Company
You should turn your case completely over to the lawyer you hire. All communication and negotiation with the insurance and trucking company should be left exclusively to them.
The main aim of your lawyer is to maximize your compensation. This is best done with an out of court settlement. Your lawyer will push for a negotiated package because they know how difficult it is to win a lawsuit against a truck company.
The trucking industry, like every other industry, has spent years and millions of dollars on a public relations campaign to convince ordinary Americans that most personal injury lawsuits brought against them are bogus; that most such suits are frivolous and drag down the economy. Juries come from the same pool of people that truck companies have been working on, and they may regard you as just another person trying to hurt “job creators”.
The other problem you are likely to run up against are laws that make it hard for you to go to court to recover damages. Depending on the state, you may be forced to show cause as to why your case should even be tried in court. Some judges are empowered to force the parties to negotiate a settlement unless there are exceptional circumstances.
None of this means that you will be compelled to settle for a compensation that falls well short of your needs. Experienced truck accident lawyers know how to pressure trucking companies and their insurers to pay what is fair and just.
If you need a truck accident lawyer, then you should call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
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