Many trucking accidents happen every year, with 4,136 fatalities in these accidents in 2018. Trucks caused 9% of all fatal crashes that year. Far too many truck drivers fall asleep behind the wheel, talk on a cell phone, or just ignore the road.
If a tractor-trailer hits you, it is vital to talk to a personal injury lawyer right away because winning these cases can be challenging, even if the trucker was clearly at fault. The fact is your personal injury attorney is the only one in this case on your side.
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The Insurance Company Is Not Your Friend
The truck company’s insurance company is out to make money. They make money by raking in insurance premiums and not paying claims. Even if the truck driver is at fault, the insurance company will work overtime to pay you as little as possible. If they can, they will even try to deny your claim.
If you make the error of talking to the trucking company’s insurance company on your own, they will probably tell you that you do not need an attorney. They may say they will offer you a fair settlement. But if what they offer you does not come close to paying your medical bills and lost wages, you need to be ready to fight with your attorney.
Turn the Case over to the Professional
Your best chance of beating the trucking company in a claim or lawsuit is to turn it all over to your lawyer. All communication on the case should go through your attorney.
Your attorney’s job is to get you as much money as possible, usually with a settlement. Your attorney will push hard for a negotiated settlement because he knows it is hard to beat a trucking company in court.
The trucking business tries to convince the public that most lawsuits against them are frivolous. Juries may think that you are just trying to get a quick buck from the insurance company. That might be hard to believe, but many juries believe it.
You also may have a hard time going to court for damages. You may have to show cause as to why your case should even be in court. It may be required to settle with the insurance company.
Trucking companies also employ many attorneys who will do their best to get your lawsuit tossed out.
The good news is that you stand a good chance of getting a favorable settlement with a skilled truck accident attorney.
Truck Accident Case Process
While these cases are challenging to win, your attorney will do his best to get you a reasonable settlement through tough negotiation with the insurance company. If that fails, he may end up taking it to court if necessary. This is the general process:
Right after the truck accident, reach out to your lawyer who can start an analysis of the crash right away. The insurance company will be doing just that. It will gather evidence to minimize the trucker’s role in the accident, if possible. Your attorney can preserve evidence that could otherwise disappear.
Filing and Discovery
After a lawsuit is filed, your lawyer can start discovery, sending requests for information to build your case. This might include depositions, interrogatories, and consulting expert witnesses.
Before the trial, both sides will probably agree to mediation. A neutral third party will try to reach a fair settlement.
If the case cannot be settled, the trial will go forward. Hopefully, your attorney has gotten as fair a jury as possible so that the verdict goes in your favor.