What to Look for in a Truck Accident Lawyer
March 7, 2023
The legal help that you seek plays a vital role in the success of your truck accident claim. Many people search for the “best truck accident lawyer” in their area and may end up with lawyers that look good online but lack important factors needed to win. If you are searching for a truck accident lawyer, this article will provide insight into finding one that fits your needs.
Truck accident lawyers aren’t just generalist attorneys; they have a specific skill set that qualifies them to be able to handle commercial vehicle accidents. When you hire a truck accident lawyer, you sign a contract with a firm that is not only able to handle the personal injury aspect of your claim but also one that can stand toe-to-toe with the trucking company’s legal team.
We recommend reading this article in its entirety to learn the differences between a personal injury lawyer and a truck accident attorney, as well as what to search for in a truck accident lawyer.
Are Personal Injury Lawyers the Same as Truck Accident Lawyers?
No, despite certain similarities, personal injury lawyers and truck accident attorneys are not the same.
What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?
Personal injury attorneys deal with a variety of instances involving injuries brought on by the carelessness or malicious behavior of others. This can involve things like auto accidents, premises liability cases, medical negligence, product liability, and more. Their primary concern is helping clients win money for their injuries, which may include reimbursement for their medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What Do Truck Accident Lawyers Do?
Truck crash lawyers handle collision cases involving commercial vehicles such as big rigs, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other big vehicles. These cases tend to be more complex than a standard auto wreck due to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) rules and various at-fault party possibilities.
Overall, a personal injury attorney may be able to handle a case involving a truck accident, but a truck accident attorney may have better knowledge and experience in this area of the law. To guarantee that you get the best result possible after a truck accident, finding a lawyer with experience managing these kinds of cases is crucial.
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5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Truck Accident Lawyer
Trucking accident victims are more likely to sustain catastrophic injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which render them unable to perform duties on their own. Hiring a capable trucking attorney grants you time to heal and gives you peace of mind again. Here are some factors to look for in a truck crash lawyer:
Find an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
Ensure that the lawyer handling your case has direct experience managing a variety of truck accident cases. They should be familiar with the following:
- FMCSA trucking regulations
- Enhanced liability factors such as drivers, manufacturers, brokers, or trucking agencies being at-fault for the crash
- Retrieving and examining Event Data Recorder (EDR) information
Hire a lawyer who understands commercial vehicles and has experience handling complex interstate truck crashes. Sometimes, their experience is accompanied by a network of medical personnel to refer you to. Unlike some medical companies that fall outside of a truck lawyer’s network, these specialists won’t take advantage of you because you are injured.
Hire a Litigating Attorney
Search for a truck lawyer who is a board-certified trial attorney as well. Having certifications in both personal injury law and litigation can positively impact the outcome of your case. How? Insurance companies are more likely to settle out of court knowing that you hired an attorney who isn’t afraid of going to trial.
Also, these types of lawyers can tell your story in a way that magnifies what you lost. Unlike the trucking or insurance company, they put their all into highlighting the offender’s fault and making a strong correlation between their negligence and your damages.
Search For a Compassionate Truck Wreck Lawyer
Truck crash cases often end in life-altering injuries or fatalities. Get an empathetic lawyer that allows you to process grief while navigating you through the legal process. Focus on adjusting to life post-wreck with your family and give the burden of evidence collection, contacting witnesses, filing documents, and record-keeping to a lawyer that can take it on.
Retain a Resourceful Law Firm
Thinking outside the box when reviewing case details and fact patterns can lead to a successful truck accident claim. A law firm that is both intellectually and financially resourceful is a victim’s greatest advantage.
Financial resourcefulness allows the firm to front the costs of hiring an expert like an accident reconstructionist or a forensic toxicologist that can strengthen your case. While a resourceful lawyer can use their knowledge of truck industry regulation to identify the defense’s weaknesses in unconventional ways.
Get Communicative Legal Counsel
No one deserves to be left in the dark following an accident. When you choose a law firm to represent you, get one that:
- Will keep you updated about the status of your claim within a reasonable time frame
- Will contact the insurance agency on your behalf to inform them that you have legal representation
- Will speak to the medical companies treating your injuries and ensure that you are being billed properly
- Will prevent bill collectors from bothering you during your recovery time
Sample Questions to Ask Your Potential Truck Accident Attorney
Most personal injury firms will leap at taking on a truck wreck case because of the potential settlement amount. It’s important to know if the firm you are retaining has the experience because, if not, your case may be handled as a regular car accident. Below are sample questions to use when looking for a truck accident attorney:
- What is the success rate of your commercial truck accident cases?
- What percentage of your cases go to trial?
- Does your firm have a network of medical specialists for truck accident victims to use for treatment?
- In reviewing my case, do you feel confident I will win a settlement?
- Are there any risks to filing a trucking accident lawsuit?
- What is your attorney’s fee, and are there any costs I will have to handle upfront?
- Do you know which defense strategies will be raised against me?
- How often can I expect updates from you regarding my case?
- Are there any forms of evidence that I need to submit to you to strengthen my case?
- How can your legal accolades improve the outcome of my case?
Also, before meeting with a truck accident lawyer, look at their public online reviews to get an alternate perspective on their commitment to clients and customer satisfaction.
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The Dangers of Waiting to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer
Immediately following a truck crash, the trucking company has its lawyers begin evidence preservation. By failing to employ an attorney swiftly, you risk losing evidence, which creates a disadvantage for you. If you wait months or even weeks to seek legal counsel, the trucking company may move forward with repairing the vehicle and getting it back on the road.
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Prevent Trucking Companies From Low-Balling You
Trucking companies are aware if you have an inexperienced attorney fighting your legal dispute. Insurers are businesses first, aiming to retain profit and keep their customers satisfied. So, they often lowball injury victims with offers that appear as “reasonable” settlement offers to appease their shareholders and customer base.
If you’ve ever been in an accident, you’ve experienced how quickly they call after the collision to get a recorded statement from you. The statement isn’t for your benefit; it’s for them to identify loopholes or inconsistencies that may jeopardize your claim. Before agreeing to a recorded conversation with any insurance company, you should look for an experienced truck wreck attorney.
Pick a Truck Accident Lawyer That Cares For Their Clients and Their Craft
Searching for a reputable truck wreck lawyer who knows their way around truck collision law and is a master at evidence prevention is extremely crucial to your case. Hopefully, this article provided beneficial information on what to look for in a commercial vehicle lawyer so you can feel confident in your decision-making.