Has an 18-wheeler crashed into your car? Sustained serious injuries from the accident? As a road accident victim, you can sue the at-fault party for compensation for injuries and losses incurred.
If the accident involved an 18-wheeler, otherwise known as a tractor-trailer or semi-trailer, the stakes go higher, and you can claim even bigger compensation. That is because accidents involving large vehicles, more often than not, result in much more severe injuries as compared to typical car collisions.
That said, you can sustain all sorts of injuries from an 18-wheeler accident, from head and spinal cord injuries to bone fractures. The severity of the accident as well as the injuries and damages sustained, typically determine how much compensation you can successfully claim.
Unfortunately, insurance providers representing trucking companies are highly experienced in handling accident injury claims and will try their best to pressure victims to accept less-than-ideal compensation offers.
If you have been involved in a semi-trailer accident, the best decision you can make after seeking medical treatment is to contact 18-wheeler accident lawyers who focus on personal injury. Here’s why:
Decide Whether You Have a Legitimate Case
The first thing your 18-wheeler accident lawyers will do when you contact them is to look at the facts of the case to determine whether you actually have a legitimate claim. So, what are the criteria for a legitimate truck accident case?
Well, for one, the accident should be a result of the driver’s or trucking company’s negligence. For instance, the driver could have been drunk, distracted, tired, or speeding. In the case of the trucking company, it may have failed to address a problem in their semi-trailer that ultimately led to the accident. Aside from negligence, the accident should have resulted in injuries severe enough to require medical treatment.
Gather Evidence to Prove Liability
Once your attorney has determined that you have a case, the actual process of preparing your claim begins. Your accident lawyer will immediately collect as much relevant evidence as possible to prove that the accused party is liable for the accident and resulting injuries. Their investigation will involve gathering all kinds of accident-related documentation, including:
- Witness recollections and statements
- Police records
- CCTV footage of the surrounding area
- Expert reconstructions of the accident scene
- Road plans or designs from the relevant government agencies
- The truck driver’s information, including their license, employment contract, driving qualifications, driving history, and designated route/ schedule
- The truck company’s insurance policy
- The truck company’s safety measures and knowledge of any truck issues
- The truck’s Electronic Control Module data
- Your medical records from the time of the accident
- Photo and physical evidence on the damaged vehicle
- Any other relevant information
Evidence is the best defense you have. So, make sure you get an attorney as quickly as possible so that nothing is lost or forgotten. Personal injury claims are also time-sensitive. The earlier you get a lawyer to start the process, the better.
Calculate the Damages to Claim
No matter how lucrative the insurance adjuster offers, do not sign anything until you talk to a lawyer. This is how victims get ripped off. Unless you have in-depth knowledge and experience with personal injury law, there is no way you can tell how much compensation your injuries warrant.
It is your lawyer’s job to determine how much you should claim for all that you have gone through. And they don’t just guess the number. Instead, they estimate based on factors, some of which include:
- Your medical expenses (past, current, and future)
- The severity of your injuries
- Injury-related payments made, for example, cost of counseling, rehabilitation, transport to and from appointments, etc.
- Wages lost from missing work, including all the money you would have earned working if you are permanently incapacitated.
- Vehicle and other property damages
- Any professional assistance you need to live a full life
- The pain and suffering you have gone through
- In case of death, the loss of life
Put Together a Strong Claim & Present it to the Trucking Company’s Insurer
Once your 18 wheeler accident lawyers have everything they need, they will proceed to file a claim on your behalf. This includes furnishing the trucking company insurance provider with your demands as well as the evidence to back them up. Attorneys have tried and tested strategies and know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to building a solid claim.
Handle all Communication with the Liable Party on Your Behalf
Claiming settlement after tractor trailer accident is not usually straightforward. In reality, it can be a lengthy process with a lot of back and forth. This can be pretty frustrating, especially when you are still focusing on recovery.
Luckily, your lawyer handles all the communication with the trucking company, insurer, or even defense attorney so that you don’t have to. This includes sending any relevant notices, reviewing settlement offers, and making counter offers. You can focus on healing rather than reliving your trauma by facing the liable parties frequently.
Secure a Fair Settlement for Injuries and Damages Incurred
Finally, a good truck accident lawyer will help you fight for the fairest settlement possible. Since they have the resources, skills in the personal injury field, and experience with the local judicial procedures, they not only give your case the best shot but can also ensure it moves along faster. A dedicated attorney will follow up on your case to its conclusive end, whether that is in a closed negotiation room or before a judge in the trial.
Contact 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyers, No Matter How Straightforward Your Case Seems
When it comes to truck accidents, sometimes liability on the part of the truck driver is clear as day. Other times, you need to dig a little deeper to find evidence for your case.
No matter the case, insurance companies are sharp and will have a team of lawyers dissecting every detail of the accident so that they pay as little settlement as possible or nothing at all. So, it is not worth risking fighting alone. Get an experienced semi-trailer accident lawyer as quickly as possible to secure the best deal.