Road accidents aren’t uncommon in the US. With more than 280 million registered vehicles, accidents happen all the time. But truck accidents are far less common. Since there are far fewer trucks on US roads, rules of law dictate that fewer truck accidents occur.
But what actually happens when a truck gets into an accident? Is the process similar or different? In this article, we’ll give you 7 tips to understand how a truck accident lawsuit process goes.
The first step in a truck accident lawsuit is an investigation. Since we are talking about a lawsuit, an investigation will determine the likelihood of you winning the case.
Whenever in a situation like this, you should hire an attorney. An attorney that specializes in truck accidents gives you the best chance of a positive outcome. Since these are experts in truck accident lawsuits, an attorney will advise you on taking the appropriate steps.
Before an attorney arrives, you will need to gather evidence that will help you win your case. If there are eyewitnesses, go out and collect statements and their contact information. They might or might not be willing to assist you, so it’s best to talk to as many eyewitnesses as you can.
If the accident occurs in a populated area, there might be CCTV or traffic cameras around that can tell the whole story. Go out to nearby shops and ask if their CCTV cameras have caught the accident.
As for traffic camera recordings, you will need to go to the appropriate government body to obtain them. A lawyer can help you with this one as they know where to go, who to speak to, and what to do to obtain the evidence.
Police reports also help. Since a policeman will be on the scene to conduct an investigation, what they write down can have a huge impact on the case.
If by any chance you get injured in the accident, medical records are key for a positive outcome. After doing all this, these next few steps are even more important.
2. Notify the Insurance Company
Your insurance company might or might not cover expenses after a truck accident. You might think the insurance company is on your side, but they’re not. They will do all kinds of things to try and get your statement.
After a truck accident, the insurance company will try to pay as little as they can. This is why you need an attorney on your side. A truck accident lawyer knows how to fight the insurance company and give you the damages you require.
That’s why we suggest you hire experts who will indeed fight for you when the time comes. If you’re looking for experts, then look no further than the experts over at Rocky Law who have the experience to tackle such complicated cases.
3. Talk To Medical Personnel
If you do indeed suffer injuries from the accident, then that could prove vital to winning your case. Thus, your attorney will recommend talking to doctors and various other medical personnel to help paint the full picture. Brain injuries, permanent disfigurement, burns, spinal injuries, and broken bones are some of the most common injuries suffered after a truck accident.
With some of these, you might need to fully recover before you can even begin a legal procedure. But be sure that your lawyer will already set the process in motion until you’re recovering. Once you recover, you will need to evaluate the total cost of medical expenses to get a more accurate picture of how much to ask in compensation.
When speaking with medical personnel, ask for a comment of the injuries sustained and whether or not the doctors might be willing to appear in court, if necessary.
4. Filing the Lawsuit
Since we are talking about a lawsuit, that means that neither you nor the opposite driver can talk things out. Congratulations as this mean you’re one step closer to going to court.
This might prove frustrating for some of you, seeing that court cases take much longer to settle. But even before you get into court, your attorney will need to file the lawsuit. You don’t have to understand how this process does as it involves going through a whole year worth of studying at law school.
What you need to know is that your lawyer will be all over it. Filing a lawsuit is the easiest thing for your lawyer to do. Lawyers are trained to file the lawsuit in the appropriate way to give you the best chance of success.
After the lawsuit has been filed, you go through a couple of other steps. Fear not as we will briefly explain them. But do also know that this information will be thoroughly explained by your lawyer as well.
5. Discovery Period
Not many people like this next step. A discovery period simply means you’ll be studying the opposition as much as you can. It’s like a game of chess where both sides will be learning as much as they can about the other one. During the discovery period, it’s not uncommon for shady tactics to come to light.
6. Mediation Time and Hopes For A Settlement
When you file a lawsuit, you explain how much money you’re looking at for damages. This gives the opposite party a good indicator of what to expect. Before you officially go to trial, there will be one last attempt to settle.
This is called mediation time, where a mediator will try to come to a settlement that both parties can agree on. In many cases, this completely fails, and you will go to court.
But for truck accidents, there might be a chance for the mediator to convince the opposite party to take your settlement offer.
7. Court Time
Since we’re in step 7, that means the mediator did indeed fail to get both of you on the same track. When that’s the case, expect a court date where your attorney will show their mettle.