The Top 5 Ways a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Make or Break Your Case

If you or a loved one has been harmed in an accident with a commercial truck, you need an experienced fatal truck accident lawyer on your side, one who can help you with every aspect of your case and seek the full amount of financial compensation to which you and your family are entitled.

In the meantime, the top five ways a truck accident lawyer can help you are:

Collecting All Important Evidence

The majority of truck accident claims involve serious, devastating injuries that can leave victims disabled for the rest of their lives. You and your family should be concentrating on your recovery and learning how to cope with life-altering trauma, not agonizing over what types of evidence will best support your claim and where you can find them. 

A skilled truck accident attorney can gather all of the relevant evidence for you, including videos and pictures of the crash scene, investigative reports compiled by responding officers and other agencies, eyewitness testimonies, and a lot more. Your lawyer will also take action to ensure that critical evidence is in possession of the freight company, like black box data, inspection and maintenance reports, and the driver’s travel logs, gets turned over during the discovery phase of your claim.

Immediate action is crucial to the success of any truck accident claim. A skilled truck accident attorney will know the underhanded tactics used by freight companies and insurance companies to circumvent liability and work hard to protect your rights.

Consult With Expert Witnesses

The ultimate goal of expert witness testimony is to prove:

  • What caused the commercial truck accident
  • Which party or parties are liable
  • The severity of your injuries
  • The damages you incurred

Your case might require the testimony of more than one expert witness in order to prove the above-listed elements of your accident claim. Expert witnesses your truck accident lawyer might hire include accident reconstruction experts, highway safety experts, economists, medical professionals, mental health professionals, and engineers. 

Establish Liability for Your Truck Accident

Every traffic accident, regardless of the type of vehicles involved, hinges on the legal theory of fault. Where truck accident claims are concerned, determining fault can be especially complicated. This is because liability for a trucking accident is often spread out across multiple parties. In order to correctly determine liability, your attorney will investigate all sources of potential liability, such as:

  • The truck operator: In almost all truck accident cases, the driver of the truck shares some degree of fault because of a traffic violation such as reckless driving, speeding, following too closely, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, and fatigued driving. 
  • The freight company: A litany of problems can leave the truck driver’s employer vulnerable to liability in the event of a collision. These include forcing drivers to disobey the hours of service rule, engaging in improper hiring by not running background checks and verifying the driver is properly licensed, failing to supervise workers, insufficient fleet maintenance, and many more.
  • The truck or a parts manufacturer: The company that manufactured the rig or a component thereof could be held liable for the accident if it was caused by a mechanical failure or defective part. Although the freight company will most likely take possession of the rig after your accident, your lawyer can issue a spoliation letter demanding that the vehicle be preserved for an independent inspection to pinpoint any defects in its manufacturing or design. Drafting a strong spoliation letter that says what you need it to is not easy and best left to a truck accident lawyer with years of experience. 

Cargo loading companies, service centers, shipping companies, and mechanics can also be held responsible for truck accidents. An attorney lawyer with prior experience in handling these cases can readily identify the appropriate person or persons liable for your crash and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. 

Calculate the Value of Your Truck Accident Claim

Although every accident is unique, damages in commercial truck accident cases will include some forms of economic and non-economic damages. Depending on the circumstances of the crash and the state in which it happened, the court may award punitive damages as well. Categories of damages commonly recoverable following a commercial truck crash are: 

Economic Damages

Economic damages are objective, monetary damages based on tangible expenses such as current and projected medical care and treatments, including prescription medications, rehabilitation, surgeries, physical therapy, adaptive appliances, and more.

Additionally, crash victims often sustain devastating injuries that have a considerable effect on their ability to work and support themselves. It is not uncommon for truck accident victims to miss weeks or even months of work due to their recovery. In some severe cases, they may never be able to work again. An experienced truck accident attorney can calculate all of your lost earnings to date as well as any wages and job opportunities you will lose in the years to come.

You could also be eligible for financial compensation for any costs you have already paid out of your own pocket, such as trips to and from doctor’s appointments, and modifications to your vehicle and home. These losses will also be considered by your attorney when calculating your total economic damages.  

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are subjective, non-monetary losses based on intangible expenses. You most likely know them as pain and suffering, and they are extremely difficult to quantify.  However, a skilled truck accident attorney like Burg Simpson can consult with professionals to determine a fair monetary value for damages, including mental anguish, physical pain, reduced quality of life, and more.

Negotiate with the Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are relentless when it comes to pushing truck accident victims to accept an early settlement that does not come anywhere close to covering their losses. Before you can know the true value of your claim, you need to finish your medical treatment and have a clear idea of how your injuries are going to affect the rest of your life before agreeing to a settlement offer. If you settle early, you will have to cover any remaining damages for which you were not compensated out of your own pocket. 

Interesting Related Article: “How To File A Commercial Truck Accident Claim