Getting involved in a truck accident can be devastating. Injuries resulting from a truck accident can be severe, and some may continue to impact you for the rest of your life. Have you been injured in a truck accident? You may be tempted to take on the insurance company alone to save time and maximize settlement by not involving a lawyer. However, such an approach may only cause you more problems.
Truck accident lawsuits can be time-consuming and complex. Still, at Wright & Gray, we’d like to help you handle the legal side and ensure you get the compensation you deserve to be fully compensated for all your injuries and property damages. This article will help you understand how a truck accident injury attorney can help you get fair compensation after a wreck.
Why Should I Hire a Truck Accident Injury Attorney?
Many factors are involved in each truck accident lawsuit, and every accident is a little different. Insurance companies are reluctant to compensate victims for their losses even when the claims are straightforward and the damages high. If that happens, you should think about consulting with a lawyer before accepting any offer from insurance companies. A lawyer may help increase your chance of getting complete compensation. Additionally, every accident is unique and requires tailored legal advice based on your situation to make a difference. Truck accident lawyers in New Orleans have handled many truck accident cases, so they know what types of things can be compensated.
Payment of a Truck Accident Injury Attorney Is Typically on a Contingency Basis
Some law firms do not require you to pay until the determination of the lawsuit. That means that if your lawyer is not successful, you are not obliged to pay. The contingency fee basis requires you to pay a lawyer a certain percentage of the claims the court will award you. The agreement was designed to be able to help more people since there aren’t any upfront fees. You only pay when you receive compensation.
Working on a contingency basis motivates the attorney since they don’t get paid if they don’t win. Therefore, your lawyer will do everything possible to win your case and receive maximum compensation for your injury.
A Truck Accident Injury Attorney Knows Regulations in the Trucking Industry
Trucking regulations are different and complicated and require an experienced truck accident lawyer to win compensation. For example, truck drivers have certain standards to adhere to when working, such as:
- Specific logging time
- Set resting periods
- Minimum qualifications
- Tracking scheduled maintenance
- Keeping up with annual inspections
In addition to the above guidelines, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) instituted federal regulations to monitor the trucking industry. As per the regulations, drivers must ensure proper maintenance of the trucks. Employers may also demand too much from the truck drivers, such as meeting deadlines which may pressure the drivers to violate regulations.
Truck accident claims can get complicated, and it’s helpful to have a personal injury attorney who has previously handled similar cases. An experienced truck accident lawyer can investigate the accident and determine which parties can be held accountable.
A Truck Accident Attorney Can Identify a Negligent Party
In some automobile accidents, there could be several parties at fault. However, identifying the fault party is not an easy task. An attorney who has handled truck accidents knows how to identify negligent parties, some of whom you may not pinpoint.
Several parties outside the accident scene might have contributed to the accident. For example, apart from the two or three drivers involved who might be at fault, a pub or restaurant might be culpable for overserving alcohol if one of the drivers was drinking. Or, the government could be responsible if the accident was due to poor signage.
A reputable law firm will hire medical experts and other investigators such as recreation specialists to collect and analyze information. Then, the attorney will come up with water-tight evidence to ensure everyone responsible for the accident or injuries is held accountable and that you get maximum compensation.
Truck Accident Lawyers in New Orleans Understand Trucking Insurance
The trucking industry involves transporting cargo for different clients. As a result, the industry may involve different insurance policies; for the driver, truck, and cargo. Considering that you file for compensation with the insurance company, it might become complicated when an accident occurs.
The at-fault party’s insurance company may want to use the complex insurance situation to avoid paying you. Hiring a truck accident lawyer will make things easy for you as they are knowledgeable and experienced in similar cases. In addition, the lawyer will ensure you get the most out of the situation by engaging the claims adjuster and getting deeper into the insurance policy arrangement.
A Truck Accident Attorney Understands Personal Injury Laws in New Orleans
You must abide by the legal process to win a personal injury lawsuit. Sometimes you might lose a lawsuit because of technicalities. Personal injury lawyers understand the laws and statutes in New Orleans and will advise you appropriately. There is no assurance that representing yourself will win the case; however, when a lawyer represents you, the chances of winning fair compensation are higher.
Several laws and procedures apply in New Orleans. Some at-fault parties may take advantage of your lack of information to render the case baseless. If you are not informed about them, it is best to consult a lawyer to have them represent you. Some of the laws and procedures are:
- New Orleans personal injury laws
- Applicable statutes such as Liberative Prescriptions
- Legal precedents about personal injury accidents and auto accidents
Most importantly, facing an insurance company in court when a lawyer does not represent you will make it almost impossible to win a lawsuit. Hiring a personal injury attorney gives you the advantage over the insurance company because a lawyer knows they must win the case since that’s how they make a living.
Truck Accident Lawyers in New Orleans Know How to Deal with Insurance Companies
The at-fault insurance company often refuses to pay. The companies will find a way to intimidate you by telling you that you are to blame for the accident. When it is clear that you were not at fault, they may ask you to prove the extent of the emotional impact or the full-term physical implication, which may be difficult. They may also claim that your doctor’s assessment is biased and require you to seek an examination from another doctor or suggest a specific doctor conduct the examination.
The at-fault insurance company may also look for a way to make you desperate for money to accept a lower settlement than what you deserve.
On the flip side, personal injury attorneys have a reputation that can make a difference. They have reputable law firms that have a chance of receiving fair compensation because the insurance adjuster knows that they are facing off with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Truck accident attorneys will probably have worked with various insurances such as Nationwide Insurance, Farmers Insurance, and GEICO. In addition, the companies understand that they may eventually pay more in legal fees than the claim is worth.
A Truck Accident Injury Attorney Has the Experience to Assess Long-Term Effects of Injuries.
Calculating the future ramifications of your injury is a complex affair that requires the expertise of an experienced lawyer. For example, it may not be easy to calculate the amount you might spend going to therapy for the rest of your life. Personal injury lawyers work with health care providers to better understand the future so that proper settlements for pain are calculated.
Some aspects the lawyer and the medical team consider are your inability to return to work, long-term medical expenses, reduced effectiveness at work, inability to get performance bonuses, and reduced chances of getting a promotion.
Considering all these factors, the attorney will demonstrate the report and do everything possible to get you favorable terms of settlement value.
Damages Are More Serious in Truck Accidents
Accidents involving trucks are serious and lead to massive damages. The damages range from personal injuries such as physical pain, leg injuries, soft tissue injuries, neck injuries, and head injuries to property damage.
The damages may be more than you think when personal injury claims involve a long-term impact like concentration issues. In addition, the mental trauma after the accident may even blur the extent of the damages.
A truck accident lawyer knows what types of damages result from such an accident and can help in several ways, such as calculating the total damages, including pain and suffering. The lawyer also ensures your legal rights are protected and handles the communication between involved parties on your behalf.
How to Prove Truck Driver Negligence
Determining a breach of duty is the most crucial element in pursuing a settlement with the insurance company based on the case facts you provide during your consultation. Establishing an aspect of negligence is a major part of determining fault. A truck accident lawyer will need to gather strong evidence to this effect, such as:
- Demonstrate that the fault party had a duty of care to the injured party. The liable party should have conducted themselves in a way to prevent an accident but did not.
- Demonstrate that the fault party breached a duty of care and the accident happened as a result.
- Demonstrate a link between the accident and your injuries. The lawyer must show that your losses, damages, and injuries emanate directly from the accident caused by the at-fault driver.
It’s a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney because the fault in your truck accident may not stop with the careless driver; the driver’s company may also be liable. In addition, your lawyer might need to further hold the trucking company accountable because you might miss out on potential compensation. Getting a fair settlement can help you settle medical and repair bills.
To determine negligence on the part of the trucking company, your truck accident lawyer may need to identify gaps in the driver’s hiring and training process.
Another aspect of negligence could be the failure to maintain commercial trucks, obtain a driver’s previous driving record, or lack of knowledge of operating a large fleet of trucks. Inadequate staff can also be a factor in endangering people’s lives. You will need an experienced truck accident attorney to demonstrate these factors and link them to the personal injury claim.
How Much Will a Truck Accident Injury Attorney Cost You?
Most truck accident lawyers in New Orleans earn contingency fees; their pay comes out of any court judgment or insurance settlement the client receives. Therefore, it is crucial to find the right lawyer who understands the legal process so that you get a fair settlement.
A Truck Accident Lawyer’s Contingency Fee Percentage
Law firms charge fees in different ways; some charge hourly fees while others charge a contingency fee to take a personal injury lawsuit. A contingency fee means that the truck accident lawyer will not pay any attorney’s fees unless you receive compensation. If you recover some money in your case, the lawyer will get paid a percentage of the compensation amount.
The standard contingency fee is 33% or a third of the recovered amount, though it may vary between 25% and 40%. So, assuming you recover $10,000. The truck accident attorney payment might be somewhere around $3,300.
The variation of the contingency applies depending on where the matter is settled. For example, if the case is settled before a jury or with the insurance company, the attorney fees will likely be lower, depending on your agreement with the lawyer.
However, the lawyer’s payment will likely be higher if you cannot settle with the insurance company or wish to settle it before a court.
Having a clear understanding of the payment arrangement with the lawyer is crucial. If you do not understand the fee arrangement, it will help to ask the lawyer to explain the contract to you.
How Different Are Truck Accidents From Other Auto Accident Cases?
If you have been involved in a truck accident and are looking for a truck accident lawyer, it is crucial to note that it is different from a car accident. So let’s look at the differences.
Trucks accident settlements are usually higher than car accidents.
Truck accidents are horrible and lead to serious injuries and massive damages because the large cargo they carry leads to a significant impact when involved in an accident. In addition, the size of commercial trucks means that an accident may involve several other vehicles.
As a result, an accident victim will seek huge compensation to settle the damages caused to them because their vehicle could be a write-off.
Similarly, severe injuries could require surgeries, physical therapy, and other medical expenses.
Secondly, commercial trucks involve several parties. As a result, several insurance companies can be involved; the driver, cargo, and the truck. In most cases, the insurance coverage is usually high due to the sensitivity of the cargo and the value of the trucks. This means that winning a commercial truck accident will potentially lead to a high settlement.
Lastly, considering the many parties involved, instances of faults or breaches of duty are usually high. Each party is typically liable in a certain way which means the lawsuits are usually weighty and result in a high personal injury settlement.
Truck accident lawsuits may take longer to settle.
Due to the severity of truck accidents, personal injury and property damage is usually high and may involve several vehicles and several different insurance companies. Because these cases are more complex, they can sometimes take longer to resolve a standard car accident claim.
What Type of Compensation Can I Expect?
Truck accidents sometimes result in permanent injuries and a lot of property damage. When this is the case, you may be entitled to compensation for your car, medical bills, and current and future medical care expenses.
Hiring a lawyer to represent you in court may lead to more compensation and even a higher settlement. For example, a truck accident may lead to long-term health complications such as brain trauma or permanent and severe injuries. Due to this impact, you may be rendered jobless and lose other social benefits. Your lawyer can sue for lost job opportunities in the future, and the need for home support, among others, depending on the severity of your condition.
Your lawyer can also file for future pain, settlement for surgery, suffering mentally and physically, emotional stress, medical care, loss of love, loss of mobility, loss of property during the accident, inability to support your family, and many other things.
However, linking these claims to the injury and the accident is difficult, and would probably be better left to an attorney.
What Does a Truck Accident Injury Attorney Do?
Many things are involved in a truck accident, and there is a lot that truck accident lawyer does for their clients. Truck accidents are usually complex because they may involve several claims and many parties, such as insurance companies, trucking companies, and drivers.
However, a truck accident lawyer will handle your case from the time of the accident until the parties arrive at a settlement. Here are some of the things a truck accident attorney does.
Investigating the Truck Accident
A truck accident injury attorney will examine the accident’s details and determine the case’s validity and strength. They will want to confirm a valid claim because most truck accident lawyers in New Orleans work on a contingency basis.
Gathering Evidence for Specific Claims
When the lawyer is satisfied with a valid case, they will start gathering evidence. This exercise involves:
- Visiting the truck accident scene
- Analyzing available photos and images of the accident
- Requesting the accident report from police officers
- Gathering witnesses’ accounts of the accident, verbal and written
- Reviewing camera footage
- Taking injury photos
- Evaluating the extent of damage to the vehicle
- Compiling medical reports and client expenses from the medical provider
Once the lawyer has all the evidence they need, they will start building a case based on the details of the accident and the needs of the client.
Sending Letters to the Relevant Insurance Company
The truck accident injury attorney then sends a demand letter to the at-fault truck’s insurance company and any health insurance company involved in the accident. The letter requests insurance disclosure, the accident’s facts, and demands a specific amount of compensation as a settlement for pain.
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
The insurance company is informed of the demands and might try to settle the matter with the client. Trying to negotiate with the client is a common attempt by insurance companies to try to pay minimum compensation. Most truck accident victims do not know how to negotiate, and this is where a truck accident injury attorney comes in. A lawyer will ensure that the accident victim’s rights are protected throughout the claims process. They will also communicate about any issue with the insurance company on your behalf. A lawyer is knowledgeable in the details of insurance policies and will ensure the at-fault party gives you a proper settlement for your damages.
Preparing Legal Complaints
If negotiations with the insurance company are unsatisfactory, your lawyer may advise you to seek a court settlement that involves filing a legal complaint. The truck accident injury attorney will file, and the insurance company will typically respond about thirty days after filing the complaint.
Providing Court Representation
Some insurance companies or trucking companies may settle claims instead of going through the trial. However, if they don’t, the case will proceed to trial. Your lawyer will represent you in court and try as much as possible to get maximum compensation. An experienced lawyer who understands the trial process and can engage with the insurance defense attorney will likely get a fair verdict.
Get Help From Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers in New Orleans
Filing a personal injury claim yourself can be a complicated process. Similarly, taking the insurance company’s first offer will likely leave you with out-of-pocket expenses. At Wright & Gray, we fight hard for our clients. If you or your loved one has been involved in a truck accident, schedule a meeting with our legal staff to discuss how we can help.