No one expects to experience a truck accident on the way to work or while out for a quick grocery run. An accident is bad enough, but an accident with a truck can cause serious injuries for the motorist in the passenger car due to the size difference between the vehicles. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), a commercial truck can weigh between 20,000 and 80,000 pounds and still legally travel in between states. When should you get a lawyer for a truck accident? The sooner the better if you are planning to file a claim or personal injury lawsuit.
You can imagine the amount of damage the impact of a vehicle that size can create on the road. Depending on the state in which the accident occurred and the laws surrounding minimum liability insurance, your injuries and losses can easily exhaust the coverage provided in an insurance policy. If this happens, you may have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent truck driver. You can choose to hire the services of a truck accident lawyer to help you navigate the legal process.
While no one can estimate exactly when you should get a lawyer for a truck accident—and you are under no legal obligation to do so—some victims seek assistance from the very beginning of the insurance claims process. If your injuries are serious and you have already accumulated medical bills and lost wages, you may want to begin taking legal action, whether on your own or with a lawyer.
You have the right to hire a lawyer to speak with the insurers on your behalf, negotiate a fair settlement, and take your case to trial if necessary. This way, you can focus on your health and recovery while also pursuing a financial award.
When Filing an Insurance Claim
Each state has its own laws on the minimum liability insurance coverage each driver must carry. The Insurance Information Institute (III) lists the insurance laws by state. Depending on the state, you may end up filing an insurance claim through your own insurance or the insurance of the other driver.
For example, in a state that follows a no-fault insurance law, you would file a claim through your own insurance policy. In a state that follows a comparative negligence law, you may be responsible to file an insurance claim through the other driver’s carrier even if you shared partial liability in the accident.
A lawyer can help you determine the laws in your state to assist you in filing an insurance claim. They can handle all communications with insurance companies on your behalf, too. When considering if you should get a lawyer for a truck accident, you should know that they can handle the insurance claim for you.
When Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Another way a truck accident lawyer can help you is by filing a personal injury lawsuit. They can assist you with establishing negligence on behalf of the other driver, gathering evidence, and representing you in trial.
If you lost a loved one due to a truck accident, you may qualify to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If negligence contributed to their death, a wrongful death lawsuit can serve in the place of a personal injury suit they may have brought if they had survived the accident.
Services a Lawyer Can Offer
One of the most important aspects of your case your lawyer can help you with involves the estimation of your losses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents result in hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations a year. Severe injuries that require emergency medical care can result in ongoing medical conditions later on.
For example, as noted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), whiplash from a car accident can lead to chronic pain for up to five years after an accident. When you file a claim or pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, you will want the potential recovery to protect you from both current and future medical costs for your injury. A lawyer can help you accurately assess your losses and negotiate a fair settlement.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC Can Handle Your Case
If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident and suffered severe injuries, you may have the ability to hold the negligent truck driver responsible. You do not have to approach the legal process alone. If you are questioning when you should get a lawyer for a truck accident, know that you have the right to legal representation at any time.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC can handle your case, and we work on a contingency fee basis. This means you would not owe us any fees upfront to start your case. Give us a call at (800) 235-0444 to begin determining your legal options.