This post is also available in: Español
Likely if you’ve arrived at this page, either you or someone you love has recently been involved in a truck accident. You may not know what to do and where to turn next. You may be feeling worried, uncertain, and unclear about the next steps, and about just how complex the claim may become. This is a very valid concern, particularly in the face of a dispute with trucking companies, their legal teams, and their insurers. If this is your situation, we are here to help.
Truck accident claims often differ from car accident claims in three major ways: liability, damages, and financial impact. There are no hard and fast rules for every single circumstance. Some standard cars are commercial vehicles. Some trucks are being driven for private purposes with straight-forward liability. Whatever the situation, know that there are experts available to stand by your side and to guide you through your options and your steps to recovery.
The Three Reasons
The reason that specializations for truck accident cases have developed in the practice of law is that settling truck wreck cases can be quite complicated. It is helpful to examine the three main reasons for this:
Liability – with commercial fleets or owner-operated 18-wheelers, there are virtually always multiple parties involved in commercial truck transit. The trucker, the company that ordered the transport, the owner of the product packed in cargo, the workers who may have handled the payload at origin or delivery, and more, may have a stake in the reason that the accident happened. Any and all of these parties will be deeply invested in protecting their own interests and avoiding responsibility for their role.
Representation – The number of negotiators at the table continues to expand when the numerous parties listed above may all have insurers and lawyers representing them. This can create an incredible amount of confusion and red tape which will take experience and tenacity to fight through. This is especially true if you harbor any hope for a quick and efficient claim process. Opposing insurance has no motivation to make things clear or to take further action. In fact, they typically drag their feet and try to confuse individual claimants into giving up.
Financial Impact – Frankly, with large truck accidents, the injuries and property damage can be more severe. Taller, heavier vehicles with larger blind spots can certainly cause greater levels of devastation when things go wrong on the road. This means higher medical bills and higher damages to repay. The more money that is on the table, the harder the at-fault parties will fight to avoid paying.
What the Trucking Companies are Hiding
In a nearly $800 billion United States trucking industry, the resources at the disposal of the largest companies are virtually limitless. In many ways, the industry is so large for understandable reasons. Trucks move at least 70% of all goods transported throughout the US, and many grocery stores would run out of food in just 3 days if their long-haul deliveries were interrupted or stopped. We’ve certainly witnessed this type of disruption in the fallout from COVID-19 throughout the spring and summer of 2020.
Despite overwhelming integration in how our economy operates, and vast amounts of capital, the industry does experience a notoriously high turnover rate in employee drivers, in recent years reaching as much as 136%. This turnover may be somewhat understandable when you learn the challenges of doing this job. The federal drive time limits require driving breaks only after 14 consecutive hours of driving! And frighteningly, many transit companies encourage their drivers to fudge the numbers in their logbooks so they may push beyond these mandated rest hours.
Still, the revolving door can drain resources for appropriately vetting and training drivers, leading to negligent or poor drivers continuing to gain new employment or prolonging their tenure at companies already suffering from turnover loss. There are approximately 400,000 owner-operator truck drivers in the United States, and on average they operate vehicles that are over ten years old.
What Can a Lawyer Do to Help with Truck Accident Claims?
When you are involved in an accident, having an expert attorney analyze your case can make all the difference in an optimal settlement.
- Truck accident lawyers can examine property damage, bodily injury, the liability of those involved, and other extenuating circumstances to determine the true value of your claim.
- A Lawyer can bring credibility to your claim – making a large company or insurer that is refusing to believe you take you seriously.
- A Lawyer can escalate your claim. If an acceptable resolution cannot be met in negotiations, your attorney can take the case to trial.
- A Lawyer can provide a letter of protection (LOP), allowing you to get the medical care you need now, with bill payment deferred until your claim is resolved and settled.
- An attorney can provide peace of mind. When you are represented by an expert truck wreck attorney, you can rest easier and make your recovery a priority, assured that your claim, demands, and negotiation process are in capable hands.
Large companies, insurance agencies, and government bodies all have legal professionals representing and protecting their interests following a catastrophic incident, and you should too. If you have been hurt in a car accident, be sure your interests are well represented and well protected.
Do You Need Help Deciding on a Truck Wreck Lawyer?
We’ve shared our suggestions on the best way to search for and select the best attorney, but the best strategy for selecting your lawyer is centered around three things.
- Great Expertise: There are specialized truck accident attorneys. These professionals are most knowledgeable on current legal events and nuances in the specialty, and that means a better bottom line for you. Selecting a law firm that carefully curates a team of expert attorneys and paralegals to work on your case means better results for your treatment, negotiations process, and settlement. When you’ve been hit by an 18 wheeler, you deserve attorney representation from an expert who has fought and won cases like the one you are battling.
- Great Reputation: Consult referrals from friends and family and check the web for ratings and reviews. Places like Google reviews and Facebook pages can provide valuable feedback about the experiences of former clients and highlight a firm’s reputation.
- Great Fit: It is important that you like the firm from the very first phone call. If it feels wrong from the start, the challenges of claim negotiations and case arbitration will not make a relationship easier. Don’t underestimate your first impression.
Have you made your decision yet? The experienced personal injury team at Thompson Law is standing by, ready to take your call and help to get you on the path to your deserved recovery. For your injury and concerns, or any worries you have about the complicated nature of truck wreck claims, don’t hesitate to reach out for advice and options.
Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe us one penny unless we win your case for you. You deserve to be protected and you deserve justice after suffering a dangerous and debilitating injury caused by a negligent truck driving.
If you found this article helpful, you may also like:
The State of Texas has a statute of limitations of two (2) years for personal injury cases, so if you have suffered after being hit by a large truck or other commercial vehicle, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The sooner you know your options, the sooner you are on the path to recovery and your deserved compensation. Call Thompson Law right away for assistance with your injury and claim. Call 4 and get the roar attorney!