What Is the Truck Accident Claim Process?
The truck accident claim process can initially seem confusing. Still, once you learn the stages involved, you can become more knowledgeable about every phase of creating and submitting a truck accident claim.
Car and truck accidents possess distinct features that distinguish them from each other. Understanding these differences can significantly impact your approach to building a robust truck accident claim.
An Austin truck accident lawyer who knows the unique characteristics of truck accidents, including their regulatory nuances, vehicle size disparities, and potential liability variations, can effectively navigate the complexities of the claims process and maximize the strength of your claim.
Potential Defendants in Truck Accident Cases
Truck accidents typically begin by assessing the potential defendants in a truck accident case.
The following are common parties named as defendants in truck accident cases:
- Truck driver
- Truck Company
- Cargo loader
- Leasing company
Truck accidents often involve multiple defendants. The injured party may need to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney to identify the parties that might require designation as defendants in a truck accident case.
Gaining a deeper understanding of liability and damages enables you to offer pertinent information to your attorney during an initial consultation.
Understanding the complexities of liability not only assists in identifying responsible parties but also aids in presenting key details during your initial meeting with your attorney.
This comprehensive knowledge equips you to provide essential information that can significantly impact the direction and strength of your case, ensuring a more effective legal strategy.
Assess Your Injuries and The Physical Condition of Other Injured Victims
Accident victims need to seek medical care if they suffer serious bodily injuries during a truck accident. Suppose an accident victim can ensure their safety after an incident. In that case, they should seek out other injured victims and determine if they need an emergency medical response team to assess them.
Electrical lines, fires, and other motorists may pose dangers to you and your loved ones after an accident. Everyone involved in an accident must remove themselves from risks that may increase the chance of suffering additional bodily injuries.
Seek Out Emergency Medical Personnel
A fire department may be the first entity on the scene after a truck accident. Sometimes, it may be necessary to contact emergency personnel after receiving medical treatment for your injuries.
For example, you may notice that your symptoms become more severe after you come home from the hospital. If so, you should document your injuries and seek medical treatment immediately.
Investigating the Accident Scene and Gathering Evidence
Possessing evidence is integral to your truck accident claim. Physical, documentary, and testimonial evidence are critical to the truck accident claim process. Accident victims often do not think about collecting evidence after suffering injuries during a truck accident.
The following are tasks an attorney will perform to ensure the most relevant evidence strengthens your truck accident case:
- Reviewing copies of documents relevant to your truck accident claim
- Speaking with insurance claim adjusters regarding the truck accident
- Identifying witnesses who observed the truck accident
- Obtaining any surveillance footage that recorded the truck accident
- Hiring an accident reconstruction professional
- Analyzing traffic collision reports
- Requesting and scrutinizing all relevant medical records
- Appoint expert witnesses who can visit the truck accident site.
Relevant evidence will substantiate your legal claims; the more evidence you present, the stronger your case will be. Additionally, employing evidence to substantiate your claims contributes to a more productive settlement negotiation with opposing counsel.
Collecting evidence during the days and weeks after a truck accident is essential to establishing the defendant’s liability. One of the most significant benefits of having legal counsel is the attorneys’ experience in selecting the appropriate expert witnesses for your truck accident case.
Seek Financial Compensation For Your Injuries
After reviewing all the evidence of your truck accident claim, you and your attorney can formulate a settlement demand letter to begin settlement negotiations.
Your truck accident attorney will transmit the demand letter to the insurance company associated with the parties responsible for causing your injuries. Crafting the settlement demand efficiently and persuasively will be necessary.
Participate in Settlement Negotiations
Parties resolve most civil lawsuits through settlement negotiations, mediation, or arbitration. A settlement negotiation is essentially a contract between the at-fault insurance company and the injured party, which resolves the claims asserted by the plaintiff. In exchange for a release from liability, the defendant pays a sum to compensate the plaintiff for their injuries.
Insurance claims adjusters and other insurance company representatives analyze all the evidence associated with your legal claims. Settlement negotiations typically consist of offers and counteroffers.
Once the parties agree on a settlement amount, the attorneys will draft a settlement agreement, which both parties need to sign. However, settlement negotiations might not result in a settlement agreement.
Going to Trial
The parties will prosecute the case if a settlement agreement is not forthcoming. Experienced truck accident attorneys will begin drafting pre-trial documents and determining how they will select jurors for trial. However, it is possible for a case to settle anytime up to the trial date.
Nevertheless, ensure that the truck accident lawyer you hire is ready to assert your legal rights and confront the insurance company’s attorneys in court if necessary.
The Average Time It Takes To Pursue a Truck Accident Claim
Numerous variables will affect how long it takes to resolve your truck accident claim. Hence, acquiring pertinent information about the factors aiding in the quicker resolution of your truck accident claim becomes essential sooner rather than later.
For example, the nature and extent of your injuries will influence whether or not the insurance company is amenable to settlement. If you suffered catastrophic injuries and liability is established, the insurance company will prefer to reach a settlement agreement early.
Some truck accident cases will involve multiple parties. Other cases may involve only two parties. Truck accident cases are often more complex than automobile ones because a plaintiff can hold not only truck drivers but shipping companies and cargo-loading companies liable for their injuries. These cases may take longer to settle due to conflicting interests.
Also, sometimes, parties are not willing to participate in settlement negotiations. A trucking company may believe a jury can’t find the truck company liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. Under these circumstances, the individual plaintiff must consult with their truck accident lawyer and determine the best strategy to pursue throughout the truck accident case.
The Potential Value of a Truck Accident Case
Predicting the exact economic value of any truck accident case is impossible. Every truck accident is unique, and no two civil lawsuits will have identical facts. Hence, handling each truck accident case becomes necessary, and the potential value of a case will rely on several shifting variables.
For example, one important variable is the nature of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. Suppose a plaintiff had to undergo multiple surgeries or became a paraplegic due to their injuries. In that case, the potential value may be greater than when the plaintiff only suffered a sprained ankle.
The inherent vulnerability of the plaintiff will also play a role in affecting the relative value of the truck accident case. The defendant must accept the plaintiff’s condition as discovered, implying that any pre-existing medical issues suffered by the plaintiff before the truck accident can factor into calculating the total damages. This is known as the egg-shell skull plaintiff rule.
A skilled truck accident lawyer will never give you an exact value regarding any potential accident claim.
The discovery process during litigation will reveal important information about the truck accident and the evidence the defendant holds. A lawyer needs to review the discovery documents to learn more about the truck accident and the theories of the case presented by the defendant.
The Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Texas
Truck accidents often cause accident victims to suffer serious bodily injury or death. Some commercial trucks weigh approximately forty tons. Truck drivers may have decades of experience and still be involved in a truck accident.
Poor road conditions, inclement weather, and other variables are capable of causing truck accidents in both rural and urban areas of Texas.
The following are some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Texas:
- Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
- Improper Loading of Cargo
- Poor Maintenance
- Loss of Control
- Following Too Closely
- Driving at an Excessive Rate of Speed
- Lack of Experience
- Fatigued Driving
Truck accidents often have multiple causes that occur simultaneously. Injured victims have the right to seek monetary damages for their injuries. Exploring the diverse aspects of damages, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other possible repercussions, provides a comprehensive view of the accident’s impact on your life. This knowledge becomes essential in accurately quantifying the full extent of your losses and justifying the compensation you seek for your injuries and hardships.
The Types of Damages Accident Victims May Claim In a Truck Accident Case
Individual accident victims often assert multiple claims in a single complaint. The total damages amount relies on the victim’s incurred losses. The law typically categorizes these losses into two types: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages rely on documentary evidence like medical bills, pay stubs, and automobile repair bills for substantiation. Although some exceptions do apply, the majority of economic damages are quantifiable.
Non-economic damages encompass losses based on the individual’s subjective experience. Non-economic damages include loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and lost income. An experienced truck accident attorney will determine the best method to calculate the total damages amount for your case.
The plaintiff may also claim punitive damages in a truck accident case. Punitive damages punish the defendant for engaging in malicious or reckless conduct. Additionally, punitive damages aim to deter the defendant from engaging in similar conduct in the future. Most courts do not award punitive damages unless the defendant’s conduct harms the community.
You should consult a truck accident lawyer to learn more about the damages you may claim in a truck accident case. Civil litigation is complex but designed to streamline the claims process and help injured parties seek monetary compensation for their injuries. An experienced truck accident lawyer will guide you in understanding the steps required to assert your legal rights following injuries sustained in a truck accident.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you suffered injuries during a truck accident, contact a truck accident attorney today to schedule a free consultation. These attorneys can provide clients with a broad assessment of their potential cases.
Your truck accident lawyer can assert your legal rights. The right Austin personal injury law firm‘s attorney will support every facet of your truck accident case, so seek your free case evaluation today.