Truck accidents are frightening, devastating, and a bit more complicated than your average automobile accident. They are larger and have the potential to cause more damage, plus the insurance works differently for these large vehicles than they do for things like cars and motorcycles.
If you’re looking for a trucking accident lawyer, look no further. Hutchison & Stoy are your premiere Fort Worth truck accident lawyers with the expertise you need to cover your unique situation.
Every tractor trailer accident lawyer has the necessary knowledge to cover a truck accident. Still, at Hutchison & Stoy, we take legal to the next level by understanding your needs, suffering, and concerns. Nothing is black and white for us; the details that matter to you also matter to us.
With experience across all kinds of personal injury cases, we make it our goal to ensure every client receives their best-case compensation.
Trucking and Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer: How it Works
Trucking accidents can cause severe vehicle damage and personal injury, and most of them are due to driver negligence. The most common causes of all truck accidents include drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, and driver fatigue. These, along with other factors, can result in devastation on the roads and highways.
Having an 18 wheeler accident lawyer can be essential in proving your case of negligence and getting you the compensation settlement you deserve.
Upon taking on your case, your attorney will act on your behalf to gather as much critical information about the accident as possible. They will review police and accident reports, investigate the accident scene, look into the driver’s credentials, and decide whether local traffic laws were obeyed during the occurrence. Your lawyer may also look into the background of the driver and the company and interview witnesses and relevant experts.
Your trucking accident attorney will also review and collect any documentation related to your case. This involves gathering any paperwork necessary for filing your claim as well as medical records, bills, and insurance policy information.
Perhaps one of the most significant advantages to having one of our accident attorneys on your side is that they will deal with the communications with your insurance company and the insurer of the trucking company involved.
Many companies will try to spin the situation, misquote you, or even bully you into receiving less compensation than you are entitled to. The insurer wants to pay as little as possible, so it can be intimidating to speak to them without representation. In fact, they have a team of their own top-level attorneys who know all of the tricks and best tactics.
After speaking with the insurance companies, reviewing the details of the accident, and gathering the necessary paperwork, your lawyer will come up with a settlement for your compensation and begin negotiations outside of a courtroom.
In most cases, insurance company lawyers will try to stay out of the courtroom, as further legal procedures will cost them more money. However, if the settlement can’t be agreed upon outside, of course, your lawyer will be more than ready to defend your case in a trial.
Truck Accident Compensation
Your accident attorney will review the items we talked about above to determine how much and what kind of compensation you are entitled to. Some of the things they will consider to make this decision include the following:
- Cost of current medical expenses including hospital stays, emergency room services, and surgery
- Any future medical expenses such as physical therapy or continued doctor appointments
- Loss of wages and earning capacity due to the injuries sustained during the accident
- Pain and suffering, which includes physical pain that came as a result of the accident injuries
- Any emotional pain such as grief, trauma, and distress as a result of the accident
- Loss of the life of a loved one
- Punitive damages, meaning any actions that were intentional, fraudulent, reckless, or malicious
Based on the findings of investigations, your lawyer can determine which compensations apply to you and how much you are owed in each category.
How Are Truck Accidents Different?
Commercial trucking accidents tend to be more significant than average automobile incidents due to their massive size. Because they are so much larger than cars and motorcycles and carry much more weight, they are more likely to cause serious injuries, significant damage, and even fatalities. An accident with a truck can be life-changing.
The damages from a truck accident often extend past the initial driver involved and go onto reach other drivers on the road, public and private property in the surrounding area, roads, and more. And more severe injuries mean larger hospital bills and potential extended absence from work.
Of course, for that reason, a truck driver’s insurance policy is also very different from your average driver’s insurance. That reason alone can make things extremely complicated for an average driver. Understanding insurance policies can already be a headache, so it becomes much more challenging to file a claim on your own with a truck driver’s policy.
Many truck driver’s insurance policies range far into the millions, which subsequently means the company probably has superb lawyers to get them out of paying that much. This makes it all the more necessary to have a good truck accident attorney.
Truck driving accidents also become much more complicated when you consider all of the entities involved. When you get into an average car crash, no one is liable for your actions but you. However, there are other people behind the scenes in a trucking scenario who could be deemed at fault.
For example, the truck or trucking company owner may be held responsible if the truck hasn’t been properly maintained or the driver has been overworked and is overly exhausted. The shipper who ordered the load transportation could also be liable and the manufacturer who built the truck.
That being said, an investigation into a truck accident can quickly turn extensive, confusing, and time-consuming. It takes an experienced truck accident lawyer to unravel the case. The main components that your lawyer will look into during your case’s investigation are negligence, product liability, and wrongful death.
What to do After a Truck Accident
Like with any kind of automobile accident, you should take certain steps to ensure that the process happens correctly and avoid any further legal ramifications.
Get to Safety
The most important thing in any accident is to keep every safe. After the accident, assess the situation and move everyone to a safe location. This means relocating out of a road or a busy highway and onto a safe portion of the shoulder. Make sure you aid anyone who has injuries.
If possible, move any vehicles involved off of the road as well. If they’re still operable, park them on the side of the road and turn them off. Otherwise, don’t try to move severely damaged vehicles.
Call for Help
After everyone is as safe as possible, someone should dial 911 to get immediate emergency help. This can include police officers, paramedics, and firefighters, if necessary. Do not leave the scene of the accident or make any other moves until the emergency personnel reach the location. Leaving the scene of an accident can result in lofty legal consequences.
Seek Medical Attention
Once the paramedics have arrived, follow all of their instructions and get any medical attention they deem necessary. Even if you feel fine, you should still have a medical professional check you out. Some injuries aren’t quite so obvious at first, such as internal bleeding or a concussion, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
After receiving medical attention and ensuring everyone is safe, you and the driver involved should exchange names, contact information, and insurance providers. All of this will be necessary for filing a claim and resolving the costs of damages and injuries.
If possible, you should also try to collect any other information that you can, especially if you intend to hire an accident attorney. Since they were not at the accident, any additional detail you can give them will help their investigation.
You can try to collect some data that might include photos of the accident, the name of the police department and the officers who attended the accident scene, and a copy of the police accident report. If there were witnesses to the accident, try to get their names and phone numbers so that your lawyer can contact them.
Be sure not to make any promises or agreements when speaking to the motorists involved, and don’t sign any paperwork unless presented by a police officer.
If you or a loved one have been a part of a trucking accident, we want you to contact us immediately so that we can help you get justice and the compensation you deserve. Call us at (817) 943-6242. We will discuss your case and the options available to you with your free consultation.