All road accidents are dangerous, but add a semi-truck into the equation, and the risks increase dramatically. Catastrophic truck accidents are all too common in the US, where the occupants of the passenger vehicle often face devastating consequences.
Colliding with a truck can leave you seriously injured. And, as traumatic as that is, the damages you initially incur are only the tip of the iceberg. With hospital bills piling up and stress, recovery can quickly become an uphill struggle.
Although you’re entitled to receive a settlement for medical expenses, vehicle damages, and lost wages, obtaining it isn’t as cut-and-dried as it seems. For starters, a majority of truck accident cases involve multiple parties. They’re also very complex and aggressively defended.
Needless to say, you’ll need adequate legal representation to ensure the proceedings work in your favor. A reputable semi-truck accident lawyer will fight for your rights and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
But while Utah has its fair share of truck accident attorneys, not all of them are made equal. It’s up to you to carefully assess your options and shortlist those that work best for you.
Here’s what you should look for in a potential semi-truck accident lawyer.
- Legal Knowledge and Experience
Semi-truck accidents result in some of the most complicated personal injury claims, primarily because:
- Trucking accidents usually occur when a rig is being used to complete a job. Consequently, it’s not just the driver who is involved. The trucking company, manufacturers, loading companies, and other relevant parties may be equally liable.
- The trucking companies and manufacturers likely have their own insurance companies, which can complicate matters further.
- Most trucking accidents have serious, life-altering after-effects. There’s usually a lot of property damage, medical expenses, and mental scarring to account for.
Not to mention, truck drivers follow different laws than car motorists. For example, truckers are required to follow the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, which specify driving times and number/length of rest periods to keep drivers awake and alert on the road.
Due to this, it’s in your best interest to find a semi-truck accident lawyer with enough direct experience handling truck accident cases. Besides understanding the legal intricacies of trucking accidents, seasoned attorneys will also know how to avoid tricky curveballs, thereby setting you up for success.
Experience is important, but a successful track record speaks for itself. Be sure to dig into the lawyer’s past truck accident cases to see how many they’ve won. Note if the compensations they chase are in line with the severity of the incident.
Also, you should seek a semi-truck accident lawyer who tends to win both within and outside the courtroom. Bear in mind that not all trucking accident negotiations end well. Some insurance agents may refuse to settle for an appropriate amount, in which case your lawyer must be willing to take the case to court. This is the only way they can ensure you receive your payout.
A semi-truck accident lawyer who appears to settle in every case may not want to go all the way to trial for you.
Trucking accident lawyers must establish sufficient negligence to validate their personal injury claims. For this, they need to investigate the circumstances leading up to the accident.
These investigations typically involve collecting evidence, examining the driver/company’s records, interviewing witnesses, and consulting experts. Semi-truck accident lawyers also need to establish if the truck had any design flaws or failing parts.
As you would expect, this is a labor-intensive, time-consuming process. To top that, settlement negotiations are lengthy and expensive, regardless of where they take place. Not all law firms are equipped to address these aspects of a semi-truck accident lawsuit. And, without the proper resources, the lawyers will hardly be able to do justice to your case.
To avoid frustration down the line, clarify if the attorneys have dealt with situations like yours in the past. Ask them how they plan to conduct the investigation right out the gate. If they make you feel confident in their efficiency, you can go ahead and give them the green signal.
Problem-Solving and Negotiation Skills
Truck accident negotiations usually include multiple interactions with insurance companies. These companies can:
- Hire teams of lawyers to disprove your claim.
- Force you to accept a lower payout.
- Trick you into signing documents before accepting a settlement, hence barring you from seeking a legal trial.
- Trick you into admitting fault to derail your case completely.
You’ll need to fight on each of these fronts to get your rightful compensation. And, a skilled semi-truck accident lawyerwith potent problem-solving and negotiation skills can help you do so by:
- Keeping your best interests in mind when dealing with insurance adjusters.
- Preventing the other side from taking advantage of your statements or twisting your words.
- Telling you exactly what you have to say.
- Identifying all pertinent issues/problems in your case and offering solutions.
Enthusiasm and Commitment
Look for a trucking accident lawyer that gives great advice. You’ll want your attorney to ask enough questions and record your responses. Doing this will help them gather all the facts to analyze your case accurately. Find a lawyer that’s knowledgeable and is genuinely interested in your story.
Emotional intelligence is a competent lawyer’s trump card. When looking into different lawyers, be sure to find someone who sympathizes with your circumstances. They should realize that you’ve been through a harrowing experience and try to put you at ease.
A lawyer that does not understand your mental and emotional needs will never be adequately invested in your claim. Furthermore, choose a lawyer who’s committed to your case and not driven by a paycheck. They must have the perseverance to defend your rights whenever necessary.
Reputation is important, especially since there are many different law firms with similar areas of expertise. Finding an attorney with a good reputation can reassure you that you’re headed on the right path. You’re going to be trusting your semi-truck accident lawyer with your future: it’s important that you select someone with a good brand image.
Before your initial consultation, run a background check on the truck crash lawyer and the law firm. See how many successful cases they’ve handled so far. Are there any major accomplishments listed on their website? What do their clients have to say about their services?
You can also check out neutral review platforms on the internet to get some candid feedback. And, if your friends or family members have worked with the lawyer in the past, ask for their honest opinions as well. These reviews should support the information you’ve already gathered about the truck accident lawyer. In case there are any major discrepancies, you should probably not consider them.
Truck accidents can wreck your life in more ways than one, and navigating the aftermath of such a traumatic event may seem daunting. But with an experienced, well-read, and skilled lawyer on your side, you will have a higher chance of seeing a favorable outcome.
Do you need a competent semi-truck accident lawyer to help you seek the compensation you deserve? You’ve come to the right place. At Carlson Injury Law, we’re ready to fight for you as you focus on recovering. Thanks to years of proven expertise, we can help you find the best possible resolution to your trucking accident case. Feel free to reach out to us today!