Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Apr 18, 2017 in Truck Accidents
If you were seriously injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and a variety of other damages.
However, the success of your claim depends greatly on the experience and skill of the attorney you choose to represent you. You need a truck crash attorney who has represented truck accident victims before and knows how to build a favorable case and pursue all of the compensation you deserve.
There are five ways an experienced truck accident attorney can improve your claim's chances of success:
Discovering All Liable Parties
One of the biggest differences between a truck accident and another type of traffic accident is that multiple parties can be held liable for a truck accident, while one of the drivers is usually the only liable party in a car crash.
In addition to the truck driver, any of the following parties could be held liable for a truck crash:
- Truck driver’s employer
- Truck’s owner
- Truck’s manufacturer
- Company which loaded cargo onto the truck
- Government entities
- Freight forwarding companies
- The owner of the cab
- The owner of the trailer
- The entity that leased the truck
- Repair shop that works on the truck
- The company that manufactured the trailer
- The company that leased the trailer
An experienced truck accident attorney knows how to use the discovery process to collect important evidence to determine all of the liable parties and work to hold each one accountable for their role in the accident.
Handling Complex Negotiations
Your attorney may have to negotiate with multiple attorneys representing large insurance companies and corporations. They will do whatever they can to deny or reduce the value of your claim.
You will have a much better chance of recovering fair compensation if your attorney is a veteran of the negotiating process and knows how to negotiate with multiple parties simultaneously.
Knowing Trucking Industry Laws and Regulations
There are numerous laws and regulations governing truck drivers and the trucking industry.
For instance, truck drivers’ activities must be monitored to ensure they are not working more than allowed and are resting the appropriate number of hours each night. Drivers also have to undergo a number of training hours before they can operate commercial trucks by themselves.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all commercial trucks to have systematic inspection, repair and maintenance to ensure these vehicles are safe. The FMCSA also mandates that the motor carrier maintain records of these inspections.
A reputable truck accident attorney has detailed knowledge of these and other relevant laws. He or she will know how to identify violations that contributed to the accident. If the attorney does not know every law that applies to your case, he or she will know how to find them and how to interpret them correctly.
Ensuring Comparative Fault Laws are Applied Correctly
Like many states, Texas has a comparative fault law that affects the amount of compensation you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit.
The law prohibits claimants from recovering personal injury compensation if they are found to have more than 50 percent of the responsibility for the accident.
If your percentage of fault is less than 50 percent, and you are awarded compensation, your award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. This means that a $50,000 settlement would be reduced to $40,000 if you are 10 percent at fault.
An experienced Texas truck accident lawyer will be well-versed in the application of this law. He or she will know how to build a strong case that helps ensure the law is applied fairly.
Guiding You Through the Legal Process
The legal process is complicated and can feel overwhelming to those who are not familiar with it. Having an attorney at your side can help reduce stress and ensure your best interests are protected every step of the way.
You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Your lawyer can deal with trucking company representatives and insurance companies on your behalf, as these entities will contact you right after the accident to get a statement or offer a settlement.
Your lawyer will also advise you on what evidence you should attempt to collect to bolster your claim, including photographs of the accident scene, medical records and the name of the trucking company.
Trucks are so large that they often cause severe injuries or deaths when they collide with smaller passenger vehicles. The lawyers at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings know how trucking companies operate and which parties can be held accountable for the damages you have incurred. If you have a valid claim, we will fight to recover the fair compensation you are entitled.