Is It Worth It to Hire a Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer?
Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
Whether it’s a large 18-wheeler or smaller semi-truck, car accidents involving commercial vehicles can create catastrophic outcomes. Victims of these types of trucking accidents may be left with debilitating injuries and astronomical medical debt. This is why they have the option to file a personal injury claim against the trucking companies or the truck driver.
However, the greater the damages of the accident, the more the insurance company will attempt to avoid responsibility. Depending on the circumstances, semi-truck accident victims may wonder how necessary it is to hire a Fresno truck accident attorney for help. Before making any big decisions about whether or not to seek legal representation, consider the following.
Why You May Not Need Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers
It's important to note that every motor vehicle accident is unique, so the need to prioritize hiring Fresno truck accident lawyers will be unique, as well. Some circumstances where legal help may not be necessary can include the following.
Diagnosed with Minor Injuries
If the injuries sustained in the truck crash are relatively minor (scrapes, bruises, or strains) and did not require significant medical care, a personal injury lawyer may not be necessary. When serious injuries are not suffered, the claims process becomes less complicated. Therefore, it will be simpler to seek reimbursement for lower-cost medical bills.
Truck Crash Only Resulted in Property Damage
Trucking accidents that only cause property damage with little to no injury will also make the claims process less complicated. Many insurance policies cover property damage, so it may not be necessary to file a lawsuit. Similar to minor injuries, minor property damage is typically covered by insurance.
The Truck Driver or Other Party Admits Fault
If the truck driver or the trucking company admits fault, regardless of the severity of damages, it may not be as difficult to hold the other party liable. This is a rare instance, but it could happen. In the event trucking companies accept liability, victims can negotiate for maximum compensation.
Truck Accidents That Cause Minimal Losses
A truck accident claim can be filed for property damage and other losses independently, without the help of a truck accident attorney. While this is not always recommended, in situations where damages are minimal (minor injuries, fender benders, no time missed from work, etc.), some victims will be capable of filing claims against the insurance companies and may not need legal representation.
Low Potential Recovery
If the potential recovery for a claim is unlikely, it might not be economically viable to hire a truck accident attorney. For instance, if evidence to place the truck driver at fault was not collected or a police report was not filed at the accident scene, then it may be difficult to win a case against the trucking companies. Some attorneys may accept this type of case, but ensure that the time and money invested in the case is justifiable and worth the risks.
When Legal Representation Is a MUST
Consulting with an experienced truck accident lawyer to make a better-informed decision when legal representation is necessary is always recommended. This is not the same as hiring a truck accident attorney, and it will provide victims with more insight into the legal system. When it comes to filing a truck accident claim, there will be specific circumstances when it's best to seek professional legal representation, such as the following.
The Case Is Complex
Truck accidents often involve multiple parties, including truck drivers, the trucking company, and sometimes, other third parties, like another driver or vehicle manufacturer. Determining liability when multiple people or entities are involved complexifies the truck accident claims, making it more difficult to identify fault.
Experienced legal representation when multiple parties are involved will ease the claims process, as well as protect a victim’s rights from being violated.
The Truck Accident Occurred in Fresno, CA
Each state has its own laws and regulations concerning truck accidents and liability. These laws can vary significantly, impacting the outcome of a case. For instance, California is an at-fault state, meaning that all parties who contributed to a truck accident or car accident are responsible for a victim's damages and injuries.
Knowledgeable Fresno truck accident attorneys who understand these state-specific laws will be capable of maximizing compensation and holding all liable parties accountable.
Liability Is Not Clear
In order to hold the truck driver or truck company liable for damages, it must be proven that negligence caused the truck crash, which will be a challenge. However, this can be accomplished when demonstrating the four elements of negligence. Proof of negligence can also be supported with a collection of evidence, like witness statements, police reports, and expert witness testimonies. Established personal injury law firms possess the necessary resources to prove liability.
You Are Also At-Fault for the Truck Accident
California’s comparative negligence can hold multiple parties financially accountable for damages. Therefore, if a victim is partially at fault for a truck accident, he or she will be partially liable for damages, as well. A percentage of fault will be assigned to the victim, which will then be deducted from the final award. So, if a victim is 20% at fault for a case that awarded $10,000 in compensation, the victim will receive $8,000.
Working with truck accident attorneys prevents a significant percentage of compensation from being taken away so that the insurance of the truck driver or trucking company pays the majority of damages.
Serious Injuries and Damages Were Sustained
Truck accidents often result in injuries, substantial medical expenses, property damage, and emotional trauma. Seeking fair compensation for such losses can be challenging without legal representation. However, an attorney with the right expertise and experience can assess the truck accident case to evaluate its value, and then aggressively negotiate with the truck companies to obtain the maximum award.
How to Choose the Best Truck Accident Attorneys for Your Case
A personal injury attorney can cover a broad spectrum of personal injury cases. However, when involving large commercial trucks, it’s vital to invest in an attorney who has experience working on cases involving the trucking industry.
It’s also vital to work with a truck accident lawyer who offers a practical fee structure. Some law firms charge by the hour, while others charge a flat fee. Another option is to work on contingency, which only allows the truck accident law firm to be compensated after winning a case This is a great solution because clients will not have to worry about legal debt, and the legal services are more affordable to those who cannot pay expensive hourly rates.
Most personal injury claims are resolved out of court, but if the case must go to court, it is imperative that the truck accident lawyer possess trial experience. An attorney who has not represented a client during a trial may be quick to settle a case for less than it's worth to avoid going to court.
Some semi-truck accident attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss accident details, as well as provide an opportunity for potential clients to ask questions about the attorney’s background and history. Some examples of helpful questions to ask a Fresno truck accident attorney are:
- How long have you practiced personal injury law?
- How many years of experience do you have with trucking accident cases?
- How do you bill for your legal services?
- Are there any out-of-pocket expenses that I will be responsible for?
- Will you keep me updated on the progress of my case and how?
- Do you have trial experience?
Benefits of Hiring a Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
Again, not all truck accident cases will require the assistance of a truck accident lawyer. When contemplating whether or not to hire legal representation, ensure that all of the facts and potential setbacks have been explored before finalizing a decision. Here are some key areas that an attorney will prove to be the most important in a truck accident case.
Enhance Negotiations with the Insurance Company
Dealing with insurance companies after truck accidents will be stressful and frustrating, as insurance adjusters are known to pressure victims into settling for less than what they deserve.
However, experienced truck accident lawyers understand the true value of truck accident cases and will be resolute in their efforts to ensure clients recover fair compensation for sustained injuries, medical bills, property damage, and other losses.
Meet Statute of Limitations and Other Important Deadlines
Depending on where the truck accident occurred and who was involved, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim may be different than a regular car accident. Typically, the amount of time to file a claim in California is two years, but that is not always the case, and failing to file within this time frame can result in losing the right to seek compensation.
A knowledgeable Fresno truck accident attorney can confirm filing deadlines in California and other important dates to remain wary of to prevent a case from becoming void.
Protection From the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies use certain methods to minimize liability, misleading injured victims into accepting low settlements. This can be accomplished by contacting the victim and getting a recorded statement, making it appear that he or she is accepting liability for the truck accident. Another tactic is to scare victims into believing that they will not receive a better settlement than what has already been offered.
Because truck accident lawyers are familiar with how insurance companies operate, they can prevent clients from falling into these traps. Attorneys will also handle communication with insurance and truck companies, protecting clients’ rights and getting them the compensation they deserve.
Optimal Legal Advocacy and Representation
One of the biggest factors to consider when it comes to the trucking industry is that they will be supported by a legal team to protect their bottom line. Working with the right truck accident lawyer levels the playing field and significantly improves the chances of recovering damages.
In fact, research indicates that more than 90% of people who worked with an attorney recovered compensation, compared to about 50% of those who represented themselves. This is attributed to a number of factors, such as an attorney’s accuracy to calculate the full extent of damages and possessing expert negotiation skills.
Fresno - Central Valley Accident Lawyers
Given the complex nature of truck accident cases, it is essential for an injured victim to seek legal representation from an experienced attorney who specializes in truck accident cases.
If you were injured in a car accident involving a truck driver or trucking company, the experienced semi-truck accident lawyers at Central Valley Accident Lawyers can assist you through your legal journey. We are committed to providing the best outcome and will fight to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.
Schedule a free consultation with our Fresno personal injury law firm, and allow us to begin building your winning case.CALL NOW