Why Do You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?

January 15, 2024 | By DJC Law Attorneys
Why Do You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?

Every year, thousands of individuals face the aftermath of a truck accident, which can be overwhelming and fraught with challenges. Truck accidents frequently cause severe injuries, substantial property damage, and complex legal issues.

A dedicated truck accident attorney can make a substantial difference in such distressing times. There are many reasons why seeking legal representation is crucial after a truck accident. You can rely on a skilled truck accident attorney who can guide you through the sometimes confusing legal process.

Types of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can occur in various scenarios, each presenting unique challenges in an injury claim and potential causes. Understanding different types of truck accidents is necessary for identifying the factors contributing to these incidents and determining potential liability. Here are some common types of truck accidents:

Rear-End Collisions

  • Occurs when a truck hits another vehicle in front of it
  • Common causes include distracted driving, insufficient following distance, or sudden deceleration of the leading vehicle

Jackknife Accidents

  • Involves the trailer of a truck swinging outward, creating an angle with the truck's cab, resembling the shape of a folding knife
  • Often caused by abrupt braking, slippery road conditions, or equipment failure

Underride Accidents

  • Happens when a smaller motor vehicle slides under the rear or side of a truck
  • May cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities for occupants of the smaller motor vehicle
  • Improved safety measures, such as underride guards, aim to mitigate the severity of these accidents

Rollover Accidents

  • Happens if a truck tips over onto its side or completely onto its roof
  • Contributing factors may include speeding, sharp turns, uneven road surfaces, or improper cargo loading

Wide-Turn Accidents:

  • Takes place when a truck makes a wide turn, and a smaller vehicle attempting to pass on the right gets caught in the turning path
  • Blind spots or failure to signal properly can contribute to these accidents

Blind Spot Accidents:

  • Result from a truck driver's limited visibility in certain areas around the truck
  • Smaller vehicles may enter blind spots, leading to collisions when the truck changes lanes or makes a turn

Tire Blowouts:

  • Involves the sudden bursting of a truck's tire, leading to loss of control
  • Overloaded trucks, inadequate maintenance, or road debris can contribute to tire blowouts

Head-On Collisions

  • Occurs when the front ends of a truck and another vehicle collide
  • Factors include distracted driving, impaired driving, or attempting to pass on a two-lane road

Lost Load Accidents

  • Involves cargo falling off a truck onto the road
  • Improperly secured cargo, overloading, or equipment failure can lead to lost load accidents

T-bone or Side-Impact Collisions

  • Takes place when the front of a truck hits the side of another motor vehicle, causing a "T" shape
  • Intersections and failure to yield the right of way are common contributing factors

Runaway Truck Accidents

  • Involves a truck losing control while descending a steep grade
  • Brake failure, excessive speed, or inadequate engine braking systems can contribute to runaway truck accidents

Override and Underride Accidents

  • Override: Occurs when a truck drives over a smaller vehicle in a collision
  • Underride: Involves a smaller vehicle sliding underneath a truck in an accident
  • Both can result in severe injuries or fatalities for occupants of the smaller vehicle

The type of truck accidents that injured you can help identify the liable parties in a truck accident and effectively address the specific challenges each scenario presents.

Understanding the Unique Challenges of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents come with unique challenges compared to typical car accidents. The sheer enormity of commercial trucks, coupled with the complex regulations governing the trucking industry, introduce additional layers of complexity.

Truck accident lawyers know how to navigate these complexities, making them trusted advocates in your pursuit of justice and compensation.

Federal Regulations and Compliance

Trucking companies and truck drivers are subject to a myriad of federal regulations designed to ensure safety on the roads. These regulations govern areas such as driver hours of service, vehicle maintenance, and cargo securement.

Understanding and proving violations of these regulations often requires legal knowledge and experience.

Multiple Party Involvement

Truck accidents may involve multiple liable parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, maintenance contractors, and even manufacturers. Identifying and holding the appropriate parties accountable necessitates a thorough investigation and legal insight.

Collecting Crucial Evidence for Your Case

Prompt Investigation

You should note that time is of the essence after a truck accident. Critical evidence, such as skid marks, vehicle damage, and witness statements, can fade or become unavailable over time.

In addition, the trucking company may attempt to hide or block access to the driver's logs, the trucks' maintenance records, or the truck's black box—all of which can be valuable evidence in support of your claim.

A truck accident lawyer can promptly initiate an investigation to gather and preserve crucial evidence before anything is hidden, misplaced, or destroyed.

Access to Experts

Truck accident cases often require expert opinions from medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, and industry experts. Knowledgeable attorneys have access to an entire network of qualified experts who can strengthen your case by providing experienced insights.

Navigating Insurance Company Tactics

Complex Insurance Policies

Insurance policies in truck accident cases can be highly complex, involving multiple layers of coverage. Insurance carriers may try to reduce or deny payouts, and dealing with them without speaking to a lawyer can put you at a severe disadvantage.

A reputable truck attorney understands the ins and outs of insurance contracts and can advocate for your rights effectively.

Avoiding Premature Settlements

Insurance companies may offer quick settlements to victims in the hope of avoiding larger payouts. Truck accident lawyers assess the full extent of your damages, including future medical costs and long-term consequences, ensuring you do not settle for an amount that falls short of your actual needs.

Don't agree to a quick settlement. Talk to a seasoned truck accident lawyer first.

Maximizing Compensation for Damages

Comprehensive Evaluation of Damages

Truck accident injuries often result in significant medical expenses, lost income, and emotional distress. An experienced lawyer comprehensively evaluates your damages, including both economic and non-economic losses, to pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.

Future Expenses and Long-Term Consequences:

Some injuries may have long-term consequences, requiring ongoing medical care or resulting in a permanent disability. A truck accident lawyer considers these factors when calculating damages to ensure that your settlement or award accounts for future expenses and loss of earning capacity.

Negotiating and Litigating on Your Behalf

Effective Negotiation Skills

Experienced truck accident attorneys are skilled negotiators who can engage with insurance companies and opposing parties to secure a full and fair settlement. Their negotiation skills are invaluable in reaching favorable outcomes without needing a lengthy and unnecessary courtroom battle.

Litigation Experience

In cases where negotiation fails to yield a satisfactory result, a truck accident lawyer is prepared to take your case to court. They possess the litigation experience to present a compelling case before a judge and jury, fighting for your rights in the courtroom.

Emotional Support

Dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident is not only physically and financially challenging but also emotionally taxing. A compassionate truck accident lawyer provides emotional support, guiding you through the claims process with empathy and understanding.

Clear Communication

Legal proceedings can be complex, but a skilled attorney communicates with you in clear and understandable terms. They keep you informed about the progress of your case, explain legal complexities, and help you make informed decisions.

Contingency Fee Arrangements

Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis only. As such, they only get paid if you receive compensation. This arrangement ensures that legal representation is accessible to individuals facing financial difficulties due to the aftermath of a truck accident.

With such an arrangement, you don't pay anything upfront to secure the services of a truck accident lawyer. Instead, they receive payment for their services when you receive a settlement check or a court award.

What to do After a Truck Accident

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Following a motor vehicle collision, the primary and most important step is seeking prompt medical care. Even if you appear unharmed or experience no immediate symptoms, never overlook a thorough medical examination.

Some injuries, such as potentially life-threatening internal bleeding, may not manifest symptoms immediately. Failing to see a doctor can lead to serious consequences. Additionally, obtaining prompt medical attention documents your injuries and symptoms, strengthening your injury claim.

Speak with a Skilled Truck Accident Attorney

If you suffered physical injuries or severe property damage in an accident, it's imperative to consult with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. They will provide guidance on your legal options and protect your rights. Don't ever agree to a settlement or speak to another party's insurance company without first getting the advice of a knowledgeable attorney.

The Statute of Limitations and Truck Accident Claims

Legal professionals reviewing statute of limitations during a consultation with male lawyers and business clients in a tax and legal services firm.

The statute of limitations for truck accident cases refers to a predetermined legal time limit within which someone must file a lawsuit after a truck accident. These limitations vary by jurisdiction and can be influenced by the type of claim pursued.

Understanding and adhering to the applicable statute of limitations is crucial to protect your legal rights after an accident. Below are some key points regarding the statute of limitations in truck accident claims:

Varied Time Limits

  • The statute of limitations varies by jurisdiction, and different states or countries may have different time limits for filing a lawsuit related to a truck accident.
  • Identifying the specific laws governing your case is essential based on where the accident occurred.

Personal Injury Claims

  • In cases where individuals suffer injuries resulting from a truck accident, the statute of limitations typically ranges from one to six years, depending on the jurisdiction.
  • The countdown usually starts from the date of the accident. Still, in some instances, it may begin from the date the injury was discovered.

Government Entities

  • In some cases, if a government entity owns or operates the truck involved in the accident, different rules and shorter timeframes for filing claims against government agencies may apply.
  • If you think a government agency can be liable or partially liable for your truck accident, always consult an attorney right away so you don't miss this strict deadline.

Tolling of the Statute of Limitations

  • Certain circumstances may lead to the tolling or pausing of the statute of limitations. For example, suppose the injured party is a minor, mentally incapacitated, or the at-fault party is out of the jurisdiction. In that case, the clock may stop running temporarily.

Consequences of Missing the Deadline

  • Not filing a lawsuit within the statutory time limits may cause you to lose the right to seek compensation through the legal system.
  • Courts are generally strict in enforcing these deadlines. Once the statute of limitations expires, the injured party will likely be barred from pursuing further legal action.

The statute of limitations is a critical aspect of pursuing a truck accident claim. If you have recently been in a truck accident, you seek legal advice promptly to ensure compliance with the applicable timeframes.

An experienced truck accident attorney can guide you through the legal process, help determine the appropriate statute of limitations for your case, and work towards securing the compensation you deserve within the stipulated time frame.

Contact a Skilled Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Dan Christensen, Truck Accident Attorney

After suffering an injury in a truck accident, hiring a personal injury lawyer should be your priority after you begin your medical treatment.

From navigating complex regulations to collecting evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and providing ongoing support, a skilled attorney plays a key role in protecting your rights and receiving fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

Choosing the right truck accident lawyer requires careful consideration of their experience, track record, and commitment to your case. By enlisting a dedicated attorney, you are not only leveling the playing field but also taking a significant step toward reclaiming control over your life after such a traumatic event.