According to the NHTSA or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,945 fatal truck accidents from 2005-2014. The fatality rate for these accidents was 1.9 times higher than for other vehicle types.
Truck accidents are common throughout the country and are caused for a variety of reasons. According to the US Department of Transportation, there were more than 2 million large truck crashes nationwide in 2021.
About 7,000 people died, and another 50,000 suffered injuries from these accidents. In addition, large trucks cause billions of dollars worth of damage each year.
Hiring a truck accident lawyer is critical if you find yourself dealing with a truck accident case. But why?
Conider the following five obligations you may encounter when handling a truck accident case on your own.
1: Gathering Evidence
Gathering evidence is one of the early things you’ll need to do in a truck accident case. This will include police reports, photographs of the accident scene, and witness statements.
You may also need to gather medical records, repair estimates, and other documents that can help support your claim. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be but keep in mind also that there is developing technology relating to the way in which trucks operate that can also be useful in any case.
For instance there is now in-cabin technology that can help detect negligence on the part of the driver (or potentially other parties, as outlined below). These include tracking technology and eye-tracking that can determine the driver’s ‘blink rate’ and pupil size, which can decide issues of negligence through tiredness, poor scheduling by the trucking company etc.
2: Filing a Claim with the Insurance Company
Another obligation you may face when dealing with a truck accident case is filing a claim with the insurance company. This can be a complicated process, and knowing the various deadlines and requirements is essential.
You’ll have to provide the insurance company with all the relevant information about the accident, including the date, time, location, and the names of any witnesses.
3: Negotiating a Settlement
Once you’ve filed a claim with the insurance company, you may be required to negotiate a settlement. This can be challenging, as the insurance company will likely try to minimize the amount they pay out. You’ll need to be prepared to negotiate aggressively, using the evidence you’ve gathered to support your claim.
4: Representing Yourself in Court
In some cases, you may need to represent yourself in court if the insurance company is unwilling to settle or if your case goes to trial. This can be daunting, especially if you have no legal experience.
You’ll need to be familiar with the legal process, understand the rules of evidence, and be able to present your case clearly and convincingly.
5: Hiring Expert Witnesses
Finally, you may need to hire expert witnesses to help support your case. This could include medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, or others who can help provide testimony and evidence to support your claim.
Will Hiring a Professional Law Firm Solve These Issues?
Hiring a professional law firm can provide experienced legal representation and help navigate the complexities of truck accident cases, potentially resolving the issues faced when handling the case alone. A good law firm will gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, represent the client in court, and hire expert witnesses if needed.
Dealing with challenges
Dealing with a truck accident case on your own can be a complex and challenging process. The prevalence of trucking accidents and the development of trucking technology has made this sector of personal injury law one of considerable complexity, but as always the use of experienced attorneys makes the all-important difference to success or failure.