Collisions with commercial trucks are often catastrophic and cause serious emotional, mental, and financial damage to the victims. And more often than not, those victims are the ones in the passenger vehicle, not the truck.
Dealing with truck accident claims is an equally jarring process. Unfortunately, trucking companies and their insurers are usually out to save money, not promote your best interests. In the aftermath of a truck accident, many of these insurers will try to convince you to settle for less than you deserve, which in some cases is nothing at all.
The right attorney will help you confidently and successfully get the claim you truly do deserve. The key to finding that attorney is knowing what makes an effective one when it comes to truck accidents specifically. Here are a few things you should look for:
1. EXPERIENCE WITH TRUCK ACCIDENT LITIGATION
Just as different doctors are trained to handle different health situations, personal injury lawyers have specific areas of expertise when it comes to law. Make sure your attorney has actual experience representing cases for truck accidents. Because of the complex nature of these claims, this person needs to be deeply familiar with the details of working with large trucking companies and their insurers.
They should know how to properly investigate the accident, how to determine liability, and the many rules and regulations—at federal and state levels—involved in the process. Your attorney also needs to be able to predict what the other insurance company will say or do. For example, trucking companies and their insurers are often aware going into a case that they will owe significant amounts of money to the victim, and will do everything they can to avoid having to pay. Your lawyer should be equipped with this knowledge and ready to counter it.
2. PRIOR HISTORY HANDLING TRUCK ACCIDENT CASES
Since truck accident cases are often complex and expensive, your search should lead you to an attorney who not only has experience but also a long history of dealing with truck accident cases. The ideal person is someone who has represented claims involving not just crashes with big rigs but all types of commercial vehicles. They will have already worked cases similar to yours and gone up against truck insurers (who will be surrounded by dozens of their own lawyers).
Your attorney should also have deep knowledge of the ins and outs of the legislation, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules and regulations. The so-called fine print in such regulations can’t be understated, and the risk of using an inexperienced lawyer is that they might leave out an important detail that could affect the success of your claim.
3. A SUCCESSFUL CASE HISTORY
No attorney wins every single case, but in general, a good success rate is key to helping you get the claim you deserve. Research your prospective lawyer’s past cases thoroughly. Keep in mind that you need to be looking for cases specific to truck accidents—a personal injury attorney could have an excellent track record with aviation accidents but poor success with truck accidents.
It also helps to read reviews to get a sense of how this person works with their clients. The aftermath of truck accidents are often physically and emotionally painful situations, so it’s important to find someone who is compassionate, easily accessible, and who makes you feel at ease. Your chances of success with a claim will be much higher when you have a good working relationship with an attorney you feel 100 percent comfortable being honest with.