The sheer violence caused by a big rig crash can be astounding, which is why after a truck accident, a personal injury attorney is often needed to help the victims. An 18-wheeler possesses an enormous amount of mass, and when fully loaded, it can become a weapon if not controlled by a skilled driver. Unfortunately, aggressive delivery incentives, poor oversight, and driver error often make commercial transport vehicles a major road hazard for other drivers. This is why nearly 5,000 people, on average, are killed every year in 18-wheeler wrecks.
WHY SHOULD A VICTIM OF A TRUCK ACCIDENT CONSIDER PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION?
Following a crash, the first thing a victim should do is get medical treatment for their injuries. Once a victim is stable from the immediate consequences of the accident, they should consider speaking with a reputable lawyer to represent them. In most cases, the company employing the big rig driver will not wait to secure their side of the story, so it is imperative to speak with an attorney with a successful reputation in these complex cases.
Before the 18-wheeler is removed from the crash site, an official vehicle inspector and a representative from the transport company will review the details of the wreck. The inspector is employed by the state and is responsible for determining if mechanical failure was the reason behind the crash. If the inspector finds anything of note, it will be logged for later review. A victim’s lawyer can retrieve this information when putting together a case, strengthening a victim’s claim if the representative flagged a problem with the vehicle.
The company representative, though, will typically not be impartial. Instead, they will take photos and interview witnesses with the aim to discredit any claim the victim may make against the company. In most cases, this means only looking for photo and interview opportunities that incriminate the victim. However, some companies have been known to alter or tamper with evidence at the crash site, so the victim may be at a disadvantage before they even know it. An experienced lawyer will take this into account and fight back with a strong foundation of information, data, and realistic accident recreation for the court’s consideration.
AFTER A TRUCK ACCIDENT, HOW WILL AN ATTORNEY APPROACH THE VICTIM’S CASE?
After filing a claim against the big rig and obtaining the medical evidence, the lawyer will review their injuries and determine how much compensation they may be entitled to. A demand package will be sent to the defendant and their lawyers, and discussions between the two parties will begin. The defendant may choose, at this point, to enter into a settlement phase with the victim. If so, the victim’s lawyer will manage the negotiation process to produce the best outcome possible. If the defendant chooses not to settle, the case will go to trial and enter into discovery and deposition phases. Thorough information gathering is essential during the entire process, something an experienced personal injury lawyer can handle for the victim while piecing together a successful case for trial.
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, please consider speaking with an experienced truck accident lawyer today.