Whether you were injured while driving an 18-wheeler or struck by a tractor-trailer, the weight and size of a commercial truck multiply the force applied to your body when there is a truck accident. This means that not only are you more likely to be hurt when involved in a truck accident, but the forces involved mean that you are more likely to suffer a severe injury.
There are a few wrinkles in truck accident cases that you should be aware of. Knowing this stuff will help you understand what is going on in your case. It can be the difference between a good result and a bad result in your case. The first thing you need to know about is about the black box.
The Black Box
There is no question that we live in the age of the computer. Commercial trucks usually have computers in them called a “black box.” It records speed and other data about the crash in the moments leading up to the crash. If there is a question of whose fault the crash was, or how the crash happened, information in the black box may be necessary. Obviously, it is always more important to have witnesses who can say exactly what happened.
But having a truck accident lawyer who knows about the black box and knows how to get the data from the black box can make it more likely that you will get a good outcome in your case.
Over the road truck drivers are required to keep logbooks. That is because there are federal restrictions on how long they are allowed to drive in a 24-hour period, but also weekly and monthly. Driver fatigue is one of the main causes of crashes on expressways and highways.
Can you see how a Judge or Jury would want to know if the driver who struck you was in violation of Federal laws? If the driver has been driving for more hours than he is allowed to, he was probably driving fatigued and that may have caused your crash. Even local truck drivers are restricted in the number of hours they can spend behind the wheel and how much overtime they can work.
That is because state and federal governments understand how dangerous a fatigued driver is if he is calling 30,000, 40,000, or 50,000 pounds of freight.
How A Commercial Truck Handles
When you are hauling a heavy load like truck drivers do every day, most drivers have no idea how hauling extremely heavy loads affect acceleration, braking and maneuvering. When a truck is fully loaded, making sure that the air brakes are in perfect operating condition and that the tires and other maintenance has been done on the truck is very important.
The super heavyweight truck drivers’ haul makes maneuvering their commercial trucks very difficult. They require a lot more stopping time and they are nowhere near as maneuverable as even the largest passenger vehicle. Sometimes, truck accidents are the result of a car, motorcycle, or other passenger vehicles not giving a semi -truck or commercial truck the respect it deserves on the road. People will cut in front of trucks and hit their brakes and otherwise not take note of the truck driver’s situation. But many times, it is the truck driver’s fatigue or poor vehicle maintenance that can cause the crash. Either way, you want somebody who has handled truck cases before and knows what to ask and what evidence to look for.
Truck Accident Injuries
Because of the speed and forces involved in the weight of the vehicles, truck accidents result in photos of mangled cars and trucks. Plus, the most serious kinds of motor vehicle injuries that happen on our roads. A truck accident can easily result in wrongful death. It can paralyze a person, break bones and even cause less serious injuries. But again, the speed, size and weight involved in truck accidents usually mean we are dealing with more serious injuries. The more serious and permanent the injury, the more important it is that you do not do it alone.
Why You Need A Truck Accident Lawyer for Your Injury
You were recently in a truck accident that resulted in you getting injured. As if dealing with this injury wasn’t stressful enough, you now also have to deal with insurance companies, doctors and law enforcement constantly bombarding you with paperwork and documents. All of the questions about the accident are starting to confuse and overwhelm you. And it’s beginning to feel like no one is on your side. If this story sounds all too familiar, then it’s time for you to hire a truck accident lawyer. Truck accident lawyers know the ins and outs of personal injury law. Hiring a lawyer means you have someone on your side to act as your advocate and provide you with the information you need to settle your case. If you are on the fence about hiring a lawyer, keep reading. Understanding the benefits of hiring a truck injury lawyer will help you feel more confident about your decision.
Your Best Interests are at Heart
When you hire a truck accident lawyer, you can rest easy knowing that they have your best interests at heart. Insurance companies want to minimize your compensation and law enforcement often just want to close your case as soon as possible. However, your lawyer will do whatever it takes to make sure you are fairly compensated for your injury. Plus, they’ll receive higher compensation if you receive higher compensation. Their goals are completely aligned with your goals and therefore, they will act as your best advocates.
Hiring a truck accident lawyer means hiring someone who has experience dealing with and winning these particular types of cases.
Insurance laws can be extremely complicated to understand and they can vary greatly according to the location of the accident and the type of accident.
Luckily, you won’t have to worry about conducting a lot of research on these laws because you’ll have an experienced lawyer who knows how to handle everything.
Save Time and Reduce Stress
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, your main focus should be on healing and getting back to your daily life. Dealing with legal burdens is an added stressor that you simply do not have time for. Fortunately, when you hire a lawyer, you don’t have to worry about filling out legal documents, talking to insurance companies, or talking to your boss to discuss lost wages. Your attorney is there to take care of all of that for you.
The end result will be reduced stress to you and more time to focus on your recovery.
Greater Chance of Winning
Truck accident lawyers typically have years of experience winning cases exactly like yours. Most likely, you have almost no experience in the legal world.
Imagine how devastating it would be to spend all that time preparing your own legal documents to “save money” only to end up losing your case. Hiring a lawyer doesn’t mean guaranteeing a win. However, it does greatly improve your chances of winning.
Statute of Limitations
Most personal injury cases have a statute of limitation that is between 1 and 6 years. If you don’t file your claim during this time, you have no chance of receiving compensation for your injury. This may seem like an ample amount of time, but if you’re dealing with an injury on top of other daily life issues, these deadlines can quickly creep up on you. Your attorney will protect you from these deadlines by making sure to file everything in a timely manner.
Litigation can be an extremely overwhelming experience. Dealing with all the court rules and procedures is enough to make anyone’s head spin. When you hire an attorney who’s experienced in the court of law, you don’t have to worry about making sense of all the courtroom proceedings. Your accident lawyer will make sure that you are being represented well and that you receive a favorable verdict from the jury.
Figuring out the amount of compensation you are entitled to can be very tricky. You’ll need to factor in lost wages and medical bills.
Figuring out the exact amount will involve collecting pay stubs, looking into payroll records, receiving letters from employers and keeping track of all your medical bills. Hiring a lawyer can help eliminate the headache of collecting and deciphering these documents all on your own.
Not all truck accident injury cases end up in the courtroom. Your lawyer can fill you in on other alternatives that are easier, faster and less expensive. For example, a lawyer can negotiate a settlement for you instead of taking the case to trial.
With a settlement, you give up your right to sue and instead, receive payment for your lost wages and medical bills. Your lawyer will help ensure that you get the best settlement deal possible. Some other alternatives to going to court include mediation or arbitration. Your lawyer will help you decide if going to court is the best route, or if you should choose one of these alternatives. With no stake in the claim, they can offer objective input on this matter.
Most law firms offer free consultations to potential clients. A free consultation gives you the opportunity to receive valuable information about your claim. However, in many cases, lawyers will use hard sales tactics to try to get you to sign them on.
Just keep in mind that a free consultant means you are under no obligation to sign anything. Free consultations are a great way to compare attorneys and narrow down your search in deciding which one is best for you.
Speaking of free, did you know that if you don’t win your case, you won’t have to pay any legal fees? Most truck accident lawyers charge contingency fees. This means that you are not responsible for attorney fees.
However, you may still be responsible for some service fees, such as fees for viewing medical records. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. That means you can get your questions answered for free and with no obligation. If your health and your ability to earn a living is on the line, the best advice I can give you is to talk to an attorney who you feel comfortable with. I offer a free consultation and you can call me at 888-HURT-318. If you aren’t ready for that, I’d be happy to send you a copy of my injury DVD video, which answers the most common questions injured people have.
It can be delivered electronically to you at your e-mail address, or if you would like a hard copy/physical copy, I will mail that to you for free. Providing good information to injured people is the mission of my law office. If I can be of further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call.
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