A truck accident can leave you reeling and often include a lot of damage to the vehicles involved. They could even be bad enough that you suffer from some permanent injuries that forever alter your quality of life.
In some cases, you may not be able to work any longer or will have to drastically reduce your movements because of increased pain or a lack of mobility. Truck accidents can cause more damage than traditional car accidents, so searching for compensation is more common.
These are reasons why you need to seek compensation with a truck accident attorney for all your injuries, pain and suffering, and medical bills after a truck accident, but what is the process you can take to handle this compensation, and how do you ensure the truck company and their insurance pay out the amount they owe?
Here are some steps you can take to get compensation for your injuries in a truck accident.
Work with a Personal Injury Attorney
After you have been in a truck accident, you should work with a personal injury attorney to help take over all of the work and to negotiate fair compensation for your needs. Some victims choose to do some of the work on their own; however, the insurance companies for these truck drivers have an entire legal team. Showing up without legal representation could mean you forfeit any compensation to which you may be entitled.
Take your time to talk with several personal injury attorneys about your case from the start; most offer a free consultation to go through the information and see whether the claim has merit. If they believe your claim has merit, they will take the time to discuss the next legal steps you can take, look over their fees, and determine whether you are ready to get started.
Most personal injury lawyers will take a fee based on the compensation that you earn. Therefore, they do not receive a fee if you do not get compensation. This helps take some of the pressure off you as you worry about medical bills and other expenses during this time. It also ensures the lawyer will take the case only if they think it has merit since they do not want to work for free. Take the time to discuss their compensation plan and what legal steps they think you should take concerning the case.
Gather All the Evidence
Your personal injury attorney will need some time to gather the case evidence. The more solid data they can bring to the table, especially during the negotiation process, the more likely it is that the defendant will settle quickly, and you can get your compensation.
Some of the evidence that your personal injury attorney will look for includes:
- Any witnesses who saw the accident and what happened.
- Any pictures or videos that were taken at the time of the accident.
- The police report shows what the professionals thought about the accident, whether the other driver was impaired, or anything else of import.
- Maintenance records on the truck to see whether the truck was being taken care of or if there was a defect or problem with the truck that caused the accident.
- Your medical records and bills to show the injuries you suffered and help negotiate a compensation package.
- Information on lost wages and time missed from work due to the accident.
- Medical testimony to describe whether your injuries are permanent or not and how they may affect you now and in the future.
- Expert testimony to describe the accident.
These are just some examples of the evidence that your personal injury attorney will work to find for you. If you have some of this information already, then make sure to pass it on to your attorney. Present all requested information as soon as possible to help expedite the process.
Work Through a Settlement and Negotiations
You and your lawyer can often sit down with the defendant and their attorneys to discuss a settlement. This is often in the best interests of both sides, speeding up the process and cutting down on legal fees when compared to the alternative of going to court. These negotiations are sometimes quick, but they may take some time, depending on how well the two sides work together.
Be prepared for some back and forth between your side and the defendant. Your personal injury attorney will be able to work with you to determine a fair settlement amount and can bring in the necessary evidence to help support your side of things. If all goes well, the settlement will end with a number both parties are satisfied with, and you can leave with compensation for the accident.
Could You Take Your Case to Trial?
Most truck accidents resulting in personal injury claims will be settled during negotiations. This is much faster for the defendant so they can get the money they need for missed time at work, pain and suffering, and medical bills. It saves the insurance companies a lot of time and money too. However, sometimes, a settlement can’t be reached between the parties, which means they will take the whole thing to trial.
During the trial, both sides will present the information gathered during discovery. Then a judge or a jury will determine whether the defendant is guilty of the injuries. They can also determine the amount that has to be paid out for the injuries. However, the judge usually has the final say, and there are limitations and rules about this in each state.
The Bottom Line
After a truck accident, you may have a lot of pain and suffering. You have missed time from work, have mounting medical bills, and your life may never be the same. Depending on the extent of your injuries, this can make things difficult. Your personal injury attorney will work with you to get through the process necessary to give you the compensation you deserve. Going to the best chiropractor in Colorado during this time can help relieve your injuries. While the process can take some time, your attorney will be there to make it easier.