Learn what top attorneys say about hiring a lawyer for a commercial vehicle crash
We asked 14 experienced accident attorneys the question: “Why hire a lawyer for a commercial vehicle accident?”
Crashes involving commercial vehicles and semis cause some of the worst imaginable injuries. The size, speed, and mass of a commercial truck or semi-truck can do major damage to smaller passenger cars. This often leaves the occupants seriously injured. A commercial vehicle is one that is engaged in business practices when the collision occurs. They can come in many sizes and include delivery or cargo vans, box trucks, flatbed trucks, and semi trucks. They are often used for shipping freight. They are build to transport cargo which typically makes them bigger and heavier which in turn leads to more severe collisions
When you’ve been injured in a crash with a commercial truck, your lawyer will ensure that all steps are taken to maximize the value of your case. An injured party can be compensated for damages including medical bills, lost wages, disfigurement, disability, loss of normal life as well as pain and suffering. An experienced attorney can guide an injured client through the numerous complex steps and considerations to ensure a successful outcome.
If you consider taking on a large insurance provider by yourself, remember that this can be very overwhelming. Even more so if you have been seriously injured by a large commercial truck. Often, insurance companies will try to remove your case to federal court because they view federal court as a more favorable venue and that the rules will benefit their litigation strategy. This means that the state court will no longer hear the case and it will now be pending in front of the federal judge in whatever district you currently reside.
Hiring the right trucking accident lawyer to pursue your claim is probably the most important decision you will make after a collision with a commercial truck. The Kryder Law Group knows that there is only a limited time to gather evidence and knows how to execute a strategic plan to gather and preserve evidence.
Why Hire The Kryder Law Group to Handle Your Trucking Accident?
- We have a rapid response team on standby to quickly investigate and preserve needed evidence. When a death or catastrophic injury occurs, our lawyers will travel nationwide, if needed, to document evidence. We understand how time sensitive it is to collect evidence after a crash with a commercial truck, so once we are hired, we immediately begin working on your case.
- Our lead attorney has over two decades of litigation of experience.
- We know how to build your case by employing experts such as accident reconstructionists, maintenance and mechanical experts, roadway experts, cargo and shipping experts, as well as medical experts.
- We have the technical experience and financial resources needed to successfully pursue trucking accidents. Many smaller, less established firms simply don’t have the money to properly litigate complex trucking collisions.
- The Kryder Law Group will handle your case on a contingency fee, which means there are no fees unless money is recovered. The Kryder Law Group also advances the costs associated with litigation. This means we will not ask for upfront costs from you.
We asked 14 experienced trucking accident lawyers the question: “Why should you hire an attorney for a commercial vehicle accident?” These are their answers.
For a free legal consultation, call (312) 598-0739
When do you need to hire an attorney for a trucking accident?
Andrew A. Kryder (20+ Years Experience) Chicago Trucking Accident Lawyer
“Why do you need to hire an attorney for an accident with a commercial vehicle?”
Hiring an experienced trucking accident lawyer to pursue your case is a critical step to ensure a successful outcome.
Documenting evidence after an Illinois truck crash takes experience, skill, and knowledge. To do it right, trucking accident attorneys must act swiftly for their clientc and have the resources to preserve all of the evidence. The trucks involved in these types of collisions can travel thousands of miles across the United States. The lawyers you hire to preserve evidence and pursue your claim need to be ready to do the same. Lawyers at the Kryder Law Group are ready to launch a rapid response plan when a significant commercial truck crash occurs.
When you hire a lawyer experienced with truck crashes, they know what evidence should be collected to document your collision. Here are some examples of how evidence related to the collision with a commercial truck is preserved:
- Evidence Preservation Letter
- Freedom of Information Requests (FOIA)
- Expert Inspections
- Accident Scene Preservation using drones for aerial video
- Three dimensional photography of the trucks involved in the collision
- Speed, lighting and human factors analysis using experts
- Data downloads from the truck’s Electronic Control Module (ECM unit)
Additionally, they will know what evidence should be collected for a truck collision. Just as important as gathering and preserving evidence, is knowing what evidence to ask for, and why.
When investigating an Illinois or Chicago commercial truck collision, The Kryder Law Group utilizes the help of various experts. The type of expert needed depends on the issues. However, utilizing experts can greatly enhance the evidence collected and later in the case, help maximize the recovery. Examples of evidence collect by experts can include:
- Driver Employment File
- History of Driver’s Traffic Violations
- Evidence of Driver’s work history
- Evidence of Driver’s training History
- Driver Logs detailing miles driven, hours worked and breaks taken
- Any and all drug tests taken in the 5 years prior to the accident and after the accident
- Maintenance Records, Repair Records, Inspection Reports for the truck
- Interviews and statements
- Dashboard video from the truck and responding police cars
- “Black Box” data (Electronic Control Module) downloaded from the Truck
- Body Camera video from investigating officers
- Police Reports
- Accident Reconstructions Reports
- The Vehicles involved in the crash
In order to maximize your outcome and receive compensation for damages including pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, loss of normal life, loss of wages, and your medical bills, it is critical to hire a trucking accident lawyer who is right for you. Most firms will take your case on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees unless money is recovered. At The Kryder Law Group, we also advance the cost of litigation so there is no upfront cost to you.
Jon Groth (20+ Years Experience) Wisconsin Trucking Accident Lawyer
“Why do you need a lawyer if you’re in an accident with a large truck?”
Large trucks, big rigs, and 18-wheelers are all over Milwaukee roads. They deliver supplies to stores and online orders to people’s homes. These are usually extremely large vehicles with which many other drivers are nervous to share the road with.
In 2016, 7,461 large truck crashes took place in Wisconsin, which resulted in 2,342 injuries and 79 deaths. This represents about 7 percent of Wisconsin road accident injuries, but 15 percent of the total deaths, which shows the tragic and destructive nature of truck crashes.
Most drivers fear getting into an accident with one of these large trucks. Big rigs are about twenty times heavier than the average car, so the damage can be extreme.
Being involved in a car crash is bad enough. Following such an incident, you likely have a damaged car, and you may have mild to severe bodily injuries. When you’re involved in a crash with a large commercial truck, you may sustain catastrophic injuries and total your car. Some of the most common types of truck accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
If you’ve been involved in a trucking accident, you likely face a long road to recovery, and you may even face a life that is altered forever. By working with a law firm whose sole focus is helping clients like you in Wisconsin, you can focus on healing while your lawyers handle the legal details of your personal injury claim. Call the Groth Law Firm, S.C. today at 414-999-0000 or check out our website, grothlawfirm.com, for more information.
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Tim Miley (20+ Years Experience) West Virginia Trucking Accident Lawyer
“Why should you hire an attorney for a commercial vehicle accident?”
Even though the operators of tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks are required to obtain special licenses, this does not mean that they do not have the same obligations to drive in a safe manner as all other motorists. If a truck driver is at fault for a collision, they carry legal liability towards any people who may have been injured. In addition, if that person is an employee of a trucking company, that company likely also shares some degree of liability.
A Clarksburg truck accident lawyer could help if you are injured in a commercial truck crash. With a steadfast personal injury attorney by your side, you may be able to hold at-fault drivers and their parent companies responsible for your losses, including the costs of medical bills, any lost earnings, and any mental anguish endured as a result of the wreck.
Proving Fault in a Truck Accident
Truckers have the same obligations to follow the rules of the road as all other motorists. Accordingly, they must follow all traffic signals, yield to oncoming traffic, and refrain from driving while distracted. Any truck driver who causes a collision because of a failure to follow these rules of the road may bear legal liability for that accident.
More specifically, truck drivers who cause accidents due to carelessness may be found legally negligent. Negligence is a legal cause of action that entails a liable party violating the duty of care that they owe to other people and directly causing injuries as a result.
In cases involving truck accidents, though, a truck driver’s employer may also share blame. Because of a legal concept known as agency, most employers share legal liability for any actions their employees undertake while on the clock. A Clarksburg truck accident lawyer could help a victim identify all possible defendants and gather whatever evidence is needed to prove their claim.
The Importance of Filing on Time
Regardless of the identity of the defendant, a potential plaintiff has only a limited time to pursue a truck accident case. West Virginia Code §55-2-12 codifies the state’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases. It states that any personal injury case must be in court within two years of the date of the injury, so potential plaintiffs must move swiftly to protect their rights.
Potential Damages in a Truck Accident Claim
All claims for truck crashes—and indeed, all personal injury claims—must center around a physical injury. While truck accidents tend to inflict severe, life-changing injuries upon their victims, even relatively minor injuries may serve as the basis for a claim so long as they require medical attention to treat. Either way, a claim should demand payment to cover the costs of all treatment needed.
However, a complete claim should also demand restitution for other, less obvious losses. For example, a truck crash victim may miss significant time at work, either immediately following the accident or in the future, while they heal. As long as the plaintiff can tie this loss of income to their injuries, the at-fault parties may be held liable for compensating them for it.
Plaintiffs may also be able to claim emotional damages for physical pain associated with an injury, as well as other losses of enjoyment of life. An experienced truck wreck lawyer in Clarksburg could help calculate a plaintiff’s compensable losses following an accident in order to demand appropriate compensation.
A Clarksburg Truck Accident Lawyer Could Be a Strong Ally
Truck accident cases can be more difficult to manage than they at first appear. To recover compensation, victims need to identify the proper defendants, gather evidence of their fault, and place that evidence within the correct legal framework. All the while, they may be dealing with intense injuries and a significant loss of income.
A Clarksburg truck accident lawyer could take the lead in your case while you focus on making a full physical recovery. To get started, visit our website, mileylegal.com, to set up a consultation.
Mark Bryant (45+ Years Experience) Paducah Truck Accident Attorney
“Why should you get an attorney for an accident with a semi or tractor-trailer?”
Due to their sheer size and weight, tractor-trailers usually cause extensive damage when they are involved in accidents. While the truck driver walks away, the people in the smaller car may suffer devastating injuries.
Truck accidents can also be complex legally. For example, truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to safety regulations that do not apply to passenger cars. In addition to the trucker and carrier a third-party freight broker could be involved, further complicating your case. Only a lawyer who is familiar in handling these cases will know how to collect and preserve evidence of violations that could have an important bearing on your outcome.
At Bryant Law Center, our attorneys have decades of experience handling all types of car and truck accident cases, including those involving semi trucks. In addition to injured people, we represent families who lose loved ones in fatal accidents. From our office in Paducah, we handle truck wreck cases throughout Kentucky and southern Illinois.
Professional Representation For Complex Truck Accident Claims
Truck drivers are usually under economic pressure to deliver loads as quickly as possible. This can lead to safety violations such as driving too long without taking a rest break, taking drugs to stay awake, speeding, unsafe passing and driving with too heavy a load. When truckers and their employers put profits ahead of safety, innocent people may pay the price.
In the aftermath of a truck collision, the insurance provider covering the semi will usually be on the scene within hours, looking for ways to minimize their liability. To protect your interests, you should retain an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. At Bryant Law Center, we are keenly aware of the tactics these insurance companies may employ, and we are ready to stand up for your right to full and fair compensation.
Time Is Of The Essence
Commercial trucking companies have a lot to lose if their drivers are at fault. Protect yourself with a professional lawyer from our firm in your corner. We offer contingency fee-based representation that does not charge you unless we can secure compensation for you. Reach out today to learn more and set up a free initial consultation.
Justin Hare (17 Years Experience) Elgin Trucking Accident Lawyer
“Is it worth hiring a lawyer for an accident with a truck?”
Yes, it is worth hiring a lawyer if you’ve been injured in an accident with a semi-truck to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Consulting a trucking accident lawyer is free and confidential and the fee is usually based on a percentage of the money recovered for you. So the attorneys only get paid if you do.
There are many ways a top attorney can maximize the value of your case, they will:
- Identify all potential insurance coverage.
- Obtain a liability expert.
- Obtain a damages expert to detail and maximize all potential losses.
- Develop a cost effective strategy for medical expenses and liens.
- Properly document your injuries and accumulate all necessary evidence.
Insurance coverage plays a pivotal role in determining the outcome for you. An experienced lawyer, who has handled many commercial vehicle collisions, will identify all potential sources of insurance coverage. He or she will identify all layers of potential insurance coverage. Many insurance policies provide separate coverage for medical payments which can further increase your recovery. Your attorney will provide a careful analysis that has the potential to substantially increase the value of your outcome.
Another mechanism used by trucking accident lawyers for increasing the value of your case is enlisting the aid of a liability expert. This expert may be able to develop a case out of a difficult set of facts. The expert can refute the many of the legal defenses an insurance company may assert and identify other potential at-fault parties. For example, an expert may be able to determine whether multiple cars and trucks played a role in causing a collision. Multiple insurance companies contributing to a resolution will maximize your recovery.
An experienced personal injury attorney will also enlist the help of damages experts. These experts can identify losses that may not be apparent but are often significant and may increase the value of your recovery. For example, if an injured party misses two weeks of work after a crash, then their wage loss may simply be one bi-weekly paycheck. However, if an injured party loses their ability to work, the losses are far reaching. An expert economist hired by your litigation attorneys can detail these losses and ensure all economic losses are properly presented to a jury.
Another type of expert that your lawyer may use is a life care planner. This expert will testify to all future medical expenses and the type of future medical care you may need. In trucking accidents, where an injury can be life changing, a life care planner can be essential. In past cases, the Kryder Law Group has used this type of expert to create a detailed plan that outlines the cost of all future care. Oftentimes this expert can detail the costs of future home medical care or nursing care; future surgeries; prescriptions; physical therapy; or the cost of a family member to provide you care. Your home may also require expensive modifications after a major collision with a commercial truck. You may be considering modifications like adding a wheelchair ramp; lift; railings; or widening your home’s hallways.
A different way that your top trucking accident attorneys will maximize the value of a case is to decrease the amount of medical liens that need to be paid out of your recovery. Your attorneys will develop a payment strategy for medical bills because medical providers will often assert a lien against your case. A lien protects the provider’s bill and ensures it will be paid out of the recovery. Your lawyer will be versed on how to best reduce the amount paid to lien holders because decisions on how to handle bills will drastically impact your net recovery.
A trucking accident lawyer will also help you by properly documenting your injury and accumulating all necessary evidence for a successful outcome. From the moment you hire a lawyer after your collision with a commercial truck, your lawyers will be considering all evidence that needs to be preserved and obtained. Does the scene of the accident need to be photographed? Are there video cameras in the area from businesses or homes? An attorney may need to be on the scene as soon as possible to identify and obtain video evidence that may exist for only a short period of time. Subpoenas can be issued to obtain all available video evidence.
It is critical to engage an experienced attorney in a commercial trucking accident case because he or she will identify all potential insurance coverage, hire experts, devise a strategy for handling medical liens, and document your injuries. These efforts are crucial steps toward maximizing the recovery for your trucking accident injury.
David George Bryant (15+ Years Experience) Louisville Truck Accident Lawyer
“Is it worth hiring a lawyer for an accident with a big rig?”
When an accident involves a commercial motor vehicle like a semi-truck (or a big rig), things are a little different than normal automobile accidents. Our firm represents people involved in semi-truck accidents like this and understands the things that matter most — the nuances.
Having the resources needed to pursue a successful outcome can be expensive to tackle and investigate — it is essential that things are done right. That’s where we come in. We are here to help you get the compensation you deserve and you don’t pay unless we win.
We are able to do this because we have the resources, experience, and knowledge of what it takes to win. With over 15 years successfully handling cases involving commercial trucks, we know what makes your situation unique and we know how to hold the at-fault party responsible for your injuries.
Potential Defendants in Truck Accident Cases
To get the victim of a truck accident the compensation and justice they deserve, it is important that an attorney investigates each party who may have been responsible for the wreck. This involves looking at possible fault on the part of the trucker, the trucker’s employer, the trucking company, the manufacturer of the truck, and any third-party contractors involved, as well as the insurance companies for each of these parties.
In order to find fault or liability on the part of anyone beyond the driver, your lawyers will need to determine whether the trucker was working directly for the trucking company or if they were an independent contractor.
If the driver was working directly for a trucking company, the company may be held liable for negligence leading to a collision. If the trucker was working as an independent contractor, your attorneys may need to prove how much oversight they had over the driver in order to hold the trucking company liable for the accident.
The determination of who and how many parties have some share in the fault or liability is important because each party likely has its own insurance policy. Figuring out who is liable not only holds those parties responsible, it helps ensure that the victim is appropriately compensated through those separate insurance policies.
Truck Accident Settlement
If you have been in a crash involving a commercial truck, you may be struggling to pay your medical bills and return to life as normal.
Insurance companies seeking to minimize the amount of money they will pay out to victims will often offer far less compensation than is appropriate. Unfortunately, many victims take the insurance provider’s offer without considering if it is fair.
Our experienced Louisville truck accident lawyers will work on your behalf to inform you of your rights and can help you get the compensation you deserve.
We know that insurance companies will attempt to settle with you for as little money as possible. We know how truck accident lawsuits work and will aggressively negotiate for the compensation you deserve.
We will be able to determine whether you or a loved one have a claim and figure out who should be held responsible for your injuries.
Scott Distasio (30 Years Experience) Tampa Trucking Accident Lawyer
“Why is it important to have a lawyer when injured by a big rig?”
It is important for you to know when hiring a truck or big rig lawyer to help you after getting injured that there is definitely specialized knowledge needed to handle this type of case properly. Usually it comes down to more than just looking at the negligence of the driver. Most of the time the negligence of the trucking company in how they manage the truck driver and how they maintain the truck itself plays a significant role in what happened. Any trucking accident attorneys you hire must be aware of the complexities of this type of case. Most importantly, they must understand the Federal Motor Carrier Act, and why truck crashes happen. At Distasio Law Firm, we know how to make the right parties take responsibility for the injuries they have caused.
Large commercial trucks weighing upwards of 80,000 lbs or more. But they share the road with much smaller cars. When one of these vehicles gets involved in a collision with a car the odds of living or getting out uninjured are very small. Most of the time, car passengers involved in this type of accident will sustain serious, and often life-threatening injuries that may become worse over time. Distasio Law Firm has the experience to pursue any type of catastrophic truck injury case.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Truck accident cases are not only very complex, but they are usually very expensive for a lawyer to pursue. To succeed, you need a law firm that has both the experience in pursuing this type of case, but also has the financial ability to take on well funded trucking companies. Some ways Distasio law firm can help include:
- Our experience in evaluating whether you can successfully recover for your damages
- Helping find health care providers that can provide you medical care even if you don’t have health insurance
- Having the finances to properly invest in and prove your case
- Hiring the right best expert witnesses to prove what the trucking company did wrong
- Showing the trucking company how bad you were hurt, the cost of your medical expenses, and the amount of your lost income
- Knowing the real value of your case and negotiating a good settlement
- filing a lawsuit and proving your case if necessary
- Having the the ability to go to trial
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Tampa, contact the Distasio Law Firm.
Inge Johnstone (22 Years Experience) Birmingham, Alabama Trucking Accident Lawyer
“Should you hire an attorney for a crash involving a semi?”
Hiring an attorney for a crash with a semi-truck is important because of the added complexity of these types of collisions. Because semi-trucks are dangerous and travel in interstate commerce, they are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These regulations govern topics such as hours that drivers may drive, drug testing, driver qualifications, and truck maintenance. Because these regulations are extensive, lawsuits against trucking companies will often involve showing that these regulations have been violated. Trucking companies and drivers are also required to maintain records and logs showing compliance with the regulations. In addition, trucks have built-in Engine Control Modules (ECMs) and onboard tracking systems, which provide very detailed data relating to a crash. This data is critical to your personal injury case.
Due to the complex nature of trucking accidents, trucking accident cases often require the hiring of specialized experts. These experts include accident reconstructionists, motor carrier safety and compliance experts, ECM experts, computer forensic experts, mechanical experts, and computer animation experts.
Trucks can be dangerous. According to the National Highway Transportation Association, 5184 people died in crashes with large trucks and buses in 2018. The number of fatal crashes increased by 45 percent between 2009 and 2018. Over 175,000 people were injured in large truck and bus crashes in 2018.
Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Aggressive and reckless driving
- Negligent hiring of drivers
- Non-compliant equipment
There are many factors to consider in a truck accident case that is different from a typical motor vehicle accident. If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck or commercial vehicle, you need sound legal advice. Contact our Birmingham personal injury law firm today to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer about your case. We offer a free, no-obligation, consultation. At Johnstone Carroll, our truck accident attorneys have extensive experience in truck wreck injury claims. If you were injured in an accident with a big truck, don’t talk to the insurance adjuster until you’ve consulted with a personal injury attorney.
Eric Stevenson (23 Years Experience) Pensacola, Florida Trucking Accident Lawyer
“Will hiring a lawyer for a truck accident help my case?”
It is important to hire an attorney to help you with your case because trucking accidents are some of the worst accidents on the road. If you’ve been involved in a trucking accident you know how serious they can be. Tractor trailers are much larger than the average car on the road, which means the damage is far greater than a typical accident. A knowledgeable trucking crash lawyer will know the right steps to take to build your case. There are many entities involved with tractor trailers, so it can be difficult deciding who should be held accountable. An experienced attorney can assist you and guide you through your lawsuit.
A Lawyer Can Provide You with the Answers You Need
Once you are in an accident with a truck it can be overwhelming. Unlike regular car accidents, the damage a truck causes can be extensive. There is also a greater risk of deaths in these accidents. You shouldn’t have to face this process on your own. We begin investigating your case the moment that you step foot into our office. If you don’t look at the scene and gather testimony immediately, you could lose vital pieces of evidence. We want you to have the strongest case possible, so we start working right away. Trucking companies don’t want to pay large settlements, which is why they try to make evidence disappear. It’s important that you talk to an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as you leave the scene of your accident. You have no time to lose.
At Stevenson Klotz, we are experienced in handling cases involving trucking accidents in Pensacola Florida, and we want to help you! Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case. We want to start building your personal injury case immediately, so you can get the best settlement possible.
Christopher Klotz (28 Years Experience) Pensacola, FL Truck Accident Lawyer
“How will an attorney help my truck collision case?”
An attorney will thoroughly investigate your collision. As with any accident on the road, it’s important to have all the facts. At Stevenson Klotz, we know how important it is to begin investigating your case as soon as possible. There are details that need to be gathered at the scene, as well as testimonies from witnesses. We also investigate trucking logs to make sure that drivers are obeying rules of the road. Many drivers will make false entries in their logbooks, so they can be on the road longer. If we can prove that their companies encourage lying in the logbooks, we can hold their companies liable. Actually, when companies ask drivers to lie in their logbooks, this is a federal offense. This type of misconduct can factor into getting a larger settlement.
Truck drivers can cause accidents through various acts of negligence. We have represented clients that were victims of trucking accidents because of:
- Reckless driving
- Poor training
- Negligent hiring
- Brake and equipment failure
- Improper maintenance
- Logbook violations
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Poor design of the truck or parts
- Not abiding by the rules of the road
- And much more.
We are experienced in handling cases involving large commercial carriers in Pensacola Florida, and we want to help you! Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case. We want to start building your case immediately, so you can get the best outcome possible.
Yes, if you’ve got the right lawyer, the right lawyer should develop your case and build it in a way that any money that you would have to pay for your attorney’s fees, is going to be outweighed by the amount of money going to you, in your pocket, for your injuries and for your pain and suffering to make you whole.
And so the idea is that, if your lawyer is good at his or her job, they work diligently, then they should be able to increase any offer that you would get from the insurance company by managing the situation on your own. And, so that would really help you to get a better result. And essentially the attorney’s work should pay for itself. And, it should increase the amount of money that you’re going to see ultimately in the resolution of your client. Because, the idea is to be able to put you back in the same position that you were in before the collision occurred, and to make you whole again.
And again, one of the unfortunate things that happen in motor vehicle collisions or other types of injuries, is a person may have difficulty getting back to their regular everyday life. And that is what the law allows for is the payment of money to try to help the person compensate them for the differences in their life, before a collision and after a collision. Unfortunately, sometimes there is no amount of money that is going to really make a person whole and put them back, even millions of dollars might not really compensate someone for what they have been through, but it’s the best way that the law has to try to make a situation, right.
Although, unfortunately, it does sometimes fall short in making a person whole. But it’s the best way that our legal system has to compensate you for your injury. So another question that we get sometimes is, how long do you have to make a claim for your injury after a motor vehicle collision? In Tennessee, we have what’s considered to be a relatively short statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is essentially the drop deadline that you have to file a lawsuit to keep your claim alive. Okay?
And this is very important because, if you’re dealing with the insurance company directly, one of the things that clients can sometimes inadvertently do, and not realize, is they think because they had talked to the insurance company, they have made a “claim” with them. They think, well, I have stopped, the statute of limitations from running. But making a claim with the insurance provider is not the same thing as filing a lawsuit. So what do you need to take to file a lawsuit?
Most people at the time they need to file a lawsuit will hire an attorney to do that for them because it is very tricky to navigate the legal system without making a fatal error in your case. And particularly the process of filing a lawsuit and serving the at-fault party, or the insurance company for the at-fault party, it can make it very difficult and can actually be fatal to your lawsuit. So in Tennessee, you have one year from the date of the injury to do that. And yeah, that’s completely separate from calling the insurance provider, letting them know there’s been a collision, making a claim on the insurance company, whether it’s your uninsured motorist or whether it is the at-fault party’s insurance provider.
That just will not suffice, it does not get you across the goal line. So that’s why it is always in your best interest to talk to an attorney and have them available to help you as you proceed through the process. So in Mississippi, they have a more generous statute of limitations. So they have a three-year statute of limitations in Mississippi within which you can file a lawsuit. Now, another wrinkle associated with the statute of limitations is, who hit you? Okay. So we’re talking about a different statute of limitations in Mississippi and Tennessee if you have been hit by someone who is working for the federal government.
So where do we see this a lot? Believe it or not, postal workers get in a lot of car collisions and probably because they’re having to do a lot of different tasks at a time. But that is filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act and there’s actually a much shorter statute of limitations under the Federal Tort Claims Act. So if you are hit by a driver for the US post office. I’ve had a situation where a client was hit by a driver who was working for the federal census. So all that is a little bit different.
And again, this is just another example of why you’re going to want to contact a lawyer who knows these things and is not just someone who is practicing personal injury law, without any real experience. Because it’d be very easy for an inexperienced attorney in personal injury law to believe that you would have a year after … for instance, in Tennessee if you were hit by a Census worker, to file a claim. And that is just absolutely not true. It is a much shorter time period when anybody for the federal government is involved.
So that’s just another example of why it’s important to get an attorney involved. And the other thing is, the sooner you get them involved, the better off you are because evidence disappears. Things disappear, they become harder to get. It can be difficult even to get a police report sometimes, evidence gets lost. You may obtain the police report, but you may not realize that at the scene, a lot of times, the police actually take photographs as well. So it’s great to get those photographs.
And if you’re able to at the scene, you can take photographs, and if you’re going to take your own photographs, which a lot of people do now using their phone, you’re just going to want to make sure you get photos of your car, the at-fault party’s car. You’re going to want to make sure you get kind of a full-blown photo of the entire scene. So can show kind of the positioning of the cars in relation to one another. If you have an injury, you’re going to want to take photos of all of them.
All that can be very, very helpful. Also, we are seeing more and more of situations where people have dash cams on their cars, particularly if you’re hit by a semi-truck. A lot of trucks are now equipped with dash cams, so it may have captured the entire collision. And the bad news is, you don’t have a way to force the at-fault party if there is a dash cam to give that up without filing a lawsuit. But again, this is where it’s advantageous to have an attorney. Because they can take the appropriate steps to file a lawsuit and obtain that dash cam.
There are also, digital recorders in commercial vehicles, particularly 18 wheelers and truckers that kind of record the speed of the truck, what direction it was traveling, all those things and all those events. And occasionally there are situations wherein serious car wrecks, where your attorney is going to need to bring in an accident reconstructionist expert. And we have experience dealing with those experts. And, knowing the appropriate cases to bring the experts in on, and how to work with those experts in a way that maximizes your outcome, and helps you get the absolute best results.
And so those are just some of the things you’re going to want to think about if you have been involved in an automobile collision. So, I think we’ve covered about, most of the questions that we have for today. Again, the insurance company, their goal is to pay you as little as possible, and a good lawyer who is working for you, who has your best interest at heart, and who is willing to put forth the time and effort in your lawsuit, to do the legwork, should be able to increase the value of your case.
To increase not only what the insurance company would be offering you, what you would be getting, also to cover his or her fees. If you have questions or concerns about what to do after a wreck in Tennessee, you need to call The Crone Law Firm or visit our website, cronelawfirmplc.com, for more information.
Alexander Gerteis (7 Years Experience) Joliet Trucking Accident Lawyer
“Why hire a lawyer for a commercial vehicle accident?”
Due to the complex nature of dealing with a large insurance company, hiring an attorney is critical to insure you are compensated for your losses. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you navigate the intricacies of your case.
When involved in commercial truck crashes, the damage to a regular-sized automobile can be catastrophic. Many clients wonder whether the severity of the damage to their car impacts their personal injury claim and the ultimate value of the case. Under Illinois law, the short answer is NO. However, the way cases often play out is different. The fact is that most insurance adjusters, defense attorneys, judges and jurors will look to the degree of damage to the plaintiff’s car when deciding whether or not to award damages and, if so, how much.
In an ideal scenario, the damage to a Plaintiff’s car would not matter. This makes sense because the damage to a small car may appear remarkably worse than the damage to the rear of an SUV. Though, in fact, these damages do not necessarily confirm how the impact injured the driver or indicate the speed at which the commercial vehicle was traveling.
It is possible for a driver in a relatively minor accident to sustain serious, lasting injuries, while a person in a more serious collision can walk away unscathed. The concept of the eggshell plaintiff neatly explains this principle. The eggshell plaintiff doctrine states that a defendant takes the victim as he or she finds him. This means that the at-fault driver is responsible for new injuries caused by the accident as well as pre-existing conditions made worse by the collision.
For example, imagine a frail elderly driver. The elderly driver is stopped at a stop sign when they are rear ended at 10 mph by a defendant driving a large commercial vehicle. Now there is a minor dent in the rear of the elderly driver’s car. Sounds simple? It may not be. Let us imagine that the elderly driver recently underwent back surgery and the impact was enough to make our driver require a second surgery. In this context, the limited property damage to the car would fail to demonstrate the extent of the elderly plaintiff’s injuries. Under the eggshell plaintiff doctrine, the driver of the commercial vehicle is liable for the elderly driver’s substantial injuries even though the same collision may not have caused any injury to a younger driver who did not recently undergo surgery.
These are the types of circumstances that an experienced personal injury lawyer will take into account when working for you. It is critical to hire a trucking accident lawyer who will answer your questions and help maximize the payout for you.
Patricia A. Hudson (4 Years Experience) Springfield Trucking Accident Lawyer
“Can I handle my trucking accident case on my own?”
Attempting to handle a commercial trucking accident case on your own is stressful, challenging, and unlikely to result in a positive outcome. The experience and know-how of an attorney is invaluable for helping you get the compensation you deserve from an injury received in a crash with a commercial truck. Your experienced attorneys will handle all aspects including gathering all the documentation and evidence you will need.
Even the simple task of ordering a police report can become daunting when you are suffering the aftereffects and healing from your crash. In Illinois, different law enforcement agencies (usually the local police department) provide instructions on how a traffic crash report can be obtained from them. First, you need to know which police department handled your accident. To figure this out, you will need to reference the “Investigated By” section of the report—in the box in the upper left corner of the report. Most motor vehicle accidents in Illinois are handled either by the Illinois State Troopers or by the Chicago Police. Having a legal professional on your side makes this one more thing you don’t have to worry about.
Your lawyer will also guide you and can help explain the basics, like why the police report is a crucial piece of evidence. They can explain that it will be used by the insurance companies to assist with their evaluation. It will also help the hospital determine the severity of your injuries. Your attorney will also use the police report to draft the complaint of your lawsuit. Hiring an experienced trucking accident lawyer can take the unnecessary burden of stress and worry away from you in a difficult time.
Ryan McGovern (5 Years Experience) Peoria Trucking Accident Lawyer
“Why hire a lawyer for a commercial vehicle accident, is it like a car accident?”
Going through the claim process with a commercial carrier is much different than dealing with a private insurance carrier. Commercial carriers often have larger policies and use aggressive defensive tactics as they try to minimize the value of your case. Hiring an experienced lawyer is important because they will deal directly with the commercial insurance carrier ensuring that you have the peace of mind that your attorneys are working to maximize the compensation you deserve.
An experienced trucking accident lawyer will be on the lookout for violations committed by the trucking company that may have contributed to your collision. They will be familiar with the Code of Federal Regulations that prohibits employers from coercing truckers to violate the commercial regulations. 49 CFR Parts 386 and 390. Coercions can include, but are not limited to, demanding a dangerous schedule be met that violates safety regulations.
Commercial trucking companies are similar to all for-profit businesses with deadlines to meet and costs they are looking to cut. In an attempt to meet these profit-driven goals, it is possible they may have cut corners or coerced their agents to drive longer than is safe or recommended. Any of these behaviors may have been contributing factors in your crash. Common behaviors that are both violations and dangerous are:
- Driving while fatigued,
- driving under the influence,
- Inexperienced or poorly trained drivers
- driving while distracted,
- not taking weather conditions into account,
- driving trucks that are unsafe and require maintenance,
- and speeding.
Hiring an experienced commercial carrier accident attorney means that you will have a team of professionals on your side. They will deal with the commercial insurance carrier, look for violations that may have contributed to your crash, and work hard to maximize the value of your case.