When to Get a Truck Accident Lawyer
When a massive semi-truck or tractor-trailer causes an accident, the truck driver often walks away unharmed, while those in the passenger vehicle are left with catastrophic injuries. Truck accident victims may need months to recover, unable to work for most of that time while facing a growing mountain of medical bills.
In such a situation, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. You may wonder: “How do I recover compensation for my injuries? Do I need to hire a truck accident lawyer or can I file a claim on my own? If I hire a truck accident lawyer, when is the best time to do so?”
The trusted personal injury lawyers at Phillips Legal Group have been helping victims of truck accidents for close to three decades. We can answer any legal questions you may have and determine whether you have a valid claim to compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation to review your case.
Call us, start a live chat on this page, or complete the evaluation form to get started today.
The Statute of Limitations on Truck Accident Cases
Our compassionate legal team understands that it may take months or weeks to recover after a severe truck accident. Some injuries may leave a victim with a life-long disability. However, it is important that you assert your right to demand compensation as soon as possible after the crash. If you fail to do so before the statute of limitations runs out, you could lose your right to file a claim.
The “statute of limitations” is a legal mandate that sets the amount of time a person has to file a personal injury lawsuit after being harmed in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
The deadline to file a truck accident claim differs from state to state. In Arizona, a truck accident victim usually has 2 years from the date of injury to file a claim.
You may have less time depending on the specifics of your case, so you must contact a personal injury lawyer as soon a possible after being injured in a truck accident. The longer you wait to contact a truck accident lawyer, the greater the chance that essential evidence will be lost or destroyed.
Should You Immediately Settle With the Insurance Company?
If you sustained serious injuries in the truck accident, you may be surprised at how quickly you hear from the trucking company’s insurers. Their goal is to get you to settle for as low of an amount as possible. Insurance adjusters may take advantage of the stressful time immediately following a crash to try to pressure you into accepting a settlement that is far less than what your claim is actually worth.
Keep in mind that you are under no obligation to speak to the trucking company’s insurers. They may try to trap you into saying something that can be used as evidence against you in a lawsuit. Even a simple statement such as “I’m sorry,” could be misconstrued as an admission of guilt.
What are the benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney immediately following your accident? One is that your lawyer will handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf. Meanwhile, you can relax and focus on healing while the professionals handle things.
Phillips Legal Group’s experienced lawyers know the tactics insurance companies use to deny claims or try to reduce their value. When you have our law firm on your side, you can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are not being taken advantage of by the other party’s insurance representatives.
A Truck Accident Lawyer Will Help Gather Evidence and Determine Fault
An important step in any truck accident case is determining fault and liability. This may require an in-depth investigation to determine the cause of the accident and who was responsible.
A truck accident injury lawyer can help determine whether one or more of the following parties may be liable:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The company that loaded the cargo
- The company that maintained the semi-truck
- Other drivers
- The company that manufactured the truck
Once it is determined who caused the accident, evidence will need to be provided as proof. Your personal injury lawyer can help you gather the evidence needed to build a solid truck accident case on your behalf.
Evidence used to determine fault and liability in truck accident claims often includes:
- The police accident report: An accident report will usually contain important information such as who was involved in the accident, the location of the crash, and whether anyone involved acted negligently.
- Dashcam or video surveillance footage: Dashcams are commonly mounted in trucks to help companies monitor their employees’ driving. The camera may have captured a video of the entire incident. Other video footage from surrounding surveillance cameras in the area could also provide essential evidence.
- Witness statements: If possible, obtain the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. Their statements can provide valuable support to a personal injury claim.
- Data recorder or “black box” information: Most modern semis are equipped with a data recorder or black box. This device holds important information as to the speed the driver was going at the time of the collision, the truck’s GPS coordinates, when the driver braked, and more.
- The trucker’s driving history: Trucking companies have a responsibility to complete a thorough background check on any potential drivers and check their driving history. If a trucker has a record of reckless driving charges, DUIs, or other traffic violations, this could be proof of both the trucking company and the driver’s negligence.
What is a Spoliation Letter and How Can It Protect My Truck Accident Claim?
After taking on your case, your personal injury lawyer will quickly send out a spoliation letter to the opposing party. This is a notice that requests that all relevant evidence is preserved. For example, in a truck accident case, your attorney will likely request that the information on the event data recorder (EDR) not be deleted.
Even if the trucking company is not specifically trying to hide evidence, the information on an EDR may automatically be erased after a certain amount of time. Thus, it is imperative to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. A spoliation letter can prevent important evidence from being tampered with, destroyed, or hidden.
Do Not Hesitate to Contact an Attorney After a Truck Accident
Have you or someone you love been injured or killed in a truck accident? If so, do not hesitate to contact Phillips Legal Group as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, or other damages. An experienced member of our legal team can review your case, explain your rights, and answer any questions you might have about the claims process.
The majority of truck accident cases are handled out of court during negotiations with the insurance company. Our truck accident lawyers are skilled negotiators and know how to secure maximum compensation for our clients. However, we are prepared to take your case to trial if that is what is necessary for you to be awarded a fair settlement.
Our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only owe us legal fees once we recover compensation for you. Schedule a free, no-obligation review of your case today.
Call Phillips Legal Group at 1-800-706-3000 or complete the free case evaluation form today to book an appointment.
Jasmine helped me so so much I want to thank her ! And also Aaron , i was always scared after an accident , knowing I would have to deal with lawyers but not here . Luckily I’ve only been in 3 accidents but this time it was fast and easy . And i received all the treatments I needed to help me recover ! Thank you Jasmine and Aaron!
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