As traumatic as they are, the injuries and damages you suffer as a result of a truck accident are only the beginning. More difficulty comes after the accident, from recovering physically and mentally to the stress that comes with paying bills that the party responsible for the accident should be paying.
Hiring a truck accident lawyer should not add to your stress after the crash. The lawyer you choose should be able to carry the burden for you and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
The following tips can help you learn what to look for in a truck accident lawyer, or you can call Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop at (402) 241-5020 to learn how our experience with truck accident claims can benefit you. Your initial consultation is free.
Experience with Truck Accident Claims
The first thing you should look for in a truck accident lawyer is experience litigating semi truck accident cases.
In the world of personal injury law, truck accidents tend to be among the most complicated claims. Some of the reasons why include:
- Many parties are involved: The majority of truck accidents occur when the big rig is being used to complete a job. As a result, the trucking company may also be liable. Manufacturers, loading companies, and other parties may also be liable for the accident.
- Multiple insurance companies: The trucking company and any other at-fault parties will likely have their own insurance carriers. The involvement of multiple insurance companies seeking to limit their payouts tends to complicate these claims.
- Serious injuries and damages: Collisions involving semi trucks are often serious, devastating accidents. Much of this is simply due to how heavy and hard to stop 18-wheelers are. As a result, the property damage, medical bills, and psychological trauma associated with truck accidents tend to be quite high as well, meaning the damages are much greater than in many injury cases.
Because of the difficulty and high stakes involved, truck accident cases need to be handled by lawyers who know what they’re doing and have done it before.
Results in Truck Accident Cases
Experience is a good starting point, but what’s more important is a proven track record of success. In other words, does the lawyer tend to win? Do they win substantial amounts of compensation that seem appropriate for the severity of the accidents, or do the numbers seem low?
It’s also ideal to see cases that ended in different ways. For example, some injury cases are settled outside of court, which can save time and money for everyone involved. That said, if an insurance company isn’t willing to settle for an appropriate amount, your attorney should be willing to take the matter to court. This is the only way to ensure a client receives the compensation they need and deserve after an accident.
So, if you see an attorney who seems to always settle, it could be a red flag. You need a lawyer who will go all the way to trial for you.
Knowledge of State and Federal Trucking Laws
Truckers must abide by the traffic laws of the states through which they move goods. In addition, the trucking industry is subject to federal regulations governing multiple aspects of operations.
For example, truck drivers are only allowed to drive for a set amount of time without stopping. They are required to take rest breaks, and they can’t drive again after a shift without enough rest.
If you work with an attorney who isn’t familiar with the relevant laws and regulations, then you are at an immediate disadvantage.
The adjusters, lawyers, and other employees of the insurance company (or companies) you will be up against know what they’re doing, and they’re good at their jobs. The only way you even the playing field is to find a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to represent you.
Resources to Handle Truck Accident Investigation & Litigation
Investigating a truck accident is time- and resource-intensive. Accident investigators must often be hired in order to scrutinize the crash, and expert witnesses are often crucial for building a client’s claim.
Negotiating a fair settlement in a truck accident claim takes time. If no settlement can be reached, litigation in court is also expensive and time-consuming.
Not all law firms have the resources to take on these aspects of truck accident litigation. At the initial consultation, ask the lawyers how they plan to handle your case or how they have handled claims like yours in the past. If they give you specifics that make you feel confident in their experience and their ability to act effectively on your behalf, you may have found the firm for you.
Reviews from Clients
When you hire a lawyer or law firm, you are trusting them with your future. It is important, therefore, to gather all of the information before making a decision.
Check out client testimonials to make sure:
- Past clients have positive things to say about working with the firm
- The firm has experience trying truck accident claims
- Clients express satisfaction with the outcomes in their cases
The reviews you read should support other information you learn about the lawyer or lawyers during your initial search. They should also make you feel confident about the firm’s ability to handle your case.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference in recovering fair compensation for your injuries in a truck accident. The attorneys at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop have more than 230 years of combined experience serving clients in trucking accident claims. We know the complexities of these cases, and we understand the devastating impact they have on victims and their families.
If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident, please call (402) 241-5020 today for a free consultation. The lawyers at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop serve clients in Omaha, Sarpy County, and throughout Nebraska and Iowa.