How Do I File a Truck Accident Claim?February 24, 2021
Like car accidents, truck accidents can happen when drivers least expect it. However, although some of the most common car accidents are fender-benders that do not cause any injuries, truck accident victims rarely walk away from the accident without a scratch. In fact, truck accidents cause some of the most devastating personal injuries and fatalities on roads and highways across the United States. If the occupants of a passenger vehicle are involved in a truck accident, they may seek financial compensation by filing a truck accident claim.
However, truck accident claims can be significantly more complicated than the average car accident claim for a number of reasons, including the fact that there may be multiple parties at fault for causing the accident. Therefore, it is highly recommended that truck accident victims consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer who will protect their rights and recommend the best legal course of action.
What Should I Do Immediately Following a Truck Accident?
If possible, the first thing the victim must do is call 911. This will ensure that police and emergency medical technicians arrive at the scene promptly. Drivers should exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident, and someone should take pictures of the accident scene. It is also extremely important to collect as much evidence as possible, including the following:
- License plate of the truck, as well as the make, model, and a general description of the vehicle
- The truck driver’s license number and the contact information of his or her employer
- Names and addresses of the other drivers and passengers involved in the accident
- Insurance information, including the name of the insurance company and the policy number
- Contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident
It is also crucial that the victims seek immediate medical attention, even if the injuries do not seem serious. In some cases, injuries may not appear obvious right after the accident, owing to the adrenaline that is coursing through the body after an extremely stressful and traumatic event. An experienced medical professional will conduct a thorough examination, diagnose any injuries, and recommend the best treatment. The medical records will also provide valuable evidence when seeking compensation.
How can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Truck accidents are different from the average car accident for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they cause significantly more property damage and the injuries involved are often severe, if not fatal. In addition, proving liability can be a bit more complex compared with a car accident because there are a number of parties that may be liable, including the truck driver, the truck company, the company responsible for loading the truck, and the maintenance company. An experienced truck accident lawyer understands the devastating nature of these accidents and how crucial it is that the injured victim receives the financial compensation he or she deserves. The following are examples of how a truck accident lawyer can help:
- Collect important evidence: A successful truck accident claim will depend on the strength of the evidence provided. It can help prove fault, how the injuries happened, and the severity of the victim’s injuries. An experienced truck accident lawyer will collect the following evidence:
– Copies of medical records
– Copy of the police report
– Witness statement
– Photographs of the accident scene
– Truck driver’s cell phone records
– Truck driver’s employment records and driving logs
- Conduct settlement negotiations: Trucking companies often have a team of high-paid lawyers who will use a range of legal tactics to avoid paying a large financial settlement. However, experienced truck accident lawyers can anticipate these tactics and negotiate a fair settlement amount, including whether more than one party is liable for causing the accident.
- Pursuing legal action: Although most truck accident claims reach settlements, some are more complicated. In some cases, the truck companies may decide to fight the claim. If a settlement cannot be reached and the case goes to court, a skilled truck accident lawyer will explain the complicated facts of the case in a way that the jury will understand and will present the evidence necessary to win the case.
- Securing payment: A successful truck accident claims ends when the client receives financial compensation for his or her injuries. A truck accident lawyer will ensure that the funds arrive from the insurance company settlement within an acceptable period.
Before hiring a truck accident lawyer, prospective clients are urged to ask the following questions:
- How much experience does the lawyer have with truck accident cases?
- Who will be handling the day-to-day details of the case?
- Will I have access to the lawyer and the rest of the legal team?
- What are the lawyer’s fees, and how are payments handled?
How Long Will It Take to Reach a Settlement?
Truck accident victims often ask how long it will take to file a claim and obtain financial compensation. This is a reasonable question, considering the fact the truck accident injuries tend to be severe and result in costly medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. The amount of time it takes to resolve a truck accident claim will depend on a number of factors, including the following:
- Nature and severity of the injuries. When pursuing a truck accident claim, the victim’s legal team will need to determine the full extent of the client’s injuries, how long it will take to recover from the injuries, and if a full recovery is expected. Truck accidents can cause injuries that can require extensive treatment, multiple surgeries, and ongoing care in a long-term facility, all of which can be extremely costly. It can take weeks, months, or more for medical professionals to have a clear picture of the patient’s long-term prognosis. This will have a direct impact on the timeline for the accident claim.
- Number of parties involved in the claim. As mentioned, there may be multiple parties involved in a truck accident claim. For example, if the truck driver was texting at the time of the accident, but the truck’s faulty brakes were also to blame, the truck driver and the maintenance company may be liable for the accident. The more parties that are involved, the longer the claims process is likely to take.
- The other party’s willingness to negotiate a settlement. In some cases, the at-fault party or parties will recognize that they are in the wrong and will discuss settlement options. However, there are times when the at-fault party will decide to fight the claim. This will prolong the claims process.
What Damages can I Receive if I am Injured in a Truck Accident?
Truck accident victims who are fortunate enough to survive the crash often suffer very serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment, surgeries, and even long-term care. If it can be proven that the truck driver, the truck company, or another party responsible for loading or maintaining the truck was negligent, the injured victims may seek compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses: This can include hospitalization costs, long-term care, physical and occupational therapy, prescription medication, and medical equipment. The costs associated with more extensive injuries, including spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can total millions of dollars over the injured person’s lifetime.
- Lost wages: When a truck accident victim’s injuries prevent him or her from being able to return to work for an extended period, the lost income can be financially devastating. If the injury is severe, the victim may be unable to return to work at all. The lost wages benefit provides financial compensation for the wages lost during the recovery period, as well as future lost wages if the victim is unable to return to work in any capacity because of the injury.
- Replacement services: If a truck accident victim is unable to perform certain daily tasks, including food shopping, cooking, running errands, and caring for their children, it may become necessary to hire help, either on a temporary basis or permanently if the victim’s injury caused permanent impairments. This benefit will cover costs associated with hiring the type of help needed.
- Pain and suffering: It is difficult to quantify the financial costs associated with pain and suffering because it is highly subjective. Truck accident victims often experience from a wide range of physical, emotional, and cognitive suffering, for which they deserve financial compensation.
- Harm to personal relationships: When a truck accident victim suffers from an injury that has a major impact on his or her physical and emotional wellbeing, it can also cause significant strain on the victim’s relationships with a spouse, parents, children, friends, and coworkers. Damages recoverable in a truck accident claim may provide compensation for the damage inflicted on these relationships.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Victims of Truck Accidents
If you were severely injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will assist you with the claims process and ensure that your legal rights are protected every step of the way. Our dedicated legal team will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. We will not stop fighting for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are conveniently located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, where we represent victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.