Big truck accidents can be a big problem. Not only are they terrifying, but accidents that involve large commercial trucks often cause a lot of damage. From severe property damage to chronic injuries that can lead to a lot of pain and compounding medical bills. After a semi-truck accident, it's difficult to know what to do next. That's why we've put together this FAQ resource. Hopefully, this will help you navigate the process of getting your life back together after an unexpected accident.
Big truck accidents often come with multiple insurance adjusters and lawyers. Don't go into this fight alone, and don't accept less than what you deserve. Call or text our semi-truck accident lawyers today at 602-345-1818 to schedule your free consultation. You may also fill out our online form. You can schedule a free virtual consultation, or we can come to you for an in-person meeting.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
Your personal injury settlement from a truck accident will depend on the specifics of your case. Every case is different, so it's important to review your case with an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer. Generally, a truck accident settlement will consist of financial and non-financial damages. Financial damages include the monetary expenses that you incurred because of the injuries sustained in the semi-truck accident. Financial damages may include vehicle repair costs, past and future medical bills, prescription costs, past and future lost wages, and other costs associated with your accident and injury. Non-financial damages may also be applicable in some cases. These include things like emotional trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, loss of enjoyment of life, and other psychological and emotional symptoms associated with your accident. Punitive damages may also be ordered in some cases. These damages are fairly rare and are used to deter especially harmful behavior in the future.
What Evidence Will Be Considered in a Truck Accident Case?
Depending on the facts of your case, multiple forms of evidence may be used. Evidence will be collected to validate your version of events, especially in cases where the parties do not agree on fault (which is common in a commercial truck accident claim) or when low and inappropriate settlements are being offered by the insurance company. Having the right evidence will help you get the settlement you need and deserve. Some forms of evidence include:
- Photographs and video footage of the events before the accident, the accident, accident scene
- Your medical records/documentation showing the injuries you sustained as a result of the accident, doctor notes, and medical expenses
- Record and documentation of other expenses associated with the accident (some examples may be physical therapy bills or rental car expenses)\
- Witness testimony will come in handy to prove your version of events. If anyone saw the accident, be sure to get their information.
Black box data will also provide crucial evidence after a semi-truck accident. This is referred to as a truck's Event Data Recorder (EDR), and it tracks a few things that will help prove what happened to cause your accident, including:
- Braking (did the driver take a long time to hit his brakes? This could be evidence of distracted driving.)
- Acceleration rate
- Length of time driving (did the driver take the federally mandated rest breaks, or was he behind the wheel for too long? Exhausted driving often plays a role in semi-truck accidents.)
- Idle time
- Seatbelt engagement
- Fuel consumption
- Airbag deployment
The evidence from the EDR is frequently used to prove driver fault, and you want this information obtained in a timely manner. Waiting too long gives time for important evidence from the EDR to be deleted or “lost.” The truck company will not turn this information over easily. Having a semi-truck accident lawyer on your side to ensure this information is promptly obtained will help you get the legal compensation you need and deserve.
Who Is At Fault in a Commercial Truck Accident?
Depending on the facts of the case, one or multiple parties may be proven to be at fault in an accident involving a big truck. Liable parties might include the driver, the driver's company, the owner of the truck, the company leasing the truck or the trailer, the cargo shipper, and/or the manufacturer of the truck or trailer.
For more information on potentially at-fault parties after an 18-wheeler accident, take a look at one of our past blog posts on the topic.
How Long Will My Semi-Truck Accident Case Take?
Many clients want to know “how long will it take to settle a semi-truck accident.” The answer varies, depending on the case. In general, the process is similar to other personal injury claims. The steps in a personal injury case (whether you need an 18-wheeler accident lawyer, a car accident lawyer, or a dog bite lawyer) are usually as follows:
- Free initial consultation with Impact Legal - Once you set this up by calling or texting us at <a href="tel:602-345-1818">602-345-1818</a>, or filling out our online form, we will set up a time to review the facts of your case, review any related documentation, and advise you on the legal direction we think you should take. We pride ourselves on technological savvy and accessibility to all of our clients, so we do virtual consultations, too. Be sure to ask about virtual meetings if you'd prefer.
- Development of your legal strategy - This is when we will gather all important evidence, documentation, etc associated with your claim to build a strong strategy to get you the appropriate settlement.
- Settlement negotiations - Before we file a lawsuit, we'll compile necessary documents from the strategy we develop in step 2 and begin communication and negotiation with the insurance company to give them a chance to pay your financial damages without going to court. Usually, your injury lawyer will be able to secure an appropriate settlement for you during step 3. However, if the insurance company is being unreasonable or unfair, we will take it to step 4.
- Filing a lawsuit - This is done if negotiations haven't led to an acceptable offer that will help you recover.
- Discovery - In this step, your lawyer will request evidence from the other side to build and support your claim.
- Take it to Court - Usually, cases are settled long before this step is necessary if you've hired the right semi-truck accident lawyer. However, if you can't obtain a fair and appropriate settlement offer, a judge or jury will decide.
Should I Consult a Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer?
Dealing with big truck companies and their insurance adjusters and lawyers is not an easy feat. Consulting with a commercial truck accident lawyer as soon as possible following your incident is highly advisable. Our team at Impact Legal will work hard to get you the injury settlement amount you need to get your life back on track. Schedule a free consultation today by calling or texting 602-345-1818. You may also fill out our easy, secure online form.