After a trucking collision, you’ll face your physical recovery as well as the financial burdens of your medical needs. A truck accident lawsuit can seek justice for the wrongs done to you and relieve the weight of financial burdens.
Still, filing a truck accident lawsuit is easier said than done. It can be a stressful and confusing process. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone.
After a trucking collision, meet with a Philadelphia truck accident attorney. A qualified lawyer can provide much-needed support through the process and strong representation to get you the case result you deserve.
How Do Truck Accidents Happen?
A truck accident can happen in a split second, often without warning. They happen for several reasons, but negligence is regularly at the center of these collisions.
Time and time again, truck drivers are to blame for trucking accidents.
Some of the common ways truck drivers cause collisions include:
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence
- Driver fatigue
- Failure to yield
- Improper lane changes and turns
Along with or aside from truck driver negligence, some of the other typical causes of truck accidents include:
- Improper cargo loading
- Lack of truck maintenance
- Brake or mechanical failure
- Defective equipment
- Dangerous road conditions
Determining the cause of your truck accident is one of the most critical parts of your case. Liability is much clearer once you figure out what caused your collision.
While it might seem straightforward, more than one issue can contribute to your accident. Therefore, your truck accident lawyer must investigate to get down to the bottom of what caused your crash.
Injuries Common to Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks can cause extensive injury in collisions. For this reason, truck accident injuries are serious, sometimes even deadly.
Some of the injuries common to trucking collisions include, but are not limited to:
- Fractured bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Crush injuries
Unfortunately, many truck accident injuries are severe enough to cause subsequent health complications, like brain damage and paralysis. It may not be entirely possible to fully recover from truck accident injuries, only adding to the trauma and stress.
Trucking collision injuries often require extensive medical care, not only after the accident but also into the future. This is one of the large contributors to the financial strain victims feel after the event.
Medical treatment is expensive, and many victims don’t have the means to cover all of their expenses.
One of the primary goals of a truck accident lawsuit is to pursue compensation to rightfully cover your expenses and losses. Obtaining fair monetary recovery can make all the difference.
Potential Compensation for Truck Accident Victims
Damages for your truck accident aim to compensate you for the physical, mental, emotional, and financial harm you’ve suffered as a result of your collision. Compensatory damages can either be economic or non-economic.
Economic damages represent your tangible losses, including:
- Medical expenses for the present, past, and future
- Lost income
- Diminished or lost earning potential
- Property damage
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, cover your intangible losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Another category of damages exists for certain cases, called punitive damages. These damages only apply in cases involving willful, malicious, or egregious actions. Also known as exemplary damages, these damages punish defendants and should dissuade others from acting in the same manner.
Your truck accident attorney will thoroughly review several factors that influence the value of your case, including the severity of your injuries, the total cost of your treatment, and the mental impact of your collision. Understanding how much your case is worth is key to ensuring you get the most favorable result.
The Challenges with Trucking Collision Cases
Many believe truck accident cases closely mimic regular car accident cases, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, trucking collision claims can be much more complicated, requiring more effort and aggressive representation to get the favorable result you deserve.
Semi-trucks Cause More Harm and Property Damage
By simply looking at a large truck, you can just imagine the utter destruction and injury it can cause. Victims of truck accidents know this first hand.
In an accident, a commercial truck can cause much more physical harm and property damage than any regular vehicle can. When there is more injury and damage, cases become much more complicated.
Truck Accident Victims Typically Need More Extensive Compensation
One of the main reasons truck accident cases are more challenging to handle is that collision victims usually require more monetary recovery to adequately cover their losses. This translates to a greater fight with the insurance company and more time spent negotiating settlements to get full compensation.
The value of your claim depends on certain factors, including the severity of your injuries. When your injuries are particularly serious, you desperately need more compensation for your financial burdens. Getting you the case result you deserve can be more difficult because of that.
Commercial Trucks Have More Insurance Protection
Insurance companies are known to be tough and tight with their money, but even more so when there’s so much at stake. Because of their massive size and capacity to cause damage, semi-trucks need much greater insurance protection than regular vehicles, with insurance policies even reaching the millions.
Although you may need that money to cover your injuries and losses, the insurance company will put up a fight. They’ll try to minimize your losses and their liability to settle for as little as possible. Truck accident attorneys regularly need to put up strong fronts and fight harder to get adequate compensation for their clients.
Truck Accident Cases Involve Several Trucking Laws and Regulations
Another detail that sets truck and car accident cases apart is the strict and confusing laws that cover trucks and those involved in the trucking industry. State and federal regulations exist for many reasons, including close monitoring and promotion of safety. For example, the law dictates how many hours truck drivers can work to help minimize fatigue and potential accidents.
Truck accident attorneys have intimate knowledge and understanding of these laws. This is critical, as these regulations can play a significant role in your case.
Taking Legal Action After a Truck Accident
Following your truck accident, it’s best to consult with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. An accident lawyer can determine whether you have a valid claim and provide qualified advice and direction for your case.
Every case is unique. Therefore, your truck accident attorney must look into the details of your case to figure out the best way to go about taking action and pursuing financial recovery. Typically, truck accident cases involve the following milestones.
At the end of the letter, your attorney will provide a figure and ask the insurance company to settle the claim. Should they fail to take the appropriate steps to settle the claim, your lawyer won’t shy away from taking further legal action.
Sometimes, a demand letter is all it takes to reach a settlement with the insurance company. However, many times, insurance companies aren’t phased by these letters and won’t settle claims so easily.
If the insurance company fails to settle your claim, your attorney can proceed with filing suit.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit opens the door for you to pursue compensation for your injuries and other related losses. When the insurance company refuses to settle your claim, filing a lawsuit is the next step on your journey to monetary recovery.
To file a lawsuit, your accident attorney will draft a petition and file it with the court with appropriate fees. Then, copies of court documents are provided to the opposing party through service of process.
Once the other party receives notice of the impending lawsuit, they can file their response to your petition with the court, and the case can proceed.
Engaging in the Discovery Process
The discovery phase of a lawsuit is the most time-consuming but also one of the most important. During this time, both sides have the opportunity to obtain pertinent information to build their cases.
Attorneys use several legal tools to get evidence and information, including:
- Requests for production
- Requests for admissions
The discovery phase continues until both sides are satisfied with everything they’ve acquired. The process can take several weeks or months, depending on the circumstances.
Negotiating for a Fair Settlement
Once discovery has concluded, the parties are more well-equipped to jump back into settlement negotiations. A large majority of personal injury lawsuits settle pretrial, so there is typically a chance your case may not need to end up in court.
Settling before trial benefits both parties, as it saves the additional time, energy, and hassle of trial. Your case can settle at any time, all the way up to trial. If your case settles during pretrial negotiations, the matter is over, and there’s no need to do anything further.
Taking Your Case to Trial, If Necessary
While most cases resolve before it’s time to go to court, not all cases settle during pretrial negotiations. If you’re unable to settle for a fair amount, it’s best to proceed and try your case.
You can trust your car accident attorney will do everything possible to settle your case quickly. However, if the insurance company is unwilling to cooperate and going to trial is the best option, your lawyer will continue to represent your best interests in court to reach the best possible conclusion.
Time Limits to Keep in Mind
After a truck accident, taking legal action may be the furthest thing from your mind. This is especially true if you have a strenuous recovery from your injuries. Still, there is only a short amount of time to file a truck accident lawsuit, so time is of the essence.
Depending on your state’s laws, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is usually one to six years. The clock starts ticking on the day of your collision. While it may seem you have plenty of time to commence your claim, time goes by rather quickly, and before you know it, time may be out.
Failing to file your claim promptly may result in forfeiting your right to financial recovery. To avoid unfortunate complications, speak to an accident attorney right away to get started on your case.
Seek Legal Representation From an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
Filing a truck accident lawsuit can be a large undertaking, especially when you don’t have the necessary knowledge and experience. Therefore, after sustaining injuries in a trucking collision, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance from a seasoned truck accident attorney.
Hiring an attorney can give you the peace of mind you need and allow you to put your time and focus on your physical and mental recovery. Accident lawyers have the skills, tools, and resources to provide the highest quality legal representation and get you the case result you deserve most.
Time is short following a truck accident, as statutes of limitations provide strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit. Further, the sooner you call an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, the sooner they can begin preserving key evidence to build a strong case.