After a truck accident, you may have more questions than answers. You may struggle to decide what actions to take next or find yourself fighting to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Are you struggling with any of these common truck accident questions?
Question #1: Do I need a lawyer to help me after my truck accident?
Immediately after a truck accident, many people find themselves wondering if they need a lawyer. The short answer is usually yes! Working with an attorney can help you establish fault in a truck accident case. An attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and provide legal advice throughout the process—not to mention taking much of the stress off of your shoulders. Not only that, an attorney may significantly increase the compensation you receive for your accident.
Question #2: How much does a lawyer cost after a truck accident?
You recognize that you may need an attorney, but you worry about the potential cost. Truthfully, failing to hire a truck accident attorney may cost more than hiring one up front. A qualified truck accident attorney can:
- Increase the compensation your receive
- Prevent you from missing vital information throughout the investigation or filing process
- Provide you with valuable legal advice that will prevent you from sabotaging your case
At Robert Pahlke Law Group, we offer free consultations to our clients. Often, we take clients on a contingent fee basis: our payment depends on the amount of your settlement or judgment, and we do not get paid until you do.
Question #3: Why are truck accidents usually worse than car accidents?
Big trucks have significantly more weight than cars. Truck drivers need more room to maneuver and more room to stop than smaller vehicles. Many smaller vehicles also lack any protection against big trucks, which may increase the damage caused to those vehicles during truck accidents. Truck accidents may also make the road more difficult for first responders to navigate, leaving victims trapped in their vehicles longer.
Question #4: What compensation can I receive after a truck accident?
The compensation you may receive after a truck accident depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of your injuries and who bears fault for the accident. Commonly, however, people who file truck accident claims include these elements:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of modifications to homes and vehicles based on disabilities after a truck accident
- Compensation for pain and suffering, including mental and emotional trauma following a truck accident
- Compensation for missed time at work or lost earning potential due to injuries that prevent the victim from returning to work
Question #5: How is fault determined after a truck accident?
After a truck accident, working with an attorney can help better determine fault. Investigators will look at several key factors, including:
- Pictures of the accident scene, including any evidence about the crash
- Witness testimony
- The driver’s working conditions, including how many hours they had driven on the day of the accident
- Whether the driver used illegal substances prior to the accident
- How well the truck was maintained and how recently maintenance was conducted prior to the accident
In some cases, the truck driver may bear responsibility for the accident. In others, other drivers on the road may bear partial liability based on their actions. The truck driver’s company may also bear responsibility if the driver had to drive too many hours or in unsafe conditions.
Question #6: Does the truck driver’s company always bear liability?
In some cases, the truck driver’s company may share liability. Some trucking companies provide insurance for their drivers. Others may bear responsibility due to unrealistic working conditions: expecting drivers to spend too long on the road, asking them to falsify log books, or expecting drivers to continue driving even if they experience excessive tiredness or become ill during their drive. Working with an attorney can help establish whether the truck driver’s company bears liability in your specific case.
Question #7: How much can I expect to recover in financial damages after my truck accident?
The amount you can recover in financial damages after a truck accident will vary. The extent of the damage caused by the accident may significantly impact the amount you receive after a truck accident. The amount you can recover may also depend on who bears liability: If a trucker bears liability alone, for example, the settlement may come from the driver’s insurance, while if the company bears partial liability based on the driver’s working conditions or the company’s negligence, your settlement may increase.
Question #8: Should I just accept the settlement the truck driver’s insurance company offers me?
Most insurance companies will start by offering the minimum amount they find acceptable for your accident. In many cases, this amount does not adequately cover your pain and suffering, your medical expenses, and all the time you’ve lost due to your accident—whether time at work or time participating in activities you would normally enjoy. Most of the time, the insurance company will offer a lower initial settlement than you actually deserve. Working with an attorney can help increase that amount and provide you with increased compensation, which can then help you pay off your debts and move on.
Question #9: If I helped cause the truck accident, can I still obtain compensation for my injuries?
If you helped cause the truck accident, you may still recover some compensation for your injuries. How much of the accident do you bear responsibility for? In most cases, the insurance company will reduce the compensation you receive by the percentage of the responsibility you bear. For example, if your actions contributed 30 percent to the accident, you may receive only 70 percent of the full compensation amount. If you caused 50 percent or more of the accident, you may not recover compensation for your injuries.
Question #10: If the truck was transporting hazardous materials, and they increased my injuries, do I deserve additional compensation?
Most trucks transporting hazardous materials have clear warnings about the materials carried by those trucks. The company transporting those materials also bears a duty to report the hazards associated with those materials to the driver. If you or the truck driver did not receive appropriate warning, the company transporting those hazardous materials may owe you compensation for your injuries. However, in many cases, the materials the truck transported will not change the compensation you receive for your injuries.
Do You Need an Attorney?
After a truck accident, you may need an attorney to help you file a claim or dispute the amount offered by the insurance company. At Robert Pahlke Law Group, we can help. Contact Pahlke Law Group online today or call at (308) 633-4444 to schedule your free consultation.