An 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer Will Help You Win
Large vehicles are usually weighty and are known to carry a tremendous amount of cargo. They are also very likely to cause massive amounts of damage whenever they are involved in an accident. In the case of an accident caused by an 18-wheeler, many factors will need to be considered before someone can be compensated. What you need is an 18 wheeler accident lawyer.
Not all drivers are known to follow the rules of the road and some of them work under pressure and strict deadlines, which causes them to disregard safety rules while on the road. As such, you must have the right kind of assistance whenever you have been involved in an 18-wheeler accident on the road.
The lawyer is there to protect your rights and the rights of the families of the wrongful death victims. They will always work together to ensure that you get the highest compensation possible for your pain and suffering.
This includes lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages that you might have incurred due to the accident. If you have a loved one injured by a commercial truck driver, feel free to reach out to an experienced lawyer to ensure that you take the best course of action for your case.
Functions and Responsibilities of the Lawyer
At times, you might get a visit from an insurance company representative who will ask many questions after getting involved in an 18-wheeler accident. However, before answering any of these questions, you must know all your rights to protect yourself best.
You will also be able to keep the integrity of your case intact and preserve the future award of your case. When you first consult with a lawyer, you will be better informed, and your best interests will be protected.
Usually, your lawyer must get all the information surrounding the accident to make the correct deductions. Some drivers might have been negligent on the road, and when the lawyer hears your side of the story, they will be able to get you the best legal support and presentation.
The legal procedures that one must follow before getting compensated following the 18-wheeler accident are also lengthy and very complicated. There are many requirements, and when you are working with a lawyer, you will be able to get the best legal representation possible.
The lawyer will fill out all the required paperwork for you, and you will be able to follow all the rules of the court. As such, you will be in a position to present the best case in court and get better compensation as a result. There are many reasons 18-wheeler accidents occur, which includes:-
- Tire blowouts
- Truck drivers getting tired
- Structural failures of the trucks
- Not obeying road signs and traffic laws
- Driving while distracted
- Ignoring safeguards while driving within city limits
The lawyer will ensure that you get all the required facts together to present a more convincing case in court. When you have all your points together, you will answer all questions correctly and present your case better. The lawyer works to question all the parties involved in the accident to ensure that none of the facts surrounding the accident are missing.
The attorney also works with other professional resources like a specialist that will reconstruct the crash site and gather more evidence about the driver’s state when the accident occurred. All the liable parties are also investigated to ensure that the responsible party gets to be revealed and subsequently sued for causing the accident.
Insurance companies sometimes work to reduce the amount that the victims of an accident should be getting. They will try to look for legal loopholes and other random facts to bring down the compensation that they will be required to pay.
When you are working alone, they will get their way, but with a lawyer by your side, you will be able to put up a robust legal fight and ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. The lawyer is experienced and has the resources to ensure that you are fully compensated and the responsible parties are brought to face the law following an 18-wheeler accident.
How Much Will it Cost Me?
Before you take on the lawyer, you will be interested in knowing their fee structure. Typically, the average rate for the lawyer is 30%-40% of the compensation amount. Once you have gotten your settlement, you will have the money to pay the lawyer. Other fees that you might incur as a result of the case include:-
- Investigator fees
- Obtaining medical and investigation records
- Court filing fees
- Court reporter fees
- Postage fees
- Expert witness fees
All these additional fees will be deducted from your settlement award and will be in addition to the lawyer fees. Most cases are known to settle out of court, and since court cases are costly, it is better to work with a lawyer to ensure an out-of-court settlement. The cases are also much longer than typical auto accident cases and involve more significant amounts.
Useful Statistics About 18-Wheeler Accident Cases
According to the FMCSA, close to 450,000 truck accidents were reported in 2017 alone. Most crashes occur during clear weather instead of adverse weather conditions where drivers are likely to be more cautious while driving. 64% of the fatal 18-wheeler accidents involve two vehicles, with others involving more than two vehicles.
Passengers in cars are more likely to die in these accidents as compared to truck drivers. Speeding and distracted driving are the most common causes of 18-wheeler accidents. In contrast, others are:
• Careless driving.
• Driving while under the influence.
• Failing to maintain a safe distance with other drivers.
Determining Liability and Responsible Parties
It is important that the parties responsible for the accident are identified and every fact surrounding the incident traced to its origin. Sometimes, the fault lies with the manufacturer of the trucks or even the driver’s employer, who might be pressuring them to beat deadlines and deliver within a specified schedule.
With a 18 wheeler accident lawyer, getting to know the parties responsible or liable for the damages becomes a lot easier due to their vast experience. The lawyer will also trace documents of the truck manufacturer to identify defects that might have been the reason for the accident.
Sometimes, failing brakes might result in an accident, in which case the driver will not be held liable for the accident. The error will be traced back to the truck manufacturer, who will be then held responsible for the damage following the accident.
You must build a strong case before you can confront any of the parties liable for the accident. Working with an experienced attorney will reduce the time taken to build the case and get a better settlement for your damages. You will also receive a higher compensation when you have all your facts right and can prove liability to the defendant.
Settlement vs. Court Cases
90% of 18-wheeler accident cases are settled without going to trial, in which case all the parties involved cooperate to resolve the matter out of court. The trial process is quite lengthy and can take a long time which means most people are willing to pay out of court than endure the lengthy trial.
As such, settling out of court is the best way to get your compensation after an 18-wheeler accident. You will be able to obtain money to cover your losses and damages.
A good lawyer will provide support with the out-of-court settlement and negotiate the best compensation amount based on the facts that have been gathered. In a court case, you will spend more time, and at times, you might be required to testify, which means that attorney fees will also increase. It will be more stressful and stretch on for months or years.
Your privacy is also intruded at trial, whereas a settlement is entirely private and does not disclose any information, even the amount of money you will be paid. The compensation covers damages for losses such as:-
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Vehicle damage or replacement
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Why Call an 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer?
Whenever you have been involved in an 18-wheeler accident, or whatever you call the truck accident, and are looking to get compensated, do not sign anything or admit to anything. Also, avoid going it alone and instead get the services of an experienced truck accident lawyer as you will be better protected this way.
With a good lawyer, you will be able to navigate the tricky world of non-payment tactics, bullying, and insurance companies. You will also be able to tackle the case better. You get a better opportunity to earn significant compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.
The lawyer will also be able to tell you what you can admit to and what information is best held back to give you a better legal advantage when pursuing compensation. With a lawyer, you will have better representation. You will also be protected from bullying and other tactics used by insurance companies not to pay victims that go it alone.