Holding Negligent Parties Accountable: How a Fatal Truck Accident Lawyer Can Make a Difference
Trucking is vital to the United States economy. Throughout 2020 alone, commercial vehicles moved nearly 73% of all cargo and freight across our country. They bring all of the goods we buy at our local stores and online to our neighborhoods and communities across America.
Trucking companies and their drivers have a duty to ensure the safe carriage of these commodities nationwide. But far too many fatalities and severe injuries still occur as a result of accidents involving commercial trucks every single year. The vast majority of these accidents are usually a result of some form of negligence and could have been prevented.
If you lose a loved one in a truck accident, there are several reasons why you should seek a lawyer to represent your family. You're in a challenging position, and taking the proper steps to safeguard your legal interests is crucial. Dealing with grief is difficult, and facing financial hardship along with it can bring challenges that feel insurmountable.
A fatal truck accident lawyer can make a significant difference in holding negligent parties accountable and getting compensation for your family during this difficult time. Below, you can learn more about how an accident attorney can help you and yours after a deadly semi-truck crash.
How Truck Accident Attorneys Help Clients Collect Evidence
Evidence gathered at the site of the accident is crucial when seeking financial compensation after a truck accident. If you contact a lawyer quickly after an accident, he or she will send an investigator to the site to gather evidence.
Furthermore, your attorney often does more than simply coordinate the site investigation. Your lawyer will collect and compile the following evidence as necessary in your unique case:
- Videos from traffic cameras
- Logs kept by truck drivers
- Phone and work history of the truck driver
- Reports on semi-truck and trailer condition
This evidence serves two critical goals: establishing your entitlement to monetary compensation and demonstrating that the truck accident was caused by the fault of one or more parties.
How Do Attorneys Help Identify At-Fault Parties?
In most cases, a semi-truck driver is not solely at fault for an accident, but an attorney can help you identify all potential at-fault parties.
For instance, most truck accident cases also hold the transportation firm accountable. Skilled truck accident attorneys will also consider the following to determine other potential at-fault parties:
- Did the driver or logistics firm incorrectly load the truck?
- Was there a mechanical failure or similar problem with the semi-truck or a vehicle part?
- Is it possible that the trucking business and/or independent technicians botched the vehicle's maintenance and general upkeep?
- Did the truck driver lose control because of a problem with the roadway or its lack of maintenance?
- Is it possible that another motorist caused an accident that led to a secondary collision?
If an attorney obtains proof that any other individuals or entities share a portion of the fault, they will include those other parties in your truck accident claim, such as:
- Trucking or transportation companies
- The owner of the truck (if the trucking company or driver doesn’t own the vehicle)
- The shipper or freight agent who loads the truck or trailer
- Independent truck technicians and mechanics
- Third-party firms who conduct drug tests and background checks for trucking companies
- Vehicle manufacturers and tractor-trailer automakers
- Manufacturers of aftermarket vehicle parts and truck components
Can an Attorney Help Organize Medical Expenses After an Accident?
Your attorney will order all medical records for the person that died to see the full picture of what exact injuries happened to the person and what treatment was rendered prior to the person passing away, including all medical expenses.
Depending on your state’s particular wrongful death and personal injury laws, the way you will go about seeking compensation for medical expenses incurred prior to your loved one’s death may vary. Having a reputable attorney is very helpful in this area, as they will know the best way forward to cover all medical bills that may be lingering from the accident as well as other expenses such as funeral costs and more.
Avoiding Debt with the Help of Your Truck Accident Attorney
Your lawyer can do a lot to help you avoid going into debt as you face the aftermath of a fatal truck accident. From submitting a letter of protection to your loved one’s healthcare providers, which can help delay collection action on medical bills until your lawsuit is resolved, to representing your family on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe any legal fees upfront, your attorney can do much more than you think for your truck accident claim.
How Do Truck Accident Attorneys Calculate Damages?
Calculating the economic damages sustained from the truck accident is the first step in determining how much compensation is available. A few of the following monetary damages will be taken into consideration by your truck accident attorney:
- Medical expenses
- Loss if income if the deceased person helped support their household
- Funeral and burial costs
Your lawyer will calculate the full extent of your family’s financial losses, both now and in the future, and will then pursue just compensation on your behalf.
You could also be eligible for compensation for the following non-monetary losses in addition to your economic damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
It’s difficult to put a price on these kinds of losses. However, a qualified truck accident attorney will know the best way forward depending on where you live, who was liable for the accident, and many other factors that will play a role in the ultimate resolution of your fatal accident case.
Will My Accident Attorney Handle Insurance Negotiations?
Your truck accident attorney will also negotiate with the defendant(s) and their insurers once he or she has calculated all damages and filed a claim(s) against the responsible party(s).
Settlement negotiations might go on for months, depending on the nature of the accident. Throughout these talks, your attorney regularly communicates with you and your family to keep you apprised of the latest updates and developments.
And because there is so much at stake when deciding whether or not to settle your truck accident lawsuit, your attorney will also work with you and your loved ones to carefully review any settlement offer from an insurance company.
If you are interested in settling to avoid further litigation, your lawyer will verify that the settlement offer fully compensates you for your current and future losses. From there, your attorney will tell you how much of your settlement you may expect to keep after paying legal costs and covering other expenses.
Filing a Truck Accident Claim with an Attorney
Finally, your truck accident attorney will file a lawsuit and take your claim to court if you are unsatisfied with the settlement offer.
There are a lot of regulations and processes that need to be followed in a court case. If your truck accident lawsuit goes to trial, an experienced trial litigator will know the procedures to follow. Your lawyer will respond to discovery requests, manage witness depositions, and fight any attempts to have your case thrown out of court.
At trial, your attorney will argue a solid, convincing case to the jury or judge on your behalf. If your case goes to appeal after the trial, your attorney will represent your interests there, too.
Get Help From a Wrongful Death Lawyer After a Fatal Truck Accident
If you've been involved in a tractor-trailer accident or experienced the death of your loved one due to a fatal truck crash, find a reliable truck injury attorney immediately, and go to work preparing your case for trial. The personal injury lawyers at Burg Simpson have extensive expertise and are familiar with the rules and regulations that truck drivers must follow on a state and federal level. They handle cases for clients all over the United States.
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