After you suffer injuries in a truck accident, you will have a lot of important conversations. You will speak to friends and family to assure them that you are okay or get their assistance if you face a prolonged hospital stay or need continuing treatment. You will speak with the first responders at the scene, including the responding police officers who file an accident report. You will talk to your insurance company and file a claim with them. One of the most important conversations that you will have after a truck accident is with a truck accident lawyer.
You want to prepare before you meet with a truck accident lawyer. Preparing before you meet with a truck accident lawyer will help maximize your time with the lawyer. Continue reading to learn more about how an initial consultation with a truck accident lawyer goes and how you can best prepare yourself for your meeting.
What Will You Discuss During an Initial Consultation with a Truck Accident Lawyer?
You will discuss your case during an initial consultation. A truck accident lawyer will use what you tell them to determine if your case is viable.
A truck accident lawyer will start by discussing your rights as an accident victim. Using a truck accident lawyer is helpful because a lawyer can explain your rights. You will learn about your rights and responsibilities as an accident victim. It is tempting to rely on an internet search to determine if you have a good case after a truck accident, but an internet search cannot understand the intricacies of your case and does not necessarily explain the legalities. Let an injury lawyer evaluate your claim if a truck accident harmed you.
What Questions Will a Truck Accident Lawyer Ask Me During an Initial Consultation?
In addition to the many questions you will have for the truck accident lawyer, the lawyer will have some questions for you. An initial consultation is a conversation where you and the truck accident lawyer will attempt to get as much information as possible. Examples of questions that a truck accident lawyer may have for you during the initial consultation include:
The truck accident lawyer will want to know what happened before, during, and immediately after the accident. You must fully answer these questions, so keep a journal of what happened since the accident to help you remember.
Take notes about where you were going before the impact, what you were doing, what speed you were going, and other things you noticed about your surroundings. Be as detailed as possible without guessing and filling in blank spots in your memory. If you do not remember something, be honest with the lawyer. Bring your notes to the initial consultation.
Bring a copy of the accident report. The accident report will include the responding police officer’s initial determination of fault. The accident report will also include your narrative and the narrative of the other driver and witnesses. These descriptions will help the truck accident lawyer know the facts of the case and help you know whether your claim is viable and likely to be successful.
Bring all the evidence you collected regarding the accident. Pictures and videos are helpful to a truck accident lawyer. They help the lawyer understand what happened after the accident and visualize the accident’s impact.
Your Insurance Information?
Although you may not have caused the accident, provide the truck accident lawyer with your car insurance information. Bring a copy of your policy that reflects your insurance policy limits. Bring a copy of the claim you filed with your insurance company. Share the name of your insurance adjuster with the truck accident lawyer.
What Injuries Did You Suffer?
An essential part of a successful injury claim is proving damages. One way to prove damages is to prove your physical injuries and their effects on your life. Once you’ve signed an agreement, a truck accident lawyer will want to review your medical records following the initial consultation to better understand your injuries. After reviewing your records, the truck accident lawyer can talk to you about potential compensation for your losses.
To streamline the conversation about damages, ensure that your medical records, pay statements, and other documents are in order. If you enter a lawyer-client relationship after the consultation, your lawyer may want to make copies of your medical records and other documents in your possession for their file. If you don’t have documents, your accident lawyer will request same to help to advance your claim.
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, speak to an experienced truck accident lawyer to begin receiving the compensation that you deserve. Truck accident lawyers have the skills necessary to help accident victims get the recovery that they need. You do not have to face big insurance companies or intimidating defense lawyers on your own. If you suffered injuries, call a truck accident lawyer today.
What Property Damage Have You Suffered?
Another issue in a truck accident claim is property damage. Just like other losses, you will have to prove property damage. Bring copies of estimates for repairing your vehicle to your initial consultation. The estimate for property and other damages contribute to your overall settlement amount and sometimes gives insight into the extent of the collision. Your lawyer needs to know about all losses to make a successful argument to get you the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
What are Your Lost Wages?
Lost income is a part of your damage settlement. If you have it, bring accounting of your lost income with you to your initial consultation. You need details about how many days of work you missed and why.
If your employer’s absentee reporting system allows you to leave details about why you are missing work, take advantage of it. Let your employer know why you are missing work. If you can access these logs, bring them to your initial consultation. If not, your injury lawyer will request same. Bring your pay stubs from before and after the truck accident. The comparison will help the truck accident lawyer understand your earning capacity before and since the accident. If you have changed jobs or careers or changed the manner in which you do your job and you have documents, walk with those to your appointment or have them ready to provide to your accident lawyer.
What Questions Do You Have?
Prepare for your initial consultation by compiling a list of questions. After making your appointment, be sure to take some time to think about what you want to understand more about filing a personal injury lawsuit or about the process of an auto insurance claim. Most people have never been in an accident lawsuit, so they may not know what to ask the lawyer unless they prepare in advance.
Keep notes of your experience post-accident in a journal. Talk to your medical providers. Have them explain your course of treatment as fully as possible. Tell your lawyer about your medical conditions and whether you are likely to be permanently disabled because of your injuries.
Write down questions about your experience, any communication from the at-fault party’s insurance company, and questions about your case generally and the payment structure the truck accident lawyer requires. Write down any questions that you can think of and bring the list of questions to the initial consultation.
Bring Any Information You Have About the Truck Driver or the Trucking Company to Your Consultation
Suppose you did not need an ambulance ride to the emergency room – you will likely have a chance to speak with the truck driver and gather some information. Get the driver’s name, the name of the trucking company, their supervisor’s name, and their insurance information. Take a picture of the vehicle’s licence plate.
All of these details are important, and your truck accident lawyer will need this detail to know what insurance company to speak with or what defendant to name in a lawsuit. Bring this information with you during your initial consultation with a truck accident lawyer.
Bring a List of Witnesses
Witness testimony can help you prove your damages. Although you may not bring your witnesses to the initial consultation with a truck accident lawyer, always bring their names, contact information, and their narratives with you for the truck accident lawyer to review.
After the consultation is complete, the truck accident lawyer may want to reach out to your witnesses and speak to them one-on-one. The lawyer may want to speak to the witness and get their first-person recount of what happened in the accident.
Understanding eyewitness accounts can also help a truck accident lawyer anticipate what they will face in court if the case goes to trial. Witness testimony can make a huge difference when the insurance company questions liability and fault.
What Happens After My Initial Consultation With a Truck Accident Lawyer?
During the initial consultation with a truck accident lawyer, you may enter into a lawyer-client relationship with the lawyer. If you hire the lawyer, they get to work. The injury lawyer may begin by investigating the facts you told them during the consultation. The lawyer will meet with witnesses and get their firsthand accounts of what they know about the accident.
Your truck accident lawyer will speak with the insurance company. Your lawyer and the insurance adjuster may have many conversations about the facts of the truck accident. If the commercial truck driver was on the job, then the truck accident lawyer may speak with the trucking company’s insurance company and the driver’s personal insurance company.
Your lawyer may send a settlement demand packet to the insurance company. A settlement demand packet will include pictures of injuries and property damage, copies of your medical records, and other important information.
Your truck accident lawyer will include in the packet a letter that outlines your case. The demand packet attempts to persuade an insurance company to settle the case for a reasonable amount of money that represents fair value to you, the victim. This is the first stage of settlement negotiations. There is no guarantee that the case will end after sending the demand packet to the insurance company.
If the insurance company offers an unsatisfactory settlement amount in response, you and your lawyer will discuss sending over a counteroffer. A counteroffer rejects the initial offer. If the insurance company rejects the counteroffer and the matter cannot realistically resolve at this stage, the case will go to the next stage of litigation where it usually ends up in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or trial. ADR and trial are rare with trials being even rarer.
Mediation is an informal process where a neutral third-party mediator listens to both sides of the case and works with the parties to resolve the matter.
If mediation is unsuccessful, then the case is set for trial. A civil case may go to trial where all the parties present evidence before a judge or jury to determine liability, fault, and damages. Each party may appeal the trial court’s decision, but typically appellate courts don’t hear truck accident cases on appeal.
An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you navigate every stage of the litigation and a trial. Most people have never experienced a lawsuit before, so having a truck accident lawyer can put you at ease when facing this difficult situation. You may feel more scared to face a big commercial trucking company. If you suffered injuries in a trucking accident, you need to speak to a qualified truck accident lawyer.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
After an accident with a commercial truck driver, you may experience a lot of hardships. It is hard to put your life back together after an accident, as injuries can have costly effects on your job and other aspects of your life. You likely do not know your legal rights to compensation or how to start the process. Your focus is on medical care, but as you lose income and incur other losses, you likely begin thinking about how you can seek compensation.
Working with an experienced truck accident lawyer can protect an accident victim’s rights from big and intimidating insurance companies. Truck driving companies and their team of insurance lawyers are intimidating to face. You do not have to go against these behemoths alone. Contact a truck accident lawyer today if a traffic accident with a commercial truck driver injured you.