You might get in a car accident sometime. If you didn’t cause the crash, you may sue the other driver. Ideally, you can avoid doing that. If the other driver’s insurance covers your car repairs and medical bills, then you can probably avoid taking legal action.
However, maybe a commercial truck hits your vehicle, or it hits you while you’re walking or riding a bike. If so, you might find you’re in a position where you must sue the driver or their company. That depends on whether you can get the money you need for your medical bills, car repair, pain and suffering, etc.
Let’s talk about what a lawyer can do for you if a commercial truck hits you. Getting an attorney can help you out in the following ways.
They Can Start the Lawsuit
Let’s say that a commercial truck hits your car while you’re driving on the highway. Truck accidents often result in permanent impairments. Bigger trucks can cause much more damage because they are massive and very heavy.
Maybe you can find a satisfactory solution without involving an attorney. Many times, though, the commercial truck driver might say you caused the accident, even though they did. Their company might also claim you caused the crash.
If so, you must hire a lawyer. You can tell them what happened, and they can start preparing your lawsuit. You should contact an attorney who has done these lawsuits before. They will know what paperwork you must file to start the process.
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They Can Negotiate with the Truck Driver’s Insurance
Your attorney can negotiate with the truck driver’s insurance if they say they won’t give you much money. Maybe the truck driver and their insurance both acknowledge that the driver caused the accident, but they say you only sustained minor injuries or only slight vehicle damage.
Remember that commercial trucking insurance companies want to profit at all costs. They might shamelessly give you a lowball offer and have no guilty feelings about it.
If your lawyer feels that the insurance company isn’t giving you a fair settlement amount, they can tell you that. You can say you won’t take the settlement and will continue your lawsuit.
They Can Negotiate with the Truck Driver’s Lawyer
When you start your lawsuit, your lawyer can also negotiate with the truck driver’s lawyer or their company’s lawyer. They may even have a whole legal team fighting for them.
Your attorney can see whether the truck driver feels you caused the accident or they did. They can also ask if the truck driver’s lawyer has any evidence proving you caused the accident if the truck driver says you did.
The truck driver’s lawyer will reveal any evidence they have during the discovery process if you file a lawsuit and it gets that far. However, they’ll probably mention to your lawyer that they have evidence proving the trucker didn’t cause the accident even before you progress past the lawsuit’s earliest stages.
If you find out that the truck driver’s lawyer has evidence showing that you actually caused the crash, such as traffic camera footage or store camera footage, you might drop the lawsuit. Of course, you can move forward if you still believe the truck driver caused the wreck.
They Can Determine Who You Should Sue
Your lawyer can determine whether you should sue the truck driver, the trucking company, or both. Sometimes, you can clearly blame the truck driver. For instance, if they ingested some alcohol and drove the truck, they caused the accident. If they fell asleep at the wheel, you can fault them as well.
Maybe the truck driver lost control, though, because the trucking company did not service or maintain the truck properly. Perhaps they showed negligence in this area.
If so, you can sue the trucking company. Sometimes, they have deep pockets, so you might collect some serious money if the accident injured you badly.
You might even sue both the truck driver and the company. That might happen if the trucking company didn’t maintain their trucks, and also the truck driver did something unsafe, like check their smartphone while driving.
If you can sue both the trucking company and the driver, your lawyer can tell you how you should do that. They will talk you through the paperwork and all the steps. These situations can quickly get complex, so you’ll feel glad you have your attorney by your side if you sue multiple entities following a commercial truck accident.
They Can Gather Evidence and Use It at Trial
Your lawyer can also gather evidence if you and the trucking company or the driver can’t reach an agreement and settle. Your attorney will probably have some investigators on retainer, or they can hire some. These investigators will produce any evidence they feel can help your lawsuit.
They can find helpful video evidence if any exists. Maybe someone walking past shot a smartphone video when the crash occurred. They might also hire a car crash reconstruction expert who can tell the jury exactly what happened based on the physical evidence.
Your lawyer can subpoena any doctors who saw you after the crash. They can tell the jury about your injuries. They can show any MRI or X-ray results that indicate your condition, especially if the trucking company’s lawyers say you did not hurt yourself very badly.
Your lawyer can put you in the best position if the trial goes to a jury’s decision. That does not happen very often, though.
Usually, if the truck driver or the trucking company sees that they’re losing the trial, they will offer you a settlement. Maybe they offered you one earlier, but now, they’re offering more.
Your lawyer might recommend that you take the settlement offer or reject it. Ultimately, you can make the call. Then, you can pay your lawyer their percentage if you get a settlement or a jury verdict in your favor.