Truck accidents are different from other accidents. If an accident is caused by a commercial trailer truck or a delivery truck and if the driver has the relation of employment with the company, both the driver and the company can be held responsible for the accident.
Accident victims can take the truck company to court and ask for compensation. But truck companies have in-house lawyers, who know the intricacies of law quite well. Victims on the other hand are mostly naÃ¯ve people with little understanding of how the law works.
Why A Professional Lawyer is Required
Truck accident victims need help from a professional lawyer. The lawyer should have sufficient experience dealing with truck accident related cases. Such a lawyer could inform the victim his rights and assist him to obtain reimbursement from the truck/shipping company or from the insurance company.
Having said that, a truck wreck attorney is not a magician. He doesn't hold a magic wand which, if moved, solves all the problems and fetches the victim his desired compensation. In reality, truck accident lawyers want victims to cooperate with them and provide them with every single detail regarding the accident.
What the Victim Should Do
If you are a truck accident victim looking forward to take help from a lawyer, frame the whole incident in your mind so you could coordinate with the lawyer and readily answer all his questions. But even before that, you need to take few steps so the court trial could go smoothly. Immediately after meeting an accident, you should;
- Report the case to the police.
- Get the name and address of the driver and his license number along with the vehicle license number.
- Take a photo of the accident scene. It's easy if you have a handheld device.
- Call for emergency.
- Get names, addresses and phone numbers of people near accident scene because they are potential witnesses in the court.
- Contact your lawyer and don't sign anything without his approval.
How to Find a Truck Accident Lawyer
You should bear in mind that you need an efficient and experienced lawyer, not just any truck accident lawyer. So before you settle for one, spend time doing research. You can search on Google with key phrases like â€˜best truck accident attorney' or â€˜efficient truck wreck attorney' putting your city's name at the end. Afterward, browse through the results to settle for one. You could also ask your friends and acquaintances for referral.
Problem is even if you find a lawyer, there's no way for you to know whether or not he'd be able to help you. A good way to get an idea about the lawyer's proficiency is checking his portfolio. An experienced truck accident lawyer is one who has handled similar cases in the past and helped the plaintiff receive compensation. If the lawyer in question doesn't have an impressive portfolio, dump him and look for another lawyer.
Sometimes lawyers are experienced enough to handle truck accident cases, but lack the willingness to win the case. To make sure your attorney is not one of them, tell him you'd pay him on contingency basis, i.e. only if the attorney gets you the compensation, you'd pay him a certain percentage of it. Try settle for 35-40%, otherwise, there won't be anything for you.
How to Prove a Case
It's not necessary for you to know this. But knowledge is bliss, not ignorance. You therefore should have at least some basic ideas on what plaintiffs attempt to prove in a truck accident case. The complainant tries to prove the reason behind the accident and resulting injury was negligence on the part of the driver.
The plaintiff begins with the reminding the court that all drivers on the road are bound by the law to exercise reasonable care to other drivers, pedestrians and passengers. Next, the plaintiff tries to prove the defendant has failed to exercise the reasonable care. Evidences of driver's negligence, fatigue, overload, not installing parking brakes, not repairing damaged vehicles, weight transfer or disobeying safety rules are produced to the court so the case gets merit.
Truth is, truck accident cases cannot be fought without the help of a lawyer. So the chances of winning such a case depends largely on finding a good lawyer who would actually be able to help the plaintiff.
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