If you your truck was hit by another commercial vehicle (truck, bus, van, etc.) and the accident was the other driver’s fault, your accident lawyer will need to take steps to protect your legal rights and get full compensation for your insurance claim against the other driver and the companies that are legally responsible. Buses and commercial trucks must carry liability insurance for accidents that result in bodily injury or wrongful death. Our lawyers can find out how much insurance money is available for your compensation.
Prevent Destruction of Evidence
When a crash involves a bus or trucking company, your lawyer will need to send a spoliation letter to the company, putting them on alert that they need to preserve evidence, including black box data, related to your case. If this is not done, the company may destroy the evidence. When you are trying to decide which attorney to hire, ask them if they know what a spoliation letter is and if they have ever drafted one. Read our article “What is a Spoliation Letter and Why Do I Need to Send One to the Trucking Company?”
The first step is gathering evidence to prove fault. In many of our cases, the other side initially claims they were not at fault. In one of our cases, a semi truck driver was killed when he crashed into the back of another semi-trailer. The family hired attorney Eric Hageman, who immediately flew to the scene of the crash with his team of experts. They looked at skid mark and other evidence at the scene and inspected the vehicles. The evidence pointed to the first truck being stopped on the road before impact. Eric set out to find out why. He took legal action to obtain the other driver’s cell phone records. These proved that the other driver was talking with his girl friend on his cell phone at the time of the crash. With the evidence Eric gathered, he negotiated with the trucking company and insurance companies to obtain a 7-figure settlement for the family.
Negotiate for a Settlement
Negotiations start as soon as your lawyer has gathered sufficient evidence to draft a persuasive demand letter. This letter presents an argument for the other side being at fault, discusses your injuries and how they have changed your life, and asks for a sum of money to compensate you. If you are married, your husband or wife may have the right to sue for the monetary value of their loss of companionship and consortium, and this would be part of the negotiations.
Take Your Case to Trial
When negotiations fail, your case will need to go to trial for you to get compensation. You need a lawyer who has the experience, skill and resources to do this. Trials can be expensive, and our law firm covers these expenses until we recover money for you in a settlement or at trial. In many cases, a settlement is reached immediately before trial or during the trial, but your lawyer needs to be prepared to fight for you to the end of a trial and beyond, if the other side appeals a verdict.
You will be contacted by at least one of the other side’s insurance adjusters. DO NOT TALK TO THEM. Their job is to get information from you that will result in less compensation for you. If you are contacted, tell them you are hiring an attorney and contact us for a free consultation.
If you have retained a lawyer at out law firm, give the insurance company representative our phone number and no other information. Again, politely hang up. Most people do not realize that even a friendly conversation with an insurer can be used against them. For example, most adjusters will express concern and ask how you are and/or how your child is, if the child was involved in the accident. Do not answer them. Again, if you have retained us, give them our phone number (1-888-377-8900) and say nothing else. Remember that these representatives are trained to get information from you that their employer can use in its favor.
Your insurer is also involved. You need to report the crash to your insurance company. When you do, do not tell them how you feel or provide any information other then what is in the accident report. If you are asked a question that makes you uncomfortable, contact our law firm immediately (toll free 1-888-377-8900). Do not sign anything without contacting our lawyers first.
Other insurers may also be involved, for example, the insurer of the owner of freight that was being hauled.
If an insurer refuses to pay a claim, and you think it was supposed to pay, contact our law firm regarding a possible bad faith suit. We have won cases where a legitimate claim has not been paid.
To contact a lawyer at our law firm for a free consultation about a lawsuit against a trucking company, please call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or submit our online form for review by one of our attorneys. We have a proven track record and the resources needed to get you the compensation you deserve.