I Was in an 18-Wheeler Accident, Should I Get a Lawyer?
18-wheeler accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, leaving victims with excessive medical bills and unable to work. In these situations, it is the injured victims right to seek fair compensation from the truck driver and their employer. But should you hire a lawyer?
No matter the cause of your 18-wheeler accident, you should at least speak with a personal injury attorney about your legal options.
The trucking company and its insurer will do stop at nothing to limit their liability and your potential recovery. They may try to place the blame entirely on the truck driver and distance the company from the accident. They may also try to shift liability for the crash on to you!
An attorney can advise you on potential pitfalls that could hinder you claim to compensation and help you navigate the tricks and strategies often employed by trucking companies to limit their liability.
If any of the following apply to your 18-wheeler crash, contact an attorney immediately!
You’ve Been Asked to Provide a Recorded Statement
After your crash, the insurance company representing the 18-wheeler company may reach out and request a recorded statement. They may claim that your statement will help them better understand your accident and injuries. They may try to convince you that your case cannot move forward without a recorded statement.
Do not let them pressure or intimidate you!
They are actually attempting to gather evidence to use against you. The adjuster will ask leading questions, request detailed accounts, and hope they can trip you up in future talks. The company will then refer back to inconsistencies your recorded statement, thereby diminishing your claim.
Remember, everything you say to an insurer is admissible in court. What you intended to be an honest answer can have serious effects on your claim and financial recovery. Also, you have no legal obligation to provided a recorded statement to the insurer before speaking with an attorney.
By working with an 18-wheeler accident lawyer, you can provide a recorded statement that satisfies the needs of the insurance company while also protecting your best interests.
The Company Is Sending You Low Settlement Offers
Don’t expect a fair settlement offer after an 18-wheeler accident. The job of the 18-wheeler company’s insurer is to defend the company, not to provide the victims of 18-wheeler accidents fair compensation. This means they will attempt to pay out as little as possible to close your claim, thereby saving their client money.
Never accept a settlement offer without first consulting with an attorney.
An attorney can identify all the damages your suffered in the crash as well as all facets of potential recovery. They will create and keep a detailed account of every expense related to your crash, including medical bills, lost wages, and transportation costs, as well as calculate the cost of non-economic damages like pain and suffering, physical impairment, and loss of enjoyment.
Having and organized list of damages with supporting evidence can greatly increase the value of your 18-wheeler accident claim.
The Truck Driver’s Employer Failed or Refused to Order Drug or Alcohol Tests
Following an accident, the 18-wheeler company may advise their driver to not submit to a drug or alcohol test.
When a company fails to order a drug or alcohol test following a crash, it suggests the company is afraid of what the results will say. These tests are required by federal regulators, but some companies would rather pay a fine is less than face potentially damaging evidence.
Your attorney will take every course of action to make sure these tests happen. If the driver and company still refuse, your attorney will document their refusal and use it to build your case.
The Company is Slow Playing Your Claim
Slow playing a claim is the process of dragging out a case in order to wear out a victim of an accident. The company hopes the victim, faced with stress, expenses, and financial uncertainty, will accept a sum that is far less than what their case is actually worth.
When a company or insurer does this, they are banking on the fact that you need money to pay your medical bills, repair costs, and other expenses associated with your accident. The longer they delay, the more calls you are getting from collectors demanding payment.
As you are left struggling to make ends meet and are harassed by collection agencies, you just might accept that low-ball settlement offer as you feel you have no other options.
Large law firms like Thomas J. Henry Law have the financial resources to fight the long fight. Further, we can help alleviate the burden placed on victims by offering clients cash advancements on qualified cases.
You Suspect the Company or Truck Driver Is Destroying Evidence
The truth is some companies are so concerned with protecting profits that they will destroy or alter evidence in order to diminish your claim. This could be evidence tied directly to your collision or internal documents that show they failed to adhere to federal and state regulations.
If evidence is destroyed or changed, it can be nearly impossible to prove liability or demonstrate negligence.
An 18-wheeler accident attorney can file court-ordered temporary restraining orders to preserve any and all evidence in the state it was in at the time of your crash.
Speak with an Attorney About Your 18-Wheeler Accident
If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler accident and are wondering “Should I get a lawyer?”, call Thomas J. Henry Law for a free case consultation. Our law firm has 18-wheeler accident lawyers in San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi ready to review your claim and provide you with the information necessary to make an informed decision on how best to pursue your case.
Our attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. If your injuries prevent you from making it to one of our office, we can send an attorney to you.