Unfortunately, you don’t usually see an accident coming and you may experience confusion and concern for your future. Anxiety added to injuries from a surprising accident can muddy your mind and prevent you from moving forward with a personal injury claim. The process becomes even more confuddled when the accident was caused by a semi-truck driver, because the law is differently applied to independent truck drivers than commercial truckers.
Sustaining an Injury From a Truck Accident
If you have been involved in an accident with a truck, you may be inclined immediately to file a personal injury lawsuit against the truck company for compensation. However, this may not be easily done when you face an independent truck driver. An independent driver will be named in your lawsuit, but you should also look further into the driver’s business to name a parent company as well.
Sometimes, even if a driver is an independent owner, they may be driving a truck that they do not own, but are rather contracted out to by another company. You may then sue the company the truck driver has a contract with as well. Even if the contract states that the trucking company does not accept liability for any accidents, they still may hold some responsibility. A Virginia truck accident lawyer can better help you navigate this nuanced situation and can create a strategy that will best fit your situation.
When to Hire a Lawyer
It is best to seek legal advice sooner than later. You should contact a lawyer prior to talking with the truck company and its insurance providers. An insurance company’s job is to make sure that they provide a payout for the least amount of money possible, which means they will try to lowball your settlement. A lawyer can ensure that you do not get cheated out of a proportional settlement by the insurance company, and may even get you a much larger amount than you could gain on your own.
If your injuries are extremely severe and left you with long-term treatment and possibly a long absence from work, then you may need to advocate for more than just financial damages. A personal injury lawyer can determine the sum of your damages and advocate for your financial and emotional damages caused by a negligent trucker.
Don’t forget to gather all the appropriate evidence for your lawyer to defend you adequately. If your claim is filed improperly or you have not provided sufficient evidence, your claim may be denied and you will have to begin all over again.
Thankfully, personal injury lawyers do not collect your fees until they have won your case. This is called a contingency fee. They also usually provide free consultations so you can decide for yourself if you want to seek further legal counsel. Consider attending a consultation to discuss the path of your case and how much compensation you should seek for your truck accident injuries.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Martin Wren, P.C., for their insight into trucking accidents.