If you were involved in an accident with a large tractor-trailer, you may be owed compensation for expenses like medical bills, lost wages, auto repairs, and much more. Securing that compensation can be an uphill battle, though, especially if you are dealing with an insurance company that refuses to acknowledge liability.
Your ability to recover, repair your vehicle, and return to as normal a life as possible hinges on your ability to negotiate a full and fair settlement with the trucking company and its insurer. This is no small feat, and even the most well-intentioned accident victim will not have the skills and knowledge required to hold the trucking company accountable for what happened.
Working with an attorney is often the most effective way to ensure you receive maximum compensation after a truck accident. However, you may wonder: When do I need to hire a tractor-trailer accident lawyer? While no two collisions are alike, Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC have provided the following guidance regarding the hiring of a truck accident attorney.
When You Should Hire a Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer
Trucking companies have the backing of large insurance companies. Minimizing liability and settlement offers is their primary goal, which is why we advise that most injury victims work with a lawyer when filing a truck accident claim in Jackson, MS. However, we also understand that some people may be hesitant to contact a lawyer without a clear reason for doing so, which is why we encourage you to reach out and schedule a free consultation should any of the following apply to your case:
You Have Serious Injuries That Prevent You From Working
An empty tractor-trailer may weigh around 35,000 pounds, or up to 80,000 pounds when transporting a full load. The typical passenger vehicle only weighs an average of 4,150 pounds. The sheer force of a collision between these two vehicles is much more likely to cause severe injuries among occupants of passenger vehicles than among truck drivers.
Injuries associated with tractor-trailer accidents tend to be severe, too. At Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, we frequently help truck accident victims recover compensation for the damages associated with the following injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions and blunt head trauma
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Loss of limb or amputation
- Crushed or severed digits
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
These types of injuries are debilitating, and often leave victims unable to work either temporarily or permanently. If a truck accident has left you unable to maintain gainful employment and earn a living for yourself, we advise that you hire a tractor-trailer accident lawyer to advocate for compensation that replaces your lost income.
There Is a Significant Amount of Auto Damage
Auto repairs can impose a significant financial burden on truck accident victims. The drastic weight difference between tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles puts your car at a distinct disadvantage in a crash. Common examples of vehicle damage following a truck accident include:
- Engine damage
- Electrical malfunctions
- Vehicle misalignment
- Transmission fluid leaks
- Suspension system damage
- Latch damage, especially to the hood and trunk
You should have your vehicle appraised for damage by a reputable auto mechanic, which may be one of your choosing or from your insurer’s list of preferred repair shops. If your vehicle has any significant damage that will be costly to repair, it is in your best interest to hire a tractor-trailer accident lawyer.
You’re Not Sure How Much You Are Owed
A truck accident claim is a type of personal injury claim filed in the aftermath of a serious truck accident. The purpose of this type of lawsuit is to secure a monetary award for the damages a victim has suffered. Damages may refer to a wide range of losses, including financial, physical, and emotional ones.
Calculating exactly how much you are owed after a truck crash can be a challenge, especially if the insurance company is urging you to accept an offer quickly. When you hire a tractor-trailer accident lawyer, they will thoroughly investigate your claim and value the worth of your damages. This includes taking some of the following into account:
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity if you cannot return to the same line of work.
- Medical expenses, including the cost of co-pays, physical therapy, medications, mobility aids, and more.
- Mental anguish, such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.
- The cost of in-home services, like nurses and cleaning services.
- The cost of renovating your home or updating your vehicle to accommodate a new disability.
- Any loss of enjoyment in life, including the loss of companionship, consortium, or the ability to engage in your hobbies.
It takes an experienced attorney to correctly account for and value all possible damages in a truck accident case. At Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, we understand how overwhelming the financial side of a tractor-trailer crash can be, which is why we offer free legal consultations to injury victims.
There Are Multiple At-Fault Parties
Although you may not have realized it at the time, there may have been more than one at-fault party in your accident. When the attorneys at Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC take on a case, we conduct an in-depth investigation into the crash to determine whether anyone else may be a potential defendant in a truck accident lawsuit. Third parties we frequently hold accountable include vehicle or auto part manufacturers, truck co-drivers, cargo loaders, and other drivers on the road.
If we determine that other parties were also responsible for your accident, we’ll ensure that they are held responsible for the full extent of their actions and that you are awarded the compensation you deserve.
The Insurance Company Is Lowballing Your Settlement
The trucking company’s auto insurer has one priority, and it is generally not to provide you with full and fair compensation for your damages. As a for-profit business, the insurance company’s goal is to limit liability and lower your settlement to preserve its own bottom line.
The insurance company may employ tricks and tactics to get you to accept less than you are owed. From twisting your own words against you to requesting additional documentation to run out the clock on your right to file a lawsuit, the insurer may do whatever it takes to limit payouts.
When you choose to work with a tractor-trailer accident lawyer from Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, you’ll have the backing of a law firm with the experience and knowledge it takes to go up against a major insurance company. We’ll take over all communications with the insurance company, and we never allow them to push around our clients.
When Is the Best Time To Hire a Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer?
While you will find benefits to hiring a tractor-trailer accident lawyer at any point while seeking compensation, it is best to hire an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Mississippi state law only allows for a relatively short period of time to take legal action after a truck crash. You have only three years to exercise your legal right to file a truck accident lawsuit.
Building a strong truck accident case takes time, which is why it is smart to have an attorney by your side as early on in the process as possible. To learn more about how we investigate truck accident claims and what your rights to compensation are, contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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