What to Expect After an 18-Wheeler Accident
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Phillip Chupik with Metier Law Firm.
Accidents between passenger vehicles and 18-wheelers tend to be catastrophic and can result in a myriad of damages. In addition to the stress of the injuries and expenses immediately following a big-rig accident, it can be hard to know what to expect after one of these collisions. Depending on the severity of the injuries and the expected recovery time, as well as any long-term or permanent damage resulting from the accident, a semi-truck accident victim’s path toward recovery may vary.
Trucking companies and their insurance providers may not cooperate.
Right off the bat it’s a good idea to remember that trucking companies have high-powered legal and insurance teams to protect them from liability, and that insurance companies make money by holding onto as much of their policyholder’s premiums as possible. This can motivate unscrupulous trucking companies and insurance providers to conceal or even destroy evidence, and to offer dramatically reduced settlements that are woefully insufficient to pay the total of the victim’s damages.
While cooperation from the other party would be great, it’s important to never expect it, especially after an 18-wheeler accident.
The damages tend to be severe.
Due to the size, weight, and velocity at which these vehicles travel, the damages resulting from an accident with one tend to be serious. Serious injuries means serious medical bills, lost wages, and in some cases even life care or funeral expenses. Injuries sustained in a collision with a semi truck can have long-lasting and even permanent consequences for the crash victim and their family.
This is why it is particularly important to seek out an attorney with experience handling truck accident cases. Truck accident attorneys know how to identify current and future damages, as well as the unique expenses that may apply to truck accident victims including impairment of earning capacity, future life care support, and ongoing physical/psychological therapy.
Truck accident attorneys work on contingency.
One aspect of the post-tractor-trailer-collision experience that some may find surprising is that most truck accident attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis; this means that clients don’t pay for their services unless and until they win their case. This allows accident victims and their families to focus on healing and recovery rather than worrying about yet another expense.
This is also good news because truck accident lawsuits are notoriously difficult. The type of evidence available in a truck accident case differs significantly from that of a standard passenger vehicle accident. For example, a trucking company may have driving logs, driving records, and even possession of a data tracking system embedded into their trucks that can help prove when, where, and how the accident occurred. Unfortunately, this evidence can be extremely difficult to get ahold of without an official order procured by an attorney; additionally, trucking companies are only required to maintain these records for a certain period of time, so waiting to take action could result in the necessary evidence being destroyed.
To learn more about what to expect after being involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, or for help filing a claim, reach out to a truck accident attorney in your area.