Getting into an accident with a commercial truck, such as a semi or tanker, can have disastrous results. Accidents with large vehicles can result in severe injuries, damage to property, and even death. If you have been a victim of an accident with a commercial truck, you should know the following facts.
You Can Recover Damages If Negligence Is a Factor
If negligence is a factor in your accident, you can receive compensation for your damages. Negligence simply refers to acting in a manner without care to how it impacts another person or conditions. Examples of negligence in a commercial truck accident including distracted driving, speeding, not complying with requirements for service hours, or driving while under the influence.
In many cases, an accident with a commercial truck is much more dangerous than accidents with a private vehicle. Because of this, the injuries are much more devastating. The injuries could result in years of recovery and even permanent disability. This means many cases result in significant compensation for the victim if the truck was the negligent party.
Your compensation can include payments for your injuries, medical expenses, time away from work, and future compensation if your injuries are permanent and prevent you from working and earning a living.
You Need an Attorney Even If You Expect a Settlement
In some cases, commercial trucking accidents will settle with accident victims to avoid going through a court trial. Even if you think the trucking company will settle your cases, you need to retain an attorney for the negotiation and settlement process. If you attempt to go through the settlement process without legal representation, you could ultimately receive a lower payout.
Attorneys know how to negotiate with insurance companies. Insurance companies will attempt to entice you with a low offer. If you did not have legal representation, you would not realize you have the ability to negotiate your compensation figure and possibly end up with more money. Your attorney will know exactly what to say to insurance companies to ensure your settlement offer is fair.
Your attorney will also protect you and your interests during the settlement process. The insurance company may try to prolong the process by taking longer than necessary to process your claim.
The insurance company could also ask you to submit medical records than necessary for your case. You have rights throughout the process, and your attorney will ensure the insurance company adheres to those rights.
You Should Retain an Attorney as Soon as Possible
Another thing to keep in mind is you need to hire an attorney right away. Not only does more lead time result in a faster settlement for you, but you also have a limited time to file a personal injury claim. In Michigan, you have three years to file your clam after an accident with a commercial truck.
If you wait too long to make your claim, you could miss important deadlines for recovering damages. Additionally, taking too long to file a claim means important evidence you need for your case could disappear or be destroyed. You need to show how your injuries and damages affect you right away, not years later.
You also need an attorney to help you know what to say when insurance companies or other representatives of the trucking company contacts you. You could possibly say or do something to harm your case without even realizing it. Once you have an attorney, you can simply direct all correspondence to your legal team.If you need assistance with a personal injury claim, please contact us at O'Grady & O'Neil PC. We will be happy to help you.