Truck Accidents Q & A
Q: What Can I Do to Protect Myself After an Accident with a Big Truck or Tractor-Trailer?
A: You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Truck and bus cases are very complicated and require the immediate attention of a lawyer who has a record of success in handling big truck cases. Trucking companies will typically have unlimited resources that include teams of lawyers and experts who are prepared to fight against any lawsuit you may file as a result of an accident—regardless of how injured you are. If you have been hit by a truck, the best way to protect yourself is to contact an experienced truck accident attorney who will defend your rights and ensure that you are fairly compensated.
Q: What To Do After You are in a Car Accident with a Tractor-Trailer?
A: Here are some steps you should take:
If you have been injured you should contact an experienced truck accident law firm like the Law Offices of Charlie Waters;
Do not sign anything given to you by an insurance company without consulting us, first. Insurance companies do not represent your interests. Your best decision is to educate yourself about your legal rights and speak to an attorney. You may have to sue to obtain the money you are entitled to;
Don’t be fooled by insurance adjusters who pretend to represent your interest. They will often attempt to convince you to sign papers and take settlement offers which are well below the compensation you are entitled to;
Document your injuries early, get competent medical treatment and take photographs in the hospital, or when you get home;
Keep track of all expenses related to your injury, including prescription receipts, logged mileage for trips to doctors’ offices or physical therapy appointments, and home care expenses;
Keep on ongoing, detailed list of all health care providers and facilities that you see for treatment of your injuries; and
Follow all treatment instructions and keep all scheduled appointments with your doctors and therapists to document your active cooperation with the healing and rehabilitation process.
Large trucking companies have their own investigators and attorneys fighting for them, you need someone on your side. It can be critically important to contact our office as soon as possible. Valuable evidence from the accident scene could be lost and critical witnesses could disappear.
Q: What Should I do if Someone From the Trucking Company Calls Me Before I have Picked a Truck Accident Lawyer?
A: Do not agree to make a recorded statement to the trucking company’s insurance carrier. Do not sign any forms sent to you by the trucking company and their insurance carrier. Immediately contact an experienced Trucking Law Firm such as The Law Offices of Charlie Waters.
Q: What Should I do in the Days Following a Truck Accident?
A: Here are the steps you should take:
Obtain a copy of the accident report prepared by the police;
Obtain a property damage valuation from your insurance company;
Write down all visits with doctors and other healthcare providers and keep a journal of any symptoms or pain you experience. Also, get copies of all test results, medications, treatments, and any other relevant medical information;
Keep a detailed list of any out-of-pocket expenses you incur;
Record days of missed work or other activities in which you were unable to participate; and
Never accept a settlement offer from an insurance carrier unless you have consulted with a lawyer.
Q: Who can be Sued in a Truck Accident Case?
A: In a truck or tractor trailer accident case, the truck driver, trucking company, or owner of the truck/trailer can typically be liable. In some cases, however, the facility responsible for loading the truck, or even the entity responsible for the contents of the trailer can be liable as well. Each case is unique, so the best way to determine the course of action you should take is by speaking with a lawyer. That is why we offer free consultations to our potential clients.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident?
A: In most cases in Texas and most other states, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accidents. But, in any case, it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible following an accident. The investigation of your case is crucial, and it becomes increasingly difficult to obtain vital information as time goes on. Important pieces of evidence regarding vehicle safety standards and driver logs can be lost or destroyed. The trucking company will have its own team of investigators and experts on the scene of the crash in order to build their defense. You will need someone on your side to do the same. We will take witness statements and photographs, and work with accident reconstruction experts as well as medical experts to build your case. It is best if we can get to work as soon as possible.
Q: How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Lawyer For a Truck Accident?
A: We operate on a contingent fee basis. This means that we only charge a fee if we win your case. In other words, our getting paid is “contingent” upon our success. The fee is a percentage of the total amount of the settlement or verdict we obtain for you. The percentage is usually 33.33% but commonly goes to 40% if a lawsuit is needed. We pay all upfront costs so that you never have to pay anything out of your own pocket. If for some reason we don’t get a recovery for you, you owe us nothing.
By charging a contingency fee instead of an hourly rate (which is usually many hundreds of dollars an hour) it allows anyone who has a legitimate injury to have access to legal representation regardless of their income. Otherwise, only the wealthiest among us could afford to hire an attorney. You can meet with us as many times as you like at no cost or obligation before you decide which lawyer to hire. We want you to know your rights and be completely comfortable with your decision.
Q: Do I Even Need a Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer?
A: If you have been in an accident with any type of truck, it is important to call an attorney immediately to see what your options are. Not all instances will require a court case, but it is important to speak to a knowledgeable lawyer who can advise you on what your next step should be.
Q: Does My Lawyer Have Enough Experience?
A: When you’re looking for an attorney to represent you in your tractor trailer accident case, you want someone who is well-versed in the field. Trucking accidents can be much different than a car or a regular slip and fall accident — instead of dealing with an individual, you may have to face down a company. When choosing a tractor trailer accident lawyer, you want to see if their track record holds a history of success in these type of accidents.