The answer to the title question is simple: If you’ve been in a traffic accident involving a truck, you should look for a truck accident attorney right away.
Truck accidents can be devastating. You have injuries that need to heal, maybe loved ones to grieve for. But you should definitely take time out as soon as possible to talk with one or more truck accident attorneys. There are several reasons why.
What You May Be Up Against
If a commercial truck hits you, you can be sure that the company’s insurance carriers will be involved. They may hire experts to show you were at fault in the accident. The experts will send out investigators to the accident scene. They will look to see if you caused the accident by:
- Texting or talking on the phone
- Passing unsafely
- Crossing a double line
- Breaking other traffic laws
- Driving in the truck driver’s blind spot
If none of these is true, you need a truck accident lawyer working to establish the truth and fight for your rights.
Pointing Fingers At Someone Else
Truck accidents can be very complex. Not only can both state and federal laws come into play, there could be several parties to blame. The trucking company could try to say the driver was not on the clock. The driver could say the company demanded too many driving hours to be safe or that the maintenance was spotty. Finally, there may have been a part on the truck that failed, which means the manufacturer of that part could be to blame.
A trucking accident attorney knows how to sift for the truth. He will check:
- Trucking logs
- Witness statements
- The truck driver’s personnel file
- The truck driver’s cell phone records
- The company’s maintenance and safety records
- Records that show the driver’s training and qualifications
Hiring A Truck Accident Attorney
By now you should see the immediate need to hire a truck accident lawyer. Here’s how you find one:
- Gather some names of truck accident lawyers
- Interview them
- Choose the best one for you
To find some names of trucking accident attorneys, you could ask around your circle of friends, family members and acquaintances.
Most trucking accident lawyers are willing to meet with you to learn about your case and introduce themselves to you. This first meeting, called an initial consultation, is typically free, and you are under no obligation to hire the first lawyer you meet.
Use your time at an initial consultation to learn about the truck accident lawyer’s background and legal fees. Don’t forget to get some advice and maybe talk strategy.
It’s helpful to arrive with your questions for the truck accident lawyers already down on paper. That way, you won’t forget to ask anything. Bring along a pen and paper, too, so you can record the answers.
After you have met with all the truck accident attorneys on your list, it’s time to choose one. If you only met with one, but you’re sure he’s the right attorney for you, your search is over. If you have several quality candidates, call some former clients of each. Ask them what it was like to work with their attorneys and whether they would whole-heartedly recommend them.
Once you have hired your truck accident attorney, you are ready to seek the compensation you deserve.