After a large truck accident, there’s a lot of work that must be done before you receive compensation. Every attorney has a different approach to resolving a case. But there are some basic steps that lawyers take to help accident victims. Knowing these will enable you to partner with your truck accident attorney and work together towards a positive outcome.
The first step after an accident is investigating how and why it happened. Not every lawyer invests the sufficient time and work to learn all of the facts. Remember, however, that the insurance companies will conduct their own investigations – shouldn’t your attorney?
The goal of an investigation is to determine who is at fault in your accident. Potentially liable parties include the driver, the trucking company, and the truck manufacturer. To that end, your truck accident attorney may review several things, including the following:
- The driver’s background, including his or her training, licensing, and credentials
- Whether any traffic laws were broken leading up to the accident
- Vehicle maintenance logs and related documents
- Accident scene evidence, including police reports, witness statements, and photographs
- Any evidence of manufacturing defects or abnormalities involving the large truck
The victim will also be a source of evidence. Your truck accident attorney will want to know, in your own words, the events leading to the accident. It’s important for your attorney to know all relevant facts surrounding the incident. The information you provide to your attorney is privileged, so you should be candid with your narrative. Keeping your attorney in the dark will only make it more difficult to argue your case.
After the investigative phase, your attorney may attempt to negotiate with the responsible party’s insurer. The objective is to prevent anyone from having to go to trial. But if negotiations fail, your attorney will draft and file a complaint. This will formally begin the lawsuit and put all relevant parties on notice about your claim. The information collected during the investigation will be used to draft the complaint. It will describe the large truck accident, detail your injuries, and make allegations of negligence.
Once the lawsuit is filed, your claim may go one of several ways. In many cases, the parties will enter (or re-enter) into negotiations with the hope of reaching a settlement. Accident settlements are fairly common, and your attorney will walk you through the steps of reaching one. In other cases, the lawsuit will wind up in court. Along the way there may be more settlement negotiations, as well as discovery and other steps to gather information. Arbitration may also be attempted to resolve your matter, depending on the facts in the case.
If no resolution is ultimately reached, then the case will go to trial. This is where your truck accident attorney will litigate the case and try to convince a jury to award you damages. There are numerous rules and procedures that must be followed, both before and during the trial. At trial itself, your attorney will use information gathered throughout the course of the claim. Some of this information is provided directly by you, but much of it will be produced through discovery. Bear in mind that the insurance companies will have their own evidence to present as well. They, too, will use discovery to gather that evidence. They may also use private investigators or publicly available information about you. Your attorney’s job is to argue your case and defend it from the inevitable attacks by the opposing party’s lawyers.
HAVING A LARGE TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY IS KEY TO WINNING YOUR CASE
Large truck accidents are serious, traumatizing events. Your attorney will work with you each step of the way to ensure you receive the greatest amount of compensation. Before you get started with a claim, have your lawyer explain the process that lies before you. Also make sure your lawyer understands your needs and expectations. Communication on both sides of the attorney-client relationship is vital to winning a case. The experienced truck accident attorneys at Schneider Hammers have the experience needed to see your case to a successful conclusion. Call us today for a consultation.