Semi-trucks are among the largest and heaviest vehicles on the road. As such, should one get into a wreck, the results could be catastrophic for all of those in and around the immediate area. Unfortunately, injuries are especially common during these forms of collision—and victims deserve the financial compensation to get back on their feet. So, if you’ve been severely injured in one of these incidents, the legal system can help get you what you need. This is how to file a lawsuit after a truck wreck and what you could be owed for your injury.
Damages from a Truck Wreck
The harm caused by truck collisions can take many forms—whether it be vehicle damage, emotional scarring, or the physical injuries you now have to live with. But no matter what you’re struggling with after this event, it’s important to know that you’re entitled to some level of payout for the damages. In fact, identifying which forms of compensation apply to you is the first key step in filing your initial claim. These are the core damages you experience from a truck wreck.
Financial damages are anything that cost you money in the aftermath of the incident. As such, you’re entitled to monetary compensation depending on your injuries, medical expenses, and the wages you lost while you were in the hospital. These funds are essential for paying off the cost of any present and future treatment as well as ensuring you can keep your other necessities in order during this time. This could even include the price of paying for home medical supplies and transportation between appointments.
Non-financial damages, on the other hand, deal with things that aren’t as tangible. This could be your mental health following the event or the degree of emotional distress you experienced in this trying time. While these damages are more difficult to prove in court, you can get financially compensated for them depending on your circumstances and effectiveness of counsel.
Punitive damages are only available to claim holders in certain situations. Though, in these cases, the suing party is out to prove that the incident occurred as a result of negligence. Some potential arguments could be to show that the defendant acted recklessly or that they shouldn’t have been behind the wheel in the first place. Any winnings awarded for this form of damage will be calculated separately from any other financial compensation you receive.
The Process of Filing a Claim
Now that you know what forms of damage make you eligible to file a lawsuit, it’s important to know how to best do so. Please note that personal injury lawsuits can only be filed for a short period of time after the incident occurred and that a claim must be made to proceed with an investigation. What you receive from these litigations will also depend on the circumstances surrounding your case and the facts you’re able to uncover. This is the basic process of filing a lawsuit after a truck wreck.
Before Making a Claim
The majority of the work you’ll put into your claim needs to be completed before even making the claim at all. This is because the best time to gather evidence is immediately after the incident occurred. So, make sure that you keep a record of all the details—include everything to do with your injuries as well as whether a police report was already created. If you were too injured to gather this information yourself, police reports will contain all the information discovered at the scene as well as identify any witnesses that were there. All of these resources can be of great help when trying to establish the liability of the individual driving the truck.
You should also reach out to the trucking company that the driver is employed by prior to making your claim. This is to let them know what to expect and allow them their fair chance to prepare their own defense.
Filing Your Claim
Once you feel like you have enough information to make a claim, make sure you do so immediately. As previously mentioned, you only have a short time to file before you lose your chance. Because of this, you’ll want to hire a professional attorney to ensure you don’t miss any of the deadlines. An experienced lawyer will help you fill out the paperwork and double-check the investigation process. If you hire them earlier on in the process, they may even be able to assist in gathering information about your incident and take an active role in building your case.
Negotiating the Insurance Settlement
After the claim has officially been filed, there will be a period where insurance adjusters will begin performing their own investigation into the crash. Expect them to contact you to hear your side of the event, and be ready to provide them with copies of your medical records. If they also find that the trucking company is liable for the incident, they could offer you a settlement outright. However, this settlement alone might not be enough to cover all the medical costs. This is when you have your counsel begin negotiations and present the evidence for why you are entitled to more.
Remember that this process can take some time, and it’ll take a lot of planning in preparation to make a case. But, it’s well worth it to finally obtain what you need to continue moving forward in your life.
Truck crashes are among the most dangerous form of roadway incident. In fact, their sheer size alone makes even a minor fender-bender a potentially lethal occurrence. This is why you need the proper representation to build your claim and take your argument to the court.
At Glasheen, Valles & Inderman, we aim to do just that. Our team of Texas-based semi-truck accident lawyers is here to present the facts in the most effective manner. So, depending on the information in each case, we’ll be able to get you the results you need. We also help file lawsuits related to workplace injuries and can be just the resource you need for your third-party negligence case. So, reach out to us with any questions about the process, and, should you hire one of our attorneys, we’ll work hard for you.