The massive size and weight of semi-trucks mean that when they’re involved in accidents, the results can be catastrophic — especially when those accidents involve passenger vehicles.
This fact is highlighted in Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) data that revealed 4,014 people died in truck crashes in 2020 and thousands more were hurt. If it happened to you or a loved one, you need determined, talented semi-truck accident lawyers to fight for you.
Nix Patterson’s truck accident lawyers have secured impressive 18-wheeler accident settlements and verdicts. Learn more below about how a tractor-trailer crash attorney can help you.
It’s usually wise to hire a lawyer after someone’s negligence injures you in an accident. However, retaining an attorney after a truck accident is a must. Here’s why:
It’s not just the trucks but companies that use them. When you decide to sue a trucking company, you face a large organization with deep pockets and skilled defense attorneys. In addition, trucking companies must carry commercial liability insurance, so they usually have the money to compensate you for devastating truck accident injuries.
These companies have a big budget to pay attorneys to argue for as little compensation for you as possible. That’s why you need a tough, experienced litigator who is fearless when facing trucking companies. Nix Patterson has represented many seriously injured and the families of those killed by the wrongful acts of trucking companies.
Insurance companies make more money by paying fewer claims and lesser amounts on the claims they do pay. This is even more the case with semi-truck insurance policies because injury claims for truck crashes are often higher than for other accidents.
After the accident, insurance companies review the drivers and injuries, determining who is at fault and what to offer the injured party or parties. They may send you a letter offering compensation for your losses, or they might call you and make a verbal settlement offer.
If you agree to accept their initial offer in writing, you probably have left thousands of dollars or more on the settlement table. The trucking company’s insurance company will always offer a low amount at first. It wants to see if it can get you to sign a settlement before hiring a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies know most truck accident victims are not skilled negotiators. Also, when you are injured, you may not be in the best state of mind to deal with insurance companies.
Suppose the insurance company calls you a day after the accident and offers you $20,000 to settle. However, the insurance company probably knows your case is worth more. This is where having a skilled truck litigator review the case can be valuable. Nix Patterson’s experienced team will identify a legal strategy and fight for maximum compensation, not settle for a low offer.
It also is smart to wait to settle a case until you know the extent of your injuries. For example, many serious truck accident injuries take days to appear. So it makes sense to fully understand how severe your injuries are before accepting a settlement for a semi-truck accident.
You have the right under the law to pursue compensation from any person or entity whose negligence caused the truck crash. First, you must show that the person or company had a duty of care not to put your life or health in danger. Then, you must show they breached their duty of care by causing the accident.
For example, the trucking company may have forced its workers to drive longer hours than the service rules allow, leaving drivers fatigued and accident-prone. This would violate the company’s duty of care.
In most cases, the truck driver and company are the most apparent defendants, but there could be others. The semi-truck manufacturer could be liable if the brakes malfunctioned before the rig slammed into your car. In addition, you could have a product liability claim for a vehicle or part defect.
The loading company also could be found negligent if they overloaded the truck trailer. The local government could even be responsible for not properly marking a road construction zone. Your personal injury attorney will investigate and hold all potentially liable parties accountable.
Sometimes the insurance company will offer enough money for your lost wages and medical bills. This sounds like a fair deal, right? It doesn’t always suffice to just be compensated for paychecks and doctors’ bills. Another benefit of hiring a truck accident attorney is they will go after more than your economic damages for compensation.
In a personal injury lawsuit, plaintiffs can receive pain and suffering — also called noneconomic — damages for mental and physical discomfort caused by the accident injuries. There is usually no cap on pain and suffering damages. How much you receive is up to a jury.
If settlement negotiations are ongoing, your attorney will fight for as much pain and suffering compensation as possible. Many truck accident cases have more noneconomic damages than economic. As a result, hiring a truck accident attorney can pay off for those struggling to get back to their lives after a major accident.
If you agree to have Nix Patterson represent you in the truck crash case, their attorneys will investigate what caused the accident. Commercial truck accidents are often more complicated than minor passenger car incidents.
There could be several contributing factors to the crash – driver fatigue, speeding, cell phone distraction, part defect, improper maintenance, etc. It will take an experienced team of litigators to get to the bottom of the case. Nix Patterson may also hire accident reconstruction experts to prove who was negligent in the mishap.
To find out more about the factors leading to an accident, Nix Patterson will often obtain the truck driver’s cell phone records to see if the driver may have been distracted when his rig slammed into you. We will also comb driver logs and toll receipts to determine if the trucker had been driving too long. We’ll find out if he was tired and too dangerous to drive. Our team also will review the rig’s maintenance records to see if it was safe for the road.
When working with semi-truck accident lawyers at Nix Patterson, we will take every step to preserve accident evidence and safeguard your legal rights.
The dedicated semi-truck accident lawyers at Nix Patterson have the skills and experience to hold trucking companies and others responsible for the harm they cause. Contact our law firm today for a complimentary consultation about your case.
Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below.
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