What To Do After a Truck Accident

What To Do After a Truck Accident

After a truck accident, you need an extensive medical examination. This will ensure your safety and also allow you to document accident-related injuries. A doctor should explain your injuries and symptoms, a treatment plan, and create records of your injuries (written diagnoses, imaging results, and more).

You may also hire a competent truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after the collision. An attorney will make it their priority to secure the money you deserve. They will deal with insurers for you, allowing you to focus on your recovery without worrying about an insurance claim or lawsuit.

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Steps to Take After the Truck Accident

It may help to use a post-accident checklist, a collision with a truck can make your life chaotic. The first checklist relates to accident-related medical care.

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Steps to Take at the Doctor’s Office (and Beyond)

Your health should be the first consideration after a truck accident. By seeking medical attention, you protect your physical health and plant the seeds of your insurance claim or lawsuit.

When it comes to medical care:

  • Visit a doctor as soon as possible (depending on your symptoms and personal circumstances, you may visit a walk-in clinic, emergency room, general practitioner, or specialist).
  • Explain the details of the accident.
  • Explain any injury symptoms you are experiencing.
  • Ask the doctor if medical imaging is necessary, and explain that you plan to seek compensation for injury-related damages (and may need proof of injuries).
  • Ensure the doctor provides a clear diagnosis for every symptom you are experiencing.
  • Get a clear treatment and recovery plan and follow that plan to a T.

Once you hire a truck accident lawyer, they can advise on how your treatment can assist with your claim.

Let Your Lawyer Lead Your Post-Accident Fight for Compensation

Choosing a right personal injury lawyer your top priority after seeking medical care for your truck accident.

When it comes to finding a truck accident attorney:

  • Conduct research into truck accident lawyers in your area (you can search the internet and ask friends and colleagues about any lawyers they used).
  • Narrow down a list of potential firms.
  • Speak with those firms (personal injury lawyers offer free consultations, so take advantage of these no-cost phone calls).
  • Choose the law firm you believe is most qualified to lead your truck accident case.
  • Follow your lawyer’s advice; they will advise you about every aspect of your insurance claim or lawsuit.

Personal injury attorneys tailor their advice to suit their clients. Some clients take an active interest in their case, while others leave as much as possible to their lawyer. In every case, lawyers provide regular case updates to inform their clients about their personal injury lawsuits or claims.

How Do I Choose the Right Truck Accident Lawyer for My Case?

It’s a common question: Which lawyer or law firm is best suited to lead my truck accident case? The answer to this question differs for each truck accident victim, but each victim can use similar criteria to find a capable lawyer.

As you research prospective law firms, consider:

  • What former clients say about the firm: Many law firms post client testimonials on their website, and these reviews can help. However, a public review site (such as Google) may help you more. Read both positive and negative reviews of a law firm to get a balanced understanding of a firm’s strengths and weaknesses. 
  • The firm’s case results: Some firms publish case results on their website and update them regularly. This is a plus if a law firm has secured many financial recoveries for truck accident victims. If a law firm secured large financial recoveries for truck accident victims, that is even better.
  • The firm’s office location: Ideally, the firm you hire will have an office near your accident scene. A firm with a local presence will know the local courts. Also, the firm should waste no time securing evidence, filing your case, and resolving the legal process. In many cases, a law firm will have an office near (but not in) the city where the accident occurs—this can work so long as your lawyer will travel for all case-related duties and appointments. 
  • The firm’s practice areas: You were in a truck accident. You deserve a law firm focusing much of its resources on truck accident victims. Your law firm should feature truck accident cases prominently among its practice areas.
  • Your experience with the law firm: You can complete free consultations with the law firms you are considering for your case. These consultations give you a chance to ask questions, interact with a firm’s representative, and determine if the law firm is fit to represent you.

Hiring a lawyer is an important decision. While you should feel confident about the law firm you hire, do not wait to complete your search. Your attorney likely faces a statute of limitations for filing your case, so contact prospective law firms as soon as possible.

How Much Does Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?

Truck accident lawyers generally use contingency fees, which means that:

  • The law firm receives a percentage of any settlement or verdict it obtains for you
  • The law firm does not require any upfront payment from you
  • The firm does not receive a fee unless it gets money for you

In other words, you face no out-of-pocket cost to hire a truck accident attorney. The firm takes the risk and has a clear financial motivation to secure as much money as possible.

Law firms set their contingency fee based on various factors, including their own financial and time investment in a case. Ask prospective law firms about their fee structure, including the percentage of a financial recovery they will receive.

Why Should a Truck Accident Victim Hire an Attorney?

The typical truck accident cases can be far more complex than the typical car accident case because:

  • Trucks often cause serious injuries: Trucks can weigh up to 30 times more than the vehicles they strike. This weight disparity means that victims of truck accidents often suffer serious injuries, including disabling and fatal injuries. A serious injury case usually means costly damages and lengthy, high-stakes negotiations.
  • The trucking company may have key evidence: The same party you may be suing (a trucking company) may have evidence that is key to your case’s success. A lawyer can file a legal motion to obtain black-box data, employment records, and any other evidence from the trucking company involved in your case.
  • Trucks are complex vehicles: Your lawyer may need to understand the details about trucks and trucking to build and present a compelling case. Trucks are complex vehicles, and complex regulations govern the trucking industry. An experienced attorney will know the trucking industry, how truck accidents happen, and related lawsuits and claims.

Insurance claims and lawsuits are complex by nature. Whenever one party seeks money from another, complications are likely. Rather than stress, invest significant time, and risk your health handling your own case, you can allow a lawyer to shoulder these burdens.

Services a Truck Accident Lawyer Will Perform for You

When you hire a truck accident lawyer, you get more than just a single attorney.

You also get:

  • The financial support of the law firm, which will cover all case-related expenses (including the cost of hiring experts)
  • The services of investigators, who will gather evidence and sort out the details of your case
  • The assistance of paralegals, who may help draft and file paperwork, manage your case, and provide case updates
  • The insight of multiple attorneys, as most truck accident lawyers are part of a team

Your legal team will lead every step in your case, which generally includes:

  • Dealing with insurers: Your attorney will deal with insurance companies, so you do not have to. This will ensure that insurers do not take advantage of you, convince you to accept a lowball settlement, pressure you to make any statements when you are unprepared, or harm you with other bad-faith tactics.
  • Securing evidence as soon as possible (including that in a trucking company’s possession): Your attorney will build your truck accident case with evidence of liable parties’ negligence. Witness accounts, video footage, police reports, a reconstruction of the collision, and photos of vehicle damage may improve your case.
  • Documenting damages from your truck accident: Medical records, medical bills, expert evaluations of injuries and trauma, proof of lost income, and invoices for vehicle repairs can help illustrate the cost of your truck accident. 
  • Creating a case strategy: Once your lawyer gatherers all relevant information, they will determine how to seek money for your damages. Insurance claims and lawsuits are the primary ways to pay an accident victim for damages.
  • Calculating the value of a fair settlement: Before they can negotiate the settlement you deserve, your lawyer must know the cost of your truck accident. They may use the per diem or multiplier method to calculate non-economic damages, including pain and suffering. For economic damages, your lawyer may simply total the cost of medical bills, lost income, and other damages with a clear dollar value.
  • Fighting for a settlement: Attorneys often resolve truck accident cases through settlements. Your attorney will negotiate with insurance companies, civil defense lawyers, or other parties with the power to pay you. You will receive notice of any settlement offers, and your lawyer will explain whether those offers are fair. 
  • Taking your case to trial (if necessary): Though trials are rare compared to settlements, your lawyer may need to take your case to court. Trial becomes a realistic option when a lawyer exhausts settlement negotiations yet does not receive a fair offer.

There is no way to predict how a truck accident case will unfold. When you hire a lawyer, they agree to lead your case from start to finish, regardless of the process’s challenges.

What Compensation Should I Expect from a Truck Accident Case?

Discuss with your lawyer the harm you suffered because of a truck accident. While your lawyer will complete their investigation of your damages, you bring up any injuries, mental health struggles, and financial costs you know about.

Your attorney will create a detailed record of your damages, which may include:

  • Pain and suffering, which may include acute and chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, emotional anguish, lost quality of life, and other types of psychological, physical, or emotional harm
  • Medical bills, which can vary in cost depending on the types of care you receive, the severity of your injuries, and whether you suffer any disabilities
  • Professional damages, which can include lost income, lost bonuses and promotions, diminished earning power, lost benefits, and loss of progress toward career goals
  • Vehicle-related costs, including vehicle repairs, replacement of a totaled vehicle, and the cost of temporary transportation
  • Personal property costs, which can include the cost of replacing clothing, electronics, accessories, and any other property damaged during the truck accident

Truck accident injuries can cost over $1 million, and sometimes significantly more. An attorney will determine exactly how much money you deserve and will account for any future damages you have yet to experience.

Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer Today

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James Holliday, Truck Accident Lawyer

The risks handling your own truck accident include:

  • That you will jeopardize your health by taking on too much responsibility after the accident
  • That you will say or do something that compromises your financial recovery (including making statements to insurance companies)
  • That you will become overwhelmed by the complicated details of your case
  • That you will not receive the compensation you deserve 

Rather than face these risks, many truck accident victims hire an experienced personal injury attorney with years of experience to lead their lawsuit or claim.

Don’t wait to hire your lawyer, as the deadline for filing your case may expire soon. Locate the right law firm to lead your case and hire that firm as quickly as possible.


Theodore "Ted" E. Karatinos, Esq.

Ted Karatinos has been practicing law since 1993. He is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and a nationally read author in Barrister Magazine, The Young Lawyer, The Federal Lawyer, and The Florida Bar Journal. He is in great demand for seminars and speaking engagements all over Florida.

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