According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were about 415,000 police-reported accidents involving large trucks in 2015. 1% of this number was fatal crashes, while 20% were injury crashes. The report further implied that collision with vehicle in transit was the first harmful event.
If you were involved in a truck accident, it’s likely that you are facing severe injuries, extensive property damage and extended time away from work. A truck accident attorney, like attorney Harry M. Roth, can help you recover compensation for all these losses, as well as those that aren’t tangible, like the pain and suffering, diminished quality of life and the lack of consortium.
Since truck accident is not something that happens to you daily, you are bound to have lots of questions, and the best person to direct the questions to is your attorney. Often, they have the right experience and resources to give you the kind of answers you are looking for. But then again, you’ll need to know the right types of questions to ask, to get the most from the consultation. To help guide you, here are top five questions to ask your truck accident attorney during the initial meeting:
Who is liable for the crash?
If the truck driver went out of their lane and collided with your car, it might seem obvious that they are at fault. However, that’s not always the case. It is possible that their employer is also responsible – thanks to the vicarious liability. That’s to say that you cannot just rule out that the driver is at fault from face value. Your attorney should look into the matter carefully to establish the party that’s liable for your crash – whether it’s the trucking company, the driver, or the truck manufacturer if the wreck was a result of a defective vehicle part.
How much compensation will I potentially receive?
Often, you’ll be able to recover the monetary losses that you incurred due to the accident. This could consist of your medical expenses, lost wages from work, car repair costs, and even emotional distress. Your lawyer will calculate the current and future damages and give you an estimated value for your case.
Should I contact my insurance company about the crash?
Even if the other party is liable for the crash, you still need to notify your insurance company about what occurred. Better yet, you can have your attorney communicate with the insurer – this will make things a lot easier, especially if the other driver decides to change his or her account of how things transpired.
Should I accept payments from the other driver’s insurance provider?
Keep in mind that the fault driver and their insurers will want to solve the matter as quickly and as cheaply as they can. They also understand that you need the compensation money fast. But you don’t want to sign any compensation agreement, because often, these parties, especially the insurance company, won’t have your best interest at heart. They are in it for business, and to protect their company’s bottom line.
How long will the case take to settle?
It’s recommended to wait until all your injuries and property damages are accounted for before you settle. Otherwise, you may not get a befitting compensation. However, your lawyer should be able to give you an estimated time, based on their past experiences.
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