Not surprisingly, trucking accidents can result in extremely serious personal injuries and frequently involve very significant property damage as well. These accidents can have a devastating impact on the lives of their victims. Recognizing the potentially massive financial liability and legal expense they can face as a result of trucking accidents, companies do everything they can to avoid being held liable in such cases. Accident victims need to be prepared for this, which usually means hiring a lawyer familiar with personal injury cases.
If you are a victim of a trucking accident, you definitely need to find a reliable, highly experienced law firm that can use its resources to fight for you so you can be properly compensated for the damages and injuries you have experienced. This certainly is not the sort of thing you want to try to handle yourself. Instead, you will want to have the staff of a reliable law firm on your side.
One reason you need a good lawyer is that the trucking company will certainly have their own team of lawyers and other experts prepared to fight you every step of the way. From a cold, business perspective, it is simply not in their best interest to pay out to you. There are a number of things that trucking companies can do in their effort to avoid any liability for your accident, and if you do not have a good lawyer, they could easily succeed.
Blaming the Victim
The approach truck drivers and trucking companies most frequently use to avoid (or minimize) liability in an accident involves victim blaming. They will make the argument that you were responsible for the accident instead of the driver. Even if you are absolutely certain you were not to blame for what happened, the trucking company can often convince courts and insurance companies that you were in fact at fault, meaning you could lose any hope of financial compensation for injuries and damage.
This particular approach is so effective that it is almost inevitable that the trucking company will at least try it. This is why you need a lawyer experienced in this area of law on your side and ready to challenge the trucking company’s accusations. Keep in mind that even in accidents in which you may be partially responsible, you may still be legally entitled to at least some degree of compensation from the trucking company.
Claiming the Driver Is Independent
Trucking companies are frequently perfectly willing to place the blame for the accident on the driver and to deny any liability by suggesting that the driver was an entirely independent contractor – instead of a direct employee. If they can convince the court that this is the case, you might be forced to sue the truck driver himself rather than the company.
Of course, your lawyer can investigate and determine whether this is actually the case or if the company is just trying to be deceptive when it comes to the driver’s employment status. If the trucking company is not being truthful and the truck driver does actually work for them, proving this can prevent the company from avoiding any financial responsibility they may have for the accident you experienced.
Downplaying Your Injuries
Another tactic that trucking companies often try is to downplay the significance or severity of a victim’s injuries. Even if they reluctantly admit the driver works for them and that the accident was the driver’s fault, they may attempt to claim that the injuries you suffered in an accident just are not that serious. If they are successful in this argument, it would allow them to pay you less than what you are seeking in compensation. This is why it is so essential, if you have been hurt in an accident, to have a doctor thoroughly check you out and assess your injuries.
Also make sure that all of your medical care is fully documented. You will want a full record of your medical expenses, the tests that were conducted, your diagnosis, and the opinions of your doctor about your future prospects. This will help you counter the claims made by the trucking company. If you do not know how to go about getting these records yourself, a lawyer experienced in injury claims can help you gather and organize them for your case.
Investigating You Personally
Just as with many other personal injury cases (or cases of workers’ compensation) trucking companies or their insurers will often hire private investigators to look into your case in an effort to prove that you are not a seriously injured as you claim. In short, they want to prove that you are faking or exaggerating your injuries. In some instances, these investigators will actually follow you around and take photos in an effort to demonstrate that you are perfectly fit.
These investigators may also try to locate and contact potential witnesses to the accident so as to place blame for the accident on you rather than the truck driver. If these witnesses contradict your account of the accident, it could hamper or entirely block your ability to obtain compensation for your injuries and losses. Your own lawyer can counter this by finding witnesses who can back up your story about what actually happened. This lawyer can also hire experts who can investigate the scene of the accident for further evidence to support your case.
Keep in mind that trucking accidents can be extremely serious and can impact your future, and that of your family, for years to come. For this reason, you will want to have serious legal representation when you try to make your case. This means finding a law firm with years of experience with personal injuries in general and trucking accidents in particular. Do not hesitate or delay, since this can damage your case in the long run. Many lawyers will offer a free consultation so they can help you determine what your options are in your particular case and what you have to do to achieve a successful outcome.