• Nov 03, 2023|
  • Posted by: Michael Francis|
  • Read Time: 6 minutes

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other damages through a truck accident claim. Hiring a lawyer to handle your claim can improve your chances of obtaining maximum compensation. Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of knowing a legal professional is looking out for your best interests so you can focus on healing from your injuries. But, when should you hire a truck accident attorney?

There are a few ways to interpret that question. Let’s explore it in two different ways:

  1. Under what circumstances should you hire a lawyer, and
  2. How soon after your accident should you retain one

Under What Circumstance Should You Hire a Lawyer for Your Truck Accident Case?

Truck flipped upside down on the roadside, aftermath of an accident.

The claims process can be complex, especially in accidents involving commercial trucks. Here are some situations when having a truck accident lawyer handling your claim proves most beneficial:

The legalities involved in truck accident claims are complex. Personal injury lawyers go through years of graduate-level schooling and hone their skills by working under experienced mentors to gain an understanding of the intricacies of the law. They know the legal process and deadlines for filing these claims, how to gather evidence to support demands for compensation, and have developed the negotiation skills needed to go head-to-head with at-fault parties and their insurance companies. For these reasons, having a lawyer can greatly increase your chances of a positive outcome in your truck accident case.

Your Accident Involved Serious Injuries

Truck accidents are particularly dangerous due to the massive size and weight of commercial trucks, leading to more severe impacts and resulting in more serious injuries requiring extensive medical treatment. Many truck accident victims suffer long-term or permanent disabilities and need rehabilitation, special equipment for mobility, or accommodations to their homes or vehicles. The medical bills can add up quickly. You shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial burden of injuries caused by a truck driver’s negligence. A lawyer can ensure that your claim accounts for all the damages the accident caused you, now and in the future.

Your Injuries Prevent You from Returning to Your Job

You should be able to claim any lost income or earnings, including sick leave or medical benefits if you or your loved one could not work while recovering from the injuries. But if one of you is unable to return to your job in the same capacity as before the accident or is unable to return to work at all because of the injuries, the injured person and their family may be eligible to seek compensation for loss of future earnings. A lawyer can assess your injuries and consult with experts to determine if and to what degree the injuries are impacting the injured party’s earning potential.

The Accident Resulted in Fatal Injuries

It’s heartbreaking to lose a loved one, especially in a truck accident. No amount of money will ease your loss. However, surviving family members obtain justice and closure through a wrongful death lawsuit. Through this legal action, your lawyer may be able to recover coverage for damages such as funeral and burial costs and the financial support your loved one would have provided to the family had they not suffered fatal injuries in the accident.

If Liability is Disputed

Texas is an “at-fault’ state when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. That means people injured in a motor vehicle accident should seek compensation for their medical bills and other damages from the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you are injured in a truck accident, you must prove that the driver caused or significantly contributed to the accident. The truck driver’s or the trucking company’s insurance company may try to refute fault despite the evidence or say you are partly to blame. A lawyer will thoroughly investigate the truck accident and collect evidence to prove fault. This may include going through the truck driver’s hours of service logs or the trucking company’s maintenance or safety records.

Multiple Parties are Involved

In some truck accident cases, more than one party may be responsible for a truck accident. For example, if the truck driver was fatigued when the accident occurred because he was under pressure from the trucking company to violate hours of service regulations, the trucking company may also be held liable for your injuries. Or, if the brakes on the truck were defective, the manufacturer of the brakes may be held liable under product liability law. A lawyer will consider all liable parties and seek compensation from all who may have played a role in the accident, further maximizing your compensation.

You Must Deal with Insurance Companies

Accident victims and their family members usually experience overwhelming stress after a truck accident. There are so many unknowns — How much medical treatment is needed? Will there be a long-term disability? Will I be able to provide for my family as I did before the accident? During this time of uncertainty, the insurance company may offer compensation to quickly settle your claim. While this may seem helpful during this time of financial strain, you should never accept the first offer from an insurance company without consulting a lawyer.

Insurance companies are looking out for their own bottom lines, and that means denying or devaluing accident victims’ claims. They use many tactics to shortchange injured parties and their family members. A lawyer can assess your case and determine whether the insurance company is making a fair offer or if you are entitled to more.

How Soon After a Truck Accident Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Consult a lawyer as soon as possible after your truck accident. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner they can begin working to gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate with the insurance companies for a fair settlement.

Sometimes, insurance companies refuse to make fair settlements, and your lawyer may recommend you file a truck accident lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve. There is a strict two-year deadline for filing personal injury claims in civil court. The clock starts ticking on the date of your accident. If you fail to file your claim within this deadline, you cannot seek compensation through the Texas court system.

There are some exceptions to the Texas statute of limitations that can shorten or lengthen the timeframe you have to file. A lawyer can ensure you don’t miss any important deadlines.

How Do Truck Accidents Impact Families?

Truck accidents can have a significant and often devastating impact not just on the accident victim but on their entire family as well. These accidents can lead to severe and debilitating injuries. Family members may need to provide care and support to the injured person, which can place a physical and emotional burden on the family as they help their loved one through the recovery process.

Caring for injured loved ones can disrupt the daily routines and responsibilities of family members. They may need to take time off work or school to provide care and support to the injured or grieving family member. This can also lead to changes in family dynamics. Relationships within the family may be strained as they navigate the emotional and practical challenges together.

Medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and property damage can be substantial after an accident. Families may face financial strain while also having to navigate insurance claims and legal processes to seek compensation for their losses. The future may become uncertain, especially if the primary breadwinner is injured or if the accident results in permanent disabilities. This uncertainty can lead to additional stress and anxiety.

In the most tragic cases, truck accidents can result in the loss of a family member, which can be emotionally devastating. The grief and emotional trauma experienced by the family can be long-lasting and affect everyone’s well-being.

No amount of money will take away the suffering injured victims and their families endure after a truck accident. However, having legal representation provides peace of mind, knowing a professional is looking out for the best interests of all those impacted.  

Discuss Your Truck Accident Case with an Experienced Attorney Today

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident involving a commercial truck, you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected. Insurance companies are quick to deny or devalue accident victims’ claims. If a truck driver caused or significantly contributed to your accident, you are entitled to full and fair compensation.

Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer from the Francis Firm today for your free case consultation. With over 25 years of experience representing truck accident victims, we have the experience and resources to see your case through to the best possible outcome.

Author Photo

Michael Francis

Michael Francis is the founding partner of the Francis Firm and Flynn & Francis, LLP and has spent more than twenty-five years litigating personal injury and commercial litigation cases throughout the state of Texas and across the country. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Michael focuses his legal practice on personal injury and business litigation cases, with a particular emphasis on trucking, motor vehicle and complex commercial litigation matters. Michael has more than twenty-five years of experience litigating cases throughout the State of Texas, against many of the largest corporations and insurance companies. He has secured verdicts and settlements for clients in excess of $20,000,000.