Although the trucking industry has accomplished a lot in terms of safety over the years, accidents involving large trucks are more common than you think. As per the latest data made available by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 5000 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2019, a 2% increase from 2018.
And, when you are one of those unfortunate souls involved in a truck accident, the first step you take is to get the best medical attention immediately. The second most important step is to call a semi-truck accident attorney.
Truck accidents can be a lot more devastating than auto accidents, leaving you in unimaginable physical, mental, and financial distress. In other words, you will need a settlement that takes care of the financial side while you focus on your recovery. That’s why you need an experienced, reliable attorney as soon as possible.
Qualities to Look For in a Semi Truck Accident Lawyer
So, how do you find one? Here are a few qualities you should look for in a lawyer representing you on the legal battlefield.
First and foremost, the semi-truck accident attorney you choose should have experience handling truck accident claims. This is probably the best way to make sure that the lawyer understands your needs and knows what to do.
The insurance companies would never hand you out the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will be put to the test to help you get the compensation you deserve, which is where the experience comes in.
Take a close look at the lawyer’s track record. It’s good if the lawyer also handled claims involving car or auto accidents and motorcycle accidents. But, make sure they have ample experience dealing with truck accident claims, especially like yours.
2. Reviews Or References
As important as your lawyer’s track record is, it tells you only one side of the story. To learn more about your potential semi-truck accident attorney, you should look at their customer testimonials. Since customers now share reviews online, it shouldn’t be too much trouble.
All you need to do is Google the lawyer in question, and you will see everything that their past clients have to say. In addition to this, you can also check third-party review sites such as Better Business Bureau, Avvo, or Lawyers. They can offer a better glimpse into your lawyer’s online reputation.
Cost is an important consideration too. Most attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means they won’t charge you until your settlement comes through. They will charge a percentage of your settlement as their fees.
People often choose the cheapest lawyer possible to save money. However, the cheapest attorney may not help you get the right amount of compensation. Worse still, they may cause more harm than good to your case. Likewise, expensive lawyers may not provide you with the level of service you are paying for.
So, instead of considering hiring the cheapest or the most expensive lawyer, you should go for the most transparent one. Talk to the semi-truck accidents attorney about how much it will cost and how you will pay before signing them on. Remember, a good lawyer would never surprise you with hidden fees or charges.
Lawyers come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them will be aggressive, while others will be more passive. You would want to hire someone who can put your mind at ease. Your lawyer isn’t going to be your therapist or best friend. But they should be supportive, understanding, and transparent.
Be it motorcycle accidents or truck crashes, you will be in a world of pain. The emotional and physical toll any accident leaves on the victims is inconceivable. You may end up making rash decisions. Having a compatible lawyer on your side can help you think things through before it’s too late.
Look for this strait in your attorney. A free first-time consultation can go a long way in gauging the compatibility of a semi-truck accidents attorney. If you get a sense that you can get along with the layer comfortably, go ahead and hire them.
Knowledge and experience usually go together. A more experienced lawyer would have better knowledge of the latest developments in the trucking industry regulations, personal injury laws, and courtroom proceedings. So, don’t hesitate to ask your semi truck accident lawyer questions like:
- How long have you been in practice?
- What was the most challenging case in your practice?
- Have you handled cases like mine?
- If yes, what was the outcome?
Answers to these questions will tell you how knowledgeable your semi-truck accident attorney is and if they can leverage it for your benefit when the time comes.
6. Negotiation Skills
Claims involving motorcycle accidents, car crashes, and truck accidents rarely go to trial. They usually get settled after several rounds of negations. This means your lawyer will require impeccable negotiation skills.
The most common tactic insurance companies use is to make low settlement offers. They often do it as soon as the claim gets filed, or sometimes before that. They want to settle quickly and as low as possible to save money.
Your lawyer should be able to see through this tactic. And most importantly, be prepared to navigate several rounds of negotiations until you get the compensation you deserve.
The best way to know how good a negotiator your semi-truck accident attorney is to look at their success rate. Ask how many cases they have won or successfully settled. A higher success rate usually indicates the lawyer has excellent negotiation skills and experience.
Contact a Semi-truck Accident Attorney
Truck accidents are often devastating. They will turn your life upside down as medical bills pile up, your savings plummet, and your chances of getting back to work seem bleak. In this situation, you need an experienced, skilled, and reliable lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve. Hopefully, these tips will help you find one.
If you are looking for a semi-truck accident lawyer, feel free to reach out to us. We are a third-generation law firm serving communities in Utah. You can give us a call at (801) 521-4145 or fill out our secure online contact form to get in touch with us.