The truck came out of nowhere and smashed you and your car. What now?
Everyday the news has reports about road closures or traffic backups as a result of a major wreck caused by an 18 wheeler. Middle Tennessee is particularly prone to these types of wrecks because of the major interstates that intersect here.
Truck accidents, like the trucks themselves, are like car wreck cases, only larger. The issues involved are more complex. The damages are often bigger. And the insurance companies for the trucking companies fight that much harder.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a wreck with a big truck or 18 wheeler, there are three major things you need to keep in mind:
1) The trucking company and its insurance carrier have accident response teams working against you.
Over the road truckers are taught to call their dispatchers and/or insurance companies as soon as a wreck happens. When those calls get made, the trucking company and insurance carrier put their accident response procedures in to action. These procedures can include immediately sending private investigators to the scene as well as an attorney who will be representing the trucking company from the beginning. These teams are trained in accident reconstruction and sophisticated computer aided investigation techniques that they will use to try and show that the accident was your fault, not the truck’s.
Once the immediate aftermath of the wreck is over, these teams may run background checks and audio/visual surveillance of you and your family. They will call you. They will record your conversations with them in an effort to get you to say the wrong thing about what happened, about your medical history or about the ongoing medical issues you are having. They will dig into your medical treatment history to find any basis to discount or deny your claim.
Having us involved prevents the basic mistakes that you don’t know about because you have not done this before from happening. Just like they have a trained team on their side, you can call us to have a trained team on yours.
2) You need a lawyer that knows the rules for trucks.
Was the truck driver working as an independent contractor or was he an employee of a specific company? How much insurance does the trucking company have? Did the driver comply with all of the Department of Transportation regulations about sleep requirements, rest breaks and safety equipment on board the truck? Has the truck’s “black box” already been pulled and downloaded by an expert witness? If so, what did it show?
The answers to these questions can make or break your case. We are trained and experienced in finding this information. We know how to use the tools that the legal system, expert witness contacts and online resources give us to track down every single potential theory of negligence and recovery in your case. Tracking down this information can be the difference between receiving full compensation for your injuries and getting nothing.
3) Proving your case will take experts and experience.
There are no small truck accident cases. Even lucky truck accident victims usually have serious injuries. But because the trucking companies fight these cases so hard, you have to have a a lawyer who knows how to prove every last dime of your damages.
In order to recover what you are entitled to for your pain and suffering, lost income and past and future medical needs, we will hire expert witnesses including economists, doctors, neuropsychologists and vocational rehabilitation specialists as necessary. Lawyers who are unwilling to go the extra mile and spend their own money to get the experts each case needs will not get you the type of recovery you deserve. So before you hire a lawyer, ask them about the experts they have contacts with. Ask them about their experience proving all of these types of damages. And ask them what their plan is for making sure you are paid what you deserve.