Why You Need a Lawyer After a Truck Accident in Missouri or Kansas
Truck accidents are very different from crashes between two passenger cars. Collisions involving a semi-truck, big-rig, 18-wheeler, deliver van or other commercial vehicles raise a host of new legal and medical issues. It's almost always a big mistake to ignore these differences and settle an injury claim involving a commercial vehicle on your own.
Crashes involving commercial trucks usually result in much more serious injuries than collisions with passenger vehicles because the trucks are so much heavier and larger than passenger cars. The force of these collisions causes much greater damage and is much more dangerous. The more serious the injuries - the more there is at stake.
To receive fair compensation, an experienced truck accident lawyer will need to explore and resolve complex legal and insurance issues, obtain and preserve important evidence, and understand how federal regulations interact with the rules of the road. These are just a few reasons why hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer should be one of your first steps after a truck crash.
6 Reasons to Hire an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
While an attorney is not needed for every car accident case, you really should not attempt to settle a truck accident claim without at least consulting with an attorney. Our Kansas City truck accident lawyer offers a free, no-obligation consultation and would be happy to speak with you. Regardless of who you contact, make sure that they are experienced in handling truck accident cases.
Below are six reasons why this is so critical for any truck accident case in Missouri and Kansas.
1. Conducting a Complete Investigation. An experienced truck accident attorney will conduct a complete investigation to identify the cause of the truck crash. This typically begins with sending a letter, known as a "spoliation letter" to the trucking company or other potential defendants that informs them of your injury claim and instructs them to preserve any relevant documents, black box data, the truck itself, and any other evidence. It's very important to do this as soon as possible after a truck crash to prevent evidence from being lost or destroyed. In addition to these items, your truck accident attorney will want to interview witnesses and attempt to obtain any video footage of the crash or accident scene.
2. Understanding Federal Laws and Regulations. A significant difference between truck accidents and those involving passenger cars is the laws and regulations that apply. Truck drivers and truck companies are governed by federal laws and regulations. There are strict and specific rules governing truck maintenance, inspections, driver qualifications, "hours of service" (rules on the number of hours a trucker can drive), and much more. It would be significant to your case if a violation of one or more of these rules caused or contributed to the crash. An experienced truck accident attorney will understand these regulations and violations and how they relate to your case.
3. Finding All Potential Defendants. In any accident or injury case, you need to identify all potential parties who are at fault for your injury. This will hold all the responsible parties accountable and increase the likelihood you'll receive fair and full compensation. In truck crash cases, there are often several parties that may be responsible, including the truck driver, his or her employer, truck maintenance company, and the cargo loading or shipping company. Your truck accident claim won't be successful if you leave out the party who was truly responsible for your injuries.
4. Navigating Negotiations. Because of the issues identified above (more severe injuries, complicated rules, multiple at-fault parties), negotiating a settlement in a truck accident case can be complicated. You'll want an attorney who has done it before to make sure that you are treated fairly.
5. Pursuing Complex Litigation. While many of truck accident cases settle before trial, some do not for a variety of reasons. Whether or not your case goes to trial, you need an attorney who is not afraid to file a truck accident lawsuit, who will push your case forward and prepare for trial. Otherwise, the insurance company may not value your claim appropriately.
6. Evaluate and Obtain the Maximum Settlement Value. Do you know how much your truck accident claim is worth? You likely haven't been in a truck crash before, and even if you have, each case is different. There is no secret formula for calculating a settlement, but there are different types of compensation available and certain metrics and guidelines that an experienced truck accident lawyer will know. This information is powerful and will help you obtain the maximum value for your claim.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyer in Kansas City, Missouri
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck crash, please know that you do not have to go it alone. Our truck accident law firm in Kansas City is ready and willing to help you receive all the compensation you deserve. Call our office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation at 816-203-0143. We'd be honored to speak with you.