Best Truck Accident Law Firm in Colorado Springs
Truck accidents are destructive as well as deadly. If are involved in an accident with a semi-truck, the legal system will probably seem confusing. It will be difficult to understand how to navigate the process to receive a fair settlement that compensates you for your damages.
If the big rig driver was at-fault, you need to know what steps you must to take to pursue compensation. Victims of big rig accidents are entitled to compensation for damages and medical expenses.
This article is a summary of the types of compensation you are entitled to receive if you qualify and the process to seeking a resolution.
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Medical Costs and Expenses
If you need to take time off work as a result of injuries from a semi-truck accident, then your income may be decreased or even nonexistent.
You’ll want the money from your semi-truck accident payout immediately—but it might seem to be taking an eternity to arrive. Whether medical bill collectors have begun calling or you require funds to pay other payments, you may begin to question how long a semi-truck accident settlement should take. If you or a loved one is presently battling a truck accident-related injury, consult with an expert truck accident attorney about your case.
Preparing for a Settlement
Often, shortly after a semi-truck accident, the truck driver’s insurance company—whether it is the driver’s insurance company or the trucking company’s insurance company—will contact you with a settlement offer.
This offer may come within a few days following the accident. You may still have little or no idea what a complete recovery from your injury would entail, including the medical costs associated with it.
You should accept this kind of offer only after consulting an expert truck accident attorney. Often, an insurance company’s first settlement offer represents not the compensation you receive for your injuries, but an attempt by the insurance company to minimize the expenses involved with the accident.
Certain insurance companies may provide settlements that are insufficient to cover the cost of the damage to your car, much alone your medical expenditures. Others will make a settlement offer that is just high enough to seem appealing, particularly when you include in the medical expenditures you have already incurred and those that will almost certainly follow.
Typically, this offer still does not represent the entire degree of your injuries or the maximum amount permitted by the insurance policy.
If you sign and accept the settlement offer, the insurance company may be relieved of future financial responsibilities related to your semi-truck accident. It’s understandable to want to settle quickly, since some accident victims find themselves rushing to pay medical bills or make up for lost income while recovering.
They might also be pursuing critical medical care that could aid their overall recovery. However, a quick settlement for a semi-truck accident is seldom indicative of the full compensation you deserve. Consultation with an attorney may help you understand what you stand to lose if you accept that offer.
Resolving the conflict in a reasonable manner following a semi-truck accident.
As is the case with so many other aspects of the semi-truck accident settlement process, including the amount of money you finally get, the timing for resolving your accident claim is contingent on several factors—many of which are beyond your control.
How long should you wait to seek legal counsel?
Preferably, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after your semi-truck accident. The sooner you reach out to an attorney, the sooner that attorney can begin gathering evidence, presenting a fair claim to the insurance company, or negotiating on your behalf with the insurance company.
However, many accident victims delay before contacting an attorney. Some are unaware that the insurance company will not automatically compensate them for their injuries. Others become preoccupied with the recuperation process and do not contact an attorney for weeks, if not months, after the accident.
But it’s important to consider that contacting an attorney early in the process facilitates the gathering of evidence.
Immediately after an accident, an attorney should have easy access to the semi-truck driver’s records and data. However, the longer you wait after the accident, the more difficult it may be to acquire further proof. Numerous security cameras, for instance, have their data frequently wiped.
Beginning the evidence collecting procedure early makes it simpler for an attorney to get that data.
Witness accounts are most consistent immediately after the accident. The longer you wait to speak with witnesses after an accident, the more likely it is that those witnesses will forget everything about it. Their memory may alter details, making them less dependable. Even your own account of the accident and memory of it may become less credible with time. In other circumstances, due to brain damage or other factors, you may completely forget the accident.
The sooner you retain the services of an attorney, the faster you can move toward a settlement. Indeed, the settlement process cannot begin in earnest until you retain the services of an attorney. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner the procedure may begin, and the sooner you can get the compensation you deserve for your injury.
What injuries did you sustain, and how long do you anticipate being out of commission?
Often, following a semi-truck accident, you must completely comprehend the magnitude of your medical costs and the accompanying expenditures. For example, a full spinal cord injury resulting in severe tetraplegia may cost $1 million or more in the first year after the event.
Until you know the extent of your recovery, you will have no exact or realistic sense of the medical expenditures you will incur—and those medical costs will play a key factor in determining the settlement you get.
Sometimes, you may not know how much mobility you will regain, if you will be able to return to work after your injury, or how your injuries will affect your daily life for some time following the event. But your attorney can advise you regarding the appropriate time to begin the claims procedure, including how far along you should be in your recovery before submitting your claim.
Are you requesting a normal claim, or do additional considerations affect the amount of your claim?
In certain instances, your lifestyle or habits may affect the amount of compensation you get from an insurance provider. For instance, an actress who sustains serious burns in a semi-truck accident may find it difficult to return to her previous job owing to scars, and an athlete disabled in a semi-truck accident may experience greater mental anguish than another person.
Each semi-truck accident claim is unique; nonetheless, if your claim deviates significantly from the norm, it may take longer to achieve a settlement.
What coverage is provided by the truck driver’s or trucking company’s insurance policy?
Many semi-truck drivers have insurance plans with a greater deductible than do other drivers. Not only does this help businesses comply with government rules, but it also helps them compensate victims of semi-truck accidents for the more severe injuries they often sustain. However, the more coverage included in the policy, the more the insurance company may strive to preserve its financial interests, resulting in a lengthier battle to recover the money you deserve after an accident.
Who was responsible for your accident?
Numerous persons and organizations may share responsibility for a semi-truck accident. Consultation with a lawyer may assist you in determining who is accountable for your accident.
Responsible parties may include the following:
The Big Rig Driver
When a truck driver is at fault for your accident, he or she may carry primary or whole culpability for the accident and any injuries sustained as a consequence of the accident. Truck drivers may be held liable for an accident if they are distracted while driving, such as texting or eating while driving, or using a GPS gadget instead of paying attention to the road.
Additionally, individuals may be held liable for the accident if they opted to drink and drive, drove recklessly, or failed to take the necessary measures while changing lanes or turning.
The transportation company. Often, the trucking firm has insurance coverage that completely covers both the driver and the truck regardless of how the accident happens. However, the trucking business may share blame for the accident under certain conditions:
- The business required the driver to falsify records or drive more than the legally permitted maximum amount of hours (11 hours in a 14-hour shift).
- The business required the driver to continue driving under dangerous conditions or situations, such as exceptionally severe weather or driver illness.
- The driver had a history of accidents, yet the firm continued to hire and enable the driver to drive.
The Trucking Company
When a trucking firm acts unethically toward its drivers, it is the company, not the truck driver, that may bear direct culpability for the accident.
Bars and eateries that serviced an inebriated driver excessively. Drunk drivers, particularly truck drivers, are personally liable for their actions. However, bars and restaurants have a legal and ethical obligation to prevent customers from overindulging when servers or personnel have a reasonable expectation that the driver would resume driving.
If, for example, a bar or restaurant delivers an excessive amount of food to a truck driver while fully aware that the driver must return to the road, the bar or restaurant may share culpability for your accident.
Mechanics or truck service firms. Mechanical issues may be quite dangerous for large vehicles. The technicians who maintain and repair such cars must always be on the lookout for possible vehicle faults, particularly mechanical breakdowns.
When a technician fails to discover a mechanical fault that he or she should have seen during a regular inspection or another repair, or when a mechanic fails to fix the vehicle correctly, the mechanic or his firm may be held liable for any accident caused by that mechanical failure.
Manufacturers of trucks and vehicle components.
Just as technicians are accountable for maintaining the truck and trailer’s components, manufacturers are accountable for developing and selling high-quality parts. When an accident is caused by mechanical failure caused by faulty components, especially bad tires, the manufacturer may share blame for the accident.
When many parties share culpability for your accident, settling may take longer. Each insurance company may claim that another party contributed to the accident to lower the amount of compensation owed to you. The more circumstances that contributed to your accident, the longer it may take for an agreement to be reached.
What are your alternatives in the meantime?
When a semi-truck accident claim takes a long time to resolve, you may be tempted to accept a low settlement offer to get finances. Fortunately, there are various things you may do in the meantime to alleviate your financial load.
Inquire about your employer’s policies. Many businesses may provide you sick leave after an accident. Additionally, you may be eligible for short-term disability to help pay your expenses while you recuperate from your injuries. Consult your human resources department to determine the choices available to you after your accident.
Contact the billing department of the hospital.
As medical costs accumulate, you may experience harassment from the many institutions involved in your treatment. Consult with each company’s billing department. You may plan to pay just what you can afford each month, or you can explain your financial position to the hospital and request a grace period before your medical costs become due.
Make contact with your creditors. After a semi-truck accident, your usual expenses do not vanish. In certain situations, keeping up with those payments may seem more challenging than ever. So talk to your creditors, particularly your home lender and the lender for your auto loan. In many circumstances, you may lower or renegotiate your payments while you wait for your settlement, particularly if you already have a positive relationship with that specific provider.
Warrior Truck Accident Attorneys
Inform your attorney of any financial concerns. Often, personal injury lawyers are aware of services that might assist you in maintaining a stable financial situation while you recuperate from your injuries.
If you have sustained significant injuries in a semi-truck accident, you should call a truck accident lawyer immediately. The sooner you retain the services of an attorney, the sooner that attorney may begin working on your behalf – and, in many situations, the sooner you will get the compensation you deserve.