Accidents with commercial trucks can result in devastating injuries for all parties involved. Trucks are large, heavy machines, and even a minor collision with one can have severe consequences.
Recovering from a traumatic crash can be difficult both physically and emotionally. An attorney may be your best bet for holding a truck driver and their employer responsible for the injuries they caused. In many cases, the road to recovery starts with the proper legal procedures.
If you’ve been injured by a truck driver, here are the steps you’ll need to follow to seek compensation for your losses.
Initial Claim Review
As with other accidents, the claims process begins with a comprehensive review of the details in your case. Truck crash cases involve many moving parts, including those relating to insurance coverage. As such, they can quickly become complex matters.
The first step in asserting a claim is having a qualified lawyer evaluate the accident and determine the best course of action. Some essential information your attorney will review before moving forward includes:
- Police crash reports
- Witness statements and interviews
- Evidence from the crash site
- Video footage of the crash, if available
- Expert crash analysis, if needed
- Truck driver history logs
- Medical records and evaluations
Commercial drivers are held to very high standards when operating their vehicles, meaning the laws regarding negligence and duty of care are strict. Your attorney will need to present strong evidence to prove liability.
Once your attorney has reviewed the case thoroughly, they’ll determine the best way to proceed with your claim.
Negotiating and Mediation
Your attorney will next engage in a good-faith negotiation process with the responsible party’s insurance company.
Commercial truck drivers are required by law to carry liability insurance at all times. As a result, their insurers will often get in touch with victims immediately after an accident in an effort to settle the claim promptly. Sadly, many companies use lowballing, intimidation, and other underhanded tactics to pressure parties into agreeing to their terms.
An attorney can represent you during the negotiation process and fight for rightful compensation while protecting you against predatory practices.
Attorneys will typically draft a demand letter and send it to the insurance company early on in the claim. Demand letters generally includes information like:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income and wages
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Property damage and repair costs
An attorney can help you understand the fair value of your claim and fight for higher compensation. If they fail to reach a settlement agreement with the insurer, they may opt to work alongside a mediator. Mediators are neutral third parties who help facilitate resolutions between insurers and claimants.
Going to Court
While many truck accident claims are resolved through settlement, going to court is sometimes the only way to obtain relief.
Going to court requires filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties. Your attorney will perform various tasks to prepare for the suit and ensuing trial. Some steps they’ll likely take include:
- Serving legal documents to the parties involved
- Conducting legal research
- Filing pleadings with the courts
- Litigating motions
- Preparing evidence and deposing witnesses
Each side will present its evidence and make an argument at trial. Ultimately, a jury may need to make the necessary findings and issue a verdict.
Experienced Long Island Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you’ve suffered a crash with a commercial truck, consider consulting an experienced attorney to determine your legal options.
Kohan Law Group is dedicated to representing personal injury claims throughout Nassau County and Long Island, NY, as well as in New York City and Westchester County. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.