Have you or a loved one been hurt in a truck wreck? Check out these 4 truck accident questions that we are asked often, then give our Hamburg office a call.
1) What steps should I take after a truck accident?
The recommended steps after a commercial truck injury are really kind of two-fold. One is to make sure that your medical treatment is being paid for. We would like to make sure that you file your no-fault application promptly to make sure that you are getting your medical paid for, your lost wages, and things like that. The second part of that is doing the investigation. We make sure that we have the names of all witnesses that may have seen the accident. We get written and recorded statements from them. Memories fade over time. It’s not enough that you just got a name and number from somebody; that’s easy. You want to get that person’s recollection of the accident while it’s fresh in their mind. There’s nothing worse than talking to a witness two years after an accident versus a month after an accident, because the recollections are going to be totally different; people’s memories fade, so it’s important to get involved right away and get those people locked in.
2) Should I speak to the insurance company after a truck accident?
We discourage our clients from talking to the trucking company lawyer or the insurance company for the trucking company because, you have to understand something, they don’t really care about you. They may act like they do, but they don’t. Your best interest is only going to be looked after by your lawyer, not them. They want to make sure that they pay the least amount of money possible on claims. They’re not out to make sure that you’re fairly compensated, so don’t ever think that. Any time you get involved in conversations with them, and they start asking you a lot of different questions. You may become confused. You end up saying something that may not be correct. You’re locked into that because, many times, these conversations are recorded. Your best practice is when you get contacted by the company or their insurance company, is to say, “I have a lawyer. Let me talk to him, and then maybe we can have a discussion jointly down the road.”
3) Who can I sue for injury in a truck accident?
There could be many people that you can sue regarding a commercial truck accident. Of course, you have the operator of the truck, the owner of the tractor of the truck, the trailer that’s being pulled, and the company that may be doing the maintenance. Another person or entity that could be sued could be a construction company or a municipality, or the New York State Thruway Authority might be on the hook.
Say that you’re involved in an accident with a commercial truck, but the reason that commercial truck deviated from his lane is because maybe there was a barrel from a construction site in its way and they were trying to avoid it, or there was a hole in the road as a result of improper maintenance or construction that caused this vehicle to leave its lane or do something that caused the accident. We have to make sure that we have all those angles covered. There may be a multitude of defendants, and you’re not going to get that information unless you get involved early on in the investigation and get people in the know that can tell you who is responsible for maintenance, or who is the person directly responsible for overseeing the work at the construction site where the accident occurred. There are a lot of moving parts, and that’s why you want to get your investigation done early.
4) How much is my truck accident case worth?
With a commercial truck case, determining the value of your injury is a case-by-case basis. We look at the severity of the injury. Did someone lose a limb? Did they, God forbid, lose their eyesight or something really catastrophic? Those cases are actually somewhat easier to value. It’s the other cases where you may have a neck injury or a back injury that are harder to value. Those injuries may prevent you from working or doing your normal and customary activities. When you have those kinds of cases, making sure you get fully compensated is really important. Sometimes we have to hire experts, because you may have this back injury and you may need future back surgeries, so we need to determine how much medical care you’ll need in the future and what that future care would be. With that, what future household services will you need? Say your injury was such that you need to hire someone to plow your driveway, cut your lawn, things like that. There’s a value to that, and we hire experts to make sure that those values are presented to a jury or an insurance company to make sure you’re fully compensated.
Last but not least, you have your pain and suffering damages and of course that’s a case-by-case basis. Someone who has a serious physical injury at age 20, is going to have a case worth more than someone that may be at age 70, just because of life expectancy. This person that’s 20 has another 60 years of pain and suffering they have to live with, so that could increase the value of their claim.
Were you or a loved one seriously injured in a wreck and have questions? After reading this article about the 4 truck accident questions we are asked, contact a Hamburg truck accident lawyer at Chiacchia and Fleming today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. Let our experience work for you.
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