Information that Comes from Experience
Truck Accident Lawyers at Speaks Law Firm have represented good people injured in truck accidents all over North Carolina over many years. We know the laws governing the trucking industry because we deal with them daily. We know accident law, traffic law, insurance law and criminal law. We know the people and the processes that are involved in truck accident claims. We know the steps to take now to set your claim up correctly from the beginning to avoid the mistakes that insurance companies will use to avoid paying all or part of your claim.
We are here to answer your questions so that you can be sure your claim is set up correctly right from the very beginning. We know what to do and what NOT to do. Right now, you may not have decided what to do about a lawyer, but you do need reliable information. We can provide it. Just give us a call. We can answer your questions. The call is free and there is no obligation. Our mission is to help you recover a successful settlement for your accident and injuries.
7 Steps to a Successful Settlement
The goal of every truck accident injury claim is to obtain a fair settlement. Injury lawyers cannot make you better. Hard work and quality medical care do that. However, truck accidents cause more than physical damage. They present economic challenges, as well. Our role is to address the economic impact of the accident. And, if you have been injured in a Truck Accident, you know the economic impact is real, and it is immediate.
First, we will provide information about the truck accident lawyers at Speaks Law Firm and why it is that we are qualified to provide this information. Next, we will describe the elements all motor vehicle accident and injury claims. We will explain how truck accidents are similar and how they are different. We will discuss common causes, sources of recovery and common mistakes in these types of claims. Next, we will inform you on what we can do to help. Finally, we will indicate to you the next steps towards the successful resolution to your claim.
1. Obtain Reliable Information.
What qualifies us to provide this information?
We help good people who have been injured in truck accidents recover fair compensation for their injuries. We are rated "10.0" (out of a maximum of 10.0), "Superb", and "Top Car Accident Attorney" by National Attorney ranking service Avvo.com. In addition, Clarke has been identified as a Super Lawyer for his work in the legal field of personal injury law in three consecutive years. Clarke Speaks has also been selected as a member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers. Recently, Clarke was awarded the National Association of Distinguished Counsel's Nations Top Attorneys designation. Clarke literally wrote the book on auto injuries in North Carolina-The North Carolina Auto Injury Book. In addition, we have years of experience providing effective representation for people in these types of claims with a proven track record of success.
2. Know the Elements of a Motor Vehicle Accident & Injury Claim.
We travel the roads everyday in order to get where we need to be. Most of the time other drivers are careful and obey the rules of the road. Sometimes they are not as careful. Sometimes they are downright careless. When they are careless or disobey these rules and someone gets hurt, they are liable for the damages they cause.
The law requires those who cause accidents to pay for the losses that result. Medical bills, lost income, permanent impairment, and pain and suffering are examples of loss. All of the loss amounts together are the damages in a particular accident claim.
Most people don't have enough money to pay for the damages that result from mistakes they make while driving. As a result, the law requires car owners and drivers to purchase insurance in case they accidently hurt someone else. After an accident, the insurance company for the responsible driver must pay or defend the claim. In some instances, the careless driver does not have insurance so the injured person must look to other sources to recover money for the damages that result.
2. Understand How Truck and Auto Accident Injury Claims are Similar.
In some ways, truck accident injury claims are very similar to other auto injury claims. The injured person must demonstrate liability and damages. There must be insurance coverage or some other source of recovery.
The goal of the insurance companies that extend coverage to all drivers is, like in any other business, to make money. Insurance companies accomplish this by maximizing the amount of premiums they collect and minimizing the amount of money they spend. Insurance companies spend money in the form of payouts for the claims that are filed with them. In short, the driver’s insurance company will try to pay you the least amount of money possible for your injuries so that they can save money for their employers: the responsible driver's insurance company.
3. Learn How Truck and Auto Accident Injury Claims are Different.
Your Injuries may be more serious after a Truck Accident.
Any accident can be serious, but collisions involving big trucks can be devastating. While the average vehicle on our state highways weighs less than 5,000 pounds, tractor-trailer trucks can weigh upwards of 60- 70- or even 80-thousand pounds. What might otherwise be a minor collision may lead to serious injury or even death when one of these massive commercial trucks is involved.
Your Medical Expenses and other Costs may be Greater after a Truck Accident.
Severe injuries can lead to additional costs, expenses and areas of loss for the injured person. First, truck accidents can result in significantly greater medical expense. Also, permanent impairment can result. This can affect you ability to care for yourself or enjoy your life. In addition, other consequences such as lost income can be more extensive than less serious accidents. The responsible insurance company should pay these additional costs. However, they will not do so voluntarily. These damages must be properly documented from the very beginning of your claim.
You May Be Better Off Pursuing Your Claim in Federal Court.
If the trucking company or orther driver is based out of a state other than North Carolina, federal court may be a better forum for your claim. Federal courts have jurisdiction where the claim is large and the parties reside in different states. The decision on whether to pursue your claim through state or federal court is case specific. It must be evaluated based upon complete information and on a case by case basis.
4. Consider the Common Causes of Truck Accidents.
Adding to the danger of the sheer size of tractor-trailers is the fact that the drivers of these rigs are often tired from long hours behind the wheel and strict deadlines for making deliveries. Exhaustion, deadlines, and other factors can result in inattention. A split second of inattention on the part of a tractor-trailer driver can be the difference between a near miss and a life-changing or life-ending collision.
Improperly Maintained Equipment
In addition, these big rigs must be properly maintained to insure the safety of everyone on the road. Cost cutting, time management considerations and human error sometimes produce poorly maintained equipment. Poorly maintained quipment can be dangerous or even deadly.
Injuries Resulting from Truck Accidents and 18 Wheeler Auto Collisions are different in some ways from other types of auto injuries and require that your injury lawyer have special knowledge, training and experience .
5. Investigate the Insurance Coverage
Who Will Pay for all of This?
Truck drivers are required to maintain commercial insurance policies on their vehicles by order of the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCA), and these policies typically have much higher minimum coverage limits than ordinary insurance policies. Insurance coverage is a very important issue in truck accident claims. The FMCA typically requires these policies to have a floor limit of $1 million, meaning that the insurance company will pay for documented proven losses up to $1 million. Many truckers have even larger policies.
What is the Significance of Higher Minimum Coverage Limits in a Truck Accident?
Simply put, because truck accidents are different than other types of vehicle accidents, each claim has a unique value. The value of your claim will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. The good news is most commercial policies are generally substantial which means that there should be enough insurance proceeds to pay for all of the damages for your claim.
6. Keep Away from Common Mistakes
Many people often make mistakes in trucking and other auto injury claims. The most common mistake is speaking to an insurance adjuster or accepting a settlement from the trucker’s insurance company immediately after their accident. This is a mistake. You would not speak to a detective who was investigating you for a crime without first speaking to an experienced attorney. "I did nothing wrong," you might say. I am sure that is true but it is very important that you speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer before you speak with an insurance adjuster about your claim.
7. Get More Guidance.
When you have questions, calling the right attorney is important. Selecting the right attorney to call can be difficult. It must be someone who is knowledgeable, experienced and effective. Also, it must be someone with whom you feel comfortable and someone you believe genuinely has your best interests in mind.
We are experienced truck accident attorneys. We can answer your immediate questions. We can review the investigative materials to make sure that the accident was accurately and completely documented. We may be able to get you the treatment you need even if you do not have medical insurance. We can properly document your claim by gathering police reports, witness statements, photographs, medical records and medical bills. We can perform the legal research, loss analysis and demand calculations necessary to pursue your claim. We present this documentation to the insurance company. Our knowledge and reputation for diligence and history of success helps us a every stage of this process. Finally, we will work closely with you to understand your priorities and concerns and have your best interests in mind. This comprehensive approach is a time-tested and proven method of producing a successful truck accident injury claim resolution.
The Next Step
The attorneys at Speaks Law Firm can answer your questions and determine how much your claim is worth. We can maximize the amount of recovery for your injuries. We know the laws governing the trucking industry. We deal with truck accidents on a daily basis. We know the fair settlement value of these kinds of cases and know what needs to be done to recover it. We prepare at the beginning so we usually do not have to fight at the end. Call (910) 341-7570 or toll free at (877) 593-4233, CHAT, or fill out the how can we help you form [located on the right of this page] to take the next towards acheiving a successful settlement for truck accident claim.
A Word of Caution
Proceed with caution when a lawyer brags about how aggressive he or she is. Everyone thinks they want a "bulldog". Successful claims are based upon thorough documentation, precise legal analysis, meticulous preparation and relentless advocacy. The opposing lawyers are smart. An overly aggressive lawyer can "bulldog" you into a risky, unnecessary and expensive trial. In addition, look out for lawyers who promise a particular result without adequate information.
Still, not sure if you should call? Take a look at this article, "How to Select the Right Truck Accident Lawyer". It contains a step by step approach that will help you make informed decisions.
The Speaks Law Firm team.
Call now at (910) 341-7570 or toll free at (877) 593-4233 with your questions.