Why You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer
More than 150,000 truck accidents happen in the United States every year. Several of these accidents contribute to significant injuries, substantial property damage, and death.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries, expenses, and trauma. Hiring a Orange County truck accident lawyer makes it possible to fight for a fair settlement.
However, some truck accident victims may wonder if it’s worth it to hire a New Port truck accident lawyer. In this guide, we’ll explain all the reasons why you need to hire a truck accident attorney in Newport Beach.
Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help Find All Responsible Parties
Many different factors can cause a truck accident, such as poor road conditions, vehicle malfunction, and driver error. California is an at-fault state, meaning that multiple people can be held liable for a truck accident they caused.
In some cases, there may be many liable parties in a truck accident. This includes:
- Trucking Companies: Trucking companies have a duty of care to place functional fleets on the road. If they are found to have sent out cars that haven’t received proper maintenance, they could be held liable for a truck accident.
- Truck Manufacturers: Truck manufacturers are responsible for producing functional vehicles. You can hold a truck manufacturer like Ford accountable for your accident if a truck isn’t working properly. For example, if a truck’s brakes malfunctioned at a red light, your lawyer could add them to your claim as a defendant.
- Government Entities: Cities and counties provide maintenance to roadways. If a poor roadway caused a truck accident, they could be held liable. Granted, suing a government entity is an enormous undertaking that requires a powerful law firm like Bentley & More LLP on your side.
When you hire a lawyer, they’ll get down to the bottom of your case and find all the parties responsible.
Your Lawyer Can Handle Complicated Negotiations
If your semi-truck accident claim has merit, the insurance company will likely attempt to settle out of court. This doesn’t mean that the insurance company won’t fight tooth and nail to give you a lowball settlement offer.
When you go to the settlement table on your own, you’re playing into the hands of the insurance company. Insurance companies hire experienced attorneys to represent them and salivate the chance to negotiate with truck accident victims.
This means they’ll use every legal trick to give you nuisance value instead of the settlement you actually deserve. When you hire a lawyer, you can level the playing field and make an insurance company take negotiations seriously.
Most of the time, people have no idea how to value their settlements. This is why when they go into negotiations on their own, they don’t know how much they should ask for.
Fighting your own claim will likely end in you accepting a low settlement offer, even if you believe it’s a lot of money. For example, you may be upset to discover that you received $100,000 for your injuries when your claim was actually worth $750,000.
If you want to get the highest settlement offer possible, hiring a truck accident attorney is the smartest approach.
An Attorney Can Develop a Winning Legal Strategy
When you file a truck accident claim, there are usually two outcomes:
- You’ll settle out of court.
- Negotiations will fall through and you’ll go to trial.
To achieve any of these outcomes, you’ll need to have a legal strategy. Having an experienced lawyer on your side means you’ll be heading into either situation with a battle-tested strategy.
If you head into negotiations with the insurance company, your lawyer will use their expertise to fight for a fair settlement offer. If you head to trial, your lawyer will gather evidence and expert witnesses to determine the best course of legal action.
Without a lawyer, you risk heading into negotiations and court ill-prepared and lacking the resources only a successful law firm can deliver.
A Law Firm Can Help You Navigate Comparative Fault
In California, civil cases and tort follow a legal principle known as comparative fault. This simply means that a personal injury claim, such as a truck accident, can have its fault split up.
This means there is a possibility that the victim and the driver can both cause an accident. The good news is that if your percentage of fault isn’t above 50%, you’re still entitled to compensation.
This is why hiring an attorney is essential. If you go into negotiations alone and an insurance company accuses you of causing a truck accident, they may threaten that you hold most of the blame.
With an attorney present, an insurance company likely won’t resort to this tactic and take negotiations more seriously. Their presence will also ensure that only facts are brought to the table to properly determine comparative fault.
Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You Navigate the Legal Process
Every truck accident claim is different, but the legal process for each is similar. Pursuing a truck accident claim is a complicated process and it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re on your own.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you don’t need to add more stress on top of your hospital bills, lost wages, and injuries. By hiring a truck accident lawyer, you can receive peace of mind knowing that a legal professional is fighting on your behalf.
How to Hire the Right Truck Accident Lawyer
By now, you should understand why you need a truck accident lawyer for your claim. When you’re ready to hire a lawyer, you should follow these strategies to maximize your settlement offer and avoid buyer’s remorse.
Remember That Location Matters
Personal injury laws vary across jurisdictions in California. Getting injured in a truck accident in Newport Beach has different legal ramifications than if you were injured in Orange County.
For this reason, you should hire a truck accident lawyer who has experience handling cases in your local area. Finding an experienced, local attorney is essential for knowing the ins and outs of personal injury laws for your claim.
If you were going to the hospital for an important surgical procedure, it’s likely you’d be nervous if your doctor is fresh out of medical school. In the same way, your livelihood and long-term health are on the line when filing a claim.
Hiring an experienced truck accident attorney can give you clarity and peace of mind. However, experience doesn’t just matter when selecting an attorney. You should also look at their case record to see how they’ve handled claims similar to yours.
Stick With the Specialists
During your search for qualified local truck accident attorneys, you’re bound to run into law firms that specialize in dozens of practice areas.
While these attorneys may add different perspectives, it’s important to hire an attorney who specializes in truck accidents. You can explore a truck accident’s website to see if they actually specialize in truck accidents.
Truck accident cases in California can be complex, especially if your claim involves multiple defendants. Therefore, you should perform your due diligence in making sure your attorney’s expertise aligns with the specifics of your claim.
Decide Whether You Want a Small or Large Law Firm
Small law firms are usually more personable and provide incredible client support. If you value close collaboration with your lawyer, hiring a small firm may be in your best interest.
However, large law firms have substantial resources available to pursue complicated claims. If your claim has multiple defendants and you’re pursuing a high settlement amount, it may be best to hire a large law firm.
The good news is that it’s not difficult to make this decision. When you meet with a law firm, they’re likely going to tell you if they can handle your case or not. If your case requires greater expertise, they may even refer you to a larger law firm.
Check Their Track Record
Truck accident attorneys usually work on a contingency basis. This means they don’t get paid unless they win and collect a settlement for you. Because of this, truck accident lawyers take on substantial risk.
The best truck accident attorneys know this and have excellent track records regardless. When you’re meeting with a prospective truck accident lawyer, make sure to ask about their track record.
You can usually find this information on their website and even browse their most recent cases and outcomes.
Make Sure They’re Ready to Fight
If your lawyer is eager to settle, then you are looking at a red flag. Insurance companies would prefer to settle quickly so they don’t pay expensive legal fees and possibly lose in court.
If your lawyer is eager to settle, it could mean they’re trying to get paid instead of helping you get a maximum settlement.
While a qualified lawyer doesn’t want a lengthy court battle, they’re willing to go the distance for you to ensure you collect a fair settlement for your injuries.
Check Online Reviews
You can check online reviews from Google, Yelp, and other online directories to see how prospective law firms handled their past claims.
Ultimately, any law firm can create a website and publish cases they’ve “allegedly” won. You can distinguish average law firms from the best ones by looking at their online reviews.
You don’t have to browse online reviews just to verify a law firm’s track record. You can also look at online reviews to determine a lawyer’s customer service quality.
If a law firm doesn’t communicate well with its clients and charges them hidden fees, online reviews from dissatisfied clients will reveal this.
Get Personal Recommendations
If you know someone who was injured in a truck accident, you can ask for a recommendation. Chances are they know a great truck accident lawyer who can assist with your claim.
Relatives, coworkers, and close friends can all provide recommendations on the top truck accident lawyers in your area. After all, word-of-mouth is still the most powerful form of advertising.
Make Sure Your Lawyer is a People’s Person
The best lawyers have great interpersonal skills. They are excellent listeners and explain complicated legal topics well.
When you meet a prospective lawyer for the first time, they’re supposed to make you feel comfortable. After all, filing a truck accident claim is a serious undertaking.
A qualified truck accident attorney will put you at ease and reassure you throughout the complex legal process.
Look for Free Consultations
Highly-rated truck accident lawyers will normally provide free consultations to prospective clients.
A consultation is not optional. It’s essential for lawyers to determine if your case has merit and if they’re the right fit for your claim.
If a truck accident lawyer doesn’t provide a free consultation, you should treat it as a red flag. No lawyer worth their salt will charge you money just to learn more about your claim.
This is especially true if the attorney decides not to take your claim, meaning you paid them for nothing.
Contact Bentley & More LLP to Schedule a Free Consultation
Overall, hiring a truck accident lawyer is vital to receiving a maximum settlement offer. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident that you didn’t cause, a lawyer will have the resources to fight for you.
If you’re convinced and would like to hire a leading personal injury attorney in Orange County, the legal team at Bentley & More LLP would love to speak with you.