Some types of accident claims are fairly reasonable to sort out. Incidents involving commercial vehicles, though, are often very complicated. Here are four reasons why it's probably wise to hire a truck accident lawyer to represent your interests.
The Not-It Game
While many defendants are comfortable dealing with claims as normal insurance cases, there is room for folks in many cases to try to push liability onto someone else. A company will happily let a driver of the truck or the shop responsible for its maintenance take the hit because trucking insurance claims are frequently massive. Worse, some operations are self-insured, meaning they may have a stake in paying as little as possible.
Many Possible Defendants
When a commercial vehicle accident attorney reviews a case, one of the first things they have to figure out is who will be the defendant. Sometimes that's a fairly simple thing to do, especially if the company operating the truck functions as a single entity. If they hire the driver, own the vehicle, deal with the load, and handle maintenance under one business, then that single corporate entity is almost certainly the defendant.
On the other hand, there are scenarios where the driver is one business and they've been hired by a third party that contracts for the original company that sent the shipment. This can make identifying the liable party a bit more difficult.
As accident claims go, trucking industry incidents tend to be heavier with documentation that most other claims. In particular, there are oftentimes many discovery requests directed at companies. For example, a truck accident lawyer will want to see documents showing the background checks and drug screenings the vehicle operator underwent. Similarly, your attorney will want to see the maintenance logs for the truck.
Escalating to a Catastrophic Injury Claim
While many states have laws limiting the damages that a claimant can collect, one major exception involves catastrophic injuries. If your injuries are deemed catastrophic, compensation will be uncapped.
Catastrophic injuries are ones that are life-altering, such as facial disfigurements, damaged nerves, spinal cord injuries, permanent muscle tissue damage, or lost body parts. Someone might also suffer damage to their eardrums, exposure to chemicals, and even loss of sight.
It's not hard to imagine how a victim might suffer catastrophic injuries in a truck accident. However, you may still need to justify the escalation of the claim before you can seek uncapped compensation.
Talk to an attorney, such as Snyder & Wenner, P.C., to get help with your case.