A truck accident can change your world forever, making it impossible to return to the life you had before. As a result, you may be entitled to significant compensation if another party is to blame. However, the aftermath of a crash is stressful, and although there is no specific deadline as to when you should hire a truck accident lawyer, the sooner you do the better. Determining which parties can be held liable is often complicated. With the help of a Houston truck accident attorney, you can figure out how you need to approach your claim. Other things to consider when deciding at what point should you hire an attorney, including the following.
How Much Time has Passed Since the Accident?
Delaying contacting an attorney after a crash can result in a loss of critical evidence that proves fault. Ultimately, that can give the trucking company a considerable advantage, which may result in either the devaluing of your claim, or it being denied altogether. Examples of valuable evidence can include, traffic camera footage, inspection of the truck involved in the accident, proof that the trucker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the truck driver’s logbook, the truck’s black box data, photos of the scene and of any skid marks on the ground, eyewitness statements, etc.
Additionally, the state of Texas has a statute of limitations in place for truck accident claims, that allows victims up to two years to pursue compensation.
Have You Been Offered a Settlement by the Insurance Company?
You don’t necessarily need an attorney if the opposing party’s insurance company offers you a settlement, but consulting with one before you accept it is highly recommended. Insurers are motivated to settle quickly and for as little money as possible, which means the first settlement offer will likely be low. If your injuries and medical costs are severe, that amount probably won’t be enough to cover your current and future financial losses. Truck accident victims often win 3.5 times more in settlement compensation when they are represented by an attorney, according to a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council.
Are You Severely Injured?
Unfortunately, truck accidents often result in severe injuries that require immediate and possibly ongoing medical attention. A truck accident attorney can thoroughly investigate your claim and handle all negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf while you recover. If your injury is so serious that you’re unable to meet with a lawyer at their office, many are willing to come to you.
Have You Decided to Sue?
The legal process can be complicated and overwhelming. Even more so, if multiple parties are responsible for your injuries. For example, liable parties may potentially include the driver, the trucking company, truck manufacturer, or government entities. Trucking companies have a big budget to spend on legal representation. If you decide to sue, you will need a knowledgeable attorney at trial.
Texas has a comparative fault law, which can affect your amount of compensation. As long as you are less than 50 percent at fault, you can recover compensation, but the amount awarded will be reduced by your percentage of liability. Your lawyer will help you determine a strategy that will ensure you receive fair compensation, and that comparative fault laws are applied correctly.
Don’t hesitate to contact a skilled Houston truck accident lawyer today.