If you’re involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler, you probably want your case over as soon as possible. Truck and tractor-trailer wrecks are typically more serious than other crashes, with more severe injuries. Many victims are left unable to work for some time, with medical and other bills piling up.
It may be tempting to take the first settlement offer that comes your way. However, understanding what goes into building a claim against a trucking company or truck driver, and why truck crash cases benefit from these steps, is important. We want our client to receive the best possible outcome after they are injured, and allowing your attorney to take these steps will benefit you in the long run.
Factors in making a strong case for compensation after a truck crash
Because of the size and weight of semi-trucks, cases involving injuries can be much more complicated than a typical car wreck. You can be sure both insurance companies will be performing a thorough investigation.
Some of the factors and variables that play into how your injury claim might proceed involve issues like the following:
- Examining the truck driver’s safety record, certifications, and any history of moving violations or Department of Transportation (DOT) infractions.
- Many semi-truck crashes necessitate investigations by both state and federal agencies, including the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These analyses can be extremely helpful for your case – however, sometimes these reports can take up to a year to be completed. Again, however, this is worth waiting for, as they typically contain a large amount of helpful information.
- Your semi-truck crash attorney will need to examine the information from all of the investigative reports. He or she may need the evaluation skills of a crash reconstruction expert to analyze the technical details in the documents.
- Your attorney will also likely investigate the driver of the truck, the background of the trucking company, what kind of cargo the truck was carrying, how it was loaded on the truck and who loaded it, and at what facility it was loaded. Any of these could be factors in your crash.
- In order to determine your losses, your attorney also has to collect your medical bills, lost wages, medical evidence documenting the extent of your injuries, pain and suffering, property loss, and other related losses.
Negotiations with an insurance company take time. If the people responsible for your injuries refuse to accept responsibility, or their insurance company lowballs a settlement offer, you may need to proceed to trial. Sometimes, however, a better settlement offer can be reached just because we have already prepared for this potential outcome.
Our South Carolina truck injury attorneys work to make your case move as efficiently and quickly as possible. However, we hold your best interests above all else and will never rush to settle a claim for less than it is worth. Talk to the truck crash lawyers at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC today. Call us at 803-327-7800 or complete our contact form.
Randy is the former President of the South Carolina Association for Justice. He has been certified by the American Board of Professional Liability as a specialist in Medical Malpractice Law which is recognized by the South Carolina Bar. Randy has also been awarded the distinction of being a “Super Lawyer” 10 times in the last decade. He has over 25 years of experience helping injured people fight back against corporations, hospitals and wrong-doers.
Read more about S. Randall Hood