If you sustained one or more injuries as the result of a truck accident, the actions you take following the crash determine whether you receive compensation to recover financial losses. Calling 911 should be the first item on your to-do list. The responding law enforcement officers secure the scene to prevent additional accidents, as well as conduct an investigation that leads to the filing of a formal police report. After contacting a law enforcement agency, you should seek medical care to diagnose and treat your injuries. Even if you feel healthy enough to remain at the scene of the truck collision, you should eventually receive medical care to ensure you have not developed the delayed symptoms of a medical condition.
A very important item on your to-do list is to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer in Columbus, Ohio. Hiring a local experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in handling truck accident cases provides you with several types of legal support. Although you might think filing an insurance claim is a straightforward process, many insurance companies take advantage of policyholders who do not retain legal representation.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer After a Truck Accident?
Another issue with filing an auto insurance claim on your own is that you might make one or more mistakes. One of the personal injury attorneys from Schiff & Associates ensures you complete every section with accurate information. Receiving legal support for filing an insurance claim is just one of many reasons to hire a truck accident lawyer.
The first step for your attorney is to determine the cause of the truck accident. Your lawyer conducts a thorough investigation that includes gathering physical evidence, such as photographs of the accident scene and traffic and/or security camera footage. Additionally, the truck accident lawyer also helps you obtain statements from witnesses.
The three most common causes of truck accidents are distractions, reckless driving, and driving a big rig while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. In addition to common distractions such as texting and driving, truck drivers also can become distracted by reading a manifest and interacting with the logistics center. Because truck drivers operate on super-tight schedules, taking risks such as speeding while operating a big rig is a common strategy to make up for lost time.
Act as an Intermediary with the Insurance Adjuster
We already mentioned how a truck accident lawyer from Schiff & Associates can help you file a persuasive insurance claim, as well as ensure the insurance company processing your claim does not take advantage of you. Another benefit of hiring a personal injury lawyer is for your attorney to act as a buffer between you and the insurance adjuster. Dealing with an insurance adjuster can trigger stress and frustration because of the time commitment you must make. By hiring a truck accident lawyer, you free up considerable time to focus on more important matters such as healing your injuries.
Calculate a Value for Compensation
One of the most common reasons why insurance adjusters deny claims is because policyholders submit unreasonable values for compensation. Your truck accident lawyer adds up the tangible costs associated with your case, such as the value of lost wages, medical bills, and repairs for property damage. The challenging part of calculating compensation concerns coming up with a value for non-economic damages, which refer to the costs associated with pain and suffering. Surviving a truck accident can cause you to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is one of many types of emotional distress issues you might have to confront after a traumatic event like a truck accident.
Your truck accident lawyer calculates a fair value for non-economic damages by using a formula that factors in the value of economic damages.
Prove the Four Elements of Negligence
Determining the cause of the truck accident that caused you to sustain one or more injuries is just the first step in determining whether another party committed one or more acts of negligence. Your truck accident lawyer also must prove the presence of the four elements that define negligence.
Showing another party owed you a duty of care represents the first element of proving negligence. As with other types of motorists, truck drivers owe a duty of care to operate their big rigs safely to prevent causing harm to one or more parties. The second element of proving negligence involves showing another party breached the duty of care doctrine by committing at least one careless act. For example, a truck driver who operates a big rig while under the influence of alcohol has violated the duty of care doctrine.
The third element of proving negligence requires your truck accident lawyer to link a breach in the duty of care doctrine to the development of your injuries. Copies of medical bills help your attorney demonstrate that a truck accident caused you harm. However, the other party’s attorney might claim you sustained your injuries from another source. As the last element of proving negligence, your truck accident lawyer submits documents that verify the truck accident generated financial losses.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Before the Expiration of the Statute of Limitations
One of the most important reasons to hire a truck accident lawyer in Columbus, Ohio concerns filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages before the expiration of the statute of limitations. Each state has established a deadline for taking legal action, with most states setting a deadline between one and four years. According to Ohio law, the statute of limitations for filing most types of personal injury lawsuits for negligence, including for a truck accident, is two years from the date of the accident.
Work with an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
When you search for a truck accident lawyer, you want to hire one who gets results for
clients. At Schiff & Associates, we have helped our clients receive just compensation since 1982. We do not charge any upfront legal fees because our truck accident attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not get paid until you get paid. Learn more about how a truck accident attorney can help with your claim in Columbus, Ohio by scheduling a free case evaluation today with an attorney from Schiff & Associates.