Whenever you’re involved in any type of accident and you sustain severe injuries, it’s a stressful and confusing time. When the other vehicle is a big truck, it’s even worse. The damages from truck accidents can be catastrophic. It can cause debilitating and lifelong injuries, inability to work, and irreparable damage to the quality of your life and relationships. Also, you may have to appear in court for a truck accident depending on a number of factors.
When this happens, you deserve financial compensation to cover your damages, especially if the accident was the other driver’s fault. You deserve to have your medical bills covered, your lost wages reimbursed, and to receive compensation for your pain and suffering and lost comfort.
However, the question most truck accident victims ask is if they have to suffer through a long and grueling trial. In this article, we’ll discuss if most truck accident claims go to trial or settle, and how a truck accident attorney can make a substantial difference in the compensation you’re able to recover.
What Happens After a Truck Accident in Illinois?
After being involved in a truck accident, many scenarios can play out. Typically, if you or the party involved in the accident contacts the police, the police will come to the crash scene and speak with the parties involved in the crash and complete an accident report. If they’re any injuries or fatalities involved, paramedics will treat the injured parties and fill out medical records.
In personal injury lawsuits involving truck accidents, drivers can agree to have their insurance companies pay for medical bills and associated damages. The injured party can receive compensation from the truck driver’s insurance company or their own insurer, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Sometimes, the injured party may want to pursue the case further and take the personal injury claim to trial.
When Do I Have To Go To Court for a Truck Accident?
The odds of going to court following a truck accident are higher when more is at stake. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a truck is a big and heavy vehicle that is likely to cause severe injuries or fatalities to passenger car occupants. Once injuries and fatalities occur in a truck crash, many expenses start accruing. Also, future medical expenses are a possibility, including lost wages and rehabilitation costs. To protect your interests and rights, after a truck accident it’s advisable to file a personal injury claim.
Further, the truck driver or the insurance company might claim you bear some fault or most of the liability for the truck accident, even though your negligence didn’t cause the accident. You must go to court to dispute this argument if you can’t settle the issue beforehand. Documented evidence, such as police reports, video surveillance, and medical records can help you reconstruct what happened and who was at fault.
Also, if the truck involved in the accident is a commercial truck, the trucking company may want a mechanic or garage to document damages and faulty mechanical safety features of the involved vehicles for their records. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that the most common cause of large truck accidents is brake problems. However, brake problems may shift liability for an accident elsewhere.
You’re more likely to go to court after a truck accident if a dispute is preventing a resolution. Often, the at-fault party and their insurance company can’t agree to a fair settlement offer, it might need to be decided in court. Insurance companies know all about calculated risks, and going to court isn’t in their best interest because the outcome lies in the hands of a judge or an unpredictable jury.
Insurance company representatives and your truck accident attorney will work hard together for a settlement that’s acceptable to all involved parties. However, you must ensure the settlement you accept covers all your expenses, both short-term and long-term.
Do Most Truck Accidents Cases Go to Court?
No, most crashes that involve vehicles settle out of court. That’s because it’s not always in the best interest of everyone involved in a truck accident case to go to trial. Court trials are quite expensive, and the longer the trial drags on, the more it costs. This can reduce your truck accident settlement because you must pay attorney fees and court costs, however, this often falls upon the loser of the case.
Further, a court case, mostly, is an “all or nothing” affair. This means you’ll pursue your compensation and there won’t be negotiations with the judge on how much you want; courts will simply rule on how much they think you’re eligible to receive, or they’ll rule that you’re not eligible to receive any compensation at all. Insurers and trucking companies don’t want to risk being liable for high payouts, and you don't want to walk away with nothing at all.
How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help My Case?
A truck accident lawyer can help you determine who is liable for your personal injuries, losses, and suffering. Often, multiple parties are liable for damages, including the truck driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer, the owner of the truck or trailer, the shipper or loader of the truck’s cargo. Your lawyer can seek to prove truck driver negligence, especially if the driver was reckless or ignored safety regulations.
Your truck accident attorney can help you coordinate a truck accident investigation after the crash. Apart from investigating the crash scene and collecting witness statements, your attorney will look at the following for evidence:
- The truck driver's qualifications, employment history, and drug and alcohol tests;
- The trucking company’s insurer information;
- The inspection of the truck involved in the crash;
- Property damage to your car; and
- Your medical records for injuries suffered.
Further, a truck accident attorney will make sure you’re aware of deadlines and federal regulations that may affect your case. An experienced auto accident lawyer understands the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies, trucking companies, and cargo companies. Also, a personal injury lawyer will look at the facts of your claim and determine the damages you’re entitled to. Also, they’ll help you calculate the total damages you should seek to cover your immediate and future expenses. Your personal injury attorney will negotiate with insurance companies and the responsible parties to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Experienced Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers Today for Legal Advice!
If you’re involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler and are seeking financial compensation, don’t sign anything, don’t admit liability, and don’t go it alone. Seek the legal services of an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer. The right truck accident attorney will stand up against the insurance companies and trucking companies and help you receive fair compensation.
The experienced truck accident lawyers at CCAL will give you the best shot at fair compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship.
If you’re in Illinois and need help with a truck accident claim, CCAL can help. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us today at (312) 300-2515 , or chat with us online to learn how we can help.