The top thing you can do to protect your rights after a truck accident is to hire a truck accident lawyer as early as you can.
While protecting your rights, your attorney will handle the claims process on your behalf and advocate for an appropriate settlement.
Understand Who Is on Your Side
One thing you can do to protect your rights after a truck accident is to be careful who you trust. After a truck accident, it is vital to realize the insurance companies are not always on your side. The only people you can count on to protect your rights are yourself and your legal team.
If the insurance company, the trucking company, or the legal team representing the driver asks you about the accident or demands you give them a statement, you should delay the conversation until you have an attorney who can handle this communication. It is very easy to say something the insurance company or the liable party’s legal team will try to use against you, even though you are just telling the truth about what happened.
In some cases, the insurance company may attempt to offer a quick and easy settlement while you are still undergoing treatment or before you have a good understanding of the value of your case. You can be confident that insurance companies are experienced in handling truck accident claims.
Therefore, an insurance company may attempt to undervalue your claim hoping that you do not know the difference. Agreeing to any settlement without discussing it with an attorney could put your right to a fair payout in jeopardy.
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Know That Your Case Will Likely Involve the Trucking Company
Another reason you will likely want to hire a truck accident attorney as soon as possible is that the at-fault truck driver is unlikely to be the only liable party. Per CC Art. 2320, the driver’s employer, depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, can also be vicariously liable in these cases. This means that your case can be brought against the truck driver and the trucking company.
Unfortunately, the trucking company is often in possession of a lot of the evidence necessary to support your claim in this type of accident. To protect your right to this evidence—and to preserve the evidence itself—your attorney will send a spoliation letter demanding the trucking company to keep all potential evidence.
Examples of evidence your attorney could gain access to through this process include:
- Data from the truck’s computer
- The trucker’s rest logs
- Drug and alcohol test results
- Dashcam video of the accident
- The damage to the tractor and trailer
- The trucker’s driving records
Act Quickly to Meet the Deadlines
In general, CC Art. 3492 gives you only one year to begin the legal process of holding the truck driver and their employer accountable for your injuries and damages. You may be able to reach an out-of-court settlement without needing to file a civil suit, but this is not always possible.
If you need to take the case to trial, you have only 365 days from the accident date to initiate this paperwork and name the defendants in filings with the court. If you miss this deadline, you will likely lose the right to hold them accountable and recover compensation through a civil trial.
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Pursuing a Truck Accident or Wrongful Death Case
Working with an attorney is the easiest and least stressful option for pursuing damages in a personal injury claim or a wrongful death action under CC Art. 2315.2. Your attorney will go to work to protect your rights and develop a case for financial recovery as soon as you sign a contract for them to represent you in your case.
Your legal team will manage all communications on your behalf, put a value on your case, and negotiate for a fair settlement with the liable parties. All you need to do is choose a lawyer and continue your treatment and rehabilitation.
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Call Today for a Free Review of Your Lafayette Truck Accident Case
You can speak with the team from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today for free. Our Lafayette truck accident team provides free case consultations, and our attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis. Dial (337) 777-7777 today to discuss your case, your rights, and your legal options for pursuing a payout.
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