If you have been injured in a truck accident, then you are probably thinking about filing a suit against the company or driver. While it may sound straightforward, the process of filing an accident claim, especially against a trucking company, is complex. There are numerous steps that you will need to take, and the case will progress in stages – from filing to receiving your compensation. By understanding the stages that your case will go through, you can be that much more prepared for what lies ahead.
Six Stages of a Truck Accident Claim
- Contacting a truck accident attorney. The first and most important stage is contacting an attorney. You need to not only hire an accident attorney, but one who has experience in trucking accident cases. These cases are highly complex and often include state and federal regulations; therefore, you need a lawyer who is up-to-date on the latest regulations and laws. While you are waiting for your initial consultation, make sure you write down the details of your accident (including the date and time it occurred), any memories you have, injuries you have suffered, bills that you have encountered, etc.
- Securing the evidence. The second stage of an accident claim is securing the evidence. This is a complex, time-consuming stage that could take weeks or even months to complete. Your attorney may have to do everything from analyzing skid marks on the road to looking at the point of impact on your vehicle and examining medical records. The truck itself will also be investigated to see if there were any mechanical or maintenance issues that led to the accident. The driver’s record will be assessed and the federal government may also get involved to see if any federal driver regulations were violated.
- Filing the suit. The suit is not actually filed until your attorney has enough evidence to support the claim. At this stage, the documents discovered will be presented to the court.
- Discovery. This is the stage where your attorney and the other attorney will work together to share everyone’s evidence. But, it is not a free-for-all situation. Instead, the evidence is shared through two methods: Depositions and examinations. Depositions are question and answer sessions that you will have with the other side’s attorney. They will do this line of questioning in order to assess how true your injuries are, what happened, and to determine liability.
- Negotiations. Most cases will settle long before they go to court through settlement negotiations. Sometimes, these are done in person, while other times they are done back and forth between attorneys. You will need to dictate your terms to the other side, and your attorney will work hard to get the compensation that you deserve for past and future expenses. By settling before court, you may get finality. But, if the other side is unwilling to give you the settlement you need, your attorney may find it is more beneficial to take the case to court.
- The trial. If your case does not settle before your trial date, you will then go to court. Your case will be heard in front of a judge or jury (depending on what was selected). You will have to testify, and there may be experts as well as witnesses to the accident testifying as well. At the end of the trial, the judge or jury will present the verdict.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney at Schwartzapfel® Lawyers Today
If you have been injured in an accident with a semi-truck, contact the New York trucking accident attorneys at Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C. today. We can assist you with your accident claim and we will help you navigate the complex stages of trucking accident cases. Schedule a free consultation now at 1-877-737-4806 or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.