Millions of commercial trucking vehicles, including semi-trucks and tractor-trailers, travel U.S. roads each year. Because of their size — the average semi-truck is about 72 feet long and weighs 80,000 pounds — these vehicles cause serious destruction when they are involved in an accident. More often than not, the majority of the damage is on the smaller vehicle and its passengers.
Truck accidents happen for many reasons, and many different parties could be held responsible for the crash. Additionally, trucking companies and their insurers do not have your best interests at heart. They will almost always try to get you to settle for less than you deserve.
Those factors make the world of truck accident litigation a complex, confusing one best navigated with the help of an experienced truck accident attorney. How do you know whether yours is credible and will be able to competently handle your case? To start, they should have these four things:
1. Experience Handling Truck Accident Cases
As you search for your attorney, carefully check to ensure they have actual experience representing truck accident cases, particularly those resulting in severe damage for the passenger vehicle. Your attorney needs to understand trucking litigation from the inside out. They must know how to properly investigate the case and be able to reference both state and federal laws quickly and in high-pressure situations. They must also be able to talk to trucking companies and their insurers. These companies almost always try to avoid paying what they owe to the victim. A good truck accident attorney knows this and will have a ready set of strategies for dealing with these companies.
2. A Substantial History of Handling Truck Accident Cases
Just because an attorney says they have "experience handling truck accident cases" does not mean that experience is lengthy. They may have only handled one or two cases. While this is by no means a judgement on that person's abilities, truck crash cases where severe damage is involved (think truck rollovers and accidents caused by tired drivers) typically require an attorney with a longer history of dealing with truck accident litigation. Check the dates of an attorney's results on their website to see how far back the cases go. You can also always ask about history during your initial consultation.
3. Positive Customer Feedback
While no attorney wins every single case, you can get a sense of this person’s history by what their previous and current clients are saying. Look online for reviews from these clients to get a feel for what this attorney is like to work with. Are they compassionate and empathetic? Will they go out of their way to make you feel at ease during what will likely be a stressful situation? Other individuals' experiences with this attorney can tell you a lot about these things.
4. Awards and Honors
Top lawyers are frequently added to "Best of" lists and win other accolades, both local and national. An attorney's profile on their website or LinkedIn page should list such accomplishments, along with their participation on boards of community organizations and pro-bono activities. It's an extra plus if the attorney has won an award for multiple years in a row.
Trucking accident lawsuits often involve catastrophic injuries and victims who incur long-term if not lifelong setbacks. As a result, commercial insurers often view truck accident claims as significant threats to their bottom line and go to great lengths to pay victims as little as possible.
At Bostwick & Peterson, it is our goal to assist victims of these types of severe trucking accidents caused by negligence. You can read more about our record-setting results, and if you are in pain, know that you are not alone. Reach out to us today to discuss your case free of charge.