In the aftermath of a collision with a large truck, you may be struggling to recover from your injuries so you can move on with your life. The last thing you need to do is deal with a lawsuit, but that is the unfortunate reality for many truck accident victims. Understanding what to expect during your lawsuit can make this process easier.
The procedure of claiming damages is a multi-step process, which includes five significant phases. This article is a basic overview of what happens during each of them.
Once a victim decides to seek justice and compensation after a truck collision, their lawyer will take a series of steps in the following order:
A lawyer will look at the case objectively and determine which party was negligent. To do this, you will have to go over the details relating to the accident with your attorney, and then they will examine all of the evidence. They will determine that negligence exists on the part of the truck driver if:
• The driver made a trip while tired or drunk
• The driver happened to be distracted on the road by a phone call,texting, eating, etc.
• The truck was poorly maintained or improperly loaded
• The driver violated one or more driving laws
If there is negligence on the driver’s part, a victim can then claim damages. This is what the process looks like.
The second step of the lawsuit is filing a claim with the insurance company. In all 50 states, trucks must carry insurance coverage. During this step of your claim, the insurance company will make a settlement offer that most likely won’t be nearly enough to cover your damages.
If you or your lawyer feels that the settlement is fair, then the case ends here. However, there are instances where the collision losses are so immense that the insurance company’s compensations seem unfair. If this happens, a third step comes into play.
In this phase, a lawyer will file a complaint with the court. The complaint gives a full account of how the accident occurred, presents evidence in favor of the victim’s claim, and clearly states who the defendants are.
The named defendants then review the complaint documents and make a response. Additionally, they may file various motions in this stage. The plaintiffs can also counter with motions of their own. Therefore, this phase may require a considerable amount of time.
As the name suggests, this stage is all about “discovering” evidence. Attorneys for both parties will present the evidence that backs their claims. Myriad legal works go into this process, including:
• Requests for documents
• Examinations by independent examiners, often from the medical field
By the end of this phase, all parties involved will decide whether to go to trial or not. If any party sees overwhelming evidence against them, they may decide to go back to negotiations. However, if all parties believe they have enough evidence to make a winning case, the case goes to trial.
Trials are usually the end step of truck crash lawsuits. It happens when the plaintiff and defendant fail to reach a compensation agreement. In this stage, the lawyers of both parties present their case to a judge or jury. By the end of the trial period, the judge or jury decides who is at fault and what, if any, compensation the parties will get.
You can visit this truck accident lawyer website to learn more about this process. A lawyer can help prepare victims for crucial steps in the process, such as depositions. Moreover, they can advise on whether a settlement to victims is fair. Be sure to seek legal advice before pursuing justice after an involvement in a truck crash.