More than 15 million commercial trucks transport cargo across North America every year. With so many 18-wheelers on the roads, accidents between trucks and passenger vehicles is common. If you’re involved in a truck crash, you might have serious injuries and major property damage leading to an expensive claim against the at-fault trucker’s insurance company.
If this happens, you’re wise to consult a truck accident attorney to obtain fair compensation for your property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Below are five questions you should ask your potential attorney during your initial consultation.
1.How many truck accident cases have you handled in the past?
Significant experience is vital in a truck accident case because they are more complex than other vehicle accident cases. An experienced truck crash lawyer can work to get you fair compensation by:
- Calling in an independent investigator/accident reconstructionist to prove the negligent trucker’s liability
- Obtaining valuable data from the truck’s black box data recorder and GPS system
- Checking video footage from nearby security or red-light cameras
- Examining cell phone records to determine whether distracted driving was a factor in your wreck
- Gaining access to the trucker’s log books, which give details of:
- Miles traveled
- Hours of driving
- Stops made
- Cargo loaded/unloaded
2.How many truck accident cases have you tried in court?
The difference in size and weight between a tractor-trailer and the average passenger vehicle is so great, truck accidents often result in severe injury and costly medical bills. That means, a truck crash is expensive for an insurance company, which is likely to dispute or deny your claim or offer you a low settlement to save money. If negotiation does not get you a fair settlement offer, your lawyer has to be prepared to file a lawsuit and fight for you in court. The insurance company’s trial attorneys will be well trained and experienced. Yours had better be the same.
3.Are you knowledgeable about FMCSA regulations and how truck accident cases differ from car cases?
Both Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations and Maryland state law apply to truck accident cases, so your attorney has to be completely familiar with both in order to represent you properly. There are also complex differences between car and truck insurance policies. A tractor and the trailer it’s pulling might be owned by different companies and actually have two different insurance policies, both of which your lawyer must understand to represent you properly.
Investigating the crash and preserving evidence are both more challenging in a truck accident case than in other wrecks because there could be more than one party liable for your damages, including:
- The trucker
- The trucking company
- The owner(s) of the tractor and trailer
- A leasing company
- The cargo-loading personnel
- A truck maintenance/repair service
- A parts manufacturer
Each defendant might have a different insurance company against which you have to file a claim. Disputes by the companies are common because the stakes are high, so your attorney must be skilled in negotiation with insurance company lawyers, perhaps many of them.
4.Do you belong to any specialty law groups that train in truck accident litigation?
Truck accident litigation organizations provide a variety of resources to help their attorney members hone their skills in truck crash cases, including:
- Webinars/training videos
D. Bruce Poole, Esq. is not only a member of several such organizations, he has also been honored and recognized by more than one of them for his accomplishments in truck accident litigation over the past three decades and more.
5.How often have you handled cases in the specific jurisdiction where my crash occurred?
A local attorney will be familiar not only with local laws but also with the local legal system. A local lawyer who knows and has worked with area courts, judges, juries, doctors, and expert witnesses is the most likely to get you the best results in your truck accident claim. The Poole Law Group has been representing clients in Maryland since 1958, when the firm was founded by D. Bruce Poole’s father, former County and State’s Attorney David K. Poole, Jr.
Have You Been Hurt in a Truck Accident?
The truck accident attorneys at The Poole Law Group have the experience and skill to help you seek fair compensation for your damages. Please contact us online, start a chat, or call us to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees unless we win your case.