Have you been injured in a crash and have questions about how to win your truck accident claim? Read our blog, then give us a call today!
Choosing an Attorney
The question often comes up, “How do I select the right truck accident attorney if I get injured in Arizona?” That’s a very important question if you’ve been hit by a semi-trailer or any large truck. In fact, we’ve had situations like that, recently, where people contact us to talk to one of our attorneys and they say, “Yeah, if somebody can do a car accident, it’s just a bigger vehicle, right?” Well, one of our attorneys was talking to a potential client the other day and explained, no, that’s not right. It’s like the difference between minor leagues and major leagues, if you’re a baseball player, and the reason is because it really is that much different in how a truck accident case needs to be handled from a car accident case.
For instance, it’s very common that a lot of car accident attorneys will handle it the same way, and that can cost you, as a client, as the attorney explained, thousands of dollars. How? As it was explained to this potential client, let’s go through some of those possibilities. All these trucks nowadays have onboard computers that record everything. What happens is, after a semi has rear-ended someone, the insurance companies send out all these experts immediately to protect their client, not necessarily secure the evidence.
As one of our attorneys explained to the potential client, what we do is we make sure that one of our experts is there to download that information at the same time the trucking company has an expert. Otherwise, what often happens is that the trucking company or their insurance company just goes, “Oops, it’s gone.” Of course, that’s where the evidence would hurt them. If it’s helpful, they don’t have any problem keeping that evidence around. We had a situation where a semi driver rear-ended our clients, several people were killed, and the insurance company tried to blame our vehicle. They said the lights weren’t on. It took a whole year and, finally, we were able to take the deposition of the other driver, the truck driver, and it turned out that just before we took the deposition of the truck driver, we got the medical evidence showing that this truck driver was high on just about everything you can imagine.
After we presented that to the attorney for the trucking company, he said, “I imagine now you probably want us to pay the policy limits,” and, by the way, the policy limits are usually bare minimum, $750,000, millions more common, and sometimes multi-million dollars. We got a very good settlement for our clients. If you’re not willing to go that far, the trucking company and their insurance company, and their attorneys, they’ll do the best they can to make it difficult or impossible for you to discover what they did wrong.
Another situation is for drivers to be tired from driving too much. The trucking companies nowadays, they’re usually smart enough to not tell drivers to drive as many hours as they want to make more money. They can encourage it and tolerate it, however. In the old days, they used to have log books and they could fudge it, but now that information is stored in the computers. It can show every place that they stopped, if they got the right amount of rest, if they were driving more hours. If the company tolerates that kind of behavior, just because drivers make more money, make more profit, they might end up killing more people as a result. That case can qualify for what’s called punitive damages – that’s another thing the attorney explained to them. Punitive damages open up a huge amount of compensation beyond the medical bills and the pain and suffering.
If you’re in a situation where you or a loved one was involved in a trucking accident, call us. We can do a search and find out if this trucking company and their inspections – if they have failed most of their inspections, if their drivers have been taken off the road because of rule violations – we’ll let you know for free about that kind of information, and that can make a huge difference in the value of your case, even with the same injuries. That’s just part of what our attorneys can explain when they look at your individual situation.
Remember, any trucking accident, you really need to have a law firm on your side. Call us early. There’s more that we can help you with. There’s more we can do. Call us. The call is free, the information is free, and it can be priceless and make tens of thousands of dollars difference to you or millions, potentially. Call us because we’re here for you.
Common Mistakes To Avoid
The question often comes up, for a serious trucking accident in Arizona, what are some of the biggest mistakes that people make in making a claim or handling their case? That’s an extremely common question. We had someone contact our office recently and talk to one of our attorneys and ask that question. He said, “I want to make sure I don’t mess up my case,” and the attorney said, “Well, the number one thing you did right is you called us.” The number one mistake that people make or families make, if their loved one died and stuff – they’re in grief and shock, and it’s all they can do to deal with what’s happened – is they say, “Well, you know, the legal stuff, we’ll do that later.” While they’re in shock and grief, the trucking company and their insurance company and lawyers are going into damage control mode. As the attorney explained, this is all kinds of – anything that could hurt the trucking company or cause you, the client, to get a lot of extra money, they’re going to do their best to make it either – I mean, if they’re not required to preserve it, it’s gone, that evidence. Sometimes when they are required, they just go, “Oops, mistake. We don’t know how that happened.”
Have somebody in the family contact us so we can start investigating the case. There’s no cost to the family for us to start an investigation, and there’s no risk. If for any reason we don’t end up getting compensation for the family, you owe us zero, not even for costs. Just make sure someone in the family calls us, starts us on the investigation, while the family is dealing with recovery or grief. We have some great referrals and references we can make to help the family with that. Just remember, that’s avoiding the number one biggest mistake.
Beyond that, other mistakes are thinking that, “Yes, I got injured. The semi cut me off and rear-ended me. My vehicle might be messed up, but I’m not hurt that bad.” Well, you know, still call us. A classic example is you’re having headaches that you didn’t have before the accident, and you think, “Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep,” or something like that. If those headaches started after the accident, you didn’t have them before, especially if they’re at the front, top or side of your head, that can be the number one symptom of you suffering a concussion, and concussions are no laughing matter. The only time they’re a laughing matter is if you don’t call us and we don’t get you into an expert and get treatment because, at the end of your case, the insurance adjuster, if you get no diagnosis and treatment, they will laugh at you.
It’s important that you call us early, that we get you into the best medical experts. There’s nothing wrong with your local chiropractor, but they are not going to be the ideal medical specialists if you’re seriously injured in a major trucking accident. Call us. We’ll give you great reference, great referrals. Even if you haven’t decided you’re going to hire us, that’s okay. We provide that as a public service to help clients or potential clients from harming their case. Call us in a serious trucking accident. The call is free, the information is free, and can actually be worth tens of thousands or even potentially millions of dollars to you and your family, and we provide it because you really are who is important to us.
Differences Between Truck and Car Accident Claims
The question often comes up, “I was involved in a truck accident. How is that different than your regular car accident? Is there a difference?” That’s a common question. Just the other day we had a potential client call our firm and ask one of our attorneys that question, and here’s how the attorney responded. First of all, yes, there’s a huge difference as far as how much insurance compensation is potentially available. Instead of maybe $15,000 or $25,000, or $50,000, there’s going to be at least $750,000 or a million or two million or ten million dollars potentially available. That’s one of the first differences.
The second is, even if you don’t feel like you have been injured, still call us, because another factor is the behavior of the driver and all the other drivers that drive for that company. If they’re on the so-called unsafe list – and you can call us and we can look that up really quick and tell you – your case can be worth more money just because of that, because of their bad record. Again, that’s another reason why trucking cases are different than the hit-the-car-down-the-street kind of situation.
Another big difference is, because there can be so much more money involved, insurance companies and trucking companies are a lot more likely to say, “Hey, you know what, this is all we’re going to offer you. Sue us.” They think that they’ve hidden enough stuff and they don’t have to worry. Well, we’re very good at uncovering things that they’ve been trying to hide. We had a trucking company that rear-ended our clients and killed several of them, and they were saying, “Oh, your van, the brake lights didn’t work. Your clients are at fault, not our driver.” It took a whole year for the results to come back and show the truth, then the insurance company said, “Okay, okay, we’ll pay all our policy limits.” Up to that point, they kept blaming our client for something, but that certainly wasn’t the cause of that collision.
There’s definitely a difference, and that’s a reason to call us early and have one of our attorneys analyze your case, specifically go through that with you. Even if you’re not quite ready to hire us, at least you’ll have that information available to help guide your decision in choosing the best trucking accident law firm for your case. Remember, the call is free, the information is free, and it can be priceless. It can make the difference in tens of thousands, or even potentially millions of dollars, in a trucking accident. We really are here for you.
After the Accident
The question often comes up for truck accidents, “What should I do if I was seriously injured in a commercial truck wreck in Arizona?” We’re talking about 18-wheelers, dump trucks, etc. Those vehicles cause massive injuries just because of their size and mass. They can hit a vehicle going at a relatively low rate of speed and cause much greater injuries. If you ever took a high school physics course, there’s a formula for explaining that the bigger the mass, it doesn’t take as much speed to cause some massive damage. We actually have experts that will show the trucking company how much damage and injury they have caused our clients.
Anytime you’re in a serious accident with a commercial vehicle, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. We have clients that call us right from the hospital. That’s not too early. We can swing into action and prevent evidence from getting destroyed, notifying the trucking company, “You better keep this information available because we’re going to come after it. If you don’t, there’s going to be legal consequences.” All those things, our attorneys will explain to you, relating to your personal case, if you call us. The earlier, the better, in that situation, even if you just call us and get the information so you know and have that to protect yourself. You can take your time selecting the best law firm, but at least start the process immediately.
Call us. The call is free, the information is free, and can be priceless and probably worth, in major trucking cases, potentially millions of dollars. Don’t delay. Remember, we really are here for you.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a crash and have questions about how to win your truck accident claim? Contact experienced Gilbert Truck Accident Lawyers at Free Injury Advice today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel