While any U.S. claimant can sue a truck company without a lawyer, it becomes a matter of whether or not you would want to take a personal injury or wrongful death case on by yourself. Cases involving bodily harm or wrongful death are highly technical and complicated due to their involvement in understanding bodily injuries and specialized knowledge about the trucking industry.
Truck accident lawyers can help you prove the facts of your case while working toward obtaining the compensation you need for your financial and future losses. Plus, they can help you assert your rights and fight back when insurance companies try to offer a subpar settlement.
What Happens When You Sue a Truck Company
It is possible that the truck driver or company may be liable for your personal injuries or property damage. However, the burden of proof rests on the accuser, which means that you will have to work toward proving your accident injury claim to receive an insurance settlement or civil court award for medical expenses, lost work wages, and other financial losses.
Here is the general claims processing when suing a trucking company:
1. File an Insurance Claim
Your personal injury case starts by filing a claim with the right insurance company. Depending upon in which state you live, you may have to submit it through your insurer or the insurer of the at-fault party.
Determining who is at fault is just the first step and may take a while to negotiate since both parties may not accept blame, or the evidence available does not provide a clear answer. At this point and beyond, you will want to be careful about making any self-incriminating statements that the insurance provider can use against you later.
2. Negotiate a Settlement
After establishing through which insurance company your claim should be filed, you will have to negotiate a settlement award with the insurance company. The adjuster will generally provide an initial offer as a way to settle your claim.
However, you might discover the insurance adjuster is not making good on the terms and conditions of your policy. Therefore you will have to go through your claim—element by element—and prove why they should pay you the benefits you believe you deserve.
This process can take a few back-and-forth passes and resolve or result in additional denials.
If the adjuster does not agree to your counteroffer, then you will face the appeals process. Your claim will be internally reviewed by the insurance company’s senior adjusters or counsel and render a final decision then.
Once you have exhausted the insurance company’s internal appeals process, you can either accept their inadequate settlement offer or file a lawsuit in civil court if you do not receive what you believe is fair for your injuries, property damage, or loved one’s death.
4. File a Civil Court Lawsuit
Filing a claim in a civil court of proper jurisdiction is the next step. Make sure that you identify the proper parties and file it in the right court. If you make an even seemingly innocuous error, your case could be dismissed and result in forfeiting your rights to compensation altogether.
Do not let negligent drivers and trucking companies and their insurers get away with their wrongdoing based on a technicality. There is nothing more frustrating than this situation, so perform your due diligence and read the Rules of Civil Procedure that apply to the court of law in which you are filing.
5. Litigate a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Once you submit a lawsuit and the insurance company responds, your case will enter through various phases, including discovery, mediation, arbitration, hearings on motions, and eventually, a jury or judge trial.
These aspects are some of the most challenging parts of filing a truck accident lawsuit without a truck accident attorney. You will need to know which questions to ask, connect with expert witnesses, and manage every aspect of your claim.
Imagine how challenging pursuing compensation in court is as you are trying to recover from your accident physically and emotionally. Plus, civil court lawsuits are expensive to properly puruse, so you may have to take out a personal loan or put up your house if you decide to go on your own.
Your case may settle before a jury trial court date is set. However, you may have to take your case to trial and battle it out with the insurance companies lawyers, who consider claims like yours a hazard of doing business in the insurance industry.
6. Collect Post-Settlement or -Litigation Awards
If you win a civil court settlement or lawsuit, you will need to collect the damages you are owed. Damages are monetary civil court awards given to injury victims. You can receive money for your medical expenses, lost work wages, or your family member’s wrongful death.
Depending upon who is paying your claim, it can take a while to receive the money you need. There are lump sum settlement offers with third-party providers, but you may only receive pennies on the dollar in exchange for cash now.
Fortunately, almost every insurance company has the cash available to pay you a settlement or civil court award promptly, whether you are unrepresented or not. The only hoop you have to clear is getting to this point in the first place.
Avoid leaving things to chance and hire a truck accident lawyer to help you through the claims or civil court process.
Mitigate Further Damage By Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer Near You
As you can probably see, there are numerous legal elements associated with suing a truck company on your own. You are likely trying to recover from your accident injuries and do not need to create further damage by going through the claims process without legal counsel.
Truck accident lawyers generally take cases on a contingency arrangement, which means that you do not have to come up with the money required to pursue a settlement or civil court award. Instead, your attorney will only collect his or her fees after winning your case.
Fight fire with fire by hiring a truck accident lawyer near you who has the knowledge, compassion, and experience necessary to negotiate a settlement or litigate a civil court award on your behalf. He or she will also support your rights throughout the claims process while keeping you apprised of new case developments as they arise.
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