How to Choose a Semi-Truck Accident Attorney
Large commercial truck accidents are more complex than car wrecks. You need someone who understands the complex issues involved. Find an attorney who specializes in transportation law and is knowledgeable about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations as well as any state or local rules that may apply.
The lawyer you choose to handle your truck accident claim should have substantial experience handling cases against big insurance companies and trucking companies. For example, an experienced truck accident lawyer will know that it important to send an immediate lien letter to the trucking company asking them to preserve the electronic log of the truck or other vital evidence that may later increase the value of your claim.
At Rome Arata and Baxley, we first developed our truck accident case expertise by handling hundreds of cases for railroad employees injured when their train was in an accident with a negligent semi-truck. This experience has been valuable in our fight on behalf of anyone injured by an 18-wheeler or a semi-truck in an accident.
Reputation as a Negotiator and Trial Attorney:
Most cases settle before trial but it's important to hire a lawyer who is not afraid to go to trial if the situation calls for it. If your case does go to trial you will want an attorney who is comfortable in the court room and a skilled communicator. The devil is in the details and the best lawyers do their homework and have a reputation as being exceptionally well prepared. If your truck accident injury attorney is known to be an effective negotiator and is willing to go to trial, the insurance company will take your claim more seriously. Before you hire an attorney ask them what their results at trial have been.
Choose a respected attorney local to the state or city where the wreck occurred. Not all cases require that a lawsuit be filed on your behalf but the best results usually require suing the company at fault. Most often a case will need to be filed in a court near where the accident occurred. Hiring an attorney who is familiar with the court in question and doesn't have to get on a plane to make an appearance in court is important.
Contingency and Expenses:
It's important to choose a well funded successful law firm. Most personal injury attorneys handle their cases on a contingency basis. This means that they receive their fee only if they make a recovery on your behalf. Also, the attorney handles the expenses such as the fee required to have a trial by jury or testimony by expert witnesses. Inexperienced or smaller firms may not have the war chest needed to meet these expenses. Especially since big defense law firms and insurance companies often run up expenses to scare the inexperienced or poorly funded attorney into recommending a quick settlement for pennies on the dollar of what your claim is actually worth.
Testimonials and References:
Ask the attorney for testimonials from former clients. Often, you can see such truck accident client testimonials on the lawyer's website even before you set up a consultation. An experienced successful attorney should be able to provide you with references from clients who they have represented who are happy to you talk to you first hand about their experience. If you would like to talk to someone who has had a truck injury lawsuit please call us and we will be happy to put you in touch with one or more of our former clients.
Investigation and Expert Help:
Evidence and expert testimony can be extremely important for a truck accident lawsuit. A good attorney conducts a thorough investigation at the beginning of the case and has different experts available to help them build the case. Accident reconstruction experts can give insight into what negligence caused the accident. Medical experts can explain the resulting injury. Vocational rehabilitators and economist can help quantify the resulting damages.
Finding the right lawyer is not always easy, but these guidelines should help you to choose the truck accident attorney who is best for you. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call us at (866)993-0001 or locally in Houston at (281)993-0000.
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