Even when the worst happens to us, we don’t want to believe the worst in others. That’s why, of all the good reasons to hire an attorney in an 18-wheeler accident, the best reason leaves most victims stunned. Here’s why you need an experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer for a trucking wreck: the semi-truck insurance company probably already has an entire team working against you.
Instead of doing all they can to be sure you get all the medical care you need, the insurance company’s immediate reaction to a serious accident is to protect itself and its money. They do it by swiftly deploying a “rapid response team” to the crash scene. I’ve seen pictures of this team literally taking pictures of the scene over the dead body of a victim killed in the crash.
Drawing from its war chest of billions of dollars, the insurance company goes on the attack, sending accident reconstruction experts and investigators to cover the scene, sometimes while law enforcement is still there. And oh yes, it’s safe to assume these insurance operatives are conspiring with a defense attorney to build a case. They’ll get access to evidence you just can’t, like:
- Photos of the scene. This can be critical to proving vehicle positions and property damage.
- Measurements of skid marks. These fade with time. Their distance can prove—or disprove—the speed of both vehicles, plus when and where brakes got applied—or not.
- Witness information. If they’re at the scene, insurance investigators can interview them and get their contact info. Witnesses often provide the best independent evidence of how a crash occurred and can give powerful descriptions of the frightening impact and its aftermath. If witnesses help the insurance company, you can bet their statements will be recorded. If they don’t, they might not get mentioned. Hopefully, law enforcement finds them before they leave the scene.
- Photos and inspections of vehicles. This can include yours if it’s still left at the scene. But these investigators are so determined that they may even chase it down to the junkyard or tow yard where it ends up. This not only shows damage, but it may also help prove the cause of the crash and whose fault it is. You can bet investigators for the trucking companies are looking for smoke screens to deflect the blame onto you or someone else besides them.
- Data from the semi’s “black box.” Most tractor-trailers have these event data recorders that record significant driving events like sudden braking or deceleration. It can help prove the cause of the crash. You don’t want it to disappear, and a trucking accident attorney can help you prevent that.
There’s a potentially horrifying impact of the insurance company’s post-crash investigation. They can also attempt to influence the law enforcement investigation by talking to officers, downplaying bad evidence, and giving them evidence that helps the insurance company. They might offer to “assist” law enforcement by giving them evidence to blame the crash on a sudden emergency, unexpected event, other drivers, or even you. The defense attorney may play a hand in this.
You need a counter punch. An experienced South Carolina trucking accident attorney can strike fast to build your case and protect your rights. If you’re worried about protecting your rights from an 18-wheeler accident, call us toll-free at 888-230-1841.
Still Not Convinced? There Are Plenty of Other Reasons to Hire an Attorney for a Semi-Truck Accident.
- Proving fault can be complicated and hard-fought. You may need an accident reconstruction expert. A lot can go wrong to cause a semi-trailer crash, like overworked truckers, faulty equipment, or poorly trained truckers to name a few. Every potential avenue of fault needs to be fully vetted to give you the strongest possible case.
- Do you know who to go after to sue? It’s not just the trucker. The trucking company may be liable, too. That’s where it can get complicated, as the actual trucking company may not be the logo on the truck. These companies often hide behind a complex web of corporate identities that you need a legal technician to help you push through.
- Punitive damages may be more likely—if you know how to use the key to prove them. You need to know the impact of trucking regulations on your case. These federal laws can enhance your shot at punitive damages if you can prove your crash got caused due to violations. But it’s hard—so hard we sometimes use trucking industry experts to help.
- Do you know how much of a settlement to ask for? Valuing a case is complex because it involves many factors. It can be especially hard for cases involving future treatment or fatal accidents. You don’t know how much the case is worth. The insurance company has one goal: cheating you out of a proper settlement. They are professionals; you’re an amateur. Guess who likely wins if you go it alone.
- You don’t know how to deal with the insurance company. No matter how concerned or nice they seem, insurance company representatives or “adjusters” are not on your side. They will wear you out with sketchy tactics. Attempting to negotiate with them is frustrating and drawn out, even if you’re not crippled by severe injury or the death of a loved one.
- The most tragic cases are often harder to handle. Additional legal procedures are required for injuries to children and deadly crashes. You especially need to be sure these are done right.
You Need Peace. Let a Professional Battle the Semi-Trailer Insurance Company.
Be sure to check out our FREE BOOK on crash cases, which includes a chapter on tractor-trailer accidents.