How to Hire the Best Truck Accident Lawyer
Written by Greg on February 14, 2020
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, you need a lawyer to help protect your rights and to make sure that you get all the compensation that you’re legally entitled to.
However, how do you choose the best truck accident lawyer?
How to Find the Best Truck Accident Lawyer?
Finding the best lawyer for a trucking accident requires a little time and research. Look at track-record, reputation, location and experience to start.
There are six things that you should look for when meeting with attorneys to take your truck accident case:
- Specific Truck Accident Experience
- Lawyer Who Listen and Tell You the Truth
- Lawyer Who is Willing to Go to Trial if Necessary
- Lawyer Who Explains Your Role
- Offers Free Consultation
- Clear Attorney Fee Agreement
Specific Truck Accident Experience
Truck accidents are considered a subcategory of personal injury law. However, you do not want a general personal injury lawyer representing you in a truck accident case. Truck accidents are different from standard auto accidents. There are different legal principles involved, and often the mechanics of truck accident cases are different.
You want a lawyer who is used to dealing with the complex insurance and liability issues that are frequently a part of truck accident litigation.
You don’t want to risk working with an attorney who is learning on the job. This case is too important to you.
When meeting with a lawyer or scheduling an appointment with their office, you should ask if they have any truck accident experience. If an attorney has never handled a truck accident case before, you need to find someone else to take your case.
An experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to hit the ground running and will be better prepared to get you a larger settlement or judgment.
Lawyers Who Listen and Who Tell You the Truth
While you may be going to the lawyer for advice, it’s a red flag if the lawyer does all the talking and doesn’t ask you any questions or listen to your responses.
It’s impossible to accurately analyze a case until you have the facts. The best truck accident lawyers are ones that are comfortable with silence and are willing to let you tell your story. A good lawyer will ask you a lot of questions. They will want to know everything you can remember about the accident and what happened both before and after the accident. Great lawyers will also understand that additional investigation may be needed. Looking at your damages is another factor considered early on in a trucking accident. In some cases, punitive damages may be relevant.
One of the most important things to look for in a truck accident lawyer is finding one who is willing to tell you bad news. No case is perfect. Every case has some issues. Often, there are going to be roadblocks and problems.
You want a lawyer who is willing to tell you the truth about your situation and ready to work hard to represent you in your case, even if sometimes they have to share bad news with you.
Truck Accident Lawyers Willing to Go to Trial
Most cases settle out of court. This is true in truck accident cases as well. However, you want to make sure that you have a lawyer who is willing to take your case all the way to trial if that is what is required.
In truck accident cases, the value of the case is tied to what both sides believe a jury would award you if your case went to trial. This means that an experienced trial attorney will do a better job evaluating your case than a lawyer that never goes to trial.
Also, defense attorneys know which plaintiff’s attorneys are willing to go to trial and which ones avoid trial at all costs. Lawyers that are not willing to go to trial cannot command the same level of settlement offers that lawyers who are willing to go to trial can command.
Even though the chances of your case going to trial are probably small, you still want to make sure you have a lawyer who is committed to fighting for your cause, all the way to a jury, if that becomes necessary.
Your Role in Your Case
A truck accident case is a type of partnership between you and your lawyer. You want a lawyer that can explain what your role in the case will be. You need to know what your lawyer expects of you.
The lawyer may be the one doing all of the negotiating, but you are the ultimate decision-maker. You also are the one that has to help the lawyer gather the evidence they need.
You also need a lawyer that expects you to be completely honest with them. Holding back information that you think is not important, or that you think could hurt your case, may ruin your case if it is not shared.
If you are not comfortable communicating with your lawyer, they are not the right one for you.
Personal Injury Lawyers are typically going to offer a free initial consultation. This is also true of truck accident attorneys.
The initial consultation is a chance for you to get to know the lawyer, and for the lawyer to get to know you and your case. After the consultation, the two of you will need to decide if you’re a good match.
Often, the lawyer will tell you at the end of the consultation if they are interested in taking your case or not and then will discuss the next steps with you.
While many lawyers charge consultation fees, it is extremely unusual for a personal injury lawyer of any kind to do so.
For most truck accident cases, you will enter into a contingency fee agreement with your attorney. A contingent fee agreement means that you will not have to pay any attorney fees upfront. Instead, your lawyer will only get paid if you get a settlement or judgment.
The lawyer will get a percentage of whatever they recover for you.
You want to work with a lawyer who is open about their fees. Your lawyer should give you a written fee agreement that explains how their fees work. They also should not be willing to take any steps to represent you until you have returned the signed fee agreement with them.
Signing a fee agreement should not feel like signing paperwork at a car dealership. The best truck accident lawyers are comfortable having you take the paperwork home to review and sign. They will not pressure you to sign anything in the initial consultation.
Going through a truck accident is a frightening, traumatic experience. You want to choose a truck accident that you feel comfortable with, and that is confident in their ability to handle your specific case.