Truck accidents can be devastating due to the size and weight of the vehicles. To add insult to injury, the trucking industry is notorious for trying to avoid liability in accidents.
Insurance companies and trucking companies have huge resources to throw at a case, and this means one thing for the injured victim: you need an experienced Knoxville truck accident lawyer on your side.
The truck accident team at Hotz & Associates, P.C. has the experience and resources to take on even the biggest trucking companies, and we’ll fight tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule your free no obligation consultation, email, chat, or call 865-582-0042 today.
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Steps to take after being hurt in a truck crash
The immediate aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming, but those moments are critical for your health and safety, and if you ultimately decide to pursue a personal injury claim. If you’re involved in a truck accident, the following steps can help you protect yourself and your rights.
1. Move to a safer location
As soon as you realize you’ve been in an accident, turn on your hazard lights and move your vehicle to a safe location. If you can’t move the vehicle, wait until it’s safe to get out, then move away from the road. If you’re seriously injured, turn off your car and stay inside.
2. Call 911 and ask for police and an ambulance
After you’ve moved to a safe location, call 911. Ask for police and an ambulance, even if your injuries seem minor. If you’re stuck in your car, inform the dispatcher and they’ll send the fire department to help get you out of your car. The police will write an official report, which may be used as evidence in your case.
3. Tell your side of the story to the responding police officer
It’s important that you tell your side of the story to the responding police officer. Tell them exactly what happened, but be careful not to admit fault — it’s best to stick to the facts and avoid speculation. They’ll take down your statement and use it in their official report.
4. Gather evidence at the scene
If your physical condition allows it, take a few minutes to gather evidence at the scene. Take photos of your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle, any visible injuries, and any property damage or debris at multiple angles. You should also gather contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident.
5. Notify your insurance company
Once the police have left the scene, it’s time to contact your insurance company. Give them all of the details, but again, avoid admitting fault. They’ll assess the situation and let you know what your next steps should be.
6. Visit urgent care or your primary care physician
Even if you don’t think you’re injured, visit a medical professional. Many times, symptoms of injuries from truck accidents can take hours or days to surface, and a medical professional can often spot them when you can’t. Early identification can help establish a link between the accident and your injuries, which is vital in a personal injury case.
7. Consult with a truck accident attorney
Finally, contact a truck accident attorney. They can evaluate the details of your case and advise you on how to proceed. In many cases, they may be able to negotiate a favorable settlement with the trucking company’s insurance provider. If the insurance company refuses to pay a fair settlement, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf, which may bring a more favorable outcome.
Make sure you meet the deadline to file a claim
It’s important to remember that there’s a deadline for filing a claim called the statute of limitations. In Tennessee, you have one year from the date of the accident to file your claim. If you fail to file your claim by this deadline, you may not be able to receive compensation.
Consulting with a personal injury lawyer in Knoxville as soon as possible is the best way to ensure you don’t lose your chance to recover compensation for your losses. It will also allow them plenty of time to file the necessary paperwork, gather evidence, and build a strong, successful case.
Possible damages you can claim
Truck accident damages are usually classified into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. The types of damages you can claim will depend on the specific details of your case, including the severity of your injuries and the amount of negligence displayed by the responsible parties.
Economic damages are tangible financial losses that can be easily quantified. They include:
Medical costs: This includes both past and future medical expenses like emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgery, physical therapy, and medication.
Lost income: This can include wages, commissions, bonuses, and benefits.
Property damage: This includes the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property like cars, homes, or businesses.
Loss of earning capacity: This is awarded when the victim’s injuries have resulted in them being unable to work in the future.
Rental car costs: This is awarded when the victim has to rent a car while their own is being repaired.
Non-economic damages are often more difficult to quantify. They include:
Pain and suffering: This includes the physical and emotional pain caused by the accident.
Mental anguish: This includes the psychological distress caused by the accident, such as fear, anxiety, and depression.
Loss of consortium: This includes the loss of the benefits of a spousal relationship, such as companionship, sexual relations, and support.
Physical disfigurement and impairment: This includes any physical injuries that have resulted in a permanent change in appearance or reduced ability to function.
Lowered quality of life: This includes any negative changes in the victim’s life that are not caused by physical injuries, such as being unable to enjoy favorite activities or losing independence.
When it comes to truck accident damages, economic damages are usually easier to quantify than non-economic damages; there’s a paper trail of medical bills and income statements that can be used as evidence. However, non-economic damages can be harder to prove, so you’ll need your attorney’s in-depth knowledge of the law and you might also need the testimony of expert witnesses.
We fight trucking insurance companies to get you maximum compensation
Trucking companies carry high-limit insurance policies to cover the costs of accidents they cause. As you can imagine, insurance companies aren’t eager to pay out large settlements, and they’ll do whatever they can to reduce their liability and pay out the smallest amount possible.
That’s why it’s vital to have an experienced Knoxville truck accident lawyer on your side. At Hotz & Associates, P.C., we understand the tactics used by insurance companies and will fight to get you the maximum compensation for your damages. Our Knoxville truck accident attorneys have a proven track record of success in getting trucking companies to pay up, and we’re prepared to do the same for you.
Parties who may be liable for the crash
All personal injury cases are based on the legal concept of negligence. This means that someone must have acted recklessly or carelessly and caused the accident to occur. While the negligent party is often the truck driver, there are other parties who may be liable for the crash.
In some cases, the trucking company may be liable for failing to properly maintain their vehicles, for not providing adequate training, or for failing to allow their drivers breaks, forcing them to drive tired and fatigued. The manufacturer of the vehicle or a defective part installed on it may also be to blame for the accident if their product is found to be faulty. Additionally, the shipper or loader of the cargo may be liable if they failed to properly secure the load.
Part of pursuing a claim for maximum compensation involves determining who is at fault and holding them accountable. Our experienced truck accident attorneys have the knowledge and resources to conduct a thorough investigation and identify all potentially liable parties.
How a Knoxville truck accident lawyer at our firm can help you
The truck accident team at Hotz & Associates, P.C. has the experience and resources necessary to get you the best possible outcome in your case. Once you contact us for help, we will:
Give you a free consultation and assess your case at no cost
Help you find medical assistance if needed, and obtain all medical records relevant to your case
Gather relevant evidence before it disappears
Handle all communication with the insurance company
File a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary
Aggressively negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company
We will involve you in the negotiation process so that you can make the best decisions for your case. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we’re prepared to take your case to trial.
Time is of the essence in any personal injury case, so if you’ve been injured in a truck accident, don’t wait to contact a Knoxville truck accident lawyer. The sooner we can get started on your case, the better your chances are of getting the compensation you deserve.
We will even come to your home, office, or the hospital anywhere in the greater Knoxville, Tennessee area. There’s no cost to contact us (consultations are free), so don’t wait! Who knows how much one e-mail or phone call could save you? With our experienced car accident lawyers on your side, you can focus on recuperating while we handle the legal legwork.
What is the truck’s “black box” and what does it track?
Trucking companies are required to install electronic devices called “black boxes” in their vehicles. These devices track a variety of information about the truck, including speed, braking, and steering. This information can be critical in determining who’s at fault in a truck accident.
Why commercial truck black boxes are crucial for tractor-trailer accident victims
Evidence from a commercial truck’s black box can be critical in determining who is at fault in a tractor-trailer accident.
Investigators will review:
The speed of the truck at the time of the accident
The distance the truck was from the point of impact
The braking and turning patterns of the truck leading up to the accident
Driver behaviors in the moments leading up to the crash
The hours of service for the driver at the time of the accident
The weight of the truck and its cargo
If a commercial truck doesn’t have a black box, it can be difficult to prove who is at fault in an accident. The driver or the trucking company can easily deny any responsibility for the crash and it can be hard to hold them accountable.
For this reason, it’s important to have an attorney who knows how to access and interpret the data from a commercial truck’s black box. They can use this information to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
What are some common causes of truck accidents?
One of the most common causes of truck accidents is driver error. This can include things like speeding, running a red light, illegal maneuvers, or driving while drunk, tired, or distracted.
Other common causes include mechanical failures or faulty truck equipment like defective brakes or tires which can often be the result of poor maintenance. Cargo that isn’t properly secured can also cause accidents which can be especially dangerous when the truck is driving at high speeds. Road conditions can also play a role in truck accidents.
For example, icy roads can make it difficult for trucks to stop quickly, or they might lose control when turning.
What are some common types of truck accident injuries?
When you’re involved in a truck accident, you can suffer a wide range of injuries. These can be classified as either major injuries or minor injuries.
Injuries that can lead to long-term disability or even death often result from truck accidents due to the sheer size of semi-trucks and the force of their impact. Examples of major injuries often arising from truck accidents include:
Traumatic brain injuries
Spinal cord injuries
These are injuries that typically don’t require hospitalization and may heal without the need for extensive medical treatment. Some common minor injuries include:
Even if your injuries seem minor, consider seeking medical attention. Many minor injuries can turn into major ones if they are not treated properly.
How much does it cost to hire a truck accident lawyer?
The cost of hiring a truck accident lawyer will vary depending on the lawyer’s experience and location.
However, most lawyers typically work on a contingency fee, which means that they don’t get paid unless you win, and they’ll be paid a predetermined percentage of the settlement or verdict award you receive. Depending on the nature of your claim, we may also be able to work on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not have to pay any legal fees unless we recover money on your behalf.
Other costs may be associated with hiring a truck accident lawyer. These can include court costs, expert witness fees, deposition costs, etc. In some cases, the lawyer may also need to hire a private investigator to help gather evidence for the case.
At Hotz & Associates, P.C., we understand that hiring a truck accident lawyer is an important consideration for someone who’s been injured in a truck accident. That’s why we offer our prospective clients a free consultation with our personal injury lawyers in Knoxville so you can learn more about your case and the potential legal options available to you.
Hurt in a crash with a semi-truck? We’re ready to help
We’ve seen all types of truck accidents and the devastation they can cause. That’s why we’re passionate about fighting for the rights of those who have been injured in a truck accident.
At Hotz & Associates, P.C., we’re dedicated to advocating for our clients so they receive the maximum amount of compensation possible to allow them to get back on their feet. We achieve this by utilizing our vast resources and experience as a truck accident law firm. We have the ability to take on even the largest trucking companies, and we won’t rest until you receive the justice you deserve.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, there are certain steps you can take to protect your rights and ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
Gather evidence at the scene of the accident. This includes taking photographs of the damage to both vehicles, as well as any injuries you may have sustained. If you are able to, speak with witnesses and get their contact information so that they can provide statements later on.
Do not admit fault. Even if you think you may have been at fault, do not admit to anything. Wait until the police have completed their investigation before making any statements. Also avoid saying things like “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t mean to.”
Seek medical attention. It is important to seek medical attention if you are injured in a truck accident. Keep in mind that many injuries, such as whiplash, may not be immediately apparent and can worsen over time.
Keep track of all expenses related to the accident. This includes medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.
Never accept the first offer from the insurance company. The insurance company is likely to offer you a much lower settlement than what you are owed. Speak with an attorney to better understand how much money you should be seeking.
Contact an attorney. A qualified truck accident lawyer will be able to advise you of your legal rights and help you file a compensation claim.
Yes. If you were injured in a truck accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver and/or the trucking company. To succeed in a lawsuit, you will need to prove that the driver or trucking company was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries.
If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you before you have had a chance to hire a lawyer, it is important to remember that you do not have to speak with them. You should politely tell the representative that you are in the process of finding a lawyer and will get back to them as soon as possible.
Remember that anything you say can be used against you, so it is important to speak with an attorney before you say anything to the insurance company. The insurance company is not on your side and will only be looking out for their own interests. Do not speak with them without your lawyer present.
Trucking insurance companies are notorious for trying to bully accident victims into accepting a settlement before they have had a chance to assess their case fully. However, you are not obligated to accept any offer from the insurance company.
If you are involved in a truck accident, provide your name, contact information, and insurance information. You should also give a brief description of what happened. If there are any witnesses, be sure to get their contact information as well.
It is important to cooperate with the police and answer any questions. This will help them investigate the accident and determine who is at fault. If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately. The police will also need your medical information if you are transported to the hospital.
In Tennessee, you have one year from the date of the accident to file an injury lawsuit. The sooner you speak with an attorney, the sooner they can start investigating the accident and building your case.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
You can contact The Car Wreck Lawyers at Hotz and Associates for a free consultation.