Why You Should Hire a Lawyer to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident Claim
If someone in your family has been seriously injured in a truck accident, you are part of a dangerous nationwide trend. In March 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued its latest highway crash statistics for the year 2017. From 2016 to 2017, the number of large commercial trucks involved in fatal crashes in the U.S. rose from 4,251 to 4,657, an increase of 10%. Thousands more commercial truck crashes involved serious injuries. These statistics are concerning, because while the amount of semi-truck traffic on America’s roadways has been rising, the number of crashes is rising faster.
Of course, FMCSA requires interstate commercial trucking companies to carry large amounts of liability insurance. For non-hazardous cargo trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or more, the minimum liability insurance is $750,000. Thus, anyone injured in a truck crash should be able to collect compensation for their injuries from the trucking company’s insurance policy.
Why Do You Need an Attorney for a Truck Crash Insurance Claim?
When someone you love is seriously injured or killed in a commercial truck accident, your family is both emotionally and financially vulnerable. When you have mounting medical bills and loss of income, why not accept the offer of a quick insurance settlement? Can you not trust the insurance company to pay you a fair amount of compensation for your injuries?
Reasons to Consult a Lawyer Before Accepting an Insurance Settlement
When significant injuries or fatalities are involved, there are many good reasons to seek assistance from an experienced personal injury lawyer:
- Leveling the playing field. You are not an expert in the long-term financial costs of severe injuries and fatalities. How do you know how much money is “reasonable” compensation for your injuries? The insurance company has all the power in this situation. They know how much they have had to pay in the past for similar accidents and injuries. Their goal is to settle your case by paying you as little as possible. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side helps balance the scales in this situation.
- Managing time constraints. Following a major accident, there are several time constraints. First, the insurance company will push for a settlement as soon as possible. Second, Illinois law gives you just two years after an injury occurs to file a lawsuit for damages, which is often necessary to obtain a full and fair settlement. Third, you have financial needs. A lawyer will help you balance these time constraints to your maximum benefit.
- Analyzing the full extent of injuries. The full impact of a person’s injuries—physical, intellectual, and emotional—is often not understood until many months after the accident. Early on, there are many unknowns, including the various types of treatment that may be needed, the length of time necessary to reach full recovery, and the possibility that full recovery will not happen. If you settle too early, you may not get enough compensation to cover all of the expenses and lost income you will suffer over a period of years after a major accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to obtain the necessary information and work with various experts to project all of your future costs related to the accident.
- Negotiating full and fair compensation. A lawyer experienced in truck accident cases has the knowledge and skill to go head-to-head with a big insurance company and their lawyers. Having a legal representative handle the settlement negotiations should result in a much better settlement than if you try to go it alone.
Contact an Orland Park Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a collision involving a tractor-trailer truck, talk to an experienced Cook County truck accident attorney. For a no-cost initial consultation, call Schwartz Injury Law at 708-226-9000 in Orland Park or 815-723-7300 in Joliet.