After being in a serious truck accident that has left you seriously injured, your future wellbeing could depend almost entirely on the outcome of your truck accident lawsuit. This situation will be doubly intimidating if you don’t know what to expect, though. Typically, the average truck accident lawsuit will include an investigation, demand letter, mediation, and litigation if mediation fails. Every step is important, and we recommend allowing an experienced, local truck accident attorney to assist you along the way.
Investigating a Truck Accident
Before filing a claim, an investigation into the crash should be conducted. You can be certain that no matter how clear liability for the truck accident looks that the trucking company will try to deny it. They do not want their insurance premiums to go up, and the insurance company does not want to pay you a cent. A thorough investigation can counteract any arguments they use to avoid liability.
Useful evidence that an attorney might uncover in a truck accident investigation includes:
- Eyewitness statements
- Dashcam footage
- Trucker’s driving history
- Police reports
- Electronic on-board recorder data
- And more
Sending a Demand Letter
Once your truck accident attorney is satisfied with their investigation, the next step of your truck accident lawsuit will be to send a demand letter to the trucking company and/or their insurer. The demand letter is an official statement that says how much compensation you will need to close the case quickly and without further conflict. The amount of your damages will have been calculated ahead of time by your lawyer.
With some luck, the responding insurance company might accept your initial demand letter, pay the amount of compensation demanded, and help the case come to a relatively quick close. However, the majority of cases will not involve any such luck. Instead, the average demand letter is met with a refusal to pay and a denial of liability.
If your demand letter did not result in payment, then your attorney will have to file your lawsuit with the proper local court and prepare for litigation. Although, heading into the courtroom is usually preceded by both parties attempting to solve the dispute through mediation.
Mediation is an out-of-court process that involves both parties and a neutral mediator, who helps keep the discussions on track and promotes cooperation. Insurance and trucking companies like mediation because the process is confidential, meaning no one outside the room needs to know about what happened, which could hurt their reputations. Many truck accident cases will end with a settlement reached through mediation for this reason and because litigation can get expensive, especially if the defendant doesn’t have a strong chance of success.
Litigating in Court
When mediation is unsuccessful, which is a real possibility for any truck accident claim, courtroom litigation is the last option. Only when a case is taken to court does it technically become a lawsuit, so, up until this point, your truck accident case would technically be a claim.
As with any lawsuit in civil court, your truck accident lawsuit will involve opening statements, witnesses, evidence that was shared during the discovery process, and so on. If a jury is present, then the decision to compensate you or not will rest on them. Although, some truck accident lawsuits are handled without a jury trial and rely on a judge’s final ruling.
No Easy Path Through a Truck Accident Lawsuit
Ultimately, it is best to acknowledge that truck accident lawsuits are difficult and one-of-a-kind. Your case will never be identical to another because of various factors like what led up to the accident, your injuries, liability decisions, and so on. If you want to prepare for a truck accident lawsuit in a way that manages even the finest unique details, then you should call an attorney as soon after your crash as possible.
Here in Rochester, people often count on Faraci Lange, LLP and our truck accident attorneys for help with claims and lawsuits alike. We have been building our reputation since the late ‘60s, so you know you can trust us to manage your case. Contact us now to learn more.