Thanks to its sunny climate and job opportunities, Pheonix has grown rapidly and is now the fifth largest city in the US.
One of the downsides to rapid expansion is an increase in congestion and traffic accidents. Pheonix’s roads are routinely ranked as some of the most dangerous in the country. According to reports, Pheonix sees more traffic deaths than any other city its size.
Out of all accidents, crashes involving trucks are some of the most severe and can leave victims badly injured, unable to work, and with massive damage to their vehicles.
Hiring a truck accident attorney is one of the first things you should do if you’ve been in a collision with a truck. But, you need to pick your truck accident lawyer with care.
Truck accidents can be complex cases, often involving multiple areas of liability and potentially responsible parties. What’s more, these parties’ insurance companies invariably have entire legal teams at their disposal. Teams that are adept at combating claims so the insurance company pays out the lowest settlement possible.
To get just compensation for your injuries, you need to hire a lawyer who has experience with truck accidents.
The best way to ensure you hire the best truck accident lawyer is to ask the right questions. Read on for 12 vital questions to ask before engaging a lawyer for your truck accident case.
1. How Long Have You Been Practicing Personal Injury Law?
One of the first things you need to know before hiring a truck accident attorney is how long they have been practicing personal injury law.
All car accident and truck accident cases fall under personal injury. Therefore, you want to make sure you engage an attorney or firm that specializes in personal injury cases.
Ideally, the lawyer you hire should have a strong background in personal injury with multiple years of experience in this branch of law.
Often, you can find out a potential attorney’s area of specialization from their website.
For instance, here at Sweet Lawyers, you can read up on all of our attorneys to find out more about their experience, achievements, and areas of specialization.
2. How Many Truck Accidents Does Your Firm Handle?
Besides having a strong background in personal injury, your lawyer should also have extensive experience in truck accident cases specifically.
As we mentioned above, truck accident cases are usually far more complex than cases involving another passenger vehicle.
The causes of truck accidents are often multi-faceted. Liability might be spread across the driver and logistics company. It might even extend to a parts manufacturer, loading company, truck maintenance company, or district municipality.
An experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to ferret out the different areas of liability and create a strong case from the get-go. A less experienced attorney is more likely to waste time focusing on one area of the case when they should be building a body of evidence against multiple parties.
An experienced truck accident lawyer will also have professional relationships with the best medical expert witnesses in your area. They’ll be able to refer you to the right doctors and specialists so you can get their expert opinion on your injuries and their potential long-term effects.
Semi-truck accidents can be far more devastating that any other road accident. Injuries can be life-altering, and as a victim, you deserve to be justly compensated, not just for your current medical bills, but also for pain and suffering, loss of income, etc.
Many of these damages can have far-reaching effects, even if they don’t leave you with a clear disability. For instance, research shows that 39.2% of motor accident victims develop PTSD. If you have to seek therapy for PTSD or deal with the effects for years to come, you deserve restitution.
The best way to find out whether a potential attorney has the right experience is to ask them how many truck accident cases they have dealt with.
3. Have You Dealt With Cases Similar to Mine?
You should also ask your potential truck accident lawyer if they have handled any cases that are similar to yours.
If they have, enquire into the outcomes. Not only will this give your further insight into their level of experience, but it will also provide you with valuable information on the attorney’s performance and past case outcomes.
4. Do You Have Courtroom Experience?
Settling a case in court can trigger increased costs for both parties. Thanks to this, the majority of personal injury and motor vehicle accident cases never see the inside of a courtroom. Instead, they are typically settled during negotiations.
Statistics reveal that only 3% of personal injury cases go to court.
However, of all motor accident cases, those involving trucks are some of the most likely to go to court. Because the injuries and damages can be extensive, and the details of the case more complicated, there is a small chance that you might not be able to resolve your case via negotiations.
In this event, you want to know that your truck accident attorney has courtroom experience under their belt and is comfortable dealing with a judge and jury. You also want to make sure your attorney doesn’t try to dissuade you from taking your case to court purely because they don’t have the necessary trial experience.
5. What Is Your Success Rate?
Another telling question you can ask a potential truck accident attorney is what’s their success rate. If the truck accident lawyer tries to sidestep the question, this indicates one of two things.
Either the firm doesn’t measure its success rate, or the attorney isn’t proud of it.
Either way, we’d recommend you hire a lawyer who can easily tell what their firm’s success rate is. Success rates are a valuable metric and can help you get a clear idea of how effective a potential attorney is.
Here at Sweet Lawyers, we take pride in maintaining a 98% success rate.
6. Who Will Be Handling My Case?
Before you hire an attorney firm, it’s also a good idea to ask who will be handling your case. In some instances, you might meet with the senior partner, but have the junior partner handle your case or vice versa.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If the law firm operates to a high standard, it might not matter which attorney handles your case. Junior and senior partners may work as a team, to ensure the success of client cases.
But, it’s still important to know who is assigned to your case. If you don’t know who is going to work on your case, you can’t check their experience levels and past performance.
7. What Will Happen to My Case if You’re Incapacitated?
Injury lawsuits can take months or even years to resolve. The last thing you want is for your case to be further delayed should something happen to your truck accident attorney.
Therefore, enquire who will take over your case in the event they are incapacitated. If they fall ill, who will handle your settlement claim?
8. What Is Your Fee Structure?
Before you hire an attorney for your case, it’s also critical that you clarify the details of their fee structure.
Some attorneys and law firms charge hourly and retainer fees, which can mount up fast. Fortunately, a lot of personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency basis.
Instead of being billed up front, under a contingency fee structure, your legal fees come out of your settlement. Not only do you not have to worry about upfront costs, but most contingency fee arrangements also don’t require you to pay if your case is unsuccessful.
But, depending on the specific law firm, you might still need to cover certain separate costs associated with your case. These can include things like filing fees, service of process fees, and discovery costs.
No one likes to be hit by surprise costs, so make sure you enquire about any areas of additional expense.
We know that legal fees are often the last thing people can afford after suffering an injury or accident. That’s why Sweet Lawyers operates on a contingency fee structure. We won’t charge you ridiculous hourly or retainer fees. With us, you don’t have to pay anything unless we win your case.
9. When Can I Get Hold of You?
Before you hire an attorney for your truck accident case, you should also double-check their availability. During what hours will you be able to reach the firm, and what kind of response time can you expect from the attorney?
You can also ask what mode of communication they prefer, and find out who you’ll be primarily communicating with. Will it be the lawyer or a paralegal?
You might also want to find out whether you’ll receive progress reports and at what frequency.
For us, personal injury isn’t just an accident claim. Our team isn’t just here to win your case. For us, it’s also about giving you peace of mind and providing our clients with the best service possible.
As a modern law firm, our attorneys, case managers, and investigators are available 24/7, around the clock. You can text, call, or email us at any time and we will be available when you need us.
10. What Do You Think My Case Is Worth?
Another question you can ask a potential truck accident lawyer is how much they think your case is worth.
As no two cases are identical, a lawyer can’t give you a specific number, but they may be able to give you a general ballpark estimate based on previous cases they’ve handled that were similar.
Besides giving you a rough idea of what your settlement is worth, they should also be able to discuss the different areas of damage with you, such as your current and future healthcare costs, emotional distress, and potential disability or lost wages.
11. Do You Think I Have a Strong Case?
While you’re meeting with a potential truck accident attorney, take the opportunity to ask their opinion of your case. Do they think you have a strong case, or is it shaky?
An attorney won’t be able to give you a hard guarantee of the outcome of your case, but they can avail you of their professional opinion.
Also, if you’re working with a lawyer who operates on a contingency basis, keep in mind that they will only accept your case if they know there is a decent chance of success. Under a contingency fee arrangement, the attorney and the law firm take on the risk.
Therefore, if they’re willing to take your case, this is a good indication that it’s a relatively strong one.
12. Do You Foresee Any Potential Issues With My Case?
Finally, before you hire an attorney, ask them if they see any potential issues or challenges with your case. If your case is very cut and dry, there might genuinely be very few challenges around proving liability.
But, with more complex cases there’s bound to be one or two areas that are of particular concern to the attorney. If the attorney breezes over your question and says that it’s all plain sailing, this could be a red flag, especially if they don’t operate under a contingency fee structure.
Are You Looking for an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney to Handle Your Case?
If you’ve been in an accident involving a truck, you must hire the right attorney. They should have extensive experience practicing personal injury and dealing specifically with truck accidents. They should also be able to clearly explain their fee structure and availability, and openly discuss their opinion of your case.
Are you looking for a seasoned truck accident attorney? One who ticks all the boxes and has a track record of success?
Sweet Lawyers is here to help. We specialize in truck accident cases. We have a 98% success rate and have recovered millions in settlements for our clients.
We are available 24/7 and operate on a contingency basis. If we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us a dime.
For us, personal injury isn’t just about recovering. It’s also about providing you with the best service and support possible during a time when you need it most.
Let us bring you peace of mind and legal justice. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.