What Should I Expect During an Initial Consultation With a Truck Accident Attorney?
After a truck accident, if you were injured, contact an experienced San Antonio truck accident attorney as soon as you can. Because commercial trucking operations typically involve several entities, a complicated truck accident claim may involve many potentially liable parties.
When multiple defendants are involved, especially when they are businesses, the number of attorneys could be double the number of defendants. Each person or entity usually retains an attorney, and each party’s insurance company will also have a legal team. When a commercial truck causes an accident, even if the truck’s owner/operator is primarily responsible, the driver’s attorney and driver’s insurance provider may hire attorneys.
Any accident that implicates multiple potentially liable parties can quickly become very complex. You’ll not want to place yourself at a disadvantage and will need a truck accident lawyer to look after your own best interests.
Why You Should Retain an Attorney for a Truck Accident
In addition to the complexities associated with multiple liable parties, negotiations with insurance representatives can be a stressful undertaking for average individuals. Insurance companies are businesses aimed at increasing profits. When providers are required to pay out an insurance claim, their profit margin decreases. As a result, insurance companies employ tactics to discredit and devalue the injured party’s claims.
Insurance companies will twist what you say to try to deny your claim or entice you with a low-ball settlement offer in exchange for quick cash. When communicating with representatives, whether your insurance provider or the drivers, it is best to provide only basic information—time, date, and location of the accident. If you have retained representation, you can inform representatives that any communication about the accident must be directed to your attorney. Some representatives will continue to try to question you, so you must be adamant about referring them to your truck accident attorney.
The Initial Consultation
Oftentimes, seriously injured individuals cannot meet with an attorney for a free consultation until months or weeks after an accident. Injuries may require victims to spend a considerable amount of time in the hospital for treatment and recovery.
It is best to contact an attorney as soon as you are able—the sooner the better. Attorneys regularly arrange to visit individuals while they are still in the hospital if they anticipate hospitalized recovery to last for an extended period of time. A spouse or loved one can contact the firm to schedule a free consultation on your behalf, if medical reasons prevent you from doing so.
In addition to offering a free consultation, the attorneys at our firm provide services for truck accident victims on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee agreement typically allows clients to waive upfront costs and attorneys fees, which can be paid after the resolution of the case. In a contingency fee arrangement, successful injured parties can use their settlement award to pay attorneys’ fees and court costs.
What You Need to Bring for an Initial Consultation
When reporting to a law firm for an initial consultation, providing documentation to the attorney can allow them to begin strengthening your case. Of course, if you are sending a family representative on your behalf, they can provide any necessary documentation for you. Please let us know if you can access any of the items on the list below; we can help provide access or access the information for you.
Some of the items necessary to begin investigating a truck accident claim include:
- Your driver’s license or other form of state-issued identification;
- A copy of the accident report;
- A copy of investigative reports, if any;
- Contact information for the other drivers and witnesses;
- Insurance information for you and anyone else involved in the accident;
- EMT bills, including the costs of emergency transportation, if applicable;
- Copies of all your medical records;
- Any photos you took at the scene of the accident;
- Registration information for you and anyone else involved in the accident;
- Proof of wages, commissions, and other sources of income affected by your inability to work. Paycheck stubs, 1099 forms, tax returns, or any other documentation of your income is helpful when seeking damages for lost past and future wages.
- If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, documentation of expenses for funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses.
If you have trouble locating any of the documents, a truck accident lawyer can obtain them for you.
Items You Will Need as the Case Progresses
In addition to the documents you provide at the initial consultation, you will need to gather additional documentation of medical expenses and lost wages as they are incurred.
Depending on the type and severity of the injuries you sustained, additional documentation might be necessary, including documentation of:
- Followup appointments;
- Physical therapy sessions;
- Cognitive therapy sessions;
- Psychological therapy sessions;
- Additional surgeries to repair injuries suffered in the accident;
- Other additional doctors’ appointments;
- Prescription medications;
- Costs for medical equipment, including walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, and other assistive devices;
- Costs for home modifications necessary for accessibility, including adding ramps, shower handles, and other changes;
- Costs for adding adaptive equipment to your vehicle, such as hand controls for the accelerator and brake;
- Any other documentation for the costs you incurred as a direct result of a truck accident;
- Documentation showing that your doctors believe that your injuries caused long-term or permanent disabilities. Oftentimes, doctors include prognoses in your medical records, but sometimes a supplemental explanation is helpful.
- Documentation showing that injuries from the accident exacerbated an existing condition.
Our firm regularly works with expert witnesses, which draft a report of their findings that may be used during settlement negotiations or at trial. When appropriate, your lawyer may retain expert witnesses to provide testimony during a trial.
Gaining Access to Necessary Documents
If you are having trouble obtaining any documents that may support your truck accident claims, always let your attorney know. An attorney can assist with access to documents by requesting their production during the discovery phase of the claims process. There are several methods attorneys can use to obtain documents and information that may not be easily accessible.
When preparing for trial or negotiations, some methods that attorneys use to gather documents and information include:
- Interrogatories. Interrogatories are written questions provided to the defendant, who is then required to return written responses. Sometimes several sets of interrogatories are required, depending on the specific facts of the accident.
- Depositions. An attorney may request a deposition of the defendant, during which they are interviewed under oath.
- Subpoenas. When necessary, an attorney may subpoena witnesses to the accident to testify at trial.
- Other discovery procedures.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a truck accident, contact our truck accident lawyers who can provide you with a free consultation.