What Should I Look for When Choosing a Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer?
As has been discussed before on our blog, accidents involving tractor-trailers or semi-trucks are extremely serious. The likelihood that a person is seriously injured or loses their life is much higher when they’re involved in an accident with a semi-truck. If you’ve been involved in such an accident, and want to speak to a lawyer to pursue any damages you believe you’re entitled to, you need to be confident knowing you’ll pick a lawyer that’s qualified and experienced to handle your case. With that in mind, here are some of the most important qualifications that a lawyer should have before you hire them to take your case.
Experience is probably the single most important qualification for a lawyer to have in a semi-truck accident case. Semi-truck accidents are much more complicated than normal car crashes. The injuries are more serious, the damage is more severe, and the laws are more complex. An inexperienced attorney will not know the best way to address all of these aspects, and your potential case is likely to suffer because of that lack of experience. Only an experienced lawyer, like the ones at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield, will know how to deal with the trucking company’s insurance company
Evidence and Experts
Proving fault in an accident involving a semi-truck can be complicated. Knowing how to collect, assess, and present evidence is incredibly important in semi-truck accident cases. The types of evidence that your lawyer may utilize includes accident reconstruction evidence and truck carrier records. When it comes to dealing with truck carrier records, you’ll want an attorney that looks at the number of hours the truck driver involved was behind the wheel, the driver’s personnel files, vehicle inspection reports, and vehicle maintenance reports. Because this kind of evidence is crucial, it’s important that your lawyer know how to properly preserve it. FMCSA has rules which allow truck companies to destroy certain documents. Without the proper understanding and experience, a lawyer representing you in a semi-truck accident case is likely to be unsuccessful.
Another important resource a qualified lawyer is likely to use to prove your case are expert witnesses. These witnesses can include experts in truck driving or truck maintenance. Though they may not have been present at the scene of your accident, they’re crucial for proving your account of the circumstances that resulted in the accident.
Combing through all of the potential evidence, selecting the right experts to testify, and preparing your case all take time. Make sure the lawyer you choose to represent you is willing to conduct a thorough investigation on your behalf, so that if your case proceeds to court, you’ll have the strongest case possible. Truck companies hire full teams of lawyers to represent them, so only strong cases built on foundations of solid evidence stand a chance at succeeding. Only choose an attorney that you can trust to carry out a full investigation. If your attorney isn’t consulting with eyewitnesses and experts, they may not be handling your case as well as you deserve.
Semi-truck accidents are extremely serious. The danger to everyone involved is great, and when disaster strikes, only a qualified and experienced lawyer can help you receive the damages that you’re rightfully entitled to. The experienced lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield take semi-truck cases across the state of Oregon. If you live in Oregon, and have been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, don’t hesitate - contact us today.