Hurt in a Truck Wreck?
Do You Have A Case?
by Mattie Taylor
The answer depends on the facts of your case and the law of the state where you were hurt. Generally, semi-trucks are subject to the same rules of the road as cars, but they also have special federal regulations that limit driving times, driving hours, speed and other driving circumstances. Even if you got a ticket as a result of the wreck, you still may have a case.
The initial analysis of your case starts with the information you provide us and the official police report. If you do not have the police report, we can get it for you. We can only give you specific advice once we have conducted a full investigation into the facts of your case.
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by Mattie Taylor
Truck wreck cases require special knowledge or the evidence in your case will be compromised. Big Rigs have “black boxes” in them that contain valuable evidence. This data must be captured quickly or the evidence will disappear. These black boxes contain valuable clues to the driver’s speed habits, braking habits and other driving issues.
SATELLITE INFORMATION: Many big rigs have satellite communication systems that tell the company where the truck is located at any particular time. These records will be destroyed in the normal course of business if the company is not put on notice to save this valuable information. This information is important because it must be compared against the drivers log books for accuracy.
ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTION: We will probably send an accident reconstruction expert to the wreck scene. This must occur very soon after the wreck so as to preserved evidence such as skid marks, gouge marks in the pavement and other valuable clues that will disappear over time.
BEWARE OF INSURANCE CALLING: Insurance companies have been known to “lull” persons into a sense of security that they will “take care of you” all the while allowing this valuable evidence to disappear. They will call you “just to check on you” all the time gathering information they will use against you.
CELL PHONE RECORDS: It is illegal for a truck driver to speak on a phone, text or email while driving. Cell phone records can be discovered is there is a timely request from us to the driver’s cellular phone carrier. However, if a timely request is not made, the information will be destroyed.
INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS: Big rig companies are required by federal law to maintain at least $750,000.00 in liability insurance. Many of them carry much more insurance. They will never tell you the amount of their coverage without the assistance of an attorney.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Once the insurance company discovers your identity they will immediately begin to find out everything they can about you using Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, Instagram and other popular sites. DO NOT post about your case on these sites.
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What Is My Case Worth?
The short answer is, "it is worth what the defendant is willing to pay out of court and it is worth what a jury
will award in court." Many factors are considered by both sides in valuing your case.
Some of those factors are:
-your lost income;
-the extent of your injuries;
-any scarring or loss of use of part of your body;
-any pre-existing medical conditions;
-the total medical costs incurred to treat your injuries;
-the total cost of any future or anticipated medical treatment;
-the location where the harm occurred;
-the conduct of the person that caused you harm;
-the lawyer that you choose to represent you.
For example, in a wrongful death case, the damages for an executive who makes $100,000 a year would be greater than the damages for a 65 year old who is retired with no income. Similarly, a person with a neck injury who had prior surgery on the same area would be compensated less than a person with no prior medical history on their neck.
Other issues that impact the value of your case is the culpability of the person or thing that caused your
injuries. Was their conduct intentional or negligence? For example, if you have been harmed by a person who was driving under the influence, your case would have much more value than if the person was sober with the exact same injuries.
Only after we fully investigate the facts of your case can we best advise you on the value of your case.
beware of anyone who tells you, "your case is worth millions" when they have not investigated the entire factual background of your case. While some circumstances would suggest you have a million dollar case, there are many factors that can still impact the value of your case. Likewise, beware of anyone who makes promises about what they can get you for your case. Our promise to you is that we will give you our entire commitment of time and resources to maximize the value of your case.
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