If you recently got hurt in an accident with a commercial truck or a big rig, you could hold the responsible party to account for your damages. Hiring a lawyer can be a good idea, especially in a complicated truck accident case. As you consider your options, you might wonder how much lawyers charge for truck accident claims.
The answer might surprise you—truck accident lawyers typically charge no upfront fees. Most truck accident and personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. As the American Bar Association (ABA) explains, with a contingency fee agreement, your lawyer agrees to work in exchange for a percentage of the amount you receive if they win your case. Typically, a lawyer agrees to a fixed rate, usually around one-third of your final award.
If you lose, neither you nor the lawyer will receive any money. Your lawyer takes all the risk in a contingency fee arrangement, and you will not pay them for any time spent on your case. For this reason, clients often find a contingency fee agreement attractive. However, regardless of whether you win or lose, you might have to pay for court filing fees and other miscellaneous expenses to do with your case.
Truck Accident Responsibility and Negligence
Accidents with commercial trucks differ from a car accident in one specific area: determining negligence. Establishing negligence in a truck accident can require an enormous amount of research and expertise.
You might assume that your accident happened due to a truck driver’s careless or even reckless acts. With many crashes, this is indeed the case, with driver-related reasons featuring high on the list of truck accident causes. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), critical driver errors caused over 87 percent of large truck crashes, followed by vehicular and environmental factors.
However, even if the truck driver caused your accident, your truck accident claim may prove far from straightforward. Typically, the trucking company will have liability in one way or another, as it is generally responsible for its drivers and trucks. A third party, such as the truck manufacturer or a company contracted to service the trucks, may even have some responsibility for the accident.
The trickiness of determining negligence in a truck accident case comes into play because you can only recover compensation for your damages if you can prove the at-fault party’s negligence. However, a truck accident lawyer familiar with all the laws and regulations applying to trucks and trucking companies can gather the necessary evidence to help you prove a claim.
Evidence in Truck Accident Claims
It may seem as clear as day to you that a truck driver or company caused your accident through their negligence. However, without concrete evidence and witnesses, it could become next to impossible to win a claim and recover compensation. A truck accident attorney can collect and, importantly, interpret evidence to your advantage. Proof in a truck accident claim may include:
- Police reports
- Medical reports
- Witness statements
- Expert witness opinions
- Truck black box
- Traffic camera footage
Compensation in Truck Accidents
Two main routes exist to get compensation for any injuries and damages you suffered in a truck accident.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), most personal injury claims settle out of court. It can be considerably faster to settle a claim out of court, as lawsuits could last months and sometimes years. A lawyer can negotiate an out-of-court settlement with your best interests at heart. However, the stumbling block to achieving an agreement typically lies with the at-fault party and their insurance. They may show reluctance to pay out an amount that adequately covers a victim’s damages.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
If your lawyer cannot agree to an adequate settlement with the at-fault parties and their insurance companies, they will most likely take your case to a court of law.
An award should cover your damages in both situations (an out-of-court settlement or with a personal injury lawsuit). These damages will differ from one case to another and depend heavily on the severity of any injuries. However, an award could include compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses, both current and future.
- Rehabilitation costs.
- Lost wages and future lost income.
- At-home help.
- Repair or replacement costs for damaged personal property.
- Pain and suffering.
- Permanent disability.
In a court case, if the defendant acted recklessly or with gross negligence, you could also receive punitive awards.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Now
If you got hurt in an accident with a big rig or commercial truck, you could find help and legal representation. The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can inform you how much lawyers charge for truck accident claims and discuss your case during a free consultation. Call us today at (800) 223-5115 for help with your truck accident claim.