If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for all of the damages you suffered.
However, pursuing compensation on your own is a lot to ask, particularly when you are in pain from your injuries and trying to recover. Fortunately, you can hire a truck accident lawyer to manage every aspect of your claim and take actions that are in your best interest.
There are five reasons you need a truck accident lawyer at your side throughout the legal process.
Multiple Parties Could Be Held Liable
One of the main reasons truck accidents are different than other traffic accidents is that multiple parties could be liable for your injuries. In a car accident, the other driver is often the only liable party. However, in a truck accident, the driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer, contractor or government entities could all be liable.
You cannot be expected to know all of the parties who could be liable for your injuries. If you overlook one party, the statute of limitations could expire and take away your chance to obtain compensation from them.
The statute of limitations is a deadline for pursuing a legal claim. Once the deadline passes, you lose your right to file a claim. In Ohio, the statute of limitations (Ohio revised Code 2305.10) is two years from the date of the accident.
An experienced truck accident lawyer will know how to determine all of the liable parties as soon as possible after the accident. This will help ensure you can pursue compensation before the statute of limitations expires.
Negotiations Could Include Multiple Parties
If more than one party is liable for the accident, you will need to negotiate with multiple parties at the same time to obtain all of the compensation you are entitled.
Negotiating compensation with one party is difficult enough without adding other parties into the mix. Fortunately, you can seek help from a skilled attorney who has experience negotiating with insurers and others.
You Need The Appropriate Legal Strategy
While some cases have to be resolved in court, others can be negotiated with insurance companies or through a mediation or arbitration process. An experienced truck accident attorney will be familiar with these different options and the pros and cons of each. He or she will also be able to analyze your case to determine the best course of action to obtain all of the compensation you are entitled.
Ohio’s Contributory Fault Law
Under Ohio Revised Code 2315.33, you cannot recover compensation if you are more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. This law is applied by insurance companies and courts to determine compensation in personal injury claims.
The law also stipulates that, if you are 50 percent or less at fault, your compensation award be reduced by your percentage of fault for the accident. For example, if you are 30 percent responsible, your compensation award would be reduced by 30 percent.
A truck accident attorney can help ensure you are not assigned a higher percentage of fault than you deserve, which would take away some of your compensation.
The Trucking Industry Has Special Rules And Regulations
Trucking companies and drivers must follow strict standards and regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding a variety of things, including weight and hours on the road. The average, non-commercial driver is not even aware of many of these requirements.
Your attorney will know how to determine if any of these regulations were violated in your accident. This could be the crucial evidence you need to assign liability to the truck driver or other parties.
The truck accident lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy have the legal knowledge and successful track record you need in a truck accident claim. We are prepared to do everything in our power to defend your rights and help you recover from the damages you have suffered.