scene of a truck accident in Omaha NEIf you are injured in a collision with a commercial semi-truck, you may be feeling overwhelmed.  From the collision itself and the medical care required, to dealing with the trucking company’s insurance, it’s complicated to say the least.  That’s why you may be visiting this site right now – to find the answers you need.  You’ve come to the right place.  At Steffens Law Office, we have a proven and experienced Omaha truck accident lawyer standing by to assist you with every aspect of your case and recovery.

Let's face it, car accidents are part of life – spend any significant time on Omaha’s roadways, and you’ll drive by one, see one happen, or possibly be a victim of a wreck yourself.  But when vehicles collide with commercial semi-trucks, the resulting injuries may be severe.

Below you’ll find a comprehensive guide to hiring the best truck accident lawyer in Omaha for your specific needs.

Why You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer in Omaha

Commercial truck accident lawyers are attorneys who through training and experience understand the specific complexities of these types of vehicle collisions.  Because the truth is, truck crashes are unique in several important ways:

1) Commercial semi-trucks have more regulations than regular vehicles.

Commercial trucking traffic serves a vital function for America, transporting goods across the nation to where it’s needed most.  But this presents its own challenges.

  • Semi-truck operators are required to take frequent rest breaks because of the long distances between pick up and drop offs.
  • Maintenance checks are routine and important to make sure that a truck’s brakes, tires, and other mechanics are in functioning condition.
  • Finally, the load weight of a given truck is regulated to make sure that the cargo being carried is within the specifications called for by the vehicle manufacturer for safe operation.

2) Commercial semi-trucks are larger, heavier, and can easily cause more damage than a regular vehicle when driven or operated irresponsibly.

An experienced Omaha truck accident attorney knows that the common causes of such accidents include:

  • distracted driving,
  • driver fatigue,
  • lack of driving experience,
  • disobeying the rules of the road, and
  • overloaded or overweighted cargo.

Moreover, the accidents which occur from the above causes are often more severe and lead to death or very serious bodily injury.  Everyone knows that semi-trucks are heavy and more cumbersome than a normal passenger vehicle.  What most people don’t know, however, is how the physics of a semi-truck differ from other vehicles on the roadway. When certain factors like weather, road conditions, or other variables are present, it may make semi-truck operation unsafe or even reckless.

3) Depending on the carrier, the driver, and the nature of the cargo, there may be more than one party and insurance company responsible for your injuries.

Usually when a passenger vehicle accident occurs, only the driver’s negligence is considered.  But where commercial semi-trucks are concerned, several more entities may be liable.  The broker responsible for contracting with the trucking company, the maintenance facility of the trucking company, and even the pick-up point where the truck was loaded with cargo may bear some responsibility for causing an accident which resulted in injury.  An experienced semi-truck accident lawyer in Omaha will know how to make sense of these different companies and their possible role in causing the accident.

4) The company who owns the truck which caused the accident will usually carry a commercial insurance policy.

The insurance company who underwrote the policy no doubt employs many investigators, adjusters, claims specialists, and even defense attorneys whose sole focus is to evade or lessen liability and therefore pay you a lower settlement or no settlement at all.

An experienced commercial semi-truck lawyer will understand the protocols and tactics of the above insurance employees.  Additionally, your lawyer should understand not only how to navigate this world, but how to give these employees what they need in terms of strong legal argument, supporting facts, and documentation of your medical records and expenses to properly value your case and ensure the best possible outcome for settlement.

As you can see, the right lawyer on your case is critical. Although truck accidents are personal injury cases, many personal injury lawyers have little to no experience with commercial semi-truck accidents, the applicable laws, or the insurance companies who represent trucking companies.

Bottom line, you want your lawyer and their law firm to have the experience, training and drive to handle your case professionally from start to finish.  This is the only way to ensure the best chance for maximum compensation for your case.

When Should I Consult an Attorney for a Truck Crash Lawsuit?

We can’t stress this part enough: right away!  The earlier you involve your Omaha truck accident lawyer in your case, the better. Here are some of the reasons you should start considering which lawyer to hire as soon as possible:

Evidence is Dynamic

Tire marks on the roadway, debris from the accident, even data captured by video or computer will not last a week, let alone forever.  Hiring the right truck accident lawyer in Omaha as early as possible will ensure that your legal team can begin gathering and preserving evidence immediately. The witness who remembers exactly what happened? The corner store with video cameras who captured footage of the accident? Even the log of the semi-truck driver’s rest history for the past 24 hours won’t be preserved without the attorney demanding it and properly preserving it for your benefit.

Protect You from Yourself

As we said, there is a virtual army of insurance employees whose job it is to lessen or eliminate your recovery in settlement.  Well, one of the first tactics most insurance companies will try is attempting to obtain your recorded statement.

Here’s how that usually works:  a very friendly insurance employee will call you and inform you that they work for XYZ Insurance and would like to ask you some simple questions about what happened.  The problem is the information you provide them will only be used against you. It is never a good idea to provide the insurance company representative with recorded information without your lawyer present to protect you, so don’t fall for this trick, and never talk to the other driver's insurance without representatin. Hire the right lawyer early on to protect your interests!

Build Your Case Properly Early On

If you hire the right attorney early on to gather and preserve your evidence, protect you from dirty tactics by the insurance company, and ensure your medical care, treatment and expenses are being submitted correctly, your case will have a much higher likelihood of settling for full value.

What Does a Truck Accident Attorney Do?

  1. A competent truck accident attorney in Omaha, NE, experienced with representing victims injured in accidents with commercial semi-trucks will want to understand everything about your specific facts.  Where did the accident occur? What was the weather like? How was traffic that day? These and one hundred other questions will be answered by the attorney and her team conducting the initial factual review of your case.  The attorney will also obtain an accident report, and once you become an official client, send out letters of representation to the relevant insurance companies, medical providers, and other involved parties.
  2. Your lawyer will focus on your injuries, treatment, and recovery. You may hear the term: MMI during this time. This just stands for maximum medical improvement, and simply means getting you to the point where you are recovered from your injuries and have undergone all necessary medical treatment and therapy to help facilitate recovery.  Your lawyer will keep carefully maintained records of the medical care you’ve received, the physical therapy and other therapies you have undertaken, and the associated expenses, all in an effort to build your case’s value so that the relevant insurance company can properly evaluate the dollar amount of your injuries, pain and suffering, and other damages for eventual settlement. 
  3. Your Omaha truck crash lawyer will draft a demand for settlement on your behalf and send it to all the responsible parties.  The demand is a legal document which marshals the facts and law applicable to your situation, and makes a “demand” for money damages incorporating all of the medical care, treatment, and therapy you have undergone, and also includes other forms of damages like pain and suffering.  The demand is usually sent by certified mail or email and allows a reasonable time for the insurance company to respond.
  4. Your lawyer will negotiate with the responsible parties to obtain full settlement value for your injuries and attempt to avoid litigation, or trial. Most often, litigation is not necessary. The fact is that the trial and the discovery process is very expensive, and if possible, usually all parties will want to avoid the expense and uncertainly of a trial and instead, hopefully will negotiate in good faith toward  a resolution which fairly compensates you for all you’ve been through.  Once payment is received, your lawyer will facilitate payment of your medical expenses and other costs and fees from the settlement, then distribute the remainder to you and provide you with an accurate accounting of where your money is going.

How Much Does an Omaha Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?

An Omaha truck accident lawyer usually works on what is known as a contingency basis. Meaning, that your attorney will not send you a bill or require any upfront payment for services.  Instead, she will accept a pre-negotiated portion of your settlement as her attorney’s fee. This has several benefits, three of which are below:

  • If You Don’t Get Paid, Neither Does the Attorney

In a contingency gee agreement between a client and attorney, the attorney does not get paid anything until the client settles his case.  This is an important benefit because it means that your attorney will work hard to obtain a settlement for you, because, they only get paid once you do!

  • Your Attorney Only Makes More Money if They Obtain a Bigger Settlement

You and your attorney are on the same team, looking to obtain the best settlement possible. Your attorney should be doing everything in their power to resolve your case for the highest amount and lowest cost possible. Both of you will benefit from their effort.

  • You Do Not Pay Any Money Up Front

Perhaps most importantly, at a time in your life where medical bills, vehicle repair or replacement costs, and missed work and lost wages are stacking up and causing a drain on your finances, it’s relieving to know that your attorney should not cost you anything up front, and only get’s paid after you do.

Omaha truck accident lawyer drafting papersHow Do I Find the Best Truck Accident Lawyer in Omaha?

In the internet age, finding a lawyer is easy. But finding the right commercial truck accident lawyer can be slightly more challenging.  Here are steps to get you started:

1) Only Consider Lawyers with the Right Experience

Your personal injury case is too important to trust to a lawyer right out of law school with no experience. Make sure that whomever you choose has extensive experience settling commercial semi-truck accident cases for people just like you.

2) The Right Lawyer Will Listen Very Carefully and Be Accessible to You

Lawyers are busy, but your case is too important to trust to someone who won’t give you the time of day.  Make sure that before you hire a specific lawyer, you have had ample opportunity to meet them by phone, over zoom, or in person. They should carefully consider your questions, be transparent with their answers, and welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and your business.

3) Consider the Lawyer’s Reputation

This point is placed last because it’s the most important, but also because there are some lawyers with great reputations who may be too busy to assist you or not experienced with your specific legal situation. Our advice is simple: find a lawyer who is experienced in your legal situation, takes the time to listen and answer your questions, and most importantly, has the reputation for resolving matters well and delighting their clients.

Check Google and Yelp. Look on the lawyer’s website, and feel free to ask around.  You may even ask the lawyer directly for references. If the lawyer is worth your time and has the reputation you’re looking for, he should welcome the chance to demonstrate his qualifications to you.

Contact Our Experienced Omaha Truck Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation

At Steffens Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys are skilled negotiators and have years of experience with commercial truck accidents and difficult, complex cases. We take pride in our reputation and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your questions.  Call us now at (308) 872-8327 to speak to a live person about your accident!