If you are suffering from injuries due to a collision with a commercial semi-truck that wasn’t your fault, you need to get in contact with our competent and experienced Nebraska truck accident attorney immediately.
Nebraska sees more commercial trucking on our streets, highways, and interstates than almost anywhere else. Because Nebraska is the geographic center of the United States, commercial transport is constantly traversing our roadways to access destinations countrywide. And while the hustle and bustle of Nebraska is always exciting, navigating our city among so much commercial trucking traffic significantly decreases our safety.
It’s easy to think that commercial semi-trucks present no greater danger than regular passenger vehicles. But that viewpoint rests on several key misunderstandings:
- Commercial semi-trucks are heavy, often weighing ten times more than a typical passenger vehicle.
- Commercial truckers using our roadways are from any number of places around the country, meaning they aren’t familiar with the local laws, rules, or roads of Nebraska.
- Semi-truck operators drive for long distances over many hours at a time, which decreases attention and increases complacency.
For these and many other reasons, collisions between Nebraska drivers and commercial semi-trucks are often severe and lead to grave injuries. Below, we discuss everything you need to know about hiring the right truck accident lawyer for your potential lawsuit.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Experienced truck accident lawyers understand which evidence is vital and can quickly distinguish it from useless information. They know how to interpret accident reports, preserve witness statements, and understand police investigative photos and data. Which evidence is important will depend on the circumstances of the particular case, so the earlier you involve a truck accident lawyer to help you, the better she’ll be able to build your case with the freshest evidence.
Help You Receive and Pay Less for Medical Care
If you suffer a serious injury from a collision with a semi-truck, even if you have excellent health insurance, it’s likely you’ll receive bills from many different providers. Additionally, you may have questions about different treatment options. A Nebraska truck accident attorney is familiar with all major hospitals, treatment providers, and insurance carriers. They will request all records from every provider you’ve seen, organize your medical care, and ensure the expenses are submitted to the proper insurance company. When it comes time to pay for your care, your lawyer will utilize Nebraska state law to negotiate down the care you received directly with the providers – so you get the medical care you need and pay the least amount for it.
Navigate and Explain the Law
When you are injured in a collision with a commercial vehicle, the law of negligence will usually apply. And although it may seem simple, the truth is that every element must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, and many nuanced defenses exist which may operate to deprive a person from recovering compensation from the responsible property. A competent truck accident lawyer in Nebraska will understand which laws apply in a specific situation, the defenses that must be overcome, and keep an eye on the statute of limitations to preserve your rights at law.
Negotiate with Insurance
Most semi-truck accident cases involve negotiating with an insurance carrier representative. These companies exist to earn a profit, and they can only be profitable by denying every claim for compensation they can and minimizing the amount they pay out in the ones they can’t. These people are professionals, employing accident reconstruction teams, adjusters, and attorneys all united in one goal: paying victims the least amount possible to obtain a release of all claims. The good news? There are excellent lawyers who are just waiting to help you fight and beat the insurance company at its own game.
Truck Accident Lawyers in Nebraska: What Do They Do?
A lot. A Nebraska truck accident lawyer will help you with all aspects of your case from beginning to end. First, they’ll take your initial call and listen carefully to what happened. Then they’ll ask important questions about what caused the accident, where it occurred, and your resulting injuries. Once you decide to hire them, they’ll begin building your case by obtaining accident reports, medical records and bills. They will conduct an investigation of the accident site, take pictures and measurements if necessary, and obtain evidence to prove the truck driver’s liability and fault for causing the accident.
Once you are healed and have finished all medical treatment, your lawyer will draft a legal document called a demand and send it to the commercial truck driver’s insurance company. Several parties may be culpable for the accident, including the driver, the company, the broker, and even the city or state itself.
Finally, negotiation will begin. By now your lawyer has submitted all medical records for emergency transport, hospital, surgery if necessary, and recovery care to the insurance company, as well as wages lost and future medical care that may be necessary for you to make a full recovery and approach the life you led prior to being injured. The insurance adjusters for the liable party and your uninsured motorist coverage will begin to negotiate with your lawyer to arrive at a fair value which properly compensates you for your injuries.
During this time, the insurance companies will also likely bring up any legal weaknesses or defenses in your case, which your lawyer will address by using the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident and what led to it. Hopefully, the case will settle without spending a day in court. But if there are serious differences of opinion about liability, damages, or causation, mediation or a trial may be necessary. Regardless, by reading the above, you now likely understand how crucially important it is to choose the right lawyer or firm to represent you from the beginning. It is absolutely the most important decision you will make regarding your case against the commercial semi-truck company.
What a Truck Accident Attorney Knows That You Don’t…
First, a truck accident lawyer, like all lawyers, graduated from law school and passed at least one bar exam. Law school is a three-year graduate school that teaches lawyers how to think about the law, and which evidence will matter in any given situation. Where commercial semi-trucks are involved, the rules of the road and safe driving will apply, but so may the intricate regulations and rules which operators and the companies they work for must follow.
For example, was the semi-truck overloaded, properly maintained, and a log kept of regular rest intervals? If you were injured by a load falling off a truck, what straps were used to secure it, and when were these straps last checked to ensure the load was properly tied down? Many regulations and rules exist which operate to ensure that commercial semi-trucks can safely traverse our roadways with heavy loads. If any of these were not strictly adhered to, your accident may have been preventable, and that means the truck company, or its operator may be liable.
Understanding these rules and regulations and how they may play into your situation is just one example of many things a truck accident lawyer will know that can improve both the odds of winning you compensation and increasing the settlement amount obtained.
How Much Does a Nebraska Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?
\While the adage “you get what you pay for” is absolutely true where truck accident lawyers are concerned, you might be surprised at how affordable hiring a good truck accident lawyer can be.
First, competent truck accident lawyers who know their stuff should structure attorney’s fees on a contingency basis. This is just a fancy way of saying, if you don’t obtain settlement, the lawyer does not get paid. But what’s also important to know is that the more the lawyer obtains for you in settlement, the bigger the attorney fee will be. This is good news, since it means:
- You don’t pay anything out of your own pocket, and
- The lawyer you hire should be aligned with your interests – he or she should want to work as hard and smart as possible so that the end goal: reaching the highest settlement possible, earns both you and they the most compensation.
Second, truck accident lawyers who are worth hiring will never charge you anything to learn about and investigate the strength of your case. They should want to spend all the necessary time with you to learn everything you know about the accident, what caused it, and why you think a semi-truck was responsible. They should obtain the accident report and share it with you at no cost, so that you can both be on the same page with respect to the basic facts of the case. Finally, they should be willing to investigate the scene of the collision, take pictures and measurements, and conduct background research on the trucking company to gain as much insight as possible about the case as early as they can to properly advise you. If the attorney isn’t willing to do the above at no additional cost, you are simply considering the wrong law firm.
Third, the lawyer you hire should be willing to handle every aspect of your personal injury case. This means insurance, medical care, follow up treatment, interviews, research, investigations, and negotiation including a trial if necessary. Even though you shouldn’t pay any money out of pocket, you will likely pay a percentage of your settlement to the lawyer you hire, and this means you should absolutely understand and receive what you are paying for. If it’s not completely clear from the beginning, again, you are speaking to the wrong lawyer.
What is My Truck Crash Case Worth?
Determining how much your case is worth depends on a number of factors. Below, our experienced truck accident attorney in Nebraska discusses what goes into that decistion:
Questions to Ask a When Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney in Nebraska
When speaking with truck accident lawyers you are considering hiring, you should feel free to ask as many questions as you like, and you should take the opportunity to do so. The lawyer should make you feel comfortable and should be listening to what you say. This sounds obvious, but lawyers can be busy or distracted, and you want to make sure your questions and concerns are being heard and understood. Below are a few basic questions anyone considering hiring a truck accident lawyer should ask:
- What is the lawyer’s experience with situations like yours? Has the lawyer ever represented a plaintiff in a commercial semi-truck collision with serious injuries? What was the result of that representation?
- How does the lawyer charge for their services? Will there be any out-of-pocket expenses or charges attributable to you if the case is not successful?
- What strengths and weaknesses does the lawyer see in your case? Does victory seem likely? Will a lawsuit or trial be necessary?
Any lawyer worth their salt should be willing to answer all these questions honestly and clearly prior to you agreeing to hire them. You may also wish to ask how busy the lawyer is, what type of team exists around the lawyer at the law firm dedicated to helping build the case in the strongest way possible. These questions matter, and you should never be made to feel uncomfortable when asking them. If you are, you are simply speaking to the wrong law firm.
Contact Our Experienced Nebraska Truck Crash Attorney for a Free Consult
Steffens Law Office’s lawyers are dedicated, experienced, and passionate people who only take on cases to which they believe they can add value. If we don’t believe you will obtain significantly higher compensation with us than without us, we won’t take the case but will always help you resolve the matter on your own and provide information and resources to accomplish that goal. It’s that simple.
Steffens Law Offices are located throughout Nebraska, and you can speak to a real commercial semi-truck lawyer for FREE anytime, 24 hours a day, just by picking up the phone and calling our injury hotline at (308) 872-8327. We are waiting to hear from you right now.
[Related: Our Nebraska truck accident lawyer represents injury victims across the state, with offices in Lincoln, Omaha, Grand Island, North Platte, Kearney and Broken Bow]