How Long Do You Have to Get a Lawyer After a Truck Accident?

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Accidents involving commercial trucks are very different from other types of motor vehicle crashes. There is a much greater likelihood of serious injury and death in a collision between an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle. Furthermore, these cases involve complex issues of liability, insurance coverage, damages, and more.

There is no question that you should speak with a truck accident lawyer after a crash with a big rig. Your ability to recover the full compensation you deserve after a truck accident hinges on getting an attorney involved. As such, this conversation should happen as soon as possible.

Attorney Patrick Daniel has extensive experience representing victims and their families in complex trucking accident claims. Here are the time considerations you need to keep in mind after a semi-truck collision to preserve your right to compensation:

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Claims?

Personal injury and wrongful death claims in Texas are subject to a time limit of 2 years (known as the statute of limitations). According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, the statute of limitations for personal injury begins on the date of the accident and the statute for wrongful death begins on the date of death.

It is of the utmost importance to take legal action ahead of the statute of limitations. Whether you or a loved one suffered injury or a member of your family was killed in a truck accident, you will not be able to bring a claim more than 2 years after the fact.

With this in mind, you should speak to a truck accident lawyer well ahead of when the statute of limitations is set to expire. Your attorney needs time to build a strong claim on your behalf, and it is important not to leave too little time for a thorough investigation.

How Long Does a Truck Accident Settlement Take?

Reaching a settlement in a truck accident claim takes time. Even fairly straightforward cases where the truck driver and other parties are clearly in the wrong can take a year or more to resolve.

If settlement negotiations aren’t moving forward, it is crucial to know when you need to file a lawsuit. The 2-year statute of limitations is the maximum amount of time you have to sue, not how long you have to recover compensation.

Filing a lawsuit shows that you are serious about asserting your legal rights and recovering the damages you are due. The other side may be willing to resume negotiations after you file suit. Often, a settlement can be reached before the case goes to trial.

A truck accident lawyer should be involved in settlement negotiations from the start. If you try to handle the case on your own, you are likely to receive low-ball settlement offers (if not outright denial of your claim) as well as face delays in communication.

Trucking companies and their insurers are very good at dragging out legal proceedings. However, having an experienced lawyer who can represent you in settlement talks can help expedite the process and increase the likelihood of reaching a favorable settlement faster.

How Do I Find a Good Truck Accident Lawyer?

So far we’ve talked about the legal and practical issues that put victims in a time crunch from the moment the truck accident occurs. However, it is also important to consider the one aspect of an 18-wheeler accident claim where it is worth taking your time: finding the right attorney.

With no time to waste, how can you find the right lawyer to handle your claim? Here are a few key questions to ask prospective attorneys to assess their experience with truck accident litigation:

In addition to key aspects of their experience with truck accident claims, you should feel comfortable speaking to the lawyer about your concerns, asking questions, etc. You will be in contact with the attorney for months or, in all probability, more than a year; it is important to be confident in your choice.

Why You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer ASAP

A reputable trucking accident lawyer will start investigating the crash promptly. The success of your truck accident claim rests in large part on safeguarding important evidence. Without immediate action, this evidence may be lost.

Some of the most important steps of building a truck accident claim that an experienced attorney will undertake as soon as possible include:

  • Visiting the scene of the crash and taking photos of the area, damage to the roadway, etc.
  • Gathering any physical evidence at the scene
  • Interviewing witnesses to the truck accident
  • Requesting video footage from any cameras that may have captured the crash
  • Obtaining and reviewing any reports concerning the accident
  • Inspecting the damage to your vehicle
  • Reviewing your medical records and speaking to your doctors
  • Drafting a letter to the trucking company requesting the preservation of evidence such as:
    • The semi-truck and trailer involved in the collision
    • Paper and electronic records
    • Data from the truck’s “black box”
  • Inspecting the truck and the trailer
  • Reviewing documentary and digital records
  • Enlisting experts to review the evidence, reconstruct the accident, provide testimony, etc.

Each of these steps is labor-intensive and time-consuming. That is why it’s so important to hire a truck accident lawyer sooner rather than later; the more time there is to prepare your claim, the more time your attorney has to build a stronger case on your behalf.

Hiring a truck accident lawyer promptly is the best way to make sure the evidence is preserved, all liable parties are identified, your damages are fully accounted for, and legal action is taken in a timely fashion. Recovery after being involved in a semi-truck collision or losing your loved one to an 18-wheeler crash is hard enough without having to handle the legal complexities of a claim on your own.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Time is of the essence after any motor vehicle crash. This is especially true with a commercial truck accident, as the trucking company, the insurance company, and one or more government entities will start investigating right away.

None of these parties have your best interest in mind. Patrick Daniel Law does, and we will fight to hold the negligent individuals and companies accountable to recover the compensation you deserve after a truck accident.

Attorney Patrick Daniel is recognized as a leader in complex trucking accident litigation. Our team takes a Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless approach to each case with the goal of maximizing the recovery for every one of our clients.

For a free case review, please call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 today. Our truck accident lawyer serves clients in Houston, throughout Texas, and nationwide.

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