The Answers You Need for the Questions You’re Forced to Ask
One of the worst aspects of pursuing a case—whether you’re fighting for injury compensation or trying to settle a divorce—is not knowing what to expect. Before you get yourself knee deep in the details of your case allow us to answer some of your questions first. We’ll help you be more fully prepared and more confident as you move forward.
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How much does a truck accident lawyer cost?
Victims of semi-truck accidents are often hesitant to hire an attorney, assuming that any damages they receive will be lost to the law firm’s legal fees. However, personal injury attorneys who represent truck crash clients typically offer no-win, no-fee guarantees, also known as a contingency arrangement. This allows clients to get the help they need without paying legal expenses up front, and they don’t pay if the lawyer doesn’t win.
Benefits of Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer on a Contingency Basis
Our attorneys believe that victims should not be forced to bear the burden of an accident that was not their fault simply because they cannot afford a lawyer. That is why we do not charge hourly rates to work on personal injury cases. We do not charge for our services until your case is resolved—and if you don't win or settle the case, you will not owe us any fees for representing you.
Our injury attorneys can work with you to make your legal fees affordable by offering:
- Free consultations. Our lawyers always begin truck accident cases with a free initial consultation, for a number of reasons. First, it gives clients an opportunity to get their questions answered without taking on additional costs. Second, we are able to evaluate the facts to identify any potential problems before we agree to take the case. Third, it gives both parties a chance to see if they can work together.
- Advancing court costs. A legal claim may require filing fees, investigations, outside expert testimony, securing medical records and police reports, and other expenses. Our attorneys understand that injury victims may not have the resources to pay for the ongoing costs of a case, so we pay for all court-related costs up front and are reimbursed when your case is over.
- Fees paid after recovery. If your case is successful, our law firm is paid with a portion of your total award or settlement.
The attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can help you get payment for your medical bills and lost income after an accident. Contact us today via our online form to schedule your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
Do I need a lawyer to handle my truck accident case?
If you are injured in a crash with a semi-truck, you will most likely be contacted by a representative from the trucking company’s insurance company. The insurance agent may sound apologetic and helpful, encouraging you to accept a quick settlement check. However, once you accept payment, you cannot ask for any more compensation—and you are likely to be underpaid for your suffering without an attorney at your side.
The Value of Speaking to an Attorney After a Truck Accident
It’s important to avoid a fast settlement because it’s often difficult to tell the extent of your injuries immediately after a crash. How you feel in the days following may be vastly different from how you will feel in a month, and your injuries may not be fully healed a year after the accident. You should never settle your case until you know the full extent of your injuries.
There are many ways an attorney can benefit your truck accident case even before a lawsuit is filed. An attorney can:
- Determine whether a settlement is fair. Victims typically have no experience negotiating accident compensation, but insurers have years of experience devaluing claims. An offer that seems fair to you could actually be far less than what you are entitled to. A truck accident attorney has familiarity with the types of injuries a wreck can cause, as well as the types of treatment you may need and the future income you may lose due to a disability.
- Prevent you from making simple mistakes. An insurance adjuster may ask you to give a recorded statement or sign a medical records release in order to proceed with your claim. Many victims assume this is a necessary formality and don’t realize how these may be used as evidence against them. We can ensure that the trucking company has only the information it needs to process the claim, protecting your privacy and your injury case.
- Protect your whole recovery. Rhode Island operates under a pure comparative fault system, meaning your recovery will be reduced by the percentage of your liability. If the trucking company can prove that you were partly to blame for the crash, its insurance company can pay much less in damages. Our legal team can ensure that the trucking company does not unfairly influence the determination of liability, allowing you to recover the full amount of your damages.
The attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can help you get payment for your medical bills and lost income after an accident, and we do not charge for our services until your case is resolved. Contact us today via our online form to schedule your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
Why can accidents with small trucks be as serious as those with a semi truck?
Big rigs traveling at highway speeds aren’t the only source of truck accidents. In fact, pedestrians and motorists may have a higher risk of being struck by box trucks or utility vehicles, especially while traveling on city streets. Although these trucks are often smaller than semis, accidents involving these types of trucks can cause serious injuries. Because owners and drivers are bound by the same federal regulations that govern other commercial trucks, victims in these accidents may hold the owners liable for their injuries.
Small Trucks Can Still Cause Big Injuries
Box trucks, dump trucks, and other heavy-use vehicles may be smaller than tractor-trailers, but all can be difficult to maneuver and may be overloaded with cargo. Additionally, operators of these vehicles are just as likely as semi truck drivers to make deadly truck driver mistakes that can have fatal consequences for other drivers and passengers.
Many Rhode Islanders are injured each year by:
- Delivery trucks. Speeding is a major contributor to delivery truck crashes, as drivers are put under pressure to meet tight deadlines. Delivery truck accidents are especially common on city streets and in parking lots, as a truck driver may not see pedestrians crossing in front or behind the vehicle.
- Ambulances. Ambulances must travel at high speeds in order to save lives, but drivers still have a duty to drive safely and obey traffic laws. A driver who takes a corner too quickly can roll the vehicle, causing injuries to those inside and to other drivers.
- Dump trucks. Because dump truck drivers are often paid by the weight of their load, there is a tendency to overload the trucks. This makes it more difficult for the truck to stop, more likely to roll over, and more apt to release hazardous debris onto the roads. Additionally, drivers may try to increase their pay by making more runs than is safe, which can lead to speeding and driving recklessly.
- Utility trucks. Utility and service trucks may be outfitted with equipment that can affect the balance and maneuverability of the vehicle (such as cranes and lifts). Drivers who are not properly trained in the operation of these vehicles may accidentally strike nearby cars or even cause traffic backups by colliding with low bridges.
The attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can help you get payment for your medical bills, lost income, and other expenses after an injury with a small truck, and we do not charge for our services until your case is resolved. Contact us today via our online form to schedule your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
How long do I have to file my truck accident lawsuit?
If a negligent truck driver caused your truck accident, it is important to understand the basics of how to file your claim for compensation against the trucker and the trucking company’s insurance company. One of the most important laws you need to understand is the statute of limitations.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing Your Truck Crash Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations is the time period you have to file your civil lawsuit against the trucker and trucking company. Every state has its own law setting this deadline. In Rhode Island, how long you have to do so depends on what type of compensation you are asking for. Here are the time periods that could be applicable in your case:
- Personal injury. If you are suing for compensation because you suffered personal injuries, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of your truck accident.
- Wrongful death. You may file a wrongful death action if a loved one died in a truck collision. You must file your lawsuit within three years of the date of death—not the date of the crash.
- Property damage. The statute of limitations is 10 years from the date of the accident if you are filing a civil suit for property damages. This could include the cost of repairing your vehicle.
What Happens If the Statute of Limitations Expires?
If you file a truck accident lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the penalty is harsh. The trucker and trucking company will most likely raise this as a defense, and the judge will dismiss your case.
You can avoid this by retaining an experienced truck accident attorney soon after your collision. Even if you have time before the statute of limitations expires, you want to hire an attorney as soon as possible to build a strong claim of negligence and protect your legal rights. Start an online chat to schedule your free consultation today to find out how we can assist you.
Could another driver be at fault for my truck accident injury?
Just as dangerous truck driving behavior can cause a crash, the actions of drivers of smaller vehicles can cause accidents, too. In some cases, drivers of passenger vehicles can be liable for causing accidents, even if they were not even injured.
How Passenger Vehicle Drivers Can Cause Truck Accidents
All drivers should take extra care when traveling next to semi-trucks. It’s never a good idea to break the law by speeding, texting, or driving under the influence, but those actions can be especially dangerous near trucks. Additionally, you might be found liable in a truck accident if you perform the following risky and unsafe maneuvers:
- Traveling in a blind spot. Trucks have a number of blind spots along the front, back, and sides, and any vehicles in these areas are at risk of injury. For example, a trucker who swerves to avoid a car that suddenly appears out of a
- blind spot may strike another car nearby.
- Tight merging. Smaller cars may be able to squeeze between each other in traffic, but large trucks need far more stopping distance to accommodate a merging vehicle. If a trucker is forced to slam on his brakes to let someone in, a vehicle traveling behind the truck may hit the back of the trailer.
- Improper passing. Passing a truck is significantly more difficult than passing a smaller vehicle. If a driver passes a truck on a curve, both oncoming and following traffic may be run off the road or suffer collisions when the pass is not completed.
- Unsafe turns. Drivers often do not accommodate trucks that need to travel on city streets. Smaller cars may attempt to overtake or turn in front of a slow-moving truck, denying the trucker the time and space he needs to complete the turn safely (and placing pedestrians and other road users at risk).
If you suffered injuries after an accident involving a commercial truck, you should discuss your rights with a qualified attorney. Fill out our online contact form to set up your initial consultation with a truck crash lawyer.