Compensation claims for trucking accidents are very complex. In addition to the catastrophic injuries and losses often associated with these events, there is also federal and state laws that must be reviewed and a potential for several insurance companies to be involved. All compensation claims must follow specific steps, and each step must be completed before moving to the next. Understanding each stage will help you track the progress of your case.
The initial consultation will be one of the most important meetings of your case. It is during this first meeting with your attorney that you will provide all the details of the accident and your injuries. You are encouraged to bring as much information as possible to this consultation.
During this meeting, your truck accident attorney will discuss many things with you, including in-depth information about your injuries and your financial losses. Your attorney will also give you recommendations on things you should and should not do during the time you have an active case, request information that you will need to provide by the deadline and provide you with other relevant information.
Once the consultation is over, and you have agreed to have legal representation, our law firm will begin to investigate all of the information that you have provided immediately. We will start to gather evidence and start communicating with the insurance company.
At this point, you will only be required to provide any information requested by your attorney and attend all of your medical appointments. Your attorney will manage all communications with the insurance companies on your behalf.
Initiate a Complaint
We manage all of our claims as if they would go to trial. With that in mind, we will file an official Complaint with the Court stating that you are seeking compensation for the injuries you received in the accident.
This complaint will contain a brief outline of the accident and injuries and establish why that court has the right to hear that case. The other party will be served with a copy of the Complaint so that they know legal action is being taken against them.
Once the other party has been officially notified that a case has been filed against them, both sides will start gathering and sharing information. This is known as Discovery. It is during this process that you may have to go in for a Deposition and answer questions for the other attorney or have a medical exam by one of their medical professionals.
It is during this period that both sides may begin negotiating a settlement.
The negotiation process will start almost immediately. All offers that are received from the responsible party will be presented to you. Your attorney will let you know if it is a good offer and if they think you should accept it. Ultimately, accepting an offer at any stage is up to you.
If you cannot reach a settlement offer that is acceptable, your case will move on to mediation. During mediation, a third-party will be brought in to listen to both sides and make recommendations for a settlement. Most medication is non-binding. This means if you are still not satisfied with the outcome and your attorney agrees that the settlement should be higher, you can take the case to trial.
If your case must go to trial, it will extend the length of time it takes to close the case. Your attorney will have to start building a case and securing evidence for trial. Once the trial ends and the judge gives a verdict, that is the end of the case, and the amount you are awarded will be what the jury decides. Less than five percent of cases have to reach this point.
Completion of Claim
Whenever your case settles your claim, the completion of the case will also follow a guideline. Once you have accepted a settlement offer, the other party will produce the paperwork necessary to close the claim. When you receive these documents, you will have to have your attorney review them and sign and return them to the other attorney.
Next, the paperwork will process through the insurance company, and a check will be issued in the amount of the settlement. This check will be made out to you and the law firm that represented you.
When the check arrives, your law firm will do an accounting of all of your expenses. This will include payments they will need to make on your behalf for medical care, and treatments received court fees, and other services related to the case. Your attorney will also add their fees to this paperwork.
When the accounting is complete, the law firm will notify you to come into the office to review the accounting. If you agree, you sign the compensation check over to the law firm, and a new check will be immediately issued to you for the remaining balance of the compensation package. Once you receive this check, your case is officially over.