Can you handle your commercial truck wreck injury claim without a lawyer? The answer is yes and no.
A wreck will change your life. If your injuries are severe, this will become immediately evident. But even if you've only suffered minor injuries, a truck wreck can hurt your finances, your personal life and your overall feelings of wellbeing and happiness.
I don't say this to scare you. Quite the opposite. I say this to educate you on what's to come. Knowledge is essential to making big decisions, like whether or not to hire a personal injury attorney.
Should You Hire a Texas Lawyer? Get Informed First
Within days of the wreck, your phone wills start to ring as the commercial trucking company's reps (or their insurance adjustor) try to sort things out. They'll want to settle quickly, either by denying their fault in the accident or offering you fast cash to get you "off their backs," so to speak. The quicker they close the case, the better it is for them.
As overwhelmed as you might feel, you're probably still hesitant to hire an attorney to represent you. In order to make an informed decision, it's important that you understand your legal rights. Not every accident victim in Texas needs to hire a personal injury attorney and in some cases, you'll be able to handle the case on your own. On the other hand, I've seen too many people get cheated out of compensation because they didn't hire and attorney and were in over their heads.
If you're on the fence, feel free to give me a call. We'll talk about your situation and whether or not hiring and attorney is right for you.
When You Definitely Shouldn't Handle a Truck Wreck Case Alone
In some situations, I'd strongly advise you to hire a personal injury attorney. Mostly, this is when the case is "high value," meaning there are thousands of dollars of damages and injuries resulting from the wreck that you're hoping the trucking company will pay for.
Similarly, if you're working on the behalf of a loved one who passed away in a truck accident, I would highly recommend consulting an experienced Texas truck wreck lawyer.
Making an accident claim or a wrongful death claim against a negligent trucking company isn't like making a property damage claim against an auto insurance company. There's simply too much at stake. In order to win, you'll need to conduct a thorough investigation against the trucking company to prove that yes, without a doubt they caused the wreck and your injuries. You should take full advantage of the resources a PI lawyer can offer you.
A Few Things You Should Know After Your Big-Rig Accident
In the meantime, here are a few things to remember in those first few days immediately after your accident:
- You do not have to talk to the insurance adjustor. Don't give them a recorded statement. Don't give them authorization to pull your medical records. Do not sign anything.
- If the insurance company sends you a check, don't accept it and certainly do not cash it. Their goal is to close the case as quickly and as cheaply as possible. If you accept any money from them, you'll ruin your chance to recover the compensation you actually need.
- Listen to your doctor. Do whatever your doctor recommends. Any crash - especially those involving 18-wheelers - can mean significant injuries. Make sure that you get the best treatment available to you. Failure to comply with your doctor's orders could be used against you later by the insurance company.
- Use your health insurance. That's what you pay your monthly premiums for. If you have Personal Injury Protection or MedPay, you can also use that to cover the co-pay and the deductibles. If you don't have health insurance, consider contacting a PI attorney who can make sure you get the medical treatment you need by giving the doctor a letter of protection, which means they will be paid out of any future settlement you receive.
Truck wrecks often cause very serious injuries, so it's important that you expect the trucking company and their insurance provider to be aggressive in trying to minimize their losses. Even if you can handle it alone, make sure you speak to an experienced attorney before you make a decision which could have enormous unknown consequences.
Call me today for a no fee consultation toll free at 800-354-6275 or locally in Fort Worth at 817-294-1900 / Dallas at 214-327-8000. You can also request a complimentary copy of my book 15 Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Texas Accident Claim.