Being involved in a trucking accident is frightening enough. There’s no reason your lawsuit needs to be a terrible experience as well. Your case begins immediately after your accident and continues until you are awarded the damages you are owed. Which makes hiring a qualified attorney the first thing you should do.
It is nearly impossible to win a trucking accident case without an attorney to guide you through the filing process and the possibility of a trial. You should look for someone familiar with local laws who can explain the steps that will see your case through from start to finish. Meeting with a New Orleans truck accident lawyer will alleviate the stress involved with a lawsuit and raise the chances of your case being a success.
The Truck Driver Works For A Commercial Company
One of the key differences between a trucking accident case and other types of auto accidents is that the truck driver is not a private entity. He is part of a commercial company, and the case will involve this company in one way or another.
A good New Orleans truck accident lawyer will offer suggestions to their client on whether a suit should be filed against the company, the driver, or both. It may be preferable to file suit against the company, as there can be an opportunity to sue for higher damages. It may even be possible to sue the driver’s insurance company or involve them as part of a third party suit.
The Investigation and Evidence
The first part of the lawsuit process is the collection of evidence to support a claim. This is referred to as discovery. Awarding of damages requires a great deal of evidence to support it.
An attorney will conduct the investigation and make sure that the evidence is available by the time your case goes to court. They will conduct interviews, check the trucking company records, including the driver’s personnel file and qualifications, and gather police reports and accident photos.
The Letter of Demands and Mediation
After a New Orleans truck accident lawyer collects the evidence, they will submit a letter of demands, which will initiate the process of the lawsuit. The letter will inform the opposing party or parties of the intention to sue and will detail the injuries and losses incurred because of the accident and the amount of compensatory damage the client is seeking.
Once they’ve received the letter, the opposing party can accept the amount your attorney has submitted and choose to settle the case quickly or they can attempt to negotiate for a reduced amount.
There may be a mediation, where both parties come together to seek an agreement, but if an out of court settlement isn’t reached the case will have to go to trial. At any time before the trial’s completion, you or the opposing party can choose to settle the case.
Going To Trial
Your New Orleans truck accident lawyer will prepare you carefully for your trial. You will probably be required to testify your case.
They will explain that these kinds of cases are usually decided by a jury, who will decide who was at fault and assign damages accordingly. It is possible that you may be declared partially at fault, and the jury will decide how much was your responsibility and how much was the driver’s. For example, if you’re considered to be 15 percent at fault, then that amount will be deducted from the amount you’re awarded in damages.
At all points in the process, your New Orleans truck accident lawyer will be vital. Your lawyer will represent your interests at each stage of the process and be sure that you are awarded the maximum amount of damages possible for your case.
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