Being involved in a truck accident can be a scary endeavor. Trucks can be up to 20 or 30 times heavier than commercial vehicles, which can lead to severe physical damage and even death during a collision. Accidents also often leave victims mentally shaken and suffering from a degree of trauma, which can continue for years. Both of these types of damage can cause severe financial burdens on the victims and their families.
Although there are measures in place to help reduce the risk of accidents, Texas remains to be one of the states with the most truck accidents per year. If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a wreck, it’s important to partner with a truck accident lawyer to get the most out of your efforts. They can help you establish liability, protect your rights, and ensure you receive appropriate compensation that includes non-economic damages. So, how do you choose the right truck accident lawyer for your case? Consider some of the tips below.
1. Look for Compatibility
You’re going to be working hand in hand with your truck accident attorney for the duration of your case, so it’s good to find someone that you feel comfortable with. You should feel like you can talk to your attorney and give them honest, upfront answers about things. While maintaining a degree of professionalism is part of their job, some people just aren’t compatible. Don’t be afraid to meet with several different attorneys to see who fits best with your working style.
If you feel like your attorney is dismissing you, talking down to you, or not taking you seriously, find someone else. There are several qualified truck accident lawyers available to help you with your case without making you feel terrible along the way. Ideally, your attorney should be welcoming, understanding, empathetic, and just as determined as you are.
2. Check Their Experience
Although there are plenty of attorneys just getting started with great potential, you want to feel confident throughout your case. The best way to do that is to hire someone with experience in truck accident lawsuits. You want to find someone who is doing the work necessary to maximize your compensation. This means putting in resources to increase your likelihood of winning the fight. Some attorneys may focus on getting fast settlements to avoid having to do the heavy lifting, but when it comes to truck accidents, you want someone who’s committed to your case.
Always check the experience of prospective truck accident lawyers, look at testimonials, and read their reviews if possible. Avoid hiring someone who does not have a defined track record of working with trucking accidents. Auto accidents between commercial vehicles don’t operate in the same way and are far less complex. Don’t be afraid to ask about their background in trucking incidents.
3. Check Success Rates
Don’t equate experience with success. Experienced truck accident lawyers tend to have higher success rates, but that’s not always the case. Instead, take initiative and ask about their previous success rates with clients. Every case is different and can vary in complexity, but it’s nice to have an idea of their case history. You may also want to ask about how many cases they’re currently working on. You want to make sure your truck accident lawyer has enough time to dedicate the necessary resources to winning your case.
4. Review Contingency Fees
Many truck accident attorneys work with their clients on a contingency fee. This means that rather than paying them an hourly rate, you’ll need to pay a percentage of the amount that you receive during the settlement. There are several different factors that can affect how much the contingency fee is, but many truck accident lawyers start at a base percentage. If the case continues to progress into a lawsuit or goes to trial, the fee may increase to cover the additional work being done. With contingency fees, if you don’t receive any money, you don’t owe legal fees.
Not all truck accident lawyers work on contingency fees, so it’s important to understand the payment structure ahead of time. Schedule a consultation with prospective attorneys to get a better idea of what to expect. If they don’t work on a contingency fee, ask about hourly rates, retainers, and anything else related to the financials of working together.
5. Schedule a Meeting
Before moving forward with a partnership, schedule a face-to-face or video meeting with prospective truck accident attorneys. This gives you a chance to ask any additional questions you may have, get a better understanding of how they carry themselves, and see if your communication styles match. Depending on the complexity of your case, you may be working together for a long time so it’s better to know upfront how your communication styles vary. During your meeting, go over any basics and ask how you’d be kept updated on the progress of the case. Since these things can take time, it’s nice to know you’re working with someone who won’t forget to notify you about any major updates.
In Texas, throughout 2021, the number of motor vehicle traffic fatalities was 4,489, an increase of 15.22% from 2020. 239,539 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes, meaning that one person was injured every 2 minutes and 12 seconds. If you’ve been in a truck accident or are mourning the death of a loved one, contact an experienced Texas truck accident attorney at Houston M. Smith. We understand the intricacies involved in truck accidents and will ensure you receive the representation you need to maximize your settlement and provide for yourself while you’re recovering. Our team of attorneys provides each of our clients with guidance, protection, and advocacy. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.