Being involved in a crash with a truck can be a tragic and terrifying experience. Faster than you even know what happened, a large truck can collide with your vehicle, resulting in permanent injuries, psychological harm, and high economic expenses. When this happens, it can be difficult to know what to do, let alone how to possibly recover the amount of compensation that you truly deserve. That’s why it’s important to consider the following tips on how to win a truck accident lawsuit in South Carolina to improve the outcome of your case.
The experienced team at the law offices of the Marc Brown Law Firm, in Sumter, South Carolina will work with you to improve your chances of winning your truck accident lawsuit. Contact us today.
Steps You Should Take
Winning a case against a trucking company—which is probably very powerful and has the resources to hire a slew of quality attorneys—can be very difficult. However, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of winning the case. Be sure that you do the following:
Gather The Right Type Of Evidence
In order to win a truck accident lawsuit, you’ll need to have a plethora of evidence ready to present to the insurance company (and the court if your case actually goes to litigation). In addition to the types of evidence that are important in all accident cases, such as eyewitnesses’ testimonies and police reports, there’s also evidence that is specific to truck accident claims. This evidence includes the following:
- Truck “black box” data
- The truck driver’s logs
- Truck service and inspection records
What’s more, it will also be very important to have expert testimony to back up your claim, such as the statement of an accident reconstruction expert. This is especially important if your case goes to court.
Don’t Delay In Filing A Police Report Or Notifying Insurance Companies
You should file a police report immediately. Fortunately, in a truck accident claim, this probably won’t be an issue, as the driver of the truck involved will have a duty to call the police. Additionally, if your injuries are very severe, you will likely require immediate medical care, which might include emergency transportation via ambulance. In either case, though, make sure that a police report is filed, and that you request a copy of that police report. Then, be sure to notify your insurer of the accident as soon as possible, preferably within 24-48 hours of the crash. If you delay in providing notice, your claim could be denied based on this delay alone.
Get Medical Care Immediately
Chances are high that getting medical treatment after a crash with a large truck won’t be optional—your injuries may be so severe that you will require emergency care. In the off-chance that your injuries don’t seem severe enough to warrant immediate care, however, you should still go to the hospital as soon as possible. Some injury types, such as a concussion, may not be immediately apparent, but are still very serious. You need to establish causation between the crash and your injuries—seeking medical care does that.
Know The Statute Of Limitations
Most truck accident claims will settle out of court before ever resulting in a trial. However, if you think that your case will settle in a few weeks’ time, you may then believe there’s no need to pay attention to the statute of limitations (the legal limit on the amount of time you have to file a suit). Note that if your case does not settle and you file a suit outside of the statute of limitations, you will be barred from recovery. The statute of limitations for filing a truck accident lawsuit in South Carolina is three years from the date of the accident, per South Carolina Code Section 15-3-530
Know What Your Case Is Worth
You can’t settle your case, or really win your lawsuit, if you don’t actually know how much you should be asking for and what your case is worth. In order to calculate the value of your claim, you should hire certain experts, such as forensic accounts and medical professionals, who can calculate the value of your current costs and future expenses. Note that in addition to compensation for the full value of your economic losses, you also deserve compensation for the value of your noneconomic losses, such as the value of your pain and suffering. Talk to our law firm today to learn more about how these types of damages are calculated.
Don’t Accept A First Settlement Offer
If you want to win your lawsuit, then don’t make the mistake of accepting the first settlement offer you receive. It can be tempting to want to accept a settlement offer—the claims process can be drawn out and emotional, and you may be needing the money sooner rather than later. But the reality is that first settlement offers are typically less than a claim is really worth, In essence, the insurance company is hoping that a claimant will accept anything that they can get. This is why it is so important to know what your claim is worth. It’s also equally important to be aware of your right to reject a settlement offer and negotiate for an amount that you think more fairly compensates you.
Hire An Experienced Truck Accident Attorney To Represent You
Finally, don’t underestimate the value of an experienced truck accident attorney. Remember the other side will more likely than not have experienced lawyers working for them. By hiring someone who has a reputation for success and experience working on cases like yours, you can even the playing field. Working with an attorney significantly improves the outcome of your case.
Call our Sumter Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Now that you know some pointers on how to win a truck accident lawsuit in South Carolina, if you have been in a truck accident, our law firm in Sumter is here to support you. Contact the Marc Brown Law Firm today for a free consultation and information on how to protect your right to compensation. Our lawyers are passionate about protecting the rights of people like you, and they work hard to get our clients the largest settlement awards possible.