How to Choose a Truck Accident Injury Attorney
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a highway crash involving a commercial truck, finding the right truck accident injury lawyer can be one of the important steps you take in your healing and recovery process.
You already know how catastrophic a crash with an 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, or tanker can be. If you believe the crash was caused by the truck driver’s negligence — or if the cause of the crash isn’t yet clear — it is important to find the attorney and firm that can help you to explore your legal rights and options so you can take the steps necessary to be compensated fairly for all your losses.
Here are a few tips for choosing a truck accident injury attorney in Michigan.
Do Some Research
When you need an experienced truck accident attorney in Michigan, always look at more than one firm and review their capabilities online. Check the firms that appear to have the capacity to investigate cases like yours, and have a good track record for personal injury litigation success.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., is dedicated to the representation of individuals and families who are the victims of auto accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, workplace or other injuries. We have extensive experience in truck accident personal injury cases and a strong track record for successful accident claims.
Talk with other people in your community. Speak with the firm’s previous clients, and with other attorneys in your community. Word-of-mouth referrals often provide the best indication of how you will be treated.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., is one of the premier personal injury law firms in Michigan, and there are several brief client reviews on our website. Professional references are also available upon request.
Ask to Meet
You should always meet with your prospective personal injury law firm as soon as you can. You need to feel comfortable with your attorney’s personality, experience, and commitment to your case before moving forward.
The attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., take the attorney-client relationship seriously and are prepared to discuss your situation — at no cost or obligation — on the phone, online, or in person. This meeting and conversation is completely confidential, without cost or obligation, and can be set up at your convenience. We’re happy to come to your home or the hospital if that makes the most sense.
Make a Question List
It helps to formulate a list of your most pressing questions before meeting with an attorney. You will be talking about a range of things when you meet with an attorney for the first time.
You will have questions about the legal process, deadlines, award expectations, cost, as well as questions about the attorney and firm’s experience with cases like yours.
Be Prepared to Answer Questions
When you meet with an attorney about your trucking accident injury, be prepared to answer a range of medical and other questions about your injury and its impact on your life and livelihood.
If you have seen any medical professionals — either immediately or just after the crash — you will want to share the names of those professionals and any record(s) about those experiences.
Following a crash, your memory might not be very sharp. This is common after a traumatic event. Just do your best to answer questions as fully and honestly as you can. Legal professionals understand how memory works and may want to ask you the same questions more than once.
When you meet with the team from Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., our goal is to have a full understanding of the crash and your injury, and how that injury has been identified and treated to date.
Trucking Industry Expertise
The attorney you work with should demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the rules and regulations that govern the trucking industry. These regulations, known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety (FMCS) regulations, include rules about training, vehicle weight and load limits, vehicle maintenance, and other rules that all commercial trucking operations in the United States must follow.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. has had many clients who have been involved in a truck vehicle crash — and until they meet with us aren’t aware of how the driver’s or commercial trucking company’s violation of FMCS rules may have contributed to the crash.
Some truck crashes reflect a combination of a truck’s braking, acceleration, and visibility characteristics and the driver’s ignorance of these characteristics. However, there can also be an overloaded or over-sized truck issue, excessive speed, fatigue, weather and road conditions, and other issues that are contributing factors. Driver training or lack of training could be an issue, as well as truck maintenance problems.
How to identify and document these factors requires expertise. At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. we know the rules, and how to apply them for your benefit when pursuing a truck accident case in court.
Injury and Treatment Expertise
If you are the injured party or the legal guardian of the injured party, you want to find a truck accident attorney and firm who has expertise in your injury and trauma, the treatments involved in recovery, the tests that may be necessary to diagnose the injury and/or condition, and ongoing, long-term treatment needed. Sometimes a truck injury attorney may suggest a doctor to see or a test to have if you wish to pursue litigation.
Senior partner, Ellen Kroll specializes in medical cases at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., and her training as a registered nurse is invaluable in evaluating your injury and condition for legal purposes.
By federal law, commercial trucking companies must carry liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage. For freight trucking companies this is $750,000 – $5,000,000, depending on commodities transported; $300,000 for non-hazardous freight moved only in vehicles weighing under 10,001 lbs.
The attorney and firm you work with will have the expertise to contact insurance companies and secure important documents and other information that will be important for litigation.
Ask about Cost
Truck accident injury lawsuits generally involve many hours of work so look for a firm that charges on a contingency basis. All contingency fee agreements must be in writing, and in Michigan, contingent legal fees in personal injury cases are set by statute (MRPC Rule 1.5) and can be up to one-third of the recovery award.
At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we believe strongly in a client’s access to justice, and that no one should be unable to seek fair compensation due to financial challenges.
Don’t be shy about asking about realistic expectations for your award, if you decide to file a personal injury claim. It’s a complicated issue and depends completely on how a court understands “damages” — to you, your family, and your property.
Work with an attorney who can show you similar cases that have been adjudicated in recent years and their outcomes. At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we’ll be glad to show you our track record. Contact us toll-free today at 866-MICH-LAW or use our convenient online contact form for a free consultation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.