Should I Hire a Lawyer For My Iowa Trucking Accident Claim or Settle on My Own?

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Posted by Tim Semelroth

If you have been injured in an Iowa truck crash, the trucking company or its insurance company may suggest you can settle your claim on your own. If your injuries are serious this is typically a costly mistake.

A trucking accident case is much more complex than a car accident claim, and if you try to settle it on your own, you could lose out on compensation that is owed to you.

Many Parties Could Be Responsible For Your Truck Accident Injuries

What is unique about trucking accident claims is that many different parties could be responsible for what happened to you. In the trucking industry, it’s not unusual for one company to own the semi-truck, another to own the trailer, and a third to hire and employ the truck driver. There could also be someone else responsible for the load carried in the trailer.

Depending on why your crash occurred, some or all of these parties could have responsibility for your injuries.

Figuring out exactly who is responsible can be a complex task. Sifting through drivers’ logs, GPS records, bills of lading and other key information is difficult if you do not know what to look for. Often it is necessary to involve industry experts to figure out who is to blame for a crash.

That is why it is so important to hire a lawyer who knows both trucking law and the trucking industry customs and standards.  Unfortunately, most Iowa lawyers do not have this type of expertise.

How Much Is Your Trucking Crash Case Worth?

The value of an Iowa truck accident claim can also be different from a garden-variety car accident case. Many factors go into figuring out a fair settlement amount. An experienced truck accident attorney will consider the following before negotiating a fair settlement:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future loss of earnings due to your injuries
  • Past and future loss of function of your body and/or mind
  • Past and future pain and suffering

Some of these numbers are easier to figure out than others.  Most people can add up their crash-related medical expenses, but it is harder to provide a clear calculation of future medical needs.  Identifying an appropriate amount for permanent loss of function of the body or permanent pain and suffering typically requires an understanding of what past Iowa juries have awarded in similar cases.

Trucking companies are happy to take advantage of a layperson who doesn’t understand the true value of his or her personal injury case. That is why having an experienced Iowa truck accident lawyer on your side is so important in a settlement negotiation.  It gives you a chance to get an objective appraisal of the value of your claim as well as making clear to the trucking company that you are ready to file a lawsuit if they don’t make a fair offer.  You are in a stronger bargaining position if your lawyer has a track record of big truck accident settlements and verdicts.

If you have recently been in a serious truck crash in Iowa, time is of the essence. You only have a few months before the trucking company can legally destroy evidence related to your crash. To prevent that from happening, you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

RSH Legal offers a free, no-obligation case evaluation to trucking accident victims. To schedule yours, call 1-319-774-1903 today.

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