Preparing for Your Attorney Consultation after a Trucking Accident
Trucking accidents are some of the deadliest traffic crashes on the road. The weight of a loaded truck easily surpasses 10,000 pounds and frequently soars to 80,000 pounds, making collisions involving these heavy vehicles especially devastating for both vehicles and the occupants inside. When a personal injury occurs as a result of such a crash, you need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the wreck.
As with most personal injury claims, your trucking accident lawyer will need to gather details about your crash, the parties involved —including the trucking company, in the case of a large truck accident — and any injuries that resulted. At Truck Wreck Justice, we gather these details during the free initial consultation that we offer for all injury cases.
Even though your initial consultation with us is free, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare for it. You can take full advantage of your initial consultation by having certain pieces of information ready for your lawyer, and the following tips can help.
Preparing for an Attorney Consultation
Before arriving at your initial consultation with a trucking attorney, you should gather all the information available to you regarding the crash. With many considerations and factors that can alter the direction a case will need to take, it’s essential to provide any details and documentation you have that could help your attorney assess your claim. These often include:
- Photos from the scene of the accident. Pictures of the vehicles involved, any witnesses present, and the conditions at the scene can all prove incredibly useful during the course of a trucking accident claim — if you’re able to take them. Unfortunately, since large truck crashes tend to cause very serious injuries, the victims of these wrecks are often unable to document their own accident scenes with pictures.If third-party photos or video of the accident are available, then you should provide your attorney access to these. If photos aren’t available, you can even draw pictures of the crash. Also give your attorney any available links to media reports, news segments, or write-ups about the incident.
- Your notes and any other information about the crash. Detailed notes can help your attorney understand exactly how, when, and why a crash occurred. As soon as possible after a crash, you should try and write down:
- The date and location of the crash
- Information about road and weather conditions at the time
- The order of events before, during, and after the wreck
- The names of any witnesses
- Information about any statements — including admissions of fault or negligent conduct — that may have been expressed by the other driver
- Details about emotional or verbal reactions from both yourself and any other party involved
- Police reports. If a police report was filed for your accident then provide a copy to your trucking attorney. If you’re not sure how to obtain a copy of the police report, your lawyer can help. The police report will include information about any other drivers involved (names, license plates, commercial or regular driver’s license numbers, any companies or businesses associated, etc.) as well as any violations issued.
- Medical care. If you or the other party received medical attention, take notes about details such as:
- The transportation taken to get there
- The location of the medical center or hospital
- Time of arrival
- Procedures or services offered and accepted (including diagnostic tests like X-rays or an MRI scan)
- Any diagnosis made by a medical professional
RELATED: 4 Reasons to Choose a Dedicated Trucking Attorney
Keep track of all your treatment costs as well — and that doesn’t just include hospital bills. For example, you should tell your attorney about any physical therapy, mental health services, and any other care you receive in order to improve your health and wellness after your crash.
- Detailed injury information. If you are injured, record any pain or other symptoms that you experience, no matter how minor they seem at first. Consider your lawyer an ally of your primary doctor; talk to them about your health and include any details about your physical well-being that have changed since the accident. Be prepared to rate the pain and severity of each injury on a numerical (1 to 10) scale as well.Additionally, record any work time missed as a result of your injury and provide any documentation of lost income that you can gather.
- Insurance policy information. Your lawyer will need copies of your insurance policies regardless of who is at fault for the crash. Make sure you have all of your coverage and policy information at the ready. Be sure to include whether or not you have uninsured (UM), underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, or additional personal injury coverage.
- Personal information. Be ready to answer questions about personal details including your driving history, vehicle make and model, employer, and salary.
- Federal and state trucking safety laws. An experienced trucking attorney will have a detailed understanding of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) commercial vehicle regulations, which are the federal rules governing large vehicles like trucks and buses. Although your attorney should supply this expertise, you can also benefit from learning about these complex rules, as they will play an important role in your case.The FMCSA website provides extensive information about the rules for commercial trucking and discusses safety topics like driver fatigue, equipment and maintenance standards, driver qualifications, record keeping, operations of trucks, and insurance minimums. By spending some time on the FMCSA site and familiarizing yourself with these topics, you can learn about the legal factors that will determine how your trucking attorney handles your case and advocates on your behalf.
In addition to providing your attorney with the details mentioned above, it can also help to learn about their general approach to trucking accident claims so that you know what to expect as you work with them. Some questions to ask your personal injury or trucking accident lawyer at the initial consultation might include:
- What is the strategy for my case?
- What strengths and weaknesses do you see in my case?
- What will happen if the case goes to trial, and how can I adequately prepare?
How The Law Offices of Morgan Adams Can Help
Regardless of the unique circumstances surrounding your case, the Truck Wreck Justice attorneys at Truck Wreck Justice will stand up and advocate for you if you’ve been injured in a trucking accident due to someone else’s negligence. We have years of experience handling large truck and bus crashes, and our founding attorney Morgan Adams practices with a sole focus on these types of cases.
At Truck Wreck Justice, we use our knowledge of trucking accident law to fight for justice on behalf of injury victims. In order to ensure that your financial situation doesn’t prevent you from receiving compensation, we work on a contingent-fee basis, which means we won’t charge you for attorney’s fees unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck or bus crash, call our offices at (866) 580-4878 to schedule a free consultation, or contact us online to find out how we can help.