Why Do You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?

February 9, 2024 | Jarrett Blakeley
Why Do You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?

Legal professionals highly advise hiring a truck accident lawyer if you’re involved in a truck accident with a large commercial vehicle. If you’ve experienced this type of crash, you need to obtain legal counsel immediately.

Complex Regulations 

Accident with a truck on the road

The trucking industry must comply with expansive state and federal regulations on safety, training, maintenance, documentation, insurance, and operating procedures. An experienced attorney understands the technicalities so you can present evidence to successfully support your claim.

Building A Solid Case 

Demonstrating liability and a full extent of losses and damages requires evidence gathering, economic analysis, independent medical review, and reconstruction review. Therefore, handling truck accident cases requires seasoned litigators - lawyers who are highly familiar with truck accident cases. 

Insurance Complications 

Trucking policies are often complex - involving various coverage aspects, policy limits, exceptions, and potential bad-faith tactics. If the insurance company immediately denies your claim or the reply of the defendant is indiscernible, they are using bad faith - employing unfair dealing practices.

Qualified legal advocates negotiate and compel insurers to respond to claims more fairly.

Accountability & Retribution 

Corporations and insurers don't necessarily take responsibility for a claim unless they feel pressure to do so through demand letters, legal filings, discovery motions, or courtroom arguments. Lawyers can apply pressure to ensure fairer settlements.

Peace Of Mind 

The legal process is demanding emotionally and physically, especially when you’re suffering injuries from a truck accident. Quality lawyers constantly communicate with clients, explain matters, file the necessary paperwork, and mitigate the stress that impedes healing.

Research even shows that stress impacts how quickly wounds heal. For example, if you’re feeling greater fear or distress before surgery, you may experience poorer results - results that may lead to a longer hospital stay, postoperative complications, or rehospitalization.

While money can't undo a catastrophe, securing fair compensation is at least, to some degree, a step towards making an accident victim whole again. Trusted attorneys who have the knowledge and legal prowess to optimize a case’s value can get the kind of results accident victims need.

What Are 6 Ways an Attorney Can Maximize Your Compensation?

A knowledgeable truck accident attorney can help you win your claim and maximize compensation in numerous ways, including:

  1. Conducting a comprehensive crash investigation. An extensive independent probe of mechanical failures, road conditions, driver violations, company policy failings, and other negligent conduct reveals the strongest evidence for liability arguments. An attorney can help define and outline all the reasons that support your claim.
  2. Managing expert analyses. Experts in areas like truck safety procedures, accident reconstruction, economic damages, healthcare needs, and vocational impacts provide invaluable objective opinions that substantiate losses/arguments when presented effectively. A lawyer can help prove your case using these resources.
  3. Developing high-impact and demonstrative evidence. Sophisticated presentations of timelines, photography, videos, graphics, and tangible exhibits simplify complex concepts for juries during trials. You receive this type of support when you hire an experienced personal injury attorney
  4. Thoroughly documenting the medical situation and patient’s care needs. Diligent documentation of the client’s medical progression, treatments, prognosis, and their link to the collision creates a record that ensures that a settlement will cover full future costs. 
  5. Rigorously questioning the involved parties. Persistent depositions of defendants, witnesses, and related entities uncover admissions or alternative theories of liability that a lawyer can use to support your claim effectively.
  6. Arguing legal doctrines favorably. Nuanced applications of negligence, damages, and procedural law frame a plaintiff’s case - optimally presenting causation and fair restitution standards before courts and juries.

By handling the above aspects with acumen and the right resources, talented attorneys stack every element of litigation in their client’s favor and produce satisfactory results more easily. This is important to consider, as truck accident claims involve many legal factors that a lawyer may have to address.

Negotiation Strategies

Truck accident lawyers employ various negotiation strategies to secure the maximum compensation for their injured clients. Some of the most effective techniques include:

Leveraging Evidence

Skilled truck accident attorneys spend substantial time collecting extensive evidence supporting liability arguments, documenting injuries/losses, and demonstrating future impacts. Citing this proof can be an effective tool in countering an insurance company's denial of a claim.

Mastering Technical Details

Possessing deep knowledge of applicable federal regulations, insurance provisions, legal precedents, and duty of care responsibilities allows a pointed debate that defendants may try to undermine. A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer has the technical knowledge needed to prove your case of negligence.

Exploring Alternative Arguments

When assessing negligence claims, lawyers explore avenues like vicarious liability, negligent supervision, or manufacturing defects. Multiple theories boost the value of a case. 

Collaborative Framing

Positioning a settlement as an opportunity for a win-win resolution rather than an adversarial battle often yields mutually amenable results. A truck accident lawyer has the negotiation skills to make this happen.

Employing Patience and Persistence

Refusing quick, inadequate offers while relentlessly conveying the merits of a case through correspondence eventually compels reasonable counter-proposals - allowing for out-of-court settlements close to a trial date. Again, a lawyer’s negotiation skills can help clients receive fairer settlements.

Settlements are all about maximizing a plaintiff’s bargaining strength while diminishing a defendant’s power. Tenacious truck accident attorneys use their knowledge, preparation, and tact to shift the balance for victims. This allows victims to receive equitable compensation for their losses after wrecks that occur due to corporate and carrier negligence.

The Skills a Truck Accident Lawyer Uses to Win Cases

Handling truck accident litigation demands legal and technical skills that seriously injured victims simply don't possess. Retaining an experienced attorney brings those vital yet often overlooked talents to the table, including the following: 

Negotiation Techniques

Maximizing settlement offers requires strategically timed, persistent, and pointed legal debates or demand letters - citing case strengths most individuals struggle to express without legal training.

Investigative Diligence

An attorney pieces together the accident narrative by reviewing mechanical systems, corporate policies, driving logs, and maintenance records.

Economic Insights

Trucking attorneys work with various financial experts to precisely quantify both tangible out-of-pocket damages and more abstract losses like pain, disability, and emotional trauma - using the type of language insurers respond to and understand.

Litigation Tenacity

Refusing to yield to common insurance tactics that pressure undervalued payouts, lawyers perform pre-trial activities that involve filing motions, deposing witnesses, and sharing evidence through discovery.

Reasons For Negligence that Lawyer Uses to Gain Settlements

Some key trucking regulations that help lawyers prove negligence after an accident include:

Hours of Service Rules 

Truckers must follow strict limits on driving hours with mandated rest periods. Violations can help show driver fatigue. 

Hours of service rules apply to truckers who carry property and drivers who transport passengers. For example, rules for property drivers are set at 11 hours and 14 hours after ten consecutive hours off-duty. Driving hours are extended to two hours in adverse driving conditions.

Drug/Alcohol Testing Rules 

Drug/alcohol testing occurs after crashes when a fatality occurs or when a bodily injury happens. Vehicles that are damaged and towed away also lead to drug/alcohol testing of truck drivers involved in a crash.

A citation is issued in any of these cases, which also requires employer testing of the driver. In turn, an attorney can use the results to show impairment.

Maintenance Recording Rules 

Detailed records mandated on vehicle repairs/issues and evidence of unfixed defects help support negligence claims an attorney presents to insurance companies or at trial.

Commercial Driver License Rules 

Attorneys may also point out issues with driver licensing as a basis to support a truck driver accident claim. For example, if the truck driver did not renew their CDL and was driving a truck that was involved in an accident, an attorney can use the information to obtain compensation.

Truck Loading and Securement Rules

Your lawyer can use violations of regulations on properly distributing/securing cargo to support negligence cases.

Attorneys can touch on issues such as:

  1. Overloading - Loading a truck with a weight that exceeds legal limits can stress components - leading to brake failure or tire blowouts.
  2. Unbalanced Loading - Failing to evenly distribute weight in the truck affects vehicle stability and steering control.
  3. Improper Load Securement - Not properly tying down cargo to prevent shifting during transport can lead to accident claims. Trucking companies must secure loads to anchor points rated to withstand forces in all directions. Failing to do so may lead to the vehicle toppling - triggering an accident.
  4. Exceeding Size Limits - Loading cargo that protrudes too far in the front, back, or sides beyond the truck body can lead to accidents. Wide or long loads pose traffic hazards if the driver’s visibility is obstructed or the truck strikes a nearby vehicle. Trucking companies must follow strict flagging and lighting requirements for oversized loads.  
  5. Hazardous Materials Regulation Violations - Incorrectly labeling, containment, or transporting hazardous cargo like chemicals, explosives, or radioactive substances can cause an accident to occur. Violating any specifications for transporting dangerous goods puts many lives at risk, especially in the case of spills or accidents.

The above violations demonstrate negligence and risky behavior when securing truck loads. They often factor into liability claims if an improperly loaded truck is involved in a truck accident crash. Following proper loading regulations is key to safely operating commercial vehicles on public roads and highways.

Driver Qualification Requirements 

Trucking carriers must implement minimum certain standards for screening drivers. Poor carrier hiring or training practices can bolster negligence claims.

4 Log Book Recording Errors and Oversights 

Logbook rule violations by truck drivers can also contribute to accidents.

Below are some common log book errors that increase accident risks:

  1. Exceeding Hours of Service Limits - Federal regulations limit commercial truckers to 11 hours of driving time in a 14-hour period after 10 hours of mandatory rest. Violating these hours of service rules leads to dangerous driver fatigue.
  2. Inaccurate or Falsified Logs - Some drivers intentionally fabricate log entries to hide true drive times and make it appear they are in compliance when they have exceeded service hour limitations.  
  3. Forgetting to Log Specific Duty Status Changes - Drivers must accurately log each change in duty status - whether driving, on duty, not driving, or resting. Forgetting to record basic information leads to ambiguity and incorrect records regarding a driver's service hours and level of fatigue.
  4. Omitting Required Information - Leaving out locations, failure to note required descriptors, missing signatures - incomplete log book entries impede verification of duty status compliance requirements.

Trucking companies must audit logs and ensure drivers comply fully with reporting requirements and operational regulations. When log violations contribute to an accident, it clearly reflects negligence resulting from oversight procedures.

The extensive trucking regulatory framework in the U.S. aims to promote safety in motor transport. Plaintiff attorneys use non-compliance patterns by drivers and carriers to powerfully demonstrate negligence in crashes. This can fuel settlement negotiations before court deadlines. Therefore, the retention of a lawyer who is familiar with code violations is essential.

Distracted Driving  

An attorney may subpoena cellular records to show that a driver was calling/texting/using apps prior to a crash. These details are, therefore, correlated with the timing of the accident. Cell records provide solid evidence for distracted driving claims.

The driver may be deposed to secure admission to any non-driving related activity (calls, food/drink, or device use) that compromised their attention.

An attorney might access a truck's collision avoidance system data as well - revealing hard braking patterns indicative of late attention and unsafe driving practices.

Neglected Maintenance

An attorney may obtain vehicle maintenance files to highlight patterns of unaddressed mechanical deficiencies, disrepair, or lack of inspections, thereby showing a trucking company knew about certain mechanical problems.

Showing a lack of maintenance might involve hiring an experienced commercial vehicle mechanic to inspect the remains of a crashed truck and cite all observable defects that reflect long-term neglect. Doing so delineates these problems from issues arising solely from the impact of the crash.

An attorney may also determine industry standard replacement/inspection intervals for faulty parts and contrast them to repair records indicating out-of-spec rig use. Because large trucks account for 9 percent of vehicle fatalities, this information is indeed an important detail in some truck accident claims.

Moreover, reports reveal that 117,300 large trucks involved accidents that led to injuries in one recent year, an increase of 12 percent over the previous year.

Therefore, smart attorneys build compelling negligence narratives citing regulatory rules or reasonable practices versus the documented realities in the case at hand.

6 Tips to Choose a Competent Truck Accident Lawyer to Handle Your Case

Here are key tips on choosing a qualified truck accident attorney:

  1. Seek out an attorney who focuses specifically on commercial motor vehicle and trucking accident cases rather than general personal injury practices. You want a legal professional with niche know-how here, given regulatory complexity.  
  2. Look for an attorney with a long tenure of handling these cases specifically - 10+ years preferred. Experience brings knowledge of state/federal codes, industry practices, and insurance tactics used to minimize claim amounts. In lieu of experience, an attorney who possesses an educational background that covers this legal specialty may also merit consideration.
  3. Examine case results of the lawyer securing major settlements and precedent-setting verdicts in truck litigation cases. Past outcomes should include negotiation/trial skills against major corporate defense firms.  
  4. Evaluate comfort/responsiveness in initial calls and clarity in addressing your questions/concerns. These cases may potentially last several years, so strong communication and trust are key.
  5. Consider lawyer recognition like Board Certification in Truck Accident Law, memberships in trial lawyer groups, reflecting leadership in addition to years handling rig crashes.

Taking the time to select the right attorney can help minimize the effect of a truck collision. Their counsel and advocacy powerfully influence fair outcomes and make it easier to go forward with your life.

How a Truck Accident Lawyer Will Work for You

Below is a broad overview of the typical key steps an experienced truck accident attorney takes in handling and processing an injury claim stemming from a commercial truck crash.

Lawyer reviewing contract papers with gavel on table in courtroom - legal concept

Case Investigation 

An attorney will conduct an extensive accident scene examination, review police reports, and obtain key evidence like log books, inspection records, driving histories, and medical documentation before critical information disappears. They will write spoliation letters to preserve the evidence.

Meeting Face to Face 

A truck accident attorney sits down with an injured client to garner full details on the incident, understand the injuries sustained, assess their client’s initial medical needs, and discuss a legal approach to build the attorney-client relationship.

Insurance Research 

A lawyer identifies all applicable insurance policies from the involved parties - examines limits/exclusions, and sends a spoliation letter to request policy data preservation to carriers.

Liability Review 

Truck accident lawyers review all collected documentation, data, testimonies, and regulations to determine venues for negligence arguments against defendants.

Claim Initiation 

An attorney will formally present a demand letter to insurers that summarizes the alleged acts of negligence and cites the resulting injuries the plaintiff is claiming. A demand settlement amount will be in the correspondence.


The lawyer sends updated evidence and information on additional medical care/impacted earnings to the trucking carriers. Doing so helps them to progress to settlement or set a path to litigation.


If unable to settle, an attorney will file a complaint that initiates a formal lawsuit - conducting discovery motions, taking depositions, and retaining experts before finally proceeding to trial.

Skilled truck accident lawyers handle each phase of the claims process, leveraging their knowledge and resources toward securing fair and equitable compensation for their clients.

Get the Compensation You Need: Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer ASAP

After a truck accident with an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck, speak with a personal injury attorney immediately. Contact an attorney ASAP.

Reach Out Today!

Jarrett Blakeley

Firm founder Jarrett Blakeley fights to get maximum compensation for all of Blakeley Law Firm’s clients. He has been practicing law since 2006 and takes great pride in representing the rights of injured individuals against the insurance companies and the law firms that represent them. He has successfully represented thousands of clients and recovered tens of millions of dollars on their behalf. Mr. Blakeley strives to give all of his clients personal attention and maximum effort and seeks to instill a firm culture that prioritizes customer service and compassion for the injured over all else. Fighting for the injured is Jarrett Blakeley’s greatest passion and he looks forward to fighting for the injured for the rest of his career.

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