What Do I Look for When Choosing a Semi-truck Accident Lawyer?

Every year, over 450,000 accidents involving 18-wheelers happen in the United States. Arkansas is seventh in the nation when it comes to the number of fatalities in truck accidents with 12.2 percent. Poor maintenance, tired or distracted driving, and poor road conditions make accidents more likely. When accidents involve a big rig, it can get expensive and deadly.

If you get injured in an accident with a semi-truck in Arkansas, you’re going to need a proven, experienced Little Rock truck accident lawyer. Hall Taylor Law Partners fits the criteria and then some. Our experienced lawyers have the know-how, resources and dedication to make sure you get compensation from at-fault truckers, their company, and your insurance company. Give us a call at 501-404-2333 or contact us online now, and let us set up a free, no-risk consultation to discuss your case.

Why Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?

There are a few things to consider before beginning work on a case. You can look at the following factors, including why you might need a lawyer in the first place, to help you choose the best Little Rock truck accident attorneys for your individual needs.

In 2017, Arkansas recorded 84 truck-related fatalities. Even without fatalities, injuries from a truck-related accident can be severe. Burns, scrapes, and broken bones aren’t unusual, as well as serious brain or spinal cord injuries and even death.

Insurance companies try to pay the least compensation possible when they’re on the hook. If the driver at fault works for a trucking company, they’re not inclined to pay compensation either.

Navigating the complex world of insurance companies – not to mention the court system – requires an experienced Little Rock truck accident lawyer. The lawyer has the resources to investigate the scene of the accident, document evidence relating to fault and damages, help decide on a course of action, and, if necessary, the knowledge to argue a case in front of a jury.

The bottom line is that it’s too much for the average person to do alone. An experienced Arkansas Truck Accident attorney knows the tricks that the insurance company will use to defeat or minimize your claim. Your attorney will employ strategies to help you seek the maximum amount of compensation available, which can be far more than you would have access to on your own.

What Should I Look for in a Truck Accident Lawyer?

There are several factors a client should consider when choosing a truck accident lawyer. Not all firms are the same, and not every firm is qualified to pursue a truck accident case. All possible considerations should be understood and weighed objectively before deciding on the right Little Rock truck accident attorney for you.

Relevant factors to evaluate include:

Experience

When you try to get compensation from an accident where the truck driver is at fault, no one else involved in the process is going to make it easy. You want someone who knows what they’re doing. You want someone who knows the insurance companies and their lawyers. Most lawyers will have some sort of bio on their webpage listing their experience and sometimes notable cases.

That being said, years spent serving as a lawyer doesn’t necessarily make or break a lawyer’s abilities. They must have relevant experience in truck accident cases with successful outcomes.

Lawyers are like doctors. They specialize. You don’t want a dermatologist doing heart surgery any more than you want a criminal attorney handling your truck accident case. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about whether your potential attorney has not just experience, but the right experience. Good questions to ask include: How long have they been practicing? How many truck accident cases have they won? How many have they won in Arkansas or even other states?

You want an attorney with courtroom experience in personal injury matters.  The insurance companies know who goes to court and who does not. Your choice of attorney automatically impacts the value of your case before the first letter is written. Keep in mind, the threat of court is always your ace in the hole with a trucking accident case. 

The Firm 

What resources are at a firm’s disposal? What you see is not always what you get. The successful conclusion of a truck accident case takes up a lot of time and resources, and some firms may not have the resources or time to accurately and completely do the job.

Resources also encompass whether the firm works with leading disciplinary experts to provide critical opinion testimony for your case. Several specialists are usually required to successfully establish liability and document all needed evidence. This can include accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, actuaries, and others who help gather and examine evidence to build your case. Most experienced truck accident firms have a selection of experts they call on for these cases. Ask your potential lawyer about these experts, their experience, availability, cost, etc. 

Another consideration is the size of the firm. A larger firm may look impressive because they will emphasize the number of paralegals and assistants to help the attorney work on your case. In other words, they have a lot of mouths to feed and overhead to pay.  Larger firms that have vast overhead are more inclined to pressure you into settling your case because they get paid.  Likewise, larger firms often tout their most experienced attorneys’ credentials to sign up your case and then pass your case off to a less experienced staff attorney. Ask if the lawyer they use to attract you is going to actually handle your case. 

On the other hand, smaller firms are able to give more personal attention to a case. The lawyers you see on the web site are usually the lawyers that will handle your case. You won’t get passed off. Likewise, they have less overhead and are less likely to pressure you into settling your case too early or for too little. The trick is finding a good middle ground – a firm with people who can know you by name but enough resources to get the job done without scrambling. 

Finally, location is an issue. If your accident or home is in Arkansas, hiring an attorney from Nashville probably won’t do you much good. Convenient access to your lawyer and the courts where the case is tried is always a plus. 

Reputation 

A firm’s reputation is key. Internet searches or client referrals are good, but word-of-mouth from friends, family, or co-workers might suit your needs better. Be cautious in relying entirely on the internet for your research as it is full of untruths, exaggerations and misstatements of facts.

 If you have to choose on your own, look into the firm’s reputation among other lawyers or their community. Plus, most law firms’ websites will usually list cases they’ve won. Ask about those. What were the particulars? Were there any special issues during the process? What’s their win-loss record?

 Furthermore, websites will list company and individual awards. Many sites also include client reviews. 

Negotiation Skills

Experience is one thing, but what really matters is results. A lawyer’s record of success in truck accident cases – how many cases they’ve won, how many they’ve had to go to trial or settled out of court – goes a long way. 

A good truck accident lawyer works to get you the best compensation possible with the least amount of hassle. Their job is to prove the other party was at fault and demonstrate all of your damages while minimizing as much of your liability as possible.

The best-case scenario is a settlement outside of court, but a lawyer needs to be just as skillful if a case goes to trial and must be presented to a jury. 

Dedication 

Choosing based on size so you don’t get lost in the shuffle is important, but so is how the lawyer or firm treats you. Did they call you or email you back within the same day? How long did it take them? Did they contact you directly or was it a secretary? How quickly could they get you in for an appointment?

 Lawyers are busy, but a worthwhile law firm will have the staff and resources to be available when needed. A lawyer that does not call you back is a lawyer that simply does not have your best interest in mind or is simply too busy to give your case the personal attention you deserve.

Comfort 

Picking a lawyer, especially for something complicated like a truck accident, is a lot like picking a therapist or a health-care provider. You want someone you feel at ease with. If your lawyer makes you uncomfortable for any reason, proving your case will be much harder. Do they make you feel like you matter? Are they available when you need them? Do they share the same values as you and your family?

 Most firms offer a no-cost consultation at first, and that’s usually an excellent time to see how comfortable you are with the attorney. To successfully pursue compensation, you need to be able to tell your lawyer everything about the accident and yourself. If you feel you have to hold anything back or that the attorney is not taking your case as seriously as you think it should, you are not obligated to go with that firm.

 Generally, if an attorney takes your case, they feel pretty certain about winning or making an out-of-court settlement. If they lose the case, they’ll rarely charge legal fees. Be cautious of additional fees or if the lawyer decides to raise the contingency if the case goes to trial.

Beware of High Pressure Tactics

 An experienced truck accident lawyer will have your best interest in mind. In is true that you need to take immediate action to secure and safeguard evidence so do not delay in choosing an attorney. It is also true that an attorney can not ethically begin to work to protect your rights under a contingency fee agreement until that agreement is reduced to writing. Some lawyers will use these principles to pressure you into engaging their law firm. Read between the lines. With the signed contract they have a fee expectancy. An experienced truck accident attorney is not desparate to sign your case. His credentials and experience provide him or her more than enough work to do. If you feel pressured to sign a contingency fee contract, you will probably feel pressured, some day, to settle your case for diminished value.

Make The Smart Choice in a Little Rock Truck Accident Lawyer

Choose Hall Taylor Law Partners to be your truck accident attorney in Arkansas or the Little Rock area. Our award-winning lawyers have the experience, resources, dedication, reputation, and skill to get you the compensation you need.

 Call us today at 501-404-2333 or contact us online for a free consultation. We promise to do everything we can to win your trust and your case.