Wyoming Truck Accident Guide
The Wyoming Truck Accident Guide was created by Frederick J. Harrison, P.C. to help residents who have been injured in an accident obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
A truck accident is everyone’s worst nightmare. If you have been the victim of a truck accident, we care about your justice. This accident has likely left you in a lot of pain and suffering. We care about winning your case and getting you justice. This accident has changed your life so deeply and negatively and we can turn that around for you. The person who did this to you should know they did something wrong. Call our Wyoming truck accident lawyer today for a free consultation.
How a Truck Accident Claim Works
There are, generally speaking, four parties involved in a truck accident.
The first party is you, the plaintiff, who was injured by someone else’s negligence and now is bringing a claim.
Next, we have the liable party. A truck accident is a bit more complicated than something like a car accident because the liable party could be the truck driver, the truck manufacturer, the employer of the driver, the party who loaded the truck and so on.
Then, you have the Wyoming truck accident lawyer, who is going to be able to investigate and determine who the liable party is. Let your lawyer take over your case so you can focus on getting healthy again.
Lastly, there is the insurance company. Their job is to try to save themselves money. They will also be held responsible for their insured’s actions that harmed you.
Your lawyer and the liable party’s insurance company are going to be trying to argue against each other. Make sure your lawyer knows how to properly represent a truck accident victim and is willing to take the case all the way to trial, if necessary.
Steps to Take for a Successful Truck Accident Case
There are three things you need to get done to ensure you are doing everything you can to get justice:
- Go to the doctor.
- Collect evidence.
- Hire a lawyer.
First, that doctor is going to be able to get rid of your pain. No one wants to be in pain. You should not wait to go to the doctor. Go right away.
You should do all you can to get proof of your accident, as well. You might have someone else come to the scene of the crash to collect evidence, if you were taken away in an ambulance. Take photos of everything. Get the contact information from anyone who saw the accident. Have the police make an accident report.
Lastly, you should avoid doing this alone. Hire a Wyoming truck accident lawyer to do what they do best. You get yourself to a doctor, bring us the evidence, then we will do the rest.
Huge Mistakes to Avoid After Your Truck Accident
You have more of a role in the outcome of your case than you may think you do. Your actions can make or break your case. You likely have not ever been involved in a truck accident claim before. You reasonably wouldn’t know what to do or what not to do, but one mistake you make could completely set you back in your case’s success.
There are two huge mistakes that are easy to make that we want you to avoid making:
- Talking to the insurance company about the accident.
- Waiting too long to do something.
The fastest way to ruin your case is to talk to the insurance company. They will try to get a statement from you. Don’t give them one, if you want to be fully compensated. Insurance reps know how to get you to say something that will make you ruin your claim. A Wyoming truck accident lawyer knows their tricks. Let them handle the insurance company. This way you know your rights to a fair result are protected and you don’t have to worry about communicating with the insurance company.
You should act as soon as possible because you don’t have unlimited time. You will not be able to even bring a claim if you wait too long to get started. Starting from the date of the accident, the Wyoming statute of limitations gives you four years until your claim is no longer eligible for compensation. We would never want you to wait very long at all. Four years is so long that evidence can disappear or go missing, witnesses can forget important information, and you can end up very sorry you did not act faster.
Biggest Mistakes to Avoid After a Truck Accident
A common mistake we see in Wyoming when people are injured in a truck crash of some sort is they post information on Facebook— maybe a video of what occurred. I’ve actually seen that occur where there were multiple videos of an extensive crash involving many trucks, maybe 100 trucks on the highway in the wintertime in Wyoming, and they posted this information on their Facebook page. Not a good idea, because whatever you post on there is going to be used against you. The best thing you can do is not post things on Facebook. Another common mistake that people make is they talk to the insurance adjuster on the other side. They do a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster. That will always be used against you. If you had a beer four hours before the crash, they’re going to certainly use that against you later on. If you had the radio on, they’re going to use that against you later on.
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If they ask you what time it was, they’ll say you weren’t paying attention because you were looking at your watch. They’ll say how did you know what time it was? I looked at my watch. They’re going to say you looked away from the road. It doesn’t matter what you say to an insurance adjuster; it’s going to bad, so don’t do it. Those are the two common mistakes— posting on Facebook and making a statement to an insurance adjuster. Certainly, with the authorities, you have an obligation, and you should cooperate with the state trooper and provide them whatever information you have.
Choosing a Truck Accident Attorney
In Wyoming, we have a lot of truck cases, and so I’m often approached by people that have been injured in a truck wreck or truck crash of some kind, and by truck drivers themselves. In order to pick a really good attorney, you have to have someone that has had a lot of experience in trucking cases, especially on Interstate 80. I’ve had that experience. I’ve done a lot of trucking cases over the years and have had some pretty big successes in the area of the trucking cases. At our firm, we’ve done a lot of trucking cases. You also have to have someone that understands a trucking case is a system case. In other words, it’s about the training of the driver and the qualifications of the driver, if you’re up against the trucking company, as well as the supervision of the driver. I call it the “three-legged stool” of truck cases— training, qualifications, supervision. You have to have somebody who has experience in those cases, have somebody that has trained extensively in those cases, and someone who has contacts with a wide variety of other attorneys around the country. I’m that person. That would be something that you should take into account when you’re selecting the trucking case attorney. Call my office if you have more questions.
Differences Between Truck Accident Cases and Car Crash Cases
I’m often asked how are truck claims different than a car crash? Usually, truck cases involve much more serious injuries for one thing. Secondly, trucking cases are always system cases. In other words, if you have a wreck with another car, you’re not necessarily part of a large organization that is in charge of safety. In a trucking case, you always have to deal with the questions of supervision of the driver, training of the driver, and the qualifications of the driver before he ever took the job. Those are things that are important. These are the “three legs of the stool” in a trucking case, as I like to put it— the qualifications of the driver, training of the driver, and supervision of the driver. You don’t have those things in a car crash case, so system failure in every trucking case is an important part of a case that needs to be taken into consideration. If you have other questions like this, please give me a call at my office in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
One of the things that comes up all the time is what do you do if you’ve been in a truck wreck? Some trucker has run into you or caused damage to you, or your family, or both. The first thing you need to do is get medical help. That’s very important— you need to do everything that’s necessary to take care of yourself and the family first and foremost, and the rest of it will fall into place later. I will tell you the trucking companies have trained their drivers to go out and take photographs right away, and that’s okay. You may not be in a position to do that because of your injuries, but you have to do what’s necessary to take care of yourself.
Speak truthfully to the officer or state trooper that investigates the crash. You should talk to them truthfully as to what happened, but you don’t need to say any more than you have to say. Answer the questions. Listen to the questions as carefully as you can under the circumstances, and we will work with a case as it’s presented to us. Often times, people under those circumstances are not able to really think about what they’re saying at the time. That’s very important.
Something else about the crashes that comes up in the modern world, that’s Facebook. Certainly, what you should do right away about your Facebook account is make it not available to the general public. That is critical in these kinds of cases, because whatever you say on Facebook is going to be used against you. It won’t be good. Your online presence is very important to have that under control, and if necessary, take it down. You don’t need to have that anymore, and certainly, you shouldn’t comment about the wreck afterwards. Keep that in mind after the crash. If you have other questions, please let us know.
Truck Accident Claim Value
I’m often asked how you determine the value of a trucking case in Wyoming. Let me tell you, every case is different. Certainly, the number of people involved in the crash has something to do with it. In other words, if you have a family involved in the crash or if you have a single person involved in the crash, all that needs to be taken into account. You have to know how egregious the conduct of the driver was at the time. We had a case we tried and recorded successfully to a jury and won in which a woman was killed when a semi-tractor trailer rear-ended the pickup truck in which she was a passenger. We had a lot of factors that went into that case as to the value of that case. In that case, because it was a wrongful death, it had to deal with connection with her family. We had a very successful verdict in that case. Of course, the defense brought up that the family had not actually seen her for years, but even so, we were able to have the very good verdict in that case because they did stay in touch often on the telephone and sometimes in family visits. She saw them often enough where people were able to relate to her loss, and there was a substantial verdict in the end.
Also, the egregiousness of the conduct of the driver factored in. The driver drove off and left her to die, and affected the case, too. All of those factors need to be taken into account. Your case is different from everybody else’s. We have to take a look at it, so call my office if you have more questions, Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Truck Accident Recorded Statement
I’m asked by folks about giving statements to insurance companies in trucking cases and other cases. My advice is never give a statement to the insurance company. You don’t have to. You don’t need to. You shouldn’t do it. Whatever you say to them is going to be used against you.
A common example is what time was it when the wreck happened? Then the next question is how did you know what time it was? I looked at my watch. Then you looked away from the road. That will be what comes up from the insurance defense lawyer. We have it here written down. You were looking at your watch at the time. I’m not going to follow up with that in the statement from the insurance adjuster, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the defense attorney will do that. They’re going to use that against you at some later date.
There’s nothing you can do to help your case by talking to an insurance adjuster in a trucking case or any other case for that matter. Please keep that in mind. Don’t talk to the insurance company on the other side. If you have other questions like this, please feel free to call my office here in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Truck Accident Settlement Process and Timeline
In Wyoming, most trucking cases involve cases that you can take to federal court. In fact, if you file in a state court in a trucking case, you often will be removed to federal court. Defense attorneys tend to think that that’s an advantage because a lot plaintiff’s attorneys are not prepared. In my office, we prepare our cases. Eighty percent of preparation is done before we ever file the case. We’re ready to go. We file a lot of our trucking cases – in fact, I can’t remember not doing a trucking case for a long time except in federal court, so we do those cases in federal court on a routine basis. Federal courts are faster in Wyoming. Not always everywhere in the country but certainly in Wyoming. You’re looking at 9 to 12 months. Of course, speed in these kinds of cases is important because you have a lot of expenses. You have depositions to take around the country.
Federal court works better also because the process is more streamlined. In federal court, you’re dealing with a lot of information you need to get in in a trucking case, and so we like to do those in federal court, if we can. You need things like the credit card receipts. All of those are handled usually out of a company in Cheyenne. We can trace the location of that trucker, every place that he’s been in the United States, prior to the collision. That’s what we’re looking at. The system failure can determine the case. If you have other questions like this, please feel free to call.
Truck Accident Wrongful Death Claim
In Wyoming, if somebody dies in a truck crash, the family has rights under our wrongful death statute to sue the company for the death. It’s limited in nature. You can’t recover for the suffering of a person that’s actually killed in the truck crash. We actually had that happen where a man burned to death in a truck crash. You can recover for the loss of care, comfort, and society of that person, whatever is brought to your life. Every case is different. It’s tried based on the bereavement for that family member for the loss of care, comfort, and society of the person they lost. The bereaved can be children. It can be the wife. It can be the husband. Whatever the case may be, we bring a lawsuit on their behalf in wrongful death cases.
Trucking Company Liability
We’ve had it come up where a drunk driver for a company runs into someone’s car, causes serious injury, and even drives off. Yes, you can sue the company for that. They’re working for that company. The company put them behind the wheel. The company trained them. The company supervised them. The company checked their qualifications and may have known that they had a drinking problem in the first place, and may have known about the driving habits of the driver. Oftentimes, in our trucking cases, we have pulled up dispatching devices where they have communication with the driver, and you can hear proof of erratic driving habits of the driver. Even in one case, I had a driver that had a heart attack, and the erratic driving of the driver while he was having the heart attack was picked up by the company.
There’s a lot of information out there about the driver, and yes, the company is responsible. Keep that mind. In fact, we usually go after the company in particular in these kinds of cases. If there are other questions, feel free to call us at my office here in Cheyenne.
Please Call Our Office Today
Are you sick of sitting around wondering what on Earth you can do to get justice? We want to help you. Let us do what we know how to do best. Call our office today for a free consultation. Your case is important to us. Experienced Wyoming truck accident lawyer, Fred Harrison is here to help.
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