Society is full of professionals that we hardly even think about – that is, until we need their services. And this makes total sense. After all, why would someone research, for example, neurologists, if that person has no neurological issues. For many people, attorneys fall into a similar category. When everything in life is rolling along without issues, there may be no need to seek the services of a lawyer. However, when life gets bumpy, for example because of a divorce, a death in the family, a bankruptcy, or a personal injury arising from the negligence or intentional acts of another, seeking the assistance of an attorney may be essential. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the things to look for if you’ve been involved in a semi-truck accident and need the assistance of a lawyer.
Look for a Specialist
Many lawyers are highly specialized. For example, some lawyers may handle only domestic issues, such as divorce, child support, and child custody. Other lawyers may focus on transactional issues, such as real estate closings and business agreements. Transactional attorneys, rarely, if ever, go to court. Some lawyers handle only criminal defense issues. And finally, there are law firms that specialize in handling personal injury and wrongful death cases. It is imperative to search for a lawyer who specializes in personal injury and tractor-trailer cases. Even though a general practitioner may express interest in taking your case, the last thing you want is a divorce or criminal defense lawyer attempting to represent your interests in semi-truck litigation. Keep in mind that the truck driver and trucking company will almost certainly be represented by lawyers who are extremely experienced and specialized in these cases. You need to match their strength with your own strength, by hiring your own specialized lawyer.
Look for Experience with Trucking Cases
All professionals need time to gain experience – just don’t let it be with your case. Semi-truck cases are unique and complicated. And experience with other types of crashes, such as automobiles and motorcycles, is not enough. Big truck accidents really are different. The physics of the accident are very different and the necessary investigation is usually much more complicated. Additionally, most semi-truck cases are governed both by Oregon law and federal law. Numerous federal regulations apply to the driver, the truck, and the operation of the truck. Knowledge of these regulations by your lawyer is crucial to ensure you have the greatest chance of proving your case.
Look for Lawyers with Trial Experience
While this might sound like a “no-brainer,” it’s actually surprising how few cases some personal injury lawyers take to court. Many lawyers are only interested in reaching an easy settlement, which can cost you. And trust us, insurance companies know the reputations of the lawyers representing injured victims. To get the maximum value for your case, you need an attorney who can go to court, if necessary, and fight hard for your rights.
Make Sure Your Law Firm Has Ties to the Community
This factor is sometimes overlooked. However, local Oregon attorneys have an advantage over big national firms. They have appeared before local judges on many occasions, know how the judges like to run their courtrooms, and have a better feeling for what arguments work before a particular judge, and which arguments don’t. Finally, as members of the communities themselves, Oregon lawyers know a thing or two about how Oregon jurors think.
Does Your Lawyer Understand How the Other Side of the Case is Thinking?
Think about a sporting event. While it’s essential to have a strategy to have the best chance of winning, it helps to understand the other team’s strategy so you can counteract it. For example, at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield, we have lawyers with past experience representing insurance companies and negligent defendants. Therefore, we know how insurance companies think and the strategies they employ. This gives us one more advantage in making sure that negligent wrongdoers are held accountable for their actions.
Do Your Research, Then Interview Lawyers in Person
When all is said and done, nothing can replace a face-to-face interview with any professional you are seeking to hire. Make sure the person you meet will really handle your case. We invite you to visit our offices, meet our lawyers and staff, and ask us your toughest questions. We are members of Oregon communities and take pride in our belief that society is stronger when everyone is accountable for their actions. We have tremendous experience representing semi-truck crash victims and taking cases to trial. Please call us with your questions or for a free consultation.