Truck accidents are among some of the worst types of collisions we see occurring on our roadways here in Iowa. Given the size and weight of the trucks involved in most of these types of accidents, it is no surprise to see the extensive damage they can cause. Because truck accidents tend to leave property severely damaged and those involved seriously injured, many of the victims who engage in these types of accidents often choose to file suit in an effort to recover compensation for the various damages/losses they suffered.
For example, if an accident caused you or a loved one to become disabled and resulted in you being unable to work, you might consider suing for lost wages so that you are able to still afford certain expenses such as housing costs, medical care, food, clothing, etc. If a truck crash resulted in the death of a family member, you might consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.
If I decide to sue, what will happen next?
If it hasn’t been more than two years from the date of the accident, then you are still entitled to file your claim (i.e. lawsuit) with the court. The State of Iowa only allows victims or their surviving family to file a claim within two years from the date of an accident. This time limit is referred to as Iowa’s statute of limitations. Now, if you are filing your claim against a truck and/or trucking company, you can expect a few different parties to get involved so it is important you take the necessary measures and protect yourself.
Therefore, the first thing you should consider doing is contacting Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. and retaining an Iowa truck accident attorney. Once you retain a lawyer, you can expect the following to occur:
- Your lawyer is going to conduct an investigation and begin gathering evidence that supports your case.
Before a lawsuit can be filed, a lawyer needs to be sure there is enough evidence available to prove the trucker and/or trucking company was negligent in some way. It is extremely important that negligence can be proven in both a personal injury case (if you are filing suit for your injuries) or a wrongful death case (if you are filing a claim on behalf of a loved one who was killed).
- Once your attorney establishes that you have a strong case worth pursuing, they can then file your lawsuit with the court.
Generally, we would file suit in the county where the crash occurred although there are times when the court allows for a case to be transferred to a county that is closer to you depending on the circumstances surrounding the matter. Once your lawsuit is filed, the parties whom you are suing (i.e. the defendants) would be notified of the legal action you have taken. This will likely include the trucker, the company he or she was employed with at the time of the wreck, and the insurance company if you were unable to recover the full amount you were due from it. Your lawsuit might also be filed against other parties such as the manufacturing company that sold a part to the trucking company that was deemed defective after the accident.
- After your lawsuit is filed, you can expect the defendants to begin gathering their own evidence to prove they were not to blame for the accident.
Rarely will a defendant accept the blame that has been placed on them and agree to pay the amount stipulated in the lawsuit. Most parties will find a way to remove some, if not all, of the blame from themselves and place it back on you. That is why is it crucial, especially in truck accident cases, that you are represented by one of our truck accident lawyers here in Iowa who has a great deal of experience in litigating cases of this nature.
- The case may either go to trial or you could settle during mediation.
“Mediation is a private process where a neutral third person called a mediator helps the parties discuss and try to resolve the dispute” [Source: American Bar Association (ABA)]. During mediation, the ABA says that both parties are given the opportunity to:
- Describe the issues.
- Discuss their interests, understandings, and feelings.
- Provide each other with information and explore ideas for the resolution of the dispute.
If you and the other parties involved are able to come to an agreement during mediation, then your case could end here. However, if you feel you aren’t being awarded a fair amount for the damages you suffered, you do not have to accept a settlement or come to an agreement and can allow your case to go to trial. In the event the case goes to trial, the judge and/or jury will make the final ruling on the case.
Now, there is a lot more that goes into filing a lawsuit for the injuries you suffered in a truck collision and we’d like for you to contact our office to set up a time to speak with one of our IA truck accident attorneys to discuss this. Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. has helped hundreds of clients just like you successfully file a lawsuit in the State of Iowa, and we would be more than happy to provide you with the legal assistance you need to file a claim of your own.
You can reach Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. at:
1921 51st Street NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Phone: (319) 393-1020
Fax: (319) 393-4000