Truck accidents are much more devastating than injury crashes that happen between cars. A fully-loaded, large or oversized commercial truck is much heavier than a sedan or SUV, which is why occupants of these passenger vehicles are often the victims of fatal truck crashes.
Because most trucks are owned by businesses, you are often up against large corporations that have the resources to put up a good defense so that a court denies any compensation. If you or a loved one have suffered severe or fatal injuries in a truck accident, you may be overwhelmed and confused about the right steps to take.
5 Things To Do in a Truck Accident
Taking the right actions after a truck accident will give you a higher chance of winning your case if you eventually file a truck accident lawsuit. Even if your case never gets to trial, being prepared will give you an upper hand in negotiating a settlement with insurance companies.
Here are five things you can do immediately after being involved in a truck accident.
1. Call the Police To Report the Truck Crash
Reporting a truck accident to the police is a vital step to help you prove your case and recover compensation for your injuries and property damage. You can do so by simply dialing 911 from the crash scene.
When the police arrive, they will investigate the incident to determine what happened and write a report. The police report is important evidence that may help you later. While it’s important to cooperate with the police, however, you should never admit fault or apologize to anybody.
If the police fail to show up at the scene, you’ll need to report the crash yourself to the police department that is in charge of the location where the accident happened.
2. Seek Medical Treatment if Needed
After a truck accident, your priority should be to seek medical care. If your injuries are severe, you may have to call 911 or have someone call for you.
Even if you didn’t sustain any serious or visible injury, you should still go to the hospital, have a doctor examine you, and get a medical report. This is important because some injuries may show up days or weeks later, and you may not be able to prove that the truck crash caused them if you did not see a doctor.
Seeking medical treatment immediately after a truck accident also helps in filing an insurance claim. An insurance company may deny a truck accident claim if a medical report that documents your injuries is not provided. A medical report will show the extent of your injuries and the cost of treating them, which will help determine how much compensation you can claim.
3. Identify Responsible Parties
Depending on the circumstances surrounding a truck accident, several parties may be at fault. A truck accident claim may involve:
- The truck driver. If the truck driver’s negligence caused the accident, they can be held liable. Speeding on major roads and highways, driving while drunk or distracted, and violating the federal hours of service regulation are some major factors that cause truck crashes.
- The driver’s employee. The trucking company or government agency employing the driver is often vicariously liable for negligent acts that take place behind the wheel. They can also be held responsible if the truck driver's negligence caused the accident. Hiring an unqualified driver, for example, or failing to inspect and maintain the truck are all responsibilities of the company or agency involved.
- The shipping company. Sometimes truck accidents happen because the vehicles were loaded haphazardly. If that is the case, the shipping company can be held responsible.
- The manufacturer. If a defect in the truck caused the accident, the commercial vehicle's manufacturer may be held responsible.
4. Notify Your Insurance Carrier and Exchange Information
Notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Your policy may specifically state when you must do so or offer a reasonable timeframe.
Failing to notify your insurance carrier on time may lead to your claim being denied, especially if you decide to file a first-party claim later on. Also, you could become personally liable for a third-party claim. So whether or not you think you are at fault, make sure your insurance carrier is aware of the accident. You will need to provide specific details about the truck accident, including where it happened, the time of day when it occurred, the contact information of those involved, and the name of the responding police officer.
5. Contact an Experienced Trucking Lawyer
Feeling confused and overwhelmed after being involved in a truck accident is quite common, especially if you sustained serious injuries. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal complexities involved in filing a lawsuit against the negligent parties, seeking compensation for damages.
Contacting a truck accident lawyer immediately after the crash will help them gather evidence and preserve data critical to a successful truck accident claim. They can also help you get the medical care you need and take steps to help return your life to normalcy.
Most truck accident attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means you do not have to pay any fee unless they help you win your case. The truck accident attorneys at Moore Law provide outstanding legal representation in truck accident cases on a contingency basis and can help you at this critical point in your life.
What You Could Be Entitled to as an Accident Victim
A successful truck accident lawsuit can help you recover damages. Here is a closer look at what this includes.
Coverage of Prior Medical Expenses and Future Medical Costs
You can recover any money you have spent on medical bills. If the truck accident has made a lasting impact on you, you may also be eligible to recover future medical bills.
A Fair Settlement
A fair truck accident settlement will take into consideration your physical injury and emotional distress as well as any financial and non-economic damages you have suffered. How much you can recover depends on the facts and severity of your case. A lawyer for truck accidents can help you negotiate this, getting you the amount you deserve.
Hire an Experienced Trucking Accident Attorney
Recovering from your injuries and rebuilding your life should be your main priority after being involved in a truck accident. The truck accident attorneys at Moore Law can help. Our lawyers have decades of experience successfully litigating against large corporations and tough insurance companies in truck accident lawsuits. Contact us today so we can use our experience to get you the compensation you deserve.