There are millions of semi trucks registered in the United States, and it may come as no surprise that these trucks are sometimes involved in accidents. If your car was hit by a truck, do you know what you should do? Follow these steps to ensure your personal injury claim is filed correctly
Hundreds of thousands of accidents involving semi trucks happen each year in the United States alone, with thousands of these accidents resulting in fatalities. If your car was hit or totaled by a semi truck, it is important to know the steps to follow immediately after the accident. Truck accidents are different from a regular car accident due to the size of the vehicle involved as well as the rules and regulations that semi trucks must follow.
Call the Police
The police should be notified of the accident especially if one of the vehicles is blocking the road or there is debris. This will help ensure the safety of other people traveling on the road. It is also important to make sure a police report is filed, and the details of the accident are documented.
After an accident, if you do not require immediate medical assistance, it is essential to take photos of the scene. Taking photos as soon as possible helps you catalog the scene before things change such as a vehicle being moved. The photos you take could be vital pieces of evidence that may help your case if you choose to file a lawsuit.
Call Your Insurance Company
Following the accident, your insurance company should be notified. Relay the information that you stated in the accident report. The insurance company of the other party involved may try to contact you directly, but it is important to avoid disclosing any information or signing any paperwork because it could negatively impact your case.
Do Not Talk To the Trucking Company’s Claims Department
In addition to avoiding speaking with the trucking company’s insurance provider, you will also want to avoid talking to their claims department. Do not sign any paperwork. Any information you provide them, even something as simple as how you are doing since the accident, could be used against you and your claim. Commercial trucks have extensive insurance policies due to the size and cargo they carry, because these policies can potentially be worth millions the trucking company will work to avoid being found liable for the accident.
Document Injuries and Medical Bills
As a victim of a trucking accident, you should also keep a record of your injuries and medical bills. If there is a settlement awarded, these can be factored into the amount you receive.
Determine if the Truck was an Independent Contractor or Company Owned
Many drivers of semi trucks are often independent contractors which means they are working for themselves. However, in some instances, someone else may own the truck. If that is the case, you could pursue legal action against the person or company that owns the truck.
Many laws and regulations govern truck drivers. Ranging from the number of hours they are allowed to drive at a time to required maintenance. These rules and regulations can make an accident involving a truck more complex, so it is important to seek the help of an expert.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
Truck personal injuries are more complicated than a car or bicycle injury case. There will be a lot of laws, rules and liability issues to navigate throughout the process, so it is essential to select a personal injuries lawyer who specializes in semi truck accidents. Elsner Law Firm is here to answer any legal questions you have and work with our throughout the case to ensure you can focus on what is most important, recovering.