Trucking accidents are responsible for a large number of fatalities and serious injuries across the United States every year. If you are involved in an accident with an 18 wheeler or a commercial vehicle, there are several steps you should take following the accident to protect your legal rights. Your actions following the truck accident can assist or they can hurt you. These guidelines will help protect your rights and hopefully place you in a position to receive fair and proper compensation for your damages and injury claims caused by the truck driver and the trucking company. If you are involved in an accident with an 18 wheel truck or a commercial vehicle, here’s some basic advice from an experienced Texas Truck Accident Lawyer:
Immediately after the accident, it is crucial to say as little as possible to the driver of the truck. Even saying making statements as innocent as “I’m sorry" or “No, I’m sure I’ll be fine" or I’m OK" can be used against you.
Immediately after the accident, it is also important to contact the police. This will ensure that critical facts of crash scene are preserved. If you have a camera in your vehicle, take a picture of the truck accident scene. Also try to take pictures of any scrapes or marks on the truck, any evidence of damage to your vehicle, and take photographs showing all signage or markings on the truck, such as the company name on the cab door as well as photographing the license plates on the truck and the trailer. These photos can be used as facts and evidence and help you retain the details of the accident. If you are injured, wait for emergency crew and do not move unless you need to get out of a position of danger. Your safety, must comes first.
Make sure you or someone at the scene writes down all the details of truck and driver involved in the accident. If you or your family is injured, let the police help you with proper documentation of the accident. Never talk to the other party or try to evaluate the cause of the accident with the truck driver, only speak to the police officer. Remember at this point, you must protect your rights. The truck driver will try to protect themselves and they will often say or assume that you were the cause of the accident, even if that is not the case.
Even if you feel that you have minor injuries, you should be examined by a medical professional seek proper medical attention if necessary. Not all injuries become 100% apparent at the scene of an accident. Sometimes people can be so shocked by a sudden accident that they don’t pay immediate attention to how they are feeling, and only much later realize their injuries. Failure to catch injuries in the beginning can lead to complications down the road. If you do not have health insurance plan, do not let it prevent you from getting the care that you need.
After you have received medical care, you need to contact your insurance company to report the truck accident and consult with an experienced truck accident attorney. Never talk to or make any statements to the trucking company or the trucking company’s insurance company without the advice of a lawyer. Having an attorney that has experience with truck accident laws and issues can help you receive appropriate compensation for your damages and injuries.
The trucking companies and their insurance companies already have their attorney retained, sometime on staff. At this point, no matter what they say, they do not have your best interest in mind. They are building a defense case against you. In another words, they are looking at ways to pay you the least amount for the damages and injury. If they present you with any document to sign, never sign it without having an experienced attorney review it first.
Your truck accident lawyer will investigate police records, insurance policies, and evidence surrounding your truck automobile accident for your individual injury lawsuit. In some cases, an accident reconstruction expert may be referred to determine who was at fault for the accident. This expert can also review the case to come across violations of any commercial truck regulations. Failure to abide by these regulations shows liability on the part of the truck driver and to the trucking company.
If you or your family have been involved in a serious semi truck or 18-wheeer accident, you should act quickly to get proper advice and counsel.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.