Even in light of reduced highway traffic during the coronavirus pandemic, people are still getting seriously hurt in truck crashes. These accidents can be much more complicated than a typical car accident. Injuries and vehicle damage are more severe due to the nature of the truck’s size and weight alone. Then, after your accident, you have the commercial insurance carrier system to contend with. You’re in for a long, drawn out ordeal that can leave you feeling beaten down.
Safety should be your immediate concern
If you’re involved in an accident with a truck, you may have immediate and urgent injuries, or you could have internal or other damage that hasn’t made itself apparent yet. Either way, seek medical care as soon as possible. Additionally, no matter what the circumstances, be careful about what you do or say, because from the moment the truck caused damage, their insurance company will begin looking for ways to limit liability.
Immediately after an accident, if you are able, call 911 to report the accident and ask for police and emergency medical services (EMS) to be dispatched.
If you’re sitting in or partially across a traffic lane, the next thing you’ll want to do is get yourself to a safe place off to the side of the road. Take photos of the scene and vehicle damage if you can do it safely. You’ll also want to exchange information with the truck driver to obtain his/her:
- Name, home address, phone number, and email address, and driver’s license number
- Name and contact information of his/her employer (may be located on the side of the cab)
- Insurance company and policy number
- Truck license plate number and other identifying information
When giving your statement to police, don’t use phrases like “I think” or “might have” when describing the actions of the truck driver, if possible, and make sure you get a copy of the accident report before leaving the scene.
Take control once the immediate emergency ends
After you’ve left the accident scene, you can take some steps to build your case. It can all become a little overwhelming, but experienced attorneys can help.
- Call a personal injury lawyer first. Your life will become much easier while maneuvering through the mine field of dealing with your truck accident if you have the help of a legal professional who does this day in and day out and is focused on protecting your rights.
- Loose lips sink ships. Don’t talk to the insurance claims representative, give recorded statements, or sign anything without running it by your attorney first. Insurance companies like to collect premiums but they hate paying out. If they can get you on record saying something they can take out of context to damage your claim, or to get you to settle more quickly, it only benefits them.
- Pursue treatment for your injuries. If you chose not to be transported to the hospital, be sure to see your doctor or go to the emergency room for an examination. Complete all follow up appointments whether it’s for testing, recovery progress, or physical therapy.
- Catalog monetary damages. Keep track of all time lost from work and other financial losses such as rental car fees, medical supplies, health insurance copays, and medical bills you’ve already paid. You have a right to reimbursement for anything you have paid out as a result of the accident when the other driver is at fault.
- Tracking other damages. Keep a diary of any regular activities that you have been unable to perform such as house work, playing with your children, or participating in hobbies. Any aspect of daily life that your injuries have interfered with should be noted in order to help in negotiating your claim.
Few other vehicles on the road have the ability to cause the catastrophic injuries and damage than big rigs. Commercial insurance companies know the liability involved and work hard not to pay out claims. A fair settlement is only going to come from hiring a lawyer who understands how these insurance companies operate and how to hold them liable.
The truck accident firm of Wagner & Wagner, Attorneys at Law will create a compelling argument that will guide the insurance company to the right decision to settle your injury claim. For your convenience, our results-oriented personal injury attorneys protect victims in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, North Georgia, and all neighboring areas. To schedule your free case evaluation in our Chattanooga office, call 423-756-7923, or reach out to us through our contact page.