Were you hurt in an accident involving a big rig truck?
A car accident with a large truck should be regarded as a very serious matter, as it presents a unique and complex area of personal injury law. Trucking companies have a long history of minimizing injury claims and attempting to strong-arm victims out of their rightful compensation.
Trucking is one of the most profitable industries in the world. It’s also one that requires that the companies involved be unerringly responsible to everyone else on the road. They don’t own the road any more than anyone else, and because they profit off of it being there, they need to be even more respectful of the rights of other drivers. When these companies fail to live up to safety and labor standards, they’re being irresponsible and disaster is usually just around the corner.
In order to have the best chance at recovering fair compensation for your injuries, it’s important to follow these steps.
Immediately after the accident:
- If you are seriously injured, seeking medical help is your first and only priority.
- Call the police and request an officer to the scene for an accident report.
- If you’re able, make observations at the scene and do not move debris.
- Take photos/video of the scene with a digital camera or mobile phone.
- Record relevant eyewitness accounts and save their contact information.
- Jot down ALL contact info from all other drivers and parties to the truck accident.
- Write down exactly what happened while it is still fresh in your mind. Note where you are, the weather, road conditions, traffic level, time of day, and how the accident occurred.
- Contact your insurance company and notify them of the accident.
- Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer for a consultation.
It’s important that you refrain from trying to negotiate a settlement directly with the truck driver’s insurance company. Until you finish medical treatment and have a full understanding of your damages, discussing compensation can ONLY hurt the value of your case.
Your attorney will go through a lot of work in order to build your case. This work will include researching vehicle maintenance logs, the hours the driver in question worked, and much MUCH more. Luckily, once you hire an attorney, your only obligation is to recover from your injuries.
Once you hire an attorney:
- Relax and focus on treating your injuries. If you have an attorney, it means that someone else is going to take the fight to your opponent for you. You need to clear your head, recover, and be ready to help the attorney with whatever they need. Most attorneys will let you know what kind of paperwork you should have ready to go at any time. Make sure you heed their advice in this regard.
- Listen to the attorney. When you have an attorney, don’t make a move in regard to the case without their approval. They’re basically going to do everything for you, including handling all communication with the insurance company. Your attorney is there to help. If you don’t know what to do at any point, call them.
- Don’t talk to the trucking company. Never say anything beyond “You’ll have to contact my attorney. Goodbye.” After you hang up, call your attorney and let them know that the trucking company has tried to contact you. It’s important for your attorney to know this, as what they’re doing may be against the law.
- Don’t be intimidated. If you’ve survived a wreck with a big rig, you’ve already been through one of the most terrifying situations imaginable. Don’t let the trucking company intimidate you. Remember, any time they contact you, just contact your lawyer. It’s okay to think of your law firm as your “muscle” in the legal sense. Lean on them if the trucking company is trying to get to you.
A good truck accident lawyer will fight hard for you. To see if we can help with your truck accident case, call us at (214) 651-6100.