Many assume semi-truck accidents are similar to car accidents, but they differ significantly. Semi-truck accidents can leave you facing more severe injuries and greater medical expenses, along with other frustrations and hardships. A truck accident attorney can help protect your rights and get the compensation you need after being injured in a semi-truck accident.
First Steps to Take After a Truck Crash
The steps you take immediately after a semi-truck accident are crucial. It is essential to keep these steps in mind, as they can greatly affect your claim.
Immediately after the crash, check for injuries. Call 911, and if anyone is injured, request medical attention. Police officers and an ambulance should soon arrive at the scene.
Start Collecting Evidence, If Possible
If you are able, start collecting evidence right away. Evidence to collect can include:
- Photos of the vehicles involved;
- Photos and videos of the scene; and
- Witness information.
Any information and evidence you collect can be helpful for your claim.
Get the Truck Driver’s Information
Also, if you are able, get the truck driver’s information. Information to collect should include:
- License information,
- Truck license plate,
- Insurance information, and
- Trucking company information.
Like exchanging driver information after a car accident, it is wise to get the truck driver’s information after a semi-truck accident.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you possibly can. Even if you were not at fault, it’s important to notify your insurer of the accident to preserve your right to claim benefits under your insurance, such as med pay or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
If the truck driver was at fault, you can initiate a claim with the trucking company’s insurance. Especially if you suffered injuries in the accident, you should consider having an attorney help you with this process.
The insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to your claim. Insurance adjusters will handle all details of your claim, including:
- Vehicle inspections,
- Determining who was at fault, and
- Settlement negotiations.
Be wary of answering questions or providing a statement to the other party’s insurance company. It’s best to have your attorney handle communication and negotiation with the insurance adjuster.
Get Medical Care
Equally as important is following the doctor’s instructions. If your doctor prescribes a medication or recommends treatment or rehabilitation, it is crucial you do as you are told. Everything is detailed in your medical records, which may play a significant role in your claim later on.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
Contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible after your semi-truck crash. While an attorney is not required, there are many benefits to letting a qualified attorney handle your claim. They will work diligently to settle, but if your case ends up in court, they will not back down from the challenge.
A statute of limitations puts a time restriction on your ability to file a trucking accident lawsuit. In most cases in New Mexico, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. However, in New Mexico, if a government entity was at fault for your injuries, you have only two years to take action and you may have to file notice of your claim in as little as 90 days after you sustained an injury. In Texas, you have only two years from the date of the accident. You do not want to let this time clock run out. The sooner you contact a truck accident attorney, the better.
Who Will Pay for Your Injuries?
Determining who is responsible for the accident is one of the most important parts of truck accident cases. Truck accidents are unlike car accidents for many reasons. In truck accidents, there can be many responsible parties. The parties most commonly found to be at fault in truck accidents include:
- Truck driver,
- Trucking company,
- Maintenance company, and
- Truck manufacturer.
The insurance company will investigate to try to determine who or what was the cause of the accident. Your truck accident attorney will also do their own investigation.
Ultimately, the responsible party will be financially liable for damages resulting from the semi-truck crash.
How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help?
Truck accident attorneys can be an invaluable ally. They will handle your claim from beginning to end, allowing you to focus on yourself and your recovery. Your attorney will handle:
- Gathering relevant evidence and information;
- Interviewing witnesses;
- Investigating the accident;
- Determining fault;
- Communicating with the insurance company;
- Calculating damages; and
- Engaging in settlement negotiations.
If your claim leads to a lawsuit and the courtroom, your attorney will continue to represent you and fight for your rights and compensation. Having a truck accident attorney on your side gives you peace of mind knowing your case is in the best hands.
Will You Have to File a Lawsuit?
The first step after a truck crash is filing a claim with the insurance company. The insurance company will do their investigation and either accept or deny your claim or try to settle. Truck insurance companies are always attempting to find ways to limit their liability to pay very little or avoid paying altogether. Initially, the insurance company is likely to make a low settlement offer. At this point, your attorney would negotiate the settlement to get you the compensation you need.
While the majority of truck accident claims settle, this is not always the case. If it is not possible to reach a fair settlement, you may file a lawsuit.
Choosing the Right Attorney
Choosing the right attorney is the difference between an unreasonable outcome and a fair resolution. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney will work tirelessly to fight for your rights and help get you just compensation.
Time is of the essence. Contact your attorney as soon as possible to:
- Gather evidence,
- Interview witnesses,
- Investigate, and
- Conduct inspections.
Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., has been helping injured clients since 1984. We aggressively represent clients while providing the care and kindness they deserve. Our team understands the stress and frustration that comes with truck accidents, and we’re ready to help you find the resolution you need. We offer free case evaluations. Contact us today, and let’s see how we can help you.