I Got Hit By a Semi Truck, What Should I do?
During the day-to-day driving, drivers typically are sharing the road with big rig trucks, 18-wheelers, commercial buses and other massive vehicles. In order to prove their ability to drive these large vehicles, truck drivers go through numerous hours of training and certification to commit to following the rules of the trade. But often times, these drivers make big mistakes that result in terrible accidents. Being in a car accident is scary itself, but when a large vehicle such as a semi-truck hit you the situation becomes extremely dangerous and overwhelming.
The next steps become extremely vital in the process between being in the accident and getting the money you deserve. Often times it becomes overwhelming giving full attention to your medical injuries while also trying to pursue legal action against the trucking company and insurers from each side. In order to achieve the goal of restoring justice and obtaining a large settlement, one must take steps in finding the right attorney and steps to ensure productivity in your case.
Tips After You Are Involved in Truck Accident
Often time’s serious injuries occur during truck accidents but if you are physically able these tips will ensure you get the justice you deserve. The first thing to make sure to do is to stay at the crash scene until authorities and medical help have arrived. If possible and you are in a safe position, leave your vehicle in the position where it came to rest following the crash as it will put you in the best position to preserve the evidence of what caused the wreck and determine the fault of the truck driver.
The next steps become essential in helping your case’s productivity and to make sure you are awarded all damages. Multiple vehicle accidents are common when involving large trucks or commercial vehicles. Therefore, it is crucial to check other vehicles for injuries while making sure you stay safe. As the police and medical assistance arrives, begin documenting as much as you can. This means take photos and video of damages to all vehicles, pictures of skid marks and the scene of accident, audio record your account of what happened, and any details you think are important. Having a fresh account of all the details can be critical as often times the defense of the other side will try to prove their client was not negligent if there is no evidence to show it.
Furthermore, it is crucial to make sure you take pictures of EVERYTHING that was damaged in your car. Your car is an important piece of property, which you typically view as a safe place for your personal belongings. Consequently, items such as expensive sunglasses, laptops, cellphones, and other valuables are kept in your car and are frequently damaged in accidents. It is crucial for you to take pictures of all the damage from the accident that caused damage to these items, as it will be determined in the loss of value from the accident.
The next step is to exchange information with other drivers involved. This information will be needed later for your lawyer and therefore whenever possible try to get this information. The information needed includes:
- Phone Number
- Driver’s License Number
- License Plate Number
- Insurance Carrier & Name of Agent
- Insurance Policy Number
This might be difficult when your adrenaline is running after the crash but hold off before making any statements to authorities about the crash. It is smart to take some time to think about exactly what happened to ensure that you make a statement from a strong state of mind. Often time without realizing, you will take some sort of responsibility for the crash when in reality there could be a witness who saw the truck driver texting or speeding.
After taking these steps outlined before it becomes crucial to obtain a truck accident/personal injury lawyer that is familiar with truck driving accidents and knows how to fight big insurance companies.
Finding The Lawyer That Will Restore Justice
The process becomes extremely confusing is figuring out who to sue after a truck accident. The question becomes, who will you hold accountable for your injuries and damages? Is the driver of truck an independent contractor or one employed by a large company or a large trucking company?
These large corporations often have clauses saying that the company is not liable or responsible for independent driver’s negligence but often times loopholes found by attorneys allow you to seek damages from the company as well.
The key is to find a lawyer that is comfortable with trucking accidents and has history of high settlements and high verdicts achieved in trial, if necessary. Typically large corporations or trucking companies have a lot of money to throw at lawsuits pertaining to accidents involving their drivers. Your lawyer needs to be ready to go against these big companies and have the resources required to take your case as legal fees, expert testimony, and other fees become high in these high dollar truck accident cases.
When determining the best lawyer to call for an accident, look to find a personal injury lawyer who has the sufficient resources to take your case. Sometimes the easiest way to figure this out is by scheduling a consolidation to talk about the case. Is the law firm easy to communicate with? Do they follow up with a text or email? Are they prepared during the meeting?
Typically a big tip to look for is look around the office when meeting with the lawyer. If there is a good amount of money coming into the law firm, they typically have a nice office to show their clients that they are doing well and you should be comfortable with the large decision of allowing them to represent you. The law firm needs to have the ability to help with various costs associated with taking your case and without these resources; the ideal outcome of your case could be in jeopardy.
Ultimately, the process to be restored justice is typically challenging and will require time but following these steps and picking the right lawyer will be crucial in obtaining the settlement you rightly deserve.