Semis, 18-wheelers, tractor trailers, trucks…they are all over the road, and when they are involved in an accident, serious injuries can result. Due to their sheer size and weight, commercial vehicles’ involvement in a crash can mean severe personal injuries and damage to personal property, particularly as smaller vehicles can be crushed or seriously damaged in a collision with one of these road mammoths. Because commercial vehicle accidents often occur on the highway, the higher speeds involved can also mean greater injuries.
Head, traumatic brain, and back and spinal injuries are all common results of commercial vehicle accidents. Internal bodily injuries, whiplash and neck pain, and broken bones are also common. In the most serious cases, even paralysis or wrongful death can result. Those injuries can add up to significant costs, including medical and hospital bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
If you’re involved in a commercial vehicle accident, it is imperative that you get the medical care you need. You should also take steps to protect your legal rights. Read on for our advice about the steps you should take after a trucking accident.
Immediately After the Accident:
- Get yourself to a safe spot. If possible, pull over to the side of the road. Remain calm and level-headed.
- Take a minute to assess your injuries on your own, if you are safely able to do so. Immediately after a traumatic event, your body will be pumping out adrenaline that may mask any pain and serious injuries, so it’s a good idea to do a quick scan before getting out of your vehicle to make sure you’re safely able to move.
- Call the authorities immediately. Do this even if you think any damage will be minimal or minor. Report the accident to the police, and fill out any required documentation when the police arrive at the scene. A police report will be necessary to file a claim with the truck driver’s insurance company.
- Request an ambulance. Be sure you get yourself checked out by medical professionals, even if you don’t think you are hurt. Many injuries can take a long time to manifest. What might feel like nothing more than a kink in your neck now may turn out to be a life-altering injury later.
- Take down contact information for the truck driver, the trucking company, and any other parties involved. If possible, speak to any witnesses on the scene. Write down their contact information, and take their statements, if you can.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, damage to your vehicle, and your injuries, if possible. This may be helpful down the line when filing an insurance claim or confronting the truck driver’s insurer.
In the Days Following the Accident:
- Get the medical care and treatment you need. First and foremost, it is essential that you focus on your recovery and getting better. Even if you went to the emergency room right after the accident, if you find days later that something doesn’t feel right, it’s important to go get checked out.
- Obtain all documents related to the accident, such as police reports. You’ll want to have this on hand when filing an insurance claim or consulting an attorney.
- Consult with an experienced and knowledgeable truck accident attorney. A truck accident lawyer can advise you of your legal rights and options, and discuss with you the potential next steps.
- Avoid giving a formal statement to the truck driver’s insurance company or attorney. The truck driver’s insurance company may contact you asking for a statement. Avoid providing this without first seeking legal advice, as the company may be trying to get you to minimize your injuries so they don’t have to pay everything you deserve.
In the Weeks Following the Accident:
- Work with your attorney to file a claim. The first step to getting the money you need to cover the cost incurred by a trucking accident is filing an insurance claim. You can usually do this online or over the phone, but it’s a good idea to have a lawyer help with this, as that signals to the insurance company that they’d be wise not to try to lowball you.
- Keep track of any correspondence with the other party, their insurance company, the authorities, and witnesses. Make sure your attorney gets copies of the same.
- Keep track of any bills, invoices, and costs you have incurred as a result of your injuries or damage to your personal property. Again, provide your attorney with copies of the same. This will help your lawyer negotiate an appropriate payout amount for you from the insurance company.
- Consider keeping a comprehensive daily journal of your recovery. It should detail your symptoms, your pain levels, mental and psychological anguish, and ways in which the accident has affected the overall quality of your life. This can be helpful down the line if your truck accident lawyer needs to negotiate with the insurance company or present a case on your behalf.
- Avoid discussing the accident with your family and friends, or posting about it online or on social media. Do not make any statements about the accident, no matter how innocent or correct they may seem, without first consulting with your attorney. Your words could be twisted by the insurance company’s legal team in an attempt to reduce your payout.
Once your claim is filed with the insurance company, your truck accident attorney will communicate with the insurer, negotiating towards a fair and reasonable settlement offer for you. If that does not result in settlement, then your attorney will work with you to file a lawsuit in the appropriate court.
How Can Pastrana & García Injury Law Help?
A truck accident can leave a devastating mark on the life of the victim and their family. Navigating the legal system and the personal injury process can be complex, lengthy, and costly, especially if you are trying to do it alone. A great truck accident lawyer can help investigate the facts of your accident, accurately value your damages, preserve important evidence, negotiate with the insurance companies, and build a strong case on your behalf.
At Pastrana & Garcia Injury Law, we pride ourselves on not only working to get our clients the maximum compensation, but also on helping them piece their lives back together after a debilitating truck accident. When you’re faced with serious injuries after a truck accident, it is imperative to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. If you need an experienced truck accident lawyer serving Pflugerville and the surrounding areas, including Bastrop, Manor, and Round Rock, contact Pastrana & García Injury Law.
You will not be charged unless we win your case. With more than 30 years of experience, we can help you get on the road to recovery with fair compensation. Contact us online or call 888-674-4487.