Have You Found Yourself in a Big Rig Accident? Here’s What You Can Expect

Have You Found Yourself in a Big Rig Accident? Here’s What You Can Expect

Anyone who has shared the highway with a big rig or a heavy commercial truck would easily agree that the sheer weight and the size of these vehicles can be scary. If the unexpected occurs and an 18-wheeler crashes on to a passenger vehicle, severe damage to property and serious injuries are bound to happen. As much as one would hope that nothing serious happens, damages and injuries will likely be witnessed due to the negligence of the drivers and the trucking companies which employ them.  In the aftermath of a big rig accident, you may be stuck not knowing what steps to take to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve. If you plan to file a lawsuit against the trucking company and the driver, then follow the following steps to protect your legal claim.

  1.   Call the Police

Before calling anyone else, the first call you make immediately after the huge crash is to the police. Before the police arrive, it’s imperative not to speak to anyone else, and do not apologize about what just happened.  Once the police show up, give them a factual and accurate description of what transpired and what you believe led to the accident. Do not exaggerate the story but provide accurate information as best as you can. It is the job of the police to write a citation to the party at fault and write a report detailing the cause of the accident. This report is crucial when it comes to filing your injury claim. Without a police report, you may find it difficult getting the compensation from the insurance company of the party at fault. Your lawyer will also need this report as proof that you were on the right side of the law when the accident occurred.

  1.   Be Careful About What You Say

After the accident, you need to choose your words carefully because the statement which you make could greatly impact the outcome of the accident investigation. Be careful not to say anything that would sound like an admission of fault. Apologizing or saying that you never saw the other driver could be interpreted as you accepting fault for the accident.

There is a myriad of factors that are used in determining who is at fault including what occurred the time before the accident. The big rig driver may have been distracted or even fatigued, but once you apologize despite not being at fault, that will sound like an admission of guilt.

  1.   Take Photographs

If you are in a position to, take as many photos as possible of the accident scene. This includes images of the damaged vehicles, the location of the accident, and any injuries caused by the accident. These pictures are important as they will assist you when filing a personal injury lawsuit and if there are pictures of your car before and after the accident, it will help in offering a distinct contrast to show the extent of damages caused.  

Maintaining a detailed record of the accident is crucial because it will help you settle your case and get your deserved compensation. Sometimes these cases take long to settle, and that is why records are usually important.

  1.   Collect Contact Information

Do not let those who witnessed the accident leave the scene without taking their contact details. This includes their names, email addresses, and phone numbers. Without statements from the witnesses to the accident, you could find it difficult to prove your case. Your attorney will also make good use of such contact information because they may find it difficult gathering statements from witnesses later on.

  1.   Seek Medical Attention

As mentioned earlier, big rig accidents usually result in serious injuries for parties involved. It is, therefore, crucial that any injured persons, whether it’s the driver, passengers, or pedestrians, get the help they need from the medical practitioners. Injuries that seem to be severe or even life-threatening must be attended to immediately. The emergency response team will likely transport injured persons by ambulance to the nearest health facility. Even injuries that appear to be minor should be examined by a doctor and documentation regarding the treatment made for future reference.

As a general rule, anyone involved in any type of road accident should seek medical attention for a thorough examination. Even when you believe you are not hurt, or you believe that your injuries do not warrant visiting a doctor, there could be serious injuries lurking beneath the surface. When you visit a doctor immediately, you get the treatment you need. Furthermore, seeking medical attention will prove to the insurance company that you took all the necessary measures to alleviate your injuries.

  1.   Contact an Accident Attorney

When you are involved in a big rig accident and you believe that the accident took place as a result of the other driver’s negligence, you should hire a lawyer to handle your case. Accidents involving large trucks are usually complicated than regular auto crashes, and trying to solve these kinds of cases without legal assistance can be quite impossible. A truck accident lawyer will take care of all the negotiations on your behalf as they try to get reasonable compensation from the insurance company of the other driver. For that reason, do not speak to an insurance adjuster before talking to your lawyer first.

Another advantage of working with an attorney is that they will take care of all the documentation for you as they work closely with your health provider to get as much detail as possible regarding your injuries.

Final Word

There is nothing exciting about being in an accident with an 18-wheeler. Most trucking firms expect that a large fraction of their drivers will cause accidents throughout the year, and for that reason, they maintain a team of highly paid legal professionals to divert any potential responsibility.  The liability of the truck drivers will depend on a number of circumstances, but with the help of a legal counsel, a victim of the accident can get the justice they deserve.

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