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What to Do Following a Truck Accident

tractor trailer truck and car wreckEvery year, around 70% of all consumer goods transported across the United States use trucks. It’s reliable, safe, and fairly quick. However, this also means that there are lots of trucks on the road across the country. Sadly, the result is that truck accidents are growing more common. According to some estimates, around 500,000 truck-related crashes occur each year and this leads to over 5,000 deaths.

If you’ve been involved in a commercial truck accident, a semi-truck accident, a big rig incident, or a similar type of accident, you need a personal injury lawyer to protect your best interests. The Injury Firm boasts experienced truck accident lawyers with the knowledge and resources to build a legal claim on your behalf.

Causes of Truck Accidents

We’ll look at what to do after a truck accident in a moment, but why do so many big rig accidents take place each year? Unfortunately, driver error and negligence are still two of the biggest causes in 2022. Despite the many safety campaigns and law changes, people still die because of the negligence of other road users. This could include a lack of attention, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, poor lane discipline, or other erratic behavior.

Additionally, truck drivers are often under constant pressure to get their cargo to the destination. To prevent delays, many companies ignore the working time laws and encourage their drivers to work beyond what is legal. This means that many truck drivers on the road lack sleep; this leads to poor concentration and reaction times. When in control of a large vehicle, this is particularly problematic.

Over the years, we’ve also seen issues with cargo. For example, it might not get loaded up properly at the warehouse. As soon as the vehicle goes over a small bump, this causes problems for the truck driver as well as all other road users. Elsewhere, accidents can also be caused by environmental factors, road conditions, or even truck/equipment failure.

Regardless of the cause, reach out to a personal injury lawyer after a commercial truck accident. If you’ve been injured, you could be entitled to compensation.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

Step 1 - Report the Incident

Before anything else, stop your vehicle and report the accident. In most cases, the police or highway patrol will visit the scene. If possible, put your hazards on to make your vehicle clearly visible. Furthermore, encourage all those involved in the accident to stay nearby because the police will need to take statements. If another road user was to blame for the accident, you have an extra impetus to encourage witnesses to stick around because their statements could help your case.

Step 2 - Seek Medical Attention

If you’re hurt, medical attention is always the priority. If you’re well enough, we’ll talk about gathering details from other parties and capturing evidence. However, this is all secondary if you’re seriously hurt. Medical attention ensures that all health issues are highlighted even if you don’t feel them due to the adrenaline. What’s more, the associated documentation will also act as evidence in your claim later.

Without medical attention, any claims you make later will be hindered by this fact. The defendant and insurance company will claim that your injuries weren’t serious because you didn’t get medical attention.

Step 3 - Gather Evidence

Naturally, these next steps rely on you or a member of your party feeling well enough. In terms of gathering evidence, this includes the following:

  • Photographing the scene
  • Getting the contact information of all those involved
  • Getting the details of potential eyewitnesses
  • Noting the road and weather conditions

Fortunately, the police will likely take statements from witnesses, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for their contact details for later. For now, you simply need a name and phone number or email address.

Step 4 - Never Admit Blame

After a semi-truck accident, be very careful with what you say about the accident. If other drivers are talking about the incident, don’t get drawn into the discussion. Even if you say that you made a small mistake, the defendant will latch onto this comment and say that you’re entirely to blame. If you don’t say anything, you can’t make any mistakes. Therefore, don’t admit blame or fault (even if only for a small part) and don’t get drawn into conversations with others.

After an accident, you’re likely to get contacted by the insurance company of the guilty party. Sadly, those who lack experience think that they need to answer the questions. These insurance adjusters are trained to reduce the compensation as much as possible, so remember that you’re not under any obligation to answer questions. Instead, simply tell them that you’re working with a personal injury lawyer and that your attorneys will reach out soon.

In addition to never admitting blame, we also recommend steering clear of social media. Due to the sheer size of big rigs and trucks, these types of accidents generally attract more attention than a collision between two cars. If you see stories in the local news and on social media, ignore them. Of course, you’ll want to tell your family and friends so that they know about your condition. However, even a seemingly harmless post on Facebook can end up working against you in court.

Step 5 - Contact The Injury Firm

At this stage, you’re ready to contact a truck accident lawyer to fight in your corner and seek compensation. Depending on the extent of the accident, compensation could include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Vehicle damage
  • Emotional distress

In more serious cases, this escalates to wrongful death, funeral expenses, and similar damages. The Injury Firm works tirelessly on your behalf to protect your legal rights and obtain compensation. We have the experience and resources to deal with insurance companies, compile a strong case, gather evidence, get expert testimony, and negotiate a settlement. Allow us to help you after a big rig or semi-truck accident!

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