Six Steps to Take After an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident
With around two million 18-wheelers traveling US roadways every day, accidents are bound to happen. Unfortunately, the size and weight of these massive vehicles mean that 18-wheeler truck accidents often lead to devastating injuries.
If you were involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler, your medical bills might be piling up. You might be feeling overwhelmed with an inability to work and earn a living. It’s not easy for a victim to go up against a trucking company and its insurance carrier to request reimbursement for 18-wheeler crash injuries. An experienced truck accident attorney can help level the playing field. Let us help you recoup accident-related expenses such as medical bills and lost wages.
Contact Garrison Law, PC, to find out how we’ve recovered millions of dollars for Michigan residents injured or killed due to a truck driver’s negligence. Consultations are always free. After reviewing your case and weighing your legal options, we will set up a plan of action for your injury claim.
There are several things you should do after being involved in a truck accident. Here are six crucial steps you should take:
Call Emergency Responders
Call 911. Calling 911 will protect the safety of all motorists as the police will set up a barrier and divert traffic around the accident. Police officers should document the accident, note important details, and take measurements. Paramedics will arrive to provide medical treatment to those who are injured.
Get Medical Treatment
If you are injured, get medical treatment. Sometimes a person injured in a truck accident waits a few days to see his or her primary care physician. But even a short delay in medical treatment or diagnosis will be interpreted by the insurance company that you are not injured. Your first priority after an 18-wheeler crash should be to get medical treatment for yourself and any other injured passengers.
Here are common injuries suffered in 18-wheeler truck accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Radiculopathy (nerve damage);
- Spinal cord compression and fractured vertebrae;
- Broken bones;
- Internal injuries;
- Herniated discs; and,
Remember to save all bills and invoices from your hospital or medical office visits. Keep receipts even if your medical treatment continues for months or years.
Exchange Insurance Information
Exchange insurance information with the truck driver and others involved in the accident. Take photographs of the truck driver’s insurance information and commercial driver’s license. Make sure that the police receive copies of all relevant documents, including the name of the trucking company that employs the truck driver. Your potential claim will likely target the trucking company or its insurance carrier. Therefore, you should pay careful attention to collecting those names and contact information.
If you don’t require immediate medical treatment, you should collect evidence at the accident scene. Get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Take photographs of the damage to your vehicle, the truck, and the surroundings, such as the roadway. Take pictures, video recordings, and make notes of any environmental elements such as lighting and signage that might have contributed to the accident. Note the time of day and weather conditions. If you need medical treatment, ask someone else to note these details and take photographs for you.
Write down everything you remember that occurred just before and during the accident. When the adrenaline rush caused by this traumatic event fades, it may be difficult to remember these crucial details.
Don’t Speak with the Trucking Company or its Insurance Carrier
The truck driver’s insurance company will probably want to speak with you while you’re still shaken from the accident. Don’t do it. Instead, give yourself time to think through the events of the accident so your statements won’t be misinterpreted. Don’t give a rushed account to the insurance company or anyone else while you are under stress. You should also speak with an attorney before talking to the truck driver’s company or its insurance adjuster.
Talk to a Michigan Truck Accident Lawyer
You may not consider suing the trucking company right away. After all, accidents happen. However, if the truck driver’s negligence caused the accident and your injuries have impacted your ability to lead a normal life, then the truck driver’s insurance company must pay for that. That is what insurance is for.
It’s difficult to remember all the details involved in filing an insurance claim, especially when you’re focused on your recovery. An experienced truck accident attorney can maximize your recovery by negotiating with the truck driver’s insurance company.
For instance, a truck accident lawyer will collect, calculate, and organize your damages, or the amount of money that you are entitled to under the law. These include:
- Ambulance and hospital expenses;
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications;
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs;
- Money expended for mental health counseling;
- Financial recovery for your pain, suffering, and embarrassment;
- Compensation for the loss of love and companionship for a family member;
- Recoupment of lost wages and employment opportunities; and,
- Other damages that are unique to your situation.
We focus on helping victims of truck accidents. And we have a long track record of success in the courtroom. If you want an award-winning attorney to fight for you, please call Garrison Law today.