Being involved in a truck accident can be a serious and life-changing event. Commercial trucks are large, heavy pieces of machinery that can cause untold damage and injury when colliding with them. Unlike accidents with smaller vehicles, many of the safety measures in most vehicles are stressed beyond their capabilities when involved in a crash with such a large object as an 18-wheeler or other big rig.
And unfortunately, these types of auto accidents are far too common. That’s why there is such a large area of practice for truck accident attorneys. However, as any experienced lawyer can tell you, when it comes to the aftermath of an accident with a truck, there are five crucial actions you need to take:
1. Prioritize Your Safety and That of Those Around You
The first and foremost priority following any type of auto accident should be to ensure the safety of everyone involved. If at all possible, move your vehicle to a location out of traffic and away from bystanders and pedestrians. Call local emergency services and ask them to send medical assistance if necessary.
2. Begin the Information Gathering Process
Once everyone’s safety is secured, the next step is to document the facts of the accident as quickly and accurately as possible. Things that are fresh and on the forefront of your mind immediately following the incident will often fade as the adrenaline wears off and you sleep later on. While you will want to exchange insurance information, there are many other things you need to do, including:
Write down all the truck info (license #, make, model, company info)
Take photos of the vehicle damage, traffic signage/lights, and road conditions
Collect contact info from witnesses
Ask for a copy of the accident report from law enforcement
3. Under NO Circumstances Should You Admit Fault
Even if you think you may have caused the accident, never admit to any negligence or liability on your part. For one, you can’t be certain it is your fault. This is the reason that a thorough investigation will be performed by law enforcement and insurance adjusters. Let them determine who is responsible for the accident.
4. Do NOT Contact or Negotiate with the Insurance Companies
Unfortunately, the insurance companies you will be dealing with are not interested in making sure that you receive fair dealings when it comes to the aftermath of the accident, no matter how caring and compassionate they may seem.
They are interested in one thing only; reducing the liability and damage against their clients as much as possible. Making sure that you get what you are entitled to is the job of a good truck accident attorney.
5. Consult with Skilled and Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys
Finally, when you are facing a trucking company with lawyers and insurance conglomerates behind it, you need to go into battle with an equally skilled legal representative. Without the proper legal counsel, you could find yourself in the position of receiving a fraction of what you are entitled to.
Search for the Best and Never Settle
When it comes to accident attorneys, there is no shortage of options. Between the phonebook and online search engines, you can find 1000s practicing within the same location. However, that doesn’t mean they all offer quality legal services. Do your due diligence and research to make sure you are getting the lawyer you deserve.