A car accident with a commercial vehicle can be a scary experience. It can result in severe injuries, emotional trauma, and financial stress. Big rig trucks are massive in size and weigh significantly more than passenger vehicles. That means that occupants of smaller vehicles tend to suffer more severe injuries in truck accidents. If you were injured in a commercial vehicle accident, you could be owed financial compensation.
The following specific steps could help protect your rights and allow you to seek compensation from the at-fault driver after a commercial vehicle accident. Contacting truck accident lawyer and gathering as much evidence as possible is crucial. Find out what else you should do here.
At the Scene
Before you leave the scene of an 18-wheeler accident, take these steps to protect your rights:
- Call 911 – Report the accident and request an ambulance.
- Move to safety if possible – If your injury and vehicle damage is minor, move your vehicle to safety.
- Don’t leave until someone responds – Stay where you are until emergency personnel arrives, provides emergency medical assistance, and documents the crash.
- Take pictures – Take pictures of your visible injuries, damage to the vehicles, and debris in the road.
- Document everything – Write down everything you can remember about the accident. That might include what you saw the truck driver doing, the exact location of the crash, and any hazards that could have led to the accident, such as a pothole.
It’s crucial to identify the driver, their vehicle, and the insurance coverage the truck driver carries. Ask them for these details:
- Name and phone number
- Trucking company name and phone number
- Insurance carrier name and policy number
People nearby might have seen the car accident. Ask for their names and contact information so that you can call them later if necessary. Your lawyer can help you obtain witness statements from them, which could serve as evidence that someone else was responsible for causing your injury.
Document All Medical Treatment
Maintain records of anything associated with the case. An experienced negligence attorney can request copies of medical records, bills, and other documents on your behalf, but you never know what might be important. If you receive anything related to the crash, keep it and forward it to your lawyer.
Use Caution in Discussing the Incident
When law enforcement arrives at the scene to investigate the accident, they might ask you questions. Give them your name, contact information, and insurance details, but avoid editorial or emotional statements. If you believe the truck driver was at fault, inform them of this but don’t provide unnecessary information. What you say becomes part of the official record, and any admissions or other statements contrary to your claim could potentially lower the value of your compensation.
You should also refrain from talking to the truck driver’s insurance company. The adjuster might contact you to ask for a statement, but you’re under no obligation to speak with them. Inform them that you have legal representation and give them our firm’s contact information.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
One of the most important steps following an 18-wheeler accident is to hire a qualified lawyer. Handling all of these responsibilities yourself can be stressful and overwhelming. You could make a mistake that costs you time and money. An experienced negligence attorney can take over while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Ketterman Rowland & Westlund is one of the largest firms in Texas. When you hire us, we will provide the personalized attention and service you deserve. We have experience with all types of insurance claims, and we’re not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary.
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, don’t hesitate to contact a negligence attorney from Ketterman Rowland & Westlund for a free consultation.
Douglas D. Ketterman is the originator and founder of Ketterman, Rowland & Westlund where he currently serves as President and Managing Shareholder. Douglas has extensive experience in handling all types of civil litigation. He graduated with honors from St. Mary’s School of Law in 1989 and has been Board Certified as a Specialist in Personal Injury Trial Law since 1998 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.