It is estimated that there are over 15 million trucks operating within the United States, with about two million of these being tractor trailers. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles create an enormous risk for those driving on the roads along beside them, but truck drivers have a lot more to handle when they are facing adverse weather conditions or complex traffic patterns. Though you hope it may never happen to you, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for how to address a collision involving a commercial truck.
The laws of physics and the size differences between a regular passenger vehicle and commercial truck makes serious injuries and devastating property damage high probabilities. Even when the situation is serious, you need to remain calm. The first thing to do is call and report the accident. When injuries have occurred, calling 911 is the fastest way to get the first responder to the scene. Medical attention should always be a priority when dealing with an accident. Police, fire, and EMS personnel can help manage the scene while your injuries are evaluated.
There will be a lot of emotions and thoughts running through your head after an accident, but you need to remain focused. There are several things you can’t afford to let go but there are several things you must also be sure to avoid doing. Never admit fault, either to the officers on the scene or the other driver. There are complex laws regarding at-fault determinations, and you don’t want to hurt your chances of compensation or insurance coverage for the incident. There is also no need to apologize when someone has negligently injured you. Remain professional and level-headed when speaking with the police or other parties involved, even though you may be angry and hurt.
Be Your Own Advocate
Even though the police will be on scene to make out an official report, you can be your own best advocate for the insurance claims process. Many people have smartphones capable of taking high-quality photos and videos. If you have the ability to do so, video the scene immediately after the accident occurs, and before any vehicles have been moved. Take photos of license plates, record the names and contact information for witnesses, and take photos of the location and road or weather conditions. Your insurance company and a truck accident attorney can fight for your claim and compensation more effectively when they have all the information and proof they need.
Remain Engaged in the Process
It may be several weeks or months before your claim is settled or for your injuries to heal. Don’t leave your case up to the lawyer or the insurance company. Follow up on information that has been sent, and be sure to supply medical documents and releases as you receive them. The more engaged you stay in the process the better you can prepare for a formal lawsuit or how to plan on returning to work.
Getting in a car accident of any type can be serious. These tips can help you move forward with your claim and recovery.