Actions to Take When Your Loved One Is A Victim of An 18-Wheeler Accident
Written by Greg on May 20, 2020
Exercising caution on the road at all times should be a priority for every big rig or heavy commercial truck driver. The reason is that the sheer size and weight of 18-wheeler vehicles is nothing close to that of other automobiles. As such, truck accidents are often far more catastrophic than any other traffic-related collisions.
Unfortunately, even if you are always careful on the road, and you have years of experience as an 18-wheeler driver, sometimes, accidents are inevitable. Truck drivers hope to reach their destination safely, but that may not happen if they become victims of a road accident. After that, such an accident enters into the record of 18-wheeler collisions that take place over a specific period.
When the media reports on such statistics, most probably, there will be no further details regarding particular truck accidents in the future. The implication, in this case, is that statistics on 18-wheeler accidents rarely provide information on how victims and their families suffer the aftermath of such eventualities.
If you or your loved one suffers a big rig accident, you need to note that one is entitled to pursue legal rights in such situations. A competent attorney can help you recover compensation for your losses after suffering an 18-wheeler accident.
If you want to access the well-deserved monetary damages after a truck accident, there are specific actions you should take immediately. Here are some details on what to do after an 18-wheeler collision.
1. Seek Medical Attention Immediately
The priority after any kind of road accident in the case of victims is seeking treatment for injuries as soon as possible. If you are at the scene and your loved one has respiratory issues, is unconscious or bleeding excessively, you should head to the emergency room right away when you arrive at the nearby medical facility.
Any delays in seeking medical attention after a truck accident can have long-term health effects on victims. For that reason, one should consider rushing to an urgent care center even if the injuries they sustain after an 18-wheeler accident are not severe. Urgent care centers can take care of minor broken bones, whiplash/soft tissue injuries, cuts/abrasions, among other issues.
Remember that accessing same-day treatment after a truck accident is not an option if you mind your wellbeing. Getting immediate medical attention after an accident helps you avoid further health complications going forward. You also need to note that at the point of filing a claim for your injuries, the insurance company in question will review your medical records in detail.
2. Engage A Reliable Truck Accident Attorney
Reach out to a lawyer with experience in truck crash claims within the shortest time possible after the incident. Part of the benefits of consulting a truck accident attorney after a crash is that they can handle the claims process with the insurance company, which will include;
- Negotiations with the insurance firm.
- Conducting the necessary investigation.
- Preparing claim forms and supporting documents.
- Collecting and reviewing your medical records.
A competent truck accident attorney will have an understanding of the tricks that insurers use to deny payment or to offer the lowest settlement amount. Some of the tactics that insurers use when they want to avoid claims relating to 18-wheeler accidents include contesting the severity of a victim’s injuries, blaming the collision on the victim, among others.
Also, a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can help you recover the full amount of monetary damages entitled to you by law including;
- The losses you incur as a result of injuries, which will, in turn, affect your relationships.
- Lost wages in case the injuries you suffer will force you out of work.
- Decreased quality of life and enjoyment.
- Pain and suffering.
- Scarring and disfigurement.
- Emotional anguish.
In case your attorney fails to reach a fair and reasonable settlement amount with the insurer in question, they have the option of heading to court where they will represent you accordingly.
3. Consider Exchanging Information with The Truck Operator
It is an essential requirement for motor vehicle crash victims to obtain contact and insurance details from a truck operator. In the case of a truck accident, the exchange of information will require you to source information regarding an individual’s employment where possible. The reason is that you can file a claim against a trucking company, a driver’s employer, or other firms that operate the truck as a business.
4. Gather The Evidence
Leaving an accident scene without evidence is not advisable. The reason is that a victim or their loved one will face various difficulties when claiming monetary damages later. So, ensure you gather the necessary evidence from the scene of the accident if you are physically able to do so as the victim.
Alternatively, a loved one who happens to be at the scene of the accident should collect the information and evidence they will use when filing a claim. Some of the things you should do when gathering evidence at an accident scene include taking pictures of the surrounding area using your cell phone, taking note of obstacles to visibility, traffic signals, lanes of traffic, signs, among other aspects of importance.
Also, obtain contact details of any witnesses around. You should also consider approaching businesses with security cameras within the vicinity of the scene of the accident. You can gather valuable information relating to the accident from the video footage that such cameras capture.
5. Avoid Making Statements to The Insurance Company
As is the case with any other road accident, there are several things you should do after an 18-wheeler collision and one crucial aspect you should avoid as much as possible. Once you notify the truck driver’s insurance company about the crash, you should not make any statements to workers of that specific entity.
You need to appreciate the fact that insurers are always working against victims of a crash. That means that making statements to employees of an insurance company will be a blow on your part. Additionally, it is a fact that insurance workers do not have the best interests of truck crash victims at heart. That implies that victims and their loved ones risk their rights whenever they discuss the accident and injuries with insurance workers.
If you or a loved one is a victim of an 18-wheeler accident, realizing success in recovering monetary damages will depend on how you act going forward. Also, note that accessing skilled legal representation is paramount when filing a truck crash claim.
Call the leading truck accident lawyer in Houston at (281) 587-1111 for a no-obligation consultation or fill out our online case evaluation request!