Getting into an accident with a commercial truck can be devastating. These vehicles are usually bigger and heavier than regular automobiles and collisions can lead to much greater property damage and personal injury.
With this in mind, those in an accident with a commercial truck should take the following steps after the accident;
- Report to your insurance company, but limit the information you give them to the accident report.
- Do not talk to or sign anything from the commercial truck’s insurance company or claims adjuster.
- Collect information about the accident, including photographs, police reports, license plate numbers, and contract information for witnesses.
- Ensure the police have filed a report about the truck accident.
- In some states, a report must also be filed with the DMV.
- Inspect your vehicle before it is repaired or totaled.
- Get a thorough medical evaluation.
- Contact an experienced truck accident attorney.
Taking these steps will help ensure you get the compensation you deserve after being in an accident with a commercial truck.
It is also important for anyone in an accident with a commercial truck to be aware of trucking laws and their rights to ensure they are properly compensated for their injuries. Regular drivers may assume that the same rules of the road apply to the commercial trucks, but this is not true; Commercial trucks are subject to additional state and federal laws.
An experienced attorney can help you navigate the laws and regulations that apply to the commercial truck in your accident. Some common commercial truck rules include;
- Driving duration and required rest stops;
- Background checks and mandatory training;
- Testing for substance use;
- Truck maintenance; and
- Accident reporting requirements.
An experienced attorney will help ensure that the commercial truck company is following the rules regarding reporting of the accident and evaluation of the truck and driver after an accident.
The company that owns the commercial truck involved in the accident, along with their insurance company, will start an investigation immediately after the incident. Motorists should know that commercial trucking companies and their insurance agency will be working to minimize any payout regardless of their liability in the accident. Tactics include low-ball settlement offers, falsely claiming the accident was the motorists fault, and delaying proceedings to try and get the motorist to agree to a low payment.
Commercial trucking companies have also been known to destroy or alter evidence and to tell their drivers to not submit to required drug and alcohol tests after an accident. Companies have an incentive to resort to these unfair tactics to avoid fines and bigger payouts. It is important to have someone on your side to review their investigation and launch their own if necessary.
An attorney can also handle the reporting and legal requirements and help you obtain the compensation you deserve from the trucking company and other parties. This allows you to focus on recovering from any injuries and put your life back together after a commercial truck accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered property damage after an accident with a commercial truck, contact the experienced attorneys at McDonald Worley today to help evaluate your claim.