Being in an 18 wheeler truck accident can be a particularly traumatic experience. After the shock has settled you’re going to need to take action to ensure you receive the right amount of compensation. This post will outline everything you should do after the accident.
Actions to Take After the Crash
Call the Emergency Services
After you’ve come to a safe stop after the incident, if you’re able to do so you must call the emergency services because:
- Due to the size and weight of an 18 wheeler truck it’s likely that those involved in the accident are going to require medical help. The quicker you call for help, the quicker they can be tended to.
- You must call the police too. Not only will they help with the clearance of the accident but they’ll file an accident report that can be later used to benefit your case.
- When informing the police give nothing but a detailed, factual account of what happened. It’s crucial that you don’t make anything up. Disclosing lies or a made up tale can land you in trouble down the line in the claim.
Assess Injuries and Move to Safety
Whilst the emergency services are on the way, if you aren’t injured yourself it’s crucial that you try to figure out whether anybody else is or not. You should:
- If uninjured, move the person to a safe, comfortable position away from the vehicle.
- If injured, avoid moving them unless you’re a trained first aid responder or believe they’re in immediate danger, for example, heavy petrol tank leak. Unless you know what you’re doing you could further aggravate the injuries and significantly harm your case for claim later.
- By law, you must move any drivable vehicle out of traffic’s way.
Collate as Much Information as Possible
After speaking to the police and receiving your medical treatment, you can then begin to gather evidence that you’ll later use to strengthen your claim. You should:
- Take photos – lots of them. Capture shots of the damage to the vehicles, guardrails, embankments and any fixed objects that may have been hit like lamp posts.
- Ask witnesses for statements. This is a good source of impartial evidence that can later support your case for who’s liable for the truck crash. If they aren’t willing to give a statement at the incident site, take personal details and try to contact them later.
- Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved. This should include:
- Insurance information
- License information
- License plate
- Name and contact information
- Information regarding the cab of the other vehicle, the trailer and the cargo being carried too.
Seek Legal Advice
Expert attorneys will be able to provide unrivalled advice and guide you through your insurance to maximise your compensation return. They will:
- Advise on who to speak to and what to say to them. Saying the wrong thing can put your case for compensation in jeopardy.
- Help you every step of the way to reach a settlement with the defendants, even if you result in going to trial. They will use their expertise and experience to ensure you receive the deserved compensation figure.
It’s important to find the right truck accident lawyer to suit you. Ask various attorneys about their experience, track record and costs. Some lawyers will have more experience than others when it comes to truck collisions and personal injury.
Ensure you Receive the Correct Amount of Compensation
What Costs Should Your Compensation Cover?
18 wheeler truck accidents tend to cause a lot more damage than your run of the mill, everyday car accident. Due to this, settlements tend to result in much higher sums of compensation. For example, the average cost of a commercial truck incident is $59,150.
This is because the claim can cover everything from minor vehicle damages to driver fatalities. Also, loved ones can claim for compensation if their family member unfortunately died in a truck crash.
Your compensation claim will also cover:
- Medical Expenses – Injuries sustained in truck accidents are usually severe and sometimes, life-changing. This leads to higher medical bills, longer recovery time and in some cases, ongoing treatment that can leave you needing lifelong medical care.
- Lost Wages – You may also need time off work and depending on what line of work you’re in, may need to fully heal before you can return to work. This will lead to loss of wages which can soon add up if you need a while off work.
- Vehicle Damage – If you crash into a normal vehicle in your truck, you can almost guarantee that you will have written it off. The figure will vary from vehicle to vehicle.
- Attorney Costs – Expert advice doesn’t come for free. You should’ve agreed a fee that your attorney will take once your case is settled. Not every attorney charges the same so keep your eyes peeled.
- Pain and Suffering – It’s a little trickier to determine this figure. Your attorney will take into account the overall incident and how it’s affected your life, including:
- Your injuries and medical expenses.
- How much work you’ve missed and will miss in the future which obviously affects income.
- Daily activities that you’re forced to miss.
- Your family members lives may be affected if you’re the main earner in the household.
Ensuring that you receive the right amount of compensation is vital. As if it isn’t bad enough that you’ve been through a traumatic incident like a truck crash, to then not receive a justifiable amount would be a disaster.
Been in a Truck Accident? Get the Right Help
It’s important that you find an attorney who can best represent your interests. Not only this, when you’re looking into sourcing the right help you should look for a professional who has years of experience in trucking cases but also clicks and gets on with you.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an 18 wheeler truck accident recently, don’t waste time and take action. Download our free guide for all the information you need on how to make a claim. Click on the button below.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.