Large trucks, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers are enormous and powerful vehicles. As a result, accidents between large trucks and passenger vehicles are much more likely to result in injuries to the occupants of the passenger vehicle rather than the truck driver.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, among multi-vehicle accidents where large trucks were involved, 82,000 people who were occupying the other vehicle sustained injuries, but only 17,000 occupants of the truck were injured. Between 2013 and 2014, injury accidents went up 17% nationwide.
Many demands are placed on truckers to deliver goods quickly. As a result, the safe maintenance of the vehicle, proper loading, or proper rest for the driver may be overlooked, all of which can have a negative result for roadway safety. If you’re involved in a truck accident, be sure to take steps immediately after the crash to preserve a claim for damages, so that you get the money you need to make a full recovery.
Ensure that the police document the crash
A police report will be critical evidence in a claim for damages. Your insurer may also need to see the report in order to support your claim. Additionally, if the officer determines that the truck driver was doing anything illegal, a conviction or citation could help your case.
Seek a doctor’s care
Be sure to treat any injuries you have as soon as possible, and visit a doctor even if you’re not sure you’re injured. A doctor’s records of your condition immediately after a truck accident will be critical in a claim for damages.
Be sure to document the scene
If you’re able, take photos immediately after the accident that show the position of the vehicles, tire marks on the road, and the damage to each vehicle before it is moved. This can help an accident reconstruction expert create a computer model of how the accident happened, and allow them to offer an expert opinion on how and why the crash occurred.
Don’t admit fault of any kind
Right after a crash, your nerves are jangled, and you may be wondering whether you did anything to cause the crash. However, this is not the time to admit to fault. Representatives from the truck driver’s insurance company may come to the scene of the accident and attempt to elicit a statement from you on what happened in the crash, even making it seem mandatory that you make and sign a statement. This is not true. Don’t admit to or sign anything without first speaking with a lawyer.
Obtain legal help from a lawyer well-versed in truck accident claims
Claims for damages resulting from a truck accident involve far greater complexity than a claim after a car accident. The laws that govern truck drivers and their vehicles come from both federal regulation and state law. These often-changing laws can create claims for damages that only an experienced truck accident lawyer will know to include. Additionally, there are often numerous defendants in a truck accident claim, all of which tend to be large corporations with deep pockets to litigate against you. Finding a lawyer who is experienced in facing and winning against these imposing businesses can make all the difference in the success of your claim.
The APEX Law Firm has a Ready Response Team of American Plaintiff’s International Trucking Lawyer’s Association (APITLA) members who will do everything necessary to preserve your rights and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. So, if you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, contact the knowledgeable and compassionate truck accident lawyers at The APEX Law Firm, in Hartford County at (860) 900-0900, and in New Haven County at 203-877-4141.