Got Into Accident with a Truck – What Do I Do Next?
Being involved in an accident involving a large commercial truck or other large industrial vehicle is an awful experience for everyone involved. The victim who is struck by a large commercial vehicle like a tractor-trailer can be severely injured due to the size and mass of the truck. For help navigating the legal process, you should reach out to Kisling, Nestico & Redick today.
What To Do After a Collision With a Truck
In these circumstances it can be very confusing to know what to do. Here are some things you should keep in mind to do in the event you are ever involved in a collision with a semi-truck.
However, possibly the most important thing you can do is to contact a skilled Ohio truck accident lawyer such as those at Kisling, Nestico & Redick. A lawyer who understands the complexity of cases involving commercial trucks can help protect your rights and work to ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries and other losses. Call KNR at 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a free consultation.
At the Scene of a Collision
The scene of an accident can be chaotic and overwhelming, especially for victims of a truck collision. It’s important that you not leave the scene of an accident in the immediate aftermath of the crash. You need to stay until police or other authorities have authorized you to leave. Particularly in collisions where someone has sustained injuries or has been killed, it can be a criminal offense to leave the scene without reporting the accident.
If you are injured, do not move from the vehicle—wait for first responders to arrive so you don’t injure yourself further. If someone else at the accident scene is unconscious or is experiencing pain in their neck or back, don’t move them until first responders arrive, unless an imminent threat requires moving them.
If you are not injured, move your car to a safe nearby location. Check to see if anyone else is hurt and immediately call 911 for police and medical assistance. The 911 dispatcher will let you know if a police officer needs to be present to file an accident report.
What Information Should You Exchange?
First, don’t reveal any details about your insurance policy (such as limit amounts) or admit fault to anyone other than your insurance provider. Write down or use your insurance company’s mobile app to collect the following information:
- Names, phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses of all drivers, occupants, and witnesses. In the event of a collision with a commercial semi-truck or other industrial vehicle or large truck, it’s very important to obtain details of both the owner of the truck and the driver’s employer, as they may not be the same entity.
- Physical location of the accident.
- Photos of the accident scene and all vehicles involved.
- Company name, policy number and phone number for all other insurance companies that cover drivers involved in the accident.
- If emergency services respond, be sure to document the police report number, phone number, and the officers’ name and badge number. This helps your attorney in obtaining documentation and evidence about the truck collision after the scene has been cleared.
Use your cell phone to take photographs of any damage to your vehicle as soon as possible after the accident. You should also take photos of the physical location of each vehicle immediately following the collision. Photos help your insurance adjuster determine how much you should be awarded for the damage to your car and can help in court if you file a personal injury lawsuit. Pictures of your car before the accident also offer a distinct contrast to depict the true extent of the damage sustained in the crash.
You’ll need to identify anyone who might have witnessed your crash and make sure to get their name, address, telephone number, email address, or other contact information. Witnesses who saw the accident can be critical to supporting your version of events if there’s a dispute over the cause of the crash. Potential witnesses could include drivers or passengers in vehicles not involved in the collision, pedestrians or other bystanders, or nearby residents or business owners.
Document Your Medical Treatment
As you seek medical attention to help recover from any injuries caused by the accident, keep noting the names, dates, and specialties of any doctors, specialized medical practitioners, or chiropractors that you see for treatment. Keep a comprehensive record of any treatments or medications that you receive. You will also want to keep copies of all medical reports and bills as these documents help prove your medical expenses later.
Medical expenses are relatively simple to record, but pain and suffering is more challenging to depict for a judge or jury. Keep a diary of how your injuries have impacted your life on a day-to-day basis. Include any missed work days and list any customary physical activities you can’t perform because of your injuries from the truck collision.
Get a Property Damage Valuation
The insurance company will send out a representative to inspect your vehicle and write up a damage valuation. You may not be satisfied with the insurance company’s assessment of your damages, so get one or two independent estimates from repair shops or quotes for vehicle replacement.
Be aggressive in telling the insurance adjuster about your concerns. If you can’t agree with the insurance adjuster about your car’s value, call an Ohio accident lawyer, such as those at Kisling, Nestico & Redick, who can help represent your interests not only with the commercial trucking company’s insurance company, but also with your own.
Use Caution in Discussing the Incident
Don’t speak with anyone about the truck collision except for your attorney and the police. Don’t speak with a representative of the trucking company’s insurance carrier without first talking to your lawyer.
If you receive a call from the trucking company’s insurance provider, be polite but insist they contact your attorney to arrange an interview. Note that any follow-up interview with the trucking company’s insurance provider will also be recorded.
Seek Help to Negotiate Early Settlement Offers
It’s in the direct financial interest of a trucking company’s insurance provider to offer you a settlement as soon as possible following a truck collision. This tactic is designed to minimize their risk in the likely event the truck driver is found to be liable for the accident.
Don’t settle a claim until you know that you will be compensated for all of your injuries, economic losses, and pain and suffering. An experienced truck accident lawyer, such as those at Kisling, Nestico & Redick, is in the best position to help you evaluate a potential settlement.
Talk to an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
When you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, it’s best to seek the help of an attorney with solid experience handling truck accidents. A good Ohio personal injury attorney, such as those at Kisling, Nestico & Redick, can handle the details of investigating your accident and preparing legal paperwork so that you can focus on your recovery.
Additionally, trucking companies and truck drivers must comply with detailed federal and state regulations regarding the operation and maintenance of commercial trucks. In order to be successful in a truck accident claim, you’ll need a lawyer who has a thorough understanding of the laws and regulations that may apply to your case.
Contact an Ohio Truck Accident Lawyer Today For A Free Consultation
Truck accident cases involving semi-trucks, big rigs, tractor-trailers, and other commercial vehicles can be tricky to pursue and can prove bewildering and hurtful to victims. Proving negligence in a collision involving a commercial tractor-trailer requires an investment of time, experience, and resources. From multi-million dollar truck accident settlements and verdicts to policy limit settlements and everyday cases, there is no case too large or too small for the attorneys here at Kisling, Nestico & Redick.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle or any other incident involving an 18-wheeler, big rig, or another large commercial truck, the lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick can pursue the compensation you need and deserve. Our big rig accident attorneys have more than four centuries of combined legal experience to put to work on your behalf.
Call us at 1-800-HURT-NOW or fill out our online contact form to arrange a free initial consultation with our Ohio truck accident attorneys. At KNR, we believe in no recovery, no fees — you will never be asked to pay a fee unless you successfully obtain compensation for your case.
One call does it all. Pick up the phone today to schedule your appointment with the dedicated personal injury lawyers at KNR.