What To Do After a Commercial Truck Accident
In a commercial truck accident? No matter what type of vehicle accident you are involved in, whether it be a passenger or commercial truck, it is important to think clearly. While it can be overwhelming and scary, remember to remain calm and follow the steps below.
After the Accident
- Remain calm
- Check for injuries to yourself and others
- Call the police and rescue personnel if the situation requires
- Gather information from the other driver(s) and witnesses
- Take pictures of the accident scene and vehicles
- Don’t admit fault for the accident
- Get medical attention as soon as possible, and seek medical attention for as long as needed.
- Notify your vehicle insurance company and the motor vehicle department
- Consider talking with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible
Why Contact a Personal Injury Attorney?
Contacting a personal injury attorney may be necessary for many reasons. If you or someone you know was injured in a commercial truck accident, the injuries may be worse than you suspect. It’s possible that the injuries you sustained don’t show up until later. Commercial trucks are generally very large, very heavy, and cause considerable damage.
Additionally, unlike passenger vehicle accidents, the investigation of commercial truck accidents is often very difficult. Even if you know that the commercial truck driver caused the accident, it isn’t always easy to figure out who is legally liable.
Things to Consider in a Commercial Truck Accident
On-Duty or Off-Duty:
- Was the driver on duty or was he/she off duty (this may decide whose insurance pays) at the time of the accident?
Employee or Independent Contractor:
- If the driver of the commercial truck was an employee, then the company can be held liable. If the driver was an independent contractor, then the company generally cannot be held liable.
Responsibility for Employees:
- Was the commercial truck company negligent in hiring, training, supervising, or retaining the careless driver?
State and Federal Regulation:
State and Federal agencies regulate commercial trucks. What those agencies report about the driver, company, and vehicle may have a bearing on the accident and liability. For example:
- Was the truck properly maintained?
- Were any penalties or citations issued to the commercial truck owner or driver?
Insurance Limits of Liability:
- Commercial trucks are required to have much higher insurance liability limits than required for passenger vehicles. Because commercial truck insurance has higher liability limits, it is more likely that any settlement or award will cover the actual injuries sustained.
How many other vehicles were involved in the accident?
- The likelihood of many other vehicles being involved in the accident is higher with commercial trucks.
Who Was Deemed at Fault?
- Does it involve several insurance companies such as the driver, commercial truck owner, other drivers, manufacturers of faulty brakes or tires, etc.?
Multiple Responsible Parties:
- Multiple parties make the lawsuit more difficult, sorting out who is at fault, and their percentage of liability.
Severity of the Accident:
- Because of their size and weight, commercial trucks tend to involve more vehicles in accidents and the accidents tend to cause greater personal injury.
- Did the driver of the commercial truck intentionally cause the accident? Normally, if a driver causes an accident on purpose, then the owner of the vehicle is generally not held responsible.
After being in an accident with a commercial truck, the last thing on your mind will be to gather information about the crash. More than likely you will be too shaken up to remember doing anything. After the dust settles from the accident, getting a fair settlement for your injuries will be nearly impossible without the help of an experienced and reputable personal injury attorney. Contact M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers to get the settlement you deserve. They have a reputation for working hard for their injured clients and have the experience of getting their clients the best possible arrangement for the injuries they sustained.