There are many reasons a truck accident may occur where it is not any fault of your own. It can range from the truck driver texting or falling asleep at the wheel to a blown tire or vehicle malfunction. Unfortunately, regardless of the reason your accident happened, you are now the one who is paying the price and has to handle the consequences. Knowing what to do and gaining insight into what comes with the trucking accident claims process can help you better understand the personal injury legal procedure.
Seek aid from medical professionals and law enforcement
Getting looked over by medical professionals, even if it does not feel like you have any serious issues at the time, is a way to document any injuries thoroughly. Contacting law enforcement while you are at the scene will ensure a record of the incident along with a complete evaluation of the scene. Make sure the police officers speak to any witnesses. Both sets of records can serve you well while you are preparing to file a trucking accident claim.
Do not expect instant results
Some trucking accident victims expect to get instant compensation results, but that is highly unlikely. It takes time to complete an investigation, gather and review all the relevant information, and compile everything to hand over to the appropriate individuals associated with the accident. You also want to evaluate any settlement offers you receive and talk them over with your personal injury attorney.
Find an attorney skilled in trucking accident claims
It is a much better option to request the expert skills of a personal injury attorney than to try and go about handling a trucking accident claim on your own. They know all the proper information to gather, who may be responsible for compensation, and every aspect of the process. An attorney you trust who has extensive experience with trucking accident claims can make all the difference.
Don’t jump at the initial settlement offer
You should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible, but the truck driver/trucking company’s insurance company might try to get to you first. Only accept their initial settlement offer after speaking to a lawyer, regardless of how tempting it may be. There is a good chance they are trying to lowball you, but your personal injury attorney can give you insight.
Write all the particulars about the accident
As soon as you can, even if you do not want to relive the experience, jot down every single detail you remember about your trucking accident. Include everything from how fast you were going to the truck’s position. Refrain from thinking that everything will be in the police report or that you can write it all down later.
Seek out surveillance footage
There are many instances where – if there is no video footage – it could be one person’s word against another. However, this is not a situation you want to be in, especially if you do not have a dash cam in your vehicle. Scour the local area near the collision for any place with cameras. Write down all the names and addresses and ask each for surveillance footage. If they refuse to give it to you, give their names and contact information to your personal injury lawyer.
Keep a record of the impact on your life
The compensation may not just have to do with the trucking accident itself but also with how it impacted you. Keep a binder and include receipts for every doctor appointment you go to, how much you would have made at work for every day you had to take off, bills you could not pay due to not being able to work, how much you had to pay for car repairs, and anything else that could be relevant. Continue to keep the binder ongoing and updated.
Determine personal injury statute of limitations in your state
Each state in the United States has a personal injury statute of limitations, so you must team up with your attorney to file a trucking accident claim as soon as possible. For example, you have two years in Pennsylvania, three in New York, and two in New Jersey.
Include photos with descriptive details
You cannot take too many pictures of the trucking accident or the after-effects. If you can, take photos of the scene, including the surrounding streets, skid marks, damage to your car and the truck, debris scattered across the area, and your injuries. Even if you see others taking their own photos, get plenty of your own.
Determine how you feel about the settlement offer
You do not necessarily have to accept the settlement offer they give you. Your attorney can file a counteroffer if both you and your lawyer feel it is the right move, especially if you have a significant amount of proof that the truck driver was at fault. Refrain from rejecting or accepting the offer. Take a day or two to think about it to feel confident you are making the right decision.
Contact Cohen, Feeley, Altemose & Rambo in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, when you want trucking accident lawyers who know how to get substantial compensation settlements for their clients. Schedule a consultation today so you can start filing a trucking accident claim and get adequately compensated for your injuries and damages.