Every year, over 130,000 people become injured in accidents involving semi-truck accidents. Additionally, nearly 74% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents involved a large truck. The considerable size and weight of semi-trucks make them dangerous, especially when passenger vehicle occupants are involved. Passenger vehicle occupants account for 68% of all truck fatalities. If you are one of the thousands of Americans who have been injured in a semi-truck accident, it is crucial that you speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. We will discuss the steps you should take if you have been hit by a semi-truck below.
Seek Medical Attention
The most important thing you should do after being involved in a semi-truck accident is to seek medical help as soon as possible. If you are able to call 9-1-1, do so. Allow yourself to be evaluated by emergency medical personnel. Should they suggest that you go to the emergency room, follow their advice, even if you were not sure whether you are seriously hurt. It is also important to follow through with all of the treatment your doctor advises you to receive.
For example, if your doctor sends you to a physical therapist or requests that you see an orthopedic surgeon, you should do so. Not only will following through with your medical team’s advice help you recover from your injuries, it also shows that the semi-truck accident caused your injuries and the severity of your injuries.
Request a Police Officer
When you call 9-1-1 to request an ambulance, request that a police officer come to the scene of the semi-truck accident. The police officer will conduct a preliminary investigation. The investigation will allow you to obtain a police report later that could help your compensation claim. When you speak to the police officer, be sure that you do not unintentionally admit fault for the semi-truck accident. Try to keep your answers accurate and factual, but do not speculate about the cause of the accident.
Report the Semi-Truck Accident
You must report the semi-truck accident to your own insurance company. However, what you say to the insurance company is crucial as it relates to your potential claim. The only thing you should tell your insurance company is that the semi-truck accident occurred. We recommend speaking with a personal injury lawyer before you provide your insurance company with a recorded statement. Insurance adjusters often begin calling truck accident victims immediately after the accident, asking them to provide a statement. It can be easy to unintentionally admit fault, which will harm your chances of recovering that compensation you deserve. One of the skilled personal injury lawyers at Straw Law Firm can help you craft an accurate statement about the accident.
Do Not Sign Anything Before You Discuss Your Case With a Lawyer
If the semi-truck driver was at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, an insurance claims adjuster from the trucking company’s insurance policy would probably contact you after the accident. The adjuster may try to tell you that you have to make a recorded statement right now or that they need you to sign a medical records release form. Insurance claims adjusters put significant pressure on victims to try to get them to settle as quickly as possible. If you’ve been seriously injured, insurance adjusters will be even more likely to pressure you.
Many victims of car accidents settle quickly so they can recover compensation to pay their medical bills. Unfortunately, most first-time settlement offers are far too low and do not provide adequate compensation for all of the victim’s injuries and expenses. It is better to consult with a personal injury lawyer before you begin discussing your case with the claims adjuster. Claims adjusters are not your friends; they are more concerned with getting you to agree to a low payout than ensuring you are fairly compensated. You should tell the claims adjuster that you will not make any recorded statements or sign anything until you speak to an attorney.
Develop a Legal Strategy With Your Lawyer
Being involved in a serious semi-truck accident can be devastating, and you may be wondering what your life will look like going forward. You are probably concerned about paying your mounting medical bills and when you will be able to return to work. When you consult with an attorney after your truck accident, you can protect yourself and your compensation claim.
When we meet with new clients, we ask them questions about the accident. Our firm will begin a thorough investigation into the accident. The first thing our law firm tries to determine is who was at fault for the truck accident. In some cases, multiple persons or companies are at fault for the accident. Suppose a truck driver was intoxicated when he caused your truck accident and his employer failed to do a background check that would have shown the employer the truck driver had DUIs in his history.
In that case, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the truck driver and his employer under the legal theory of respondeat superior. Employers can be held vicariously liable for the actions of their employees when the employees were acting within the scope of their job. Trucking companies are responsible for screening candidates for red flags that could show they are not safe drivers. Your lawyer can work with you to develop the best legal strategy to recover compensation for you.
Contact a Lynchburg Personal Injury Lawyer
At Straw Law Firm, we have a proven track record of obtaining millions in compensation for our personal injury clients. If you or your loved one have been seriously injured in a semi-truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The steps you take after your semi-truck accident are crucial to your claim’s success. The sooner you consult with one of our personal injury lawyers, the better. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation as soon as possible.