There’s no doubt that colliding with a massive truck or commercial vehicle can be a frightening and intimidating experience. Unlike minor vehicle accidents, the damage and injuries can be more severe and long-lasting when a car is involved. Many people find themselves overwhelmed and don’t know what to do. Knowing the proper steps to handle such situations and protect yourself legally is essential. In this article, we outline the main steps you should take if you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in a truck accident.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
Considering the complexity and severity of truck accidents, it’s highly recommended to consult an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer specializing in this field. They will protect your rights, advocate for you, and navigate the legal system. This will allow you to focus on healing and recovery. An attorney can help you build a strong case, gather documentation, negotiate with insurance companies, and even represent you in court if required.
Their expertise will be invaluable in ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Suppose you’re concerned about being able to pay for legal representation. In that case, you should know that many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they take their fee as a percentage of your final judgment or settlement.
Immediately After the Accident
Before you do anything else, check that you’re safe and assess any injuries. Call for medical help if necessary and move to a safe location. Remember that some injuries, like whiplash, may not be apparent immediately but can manifest later. You should see a mental health professional at some point, as the risk of post-traumatic stress order (PTSD) can be high in victims of motor vehicle accidents.
Next, call the police to report the accident, even if it seems minor. A police report will provide an official account of the incident and can be valuable in subsequent insurance claims. Remember to avoid admitting fault or discussing who is to blame for the accident with anyone at the scene. Facts can become distorted in the heat of the moment, and any statements could be used against you later on.
Gather information at the scene, including the truck driver’s report and the trucking company they work for. Take pictures of the damage to both vehicles and any skid marks, weather conditions, and road conditions. All this information will help you and your legal representative build a case should you need to pursue compensation.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After taking care of your immediate medical and safety needs, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. When speaking with your insurance representative, stick to the facts of the accident and avoid discussing who is at fault. Providing inaccurate or false information can result in your claim being denied. Keep a record of all conversations and correspondence with your insurance company, as this can serve as important documentation in the event of a dispute over the claim.
When dealing with truck driver’s insurance, remember that their main goal is to minimize the payout. Engaging the services of an experienced truck accident attorney can ensure that your rights are protected and you receive fair compensation. You may obtain a settlement offer from the insurance company throughout the claims process. It’s crucial to consult your attorney before accepting any settlement to ensure your long-term needs are fair and comprehensive.
Handling a truck accident can be a long and complicated process requiring significant effort and expertise. Your priority should be ensuring your safety, seeking medical attention, contacting your insurance company, and consulting an experienced truck accident attorney. These simple steps will enable you to protect your rights and receive the compensation you require for a complete and robust recovery.