Accidents caused by 18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles can be catastrophic due to their large size and weight. In addition, the result is often injuries that are severe, sometimes fatal. Tragically, an average of 4,000 people die each year in truck accidents, with 67% of those fatalities being the occupants of other cars.
If you’ve recently been involved in a trucking accident, working with a truck accident attorney is vital. Therefore, your only responsibility should be focusing on healing and getting better. Let a qualified attorney work on handling your case and getting you the maximum settlement possible.
This guide will go over what to do if you’ve been in a commercial truck accident. Also, we will discuss what costs you could potentially receive compensation for.
Common Injuries From a Trucking Accident
The injuries sustained in a big-rig accident can be severe. Some of these injuries include:
- Back or spinal injuries
- Crushed, fractured, or broken bones
- Brain or head injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Lacerations and bruising
- Internal hemorrhaging and/or organ damage
- Permanent mental and/or physical disability
- Triggered medical events, like a heart attack
Depending on the age of those involved, the injuries can be more intense. Children and senior citizens are more susceptible to sustaining serious injuries. The long-term effects of these injuries can result in the victim and their families encountering massive financial and legal issues.
What to Do if You’ve Been in an Accident
Immediately following the accident, you should notify the police. Provide them with as many details as possible. Their police report will be vital evidence when filing a personal injury claim. Even if you’re not visibly injured, you should seek medical attention. You don’t want to downplay or ignore serious injuries. They could get worse and could potentially cost you more money over time.
Additionally, seeking medical treatment right after your truck accident will be helpful for your personal injury claim. It’ll show the opposing party and the insurance company that you were injured badly enough to need medical attention. This could work in your favor if you want to seek compensation for your medical costs. If you’re able to, take photos and videos of the accident scene. This should include:
- Your injuries
- Vehicle damage
- Nearby landmarks
- The entire scene
- Anything else that you feel is relevant
You’ll also want to get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. Their testimony will help your personal injury lawyer build your case in the future. You should get the details from the driver as well, including their insurance and license information. Ask them for the name of the company that employs them. The company could be partially at fault for the truck wreck. The next step after that is to contact a truck accident attorney as soon as you can. Contact them on the same day as the accident if you can.
What Causes a Truck Accident?
An 18-wheeler accident is not always clear-cut due to driver negligence. That can be the cause, but there are more nuances to this type of accident than you might think. An experienced attorney will investigate your case thoroughly, getting to the root of who is responsible for your accident.
It’s easy to blame the driver for causing your accident. However, sometimes the wreck was not the driver’s fault. Freight companies that aren’t up to federal requirements could be at fault for the crash. They need to stay on top of routine maintenance. They also have to administer annual inspections and handle driver safety reports.
Trucking drivers need to inspect their vehicles on a regular basis. They need to look for specific hazards and issues multiple times a year. Sometimes, they have to check certain parts of their big-rig or tractor-trailer each time they make a trip.
Failing to register a safety report can point to who’s at fault for the accident. Issues with the vehicle can add up and result in serious harm if they’re not operating properly. Certain parts of a truck that need to be inspected regularly include:
- Windshield wipers
- Trailer connections
- Signals, lights, and reflectors
- Rearview mirrors
- Parking brakes and braking systems
Failing to inspect these items could result in the vehicle’s operations failing. An expert truck accident attorney will review vehicle inspection logs to see if there are any gaps.
You can recover two types of damages from a personal injury claim from a truck accident. They are:
- Non-Economic Damages: A settlement amount for the pain and suffering you felt because of your accident, and the emotional/financial impact on your family
- Economic Damages: Compensation for medical bills and any expenses that result due to your injuries
Determining non-economic damages can be difficult. That’s why working with a qualified trucking accident attorney is the best choice. They’ll know how much to ask for and how to provide the proper evidence to support your claim.
Your attorney will also look at future health care costs, not just medical bills you’ve incurred up until that point. Severe injuries can take a long time to heal. Your personal injury lawyer will speak to your medical professionals to help accurately determine the cost.
Another thing to consider is lost earnings. You may not be able to return to work in the same capacity as before, potentially not at all. You should be compensated for any future income that you may miss.
Your injury could also majorly affect your quality of life. That can be hard to prove as well. An accident attorney will advocate for you, ensuring you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Partner With a Qualified Trucking Accident Attorney
A truck accident attorney will help you navigate the claims process. The legalities surrounding car accidents can be confusing. Trust in a qualified accident lawyer to be your advocate. Contact Alpha Accident Lawyers if you’ve been in a truck accident and need advice. We offer a free consultation and are ready to assist you.START YOUR FREE CONSULTATION