Truck Accidents – How to Protect Your Rights and Get Compensation

Truck accidents are extremely devastating collisions that result in life-altering injuries for accident victims. The collision can result from the negligent behavior of drivers that would mean that the liable party owes you the compensation for the damages caused.

However, usually, the people involved in truck accidents do not know what to do after an accident and whether their actions are in their favor or not. Following the steps mentioned below will help you protect your rights and create a better chance for you to recover your compensation.

Important steps to take after a truck accident

1) Call the police

Whenever you are involved in an accident, stay at the crash scene. The first thing you need to do after an accident is contact the police as soon as possible. Ensure that everyone is safe. If anyone is injured, call an ambulance immediately.

After you contact law enforcement authorities, an officer will come to the crash scene to conduct an investigation and make a report. This report will contain essential details about the accident like driver’s statements and witness statements. So you need a copy of this police report if you want to file a claim.

2) Gather information

Even though a police officer gathers information regarding the accident, you also need to investigate independently. You need to exchange information with the truck driver at the crash scene. This information is important if you want to file a claim and hold liable parties responsible. The information you need to gather includes:

  •         Truck driver’s details – name, phone number, address, driver license number
  •         Truck driver’s employer’s details – name, phone number, address
  •         Name of the trucking company
  •         Truck driver’s insurance company
  •         License plate number

3) Get medical checkups and treatment

After an accident, you need to get a medical check-up done by medical professionals and get the treatment you need for your injuries sustained in a truck accident. Even if you have not suffered any visible injuries, you still need to get a medical checkup because there may be an injury you are unaware of, and it may show itself later on.

In addition, seeing a medical professional is also essential to document your injuries so that your claim is backed by proof of injuries and thus allows you to seek compensation easily.

4) Gather evidence

When you get medical treatment and hire a lawyer, the crucial evidence may disappear. So if you can, you should gather evidence and document it to help you out later on.

  •         Take pictures of the scene – be sure to take pictures of the scene of the crash, the damage to your vehicle as well as the truck, tire marks on the road, road conditions, truck’s tires condition, damage to property, and other such things that may help your case.
  •         Take pictures of injuries – Taking pictures of injuries you sustained right after the accident and as they progress over time will help you record the injuries you suffered. Since the filing and processing of your claim take time, your injuries may have healed by the time you can settle or appear in court.
  •         Document as much information you can – be sure to document each and everything to make a record of your case. If there were witnesses at the scene, you should track them down and take their statements before their memory starts to fog and they miss out on details of what they witnessed.

5) Be careful about what information you share

You need to be careful about what you say to anyone related to the accident, especially the insurance companies. Insurance companies can use anything you say in their favor and thus make their way out of paying you any compensation. So avoid talking and sharing information with anyone from the trucking company. Never give written statements and never sign anything without your lawyer. It is best to hire a lawyer who will assist you in talking and negotiating with them on your behalf. They will help you get the compensation you deserve.

6) Contact an experienced lawyer

One of the most important things you need to do following an accident is to contact an experienced and skilled truck accident lawyer. There are various laws and regulations regarding truck accident cases, so you will need the help of a legal expert who knows the laws.

The trucking company and insurance company of the party at fault will surely have professional legal representation by their side who will try to reduce their fault and pay you as little as possible or, worse, blame you for the accident. So to have a fair investigation, you need a lawyer by your side who will represent you legally and help you get your rightful compensation. So how can you obtain compensation?

How to get compensation after a truck accident?

Truck accidents are catastrophic because of their huge size and power, and they can cause serious injuries. People involved in the accident may not know how to hold the party at fault responsible for the damage and obtain compensation from them. If you are a truck accident victim, then an experienced Truck accident lawyer in Baltimore can help you out.

You can consult with them regarding your rights and your options to pursue your compensation claim. Lawyers investigate your case and what caused the accident using their immense legal resources. They will ensure that the truck driver or the trucking company is following the trucking regulation or not. Their job is to gather evidence and see if the liable party followed the rules and driving hours. Since truck accident lawyers have experience working on similar cases, they know how to go about your case.

Moreover, you may not be sure about the damages you have sustained in the accident. But your lawyer will anticipate everything when calculating damages and demanding compensation for them. Let’s look at some damages that can make you eligible for compensation.

1) Economic damages

  •         Economic damages are the damages that result in an economic loss. These include:
  •         Lost wages – the salary you are not paid because you miss working due to your injuries.
  •         Medical expenses – the medical bills for hospitalization and treatment of injuries sustained in the truck accident.
  •         Physical damages -the cost for damage to your vehicle and other things in your vehicle.

The value o these damages are linked to the truck’s size, which was involved in the accident. The larger the truck, the more severe the damage will be and thus greater the costs. Moreover, the type of truck and the cargo it was transporting can also determine the value of these damages. The most common types of trucks include:

  •         Light trucks weigh around 6000kg and include delivery trucks, tow trucks, and other small trucks.
  •         Medium trucks weigh around 6000 to 12000kg and include firetrucks, platform trucks, and box trucks.
  •         Heavy trucks weigh around 15000 kg and include log carrier trucks, garbage trucks, and cement mixers.
  •         Large transporter trucks are very large trucks that need a special permit to use on the highway.
  •         Oil tankers are large trucks that carry liquefied cargo, including oil or natural gas. They can be dangerous on highways because of what they carry. So the accident involving these trucks can cause fires and explosions, causing devastating accidents with high casualties.

2) Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages are the suffering sustained in an accident, the value of which cannot be quantified easily. These include:

  •         Pain and suffering
  •         Metal stress and trauma
  •         Loss of quality of life
  •         Loss of companionship

The type of evidence available determines the value of non-economic damages, such as medical records, daily journals depicting your trauma, pain, and suffering, and testimonies from medical professionals about the non-economic damages you sustained.

3) Workers’ compensation damages

Worker’s compensation benefits can be given to people on duty when the accident occurs. If you are a truck driver or a worker driving company’s vehicle or a worker driving your vehicle while out on duty can be entitled to worker’s compensation even if you were somewhat at fault in the accident.

This compensation can cover your medical expenses and some of your lost wages. Moreover, you may be given a lump-sum payment or death benefits depending on your case.

In a nutshell

Being involved in an accident is already traumatic, but with the involvement of a truck, it becomes further frustrating and devastating due to the size of the accident. So when you are involved in a truck accident, there are certain crucial steps you need to take to protect your rights.

Steps including gathering information at the scene, gathering evidence, getting medical checkups and treatment, documenting everything, and hiring a lawyer as soon as possible ensure you receive your compensation easily. If you or your loved one sustained injuries and damages in an accident involving a truck, you might be eligible for compensation for your injuries and damages.

This is why you will need the help of an experienced law specialist who knows all about the trucking industry and how to handle such cases. They will help you investigate the case, gather evidence, and identify all the damages you need to recover compensation from the party at fault. Knowing about your legal options and the ability to get the maximum compensation is your right.

 

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