Car accidents are already a devastating ordeal, but when a large truck is involved in an accident, the impacts and damages are often much greater. Commercial trucks, such as 18-wheelers and semi-trucks, are much larger and heavier than most vehicles, so they are harder to control on the road and can cause severe damage and injuries in an accident.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a large truck, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Before moving forward, it is imperative to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer who can review your case and help determine the best course of action to take. In the meantime, there are important steps to take and consider.
Give an Accurate Statement
After an accident, the police will take a statement from everyone involved to ultimately determine the cause of the accident. When you speak with the officer, make sure you are calm and composed so that you can provide an accurate, thought-out statement. This is your chance to report your side of the story, which will be imperative evidence in an insurance claim or even a civil or criminal case. In order to protect yourself, it’s important that you don’t admit fault in the accident.
Collect Necessary Evidence
After an accident, you should gather the necessary information and evidence from the scene. You should obtain the name, address, phone number and insurance information of the other driver or drivers, get witness testimony and document the scene of the accident. If injuries were suffered, you should also gather medical records and bills. Proper evidence is needed to build a strong case.
Avoid Speaking with the Defendant
After the time of the accident, you should avoid speaking with the truck company, their lawyers or insurance company. Everything you say can carry weight in the case, so if you accidentally say something wrong, you could hurt your chances of receiving compensation. Instead, it is advised that a truck accident lawyer works with the other party on your behalf to negotiate a fair settlement. They can ensure the necessary components are handled and prevent potential problems.
Negotiate the Settlement Offer
If the other party offers a settlement early on, you may feel inclined to take it in order to cover medical bills and other expenses. Most insurance companies, however, start by offering a very low, unfair settlement for this reason. The first settlement usually won’t even cover the full extent of damages. Allow a lawyer such as the truck accident lawyer locals turn to to negotiate the settlement offer on your behalf so they can get you the highest settlement possible.