According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 3906 deaths were reported due to truck accidents in 2013, which means that 10 people die everyday due to truck accidents. The number of truck accident deaths has increased compared to the last year, which recorded 3,825 truck accident deaths.
B. Clarke Nash, Savannah Personal Injury Lawyer opines that “truck accidents typically produce catastrophic damages. Tragically, many are deadly. The sheer size of these vehicles means that an innocent driver in an ordinary vehicle is no match for them. That is especially true when you consider the high speeds at which commercial trucks typically travel.”
Besides, use of prescription drugs and speeding were the two major causes of fatal accidents caused by heavy vehicles like trucks. Consider the following:
- 13 percent of accidents happened due to fatigue
- 8 percent of accidents happened due to alcohol consumption
- 23 percent of accidents resulted from speeding
Owing to the above statistics, there are high chances that you or a loved one can get involved in a truck accident any moment. It is wise to be prepared as to what to do if you or a loved one gets injured in a truck accident.
Severe damages and injuries can result from a crash between a truck and a small passenger vehicle. You must know what to do immediately after experiencing a truck accident. Filing a truck accident lawsuit can be very difficult, so it is necessary that you contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in representing truck accident cases.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Medical care comes first, so you must immediately contact 911 in order for you and the other passengers can get the required medical attention. Following a thorough medical examination, you need to contact a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate through the truck accident laws and help you file a case against the at-fault truck driver or trucking company.
Before you can get in touch with your lawyer and he or she can take the necessary actions, here are some necessary steps that you must take:
1. Collect Evidence of the Truck Accident
Immediately after a truck accident, you should collect as much information about the driver and the trucking company as possible. If you are severely injured, ask someone else to collect the information on your behalf. Apart from the insurance and license information, you must also ask about the name of the trucking company, its address, the truck number (allotted by the Department of Transportation) and special signs or symbols that will make the identification (of the truck) easier.
It is also recommended to take photos of the accident scene. Take pictures of the damaged car and the people injured. The evidence that you collect immediately afterward will help the lawyer to find cues and file a strong truck accident lawsuit. Look for witnesses, if possible.
2. Call Police and Inform Related Authorities
Next, you must call the police, so that they can investigate the crime scene and lodge a report against the driver or trucking company. Give all the details about the accident to the police. Remember: The police would check the CCTV footage and other evidences to understand what happened, so you must not try to forge any information.
One more thing that you must remember is that you must never give any statement to the police without consulting a personal injury lawyer. You might be taking liability of the accident unknowingly. Make sure that you only give the details about the accident, and nothing else until your lawyer arrives.
You must also let your insurance company know about the accident, so that you can make the claims, if required. No matter how small the damages are, you must always make sure that all the related authorities become informed about the accident as soon as possible. This will ensure that you get maximum benefits whenever required.
3. File a Lawsuit As Quickly As Possible
The longer you take to file a case against the truck driver or the trucking company, the weaker will your case become due to disappearance of evidence. Once the scene is cleared, chances are high that a lot of evidence will be lost. If you wait too long to pursue a legal claim, you might lose your right to recover for your losses. For instance, if you have faced an accident in Georgia, you must file a personal injury case within two years from the date of the actual accident (statute of limitations in Georgia for personal injury claims is two years), otherwise, your claim will be regarded as invalid.
Get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible to find out how quickly you should file a case to get the highest compensation for the damages caused by the accident.
Remember, the trucking company and its insurance company may try to settle the case out of the court and persuade you to settle for a lower compensation amount. But never make that mistake. Consult with your personal injury attorney about the compensation that you must be rewarded, and never settle for any amount lower than that figure.
Many people make the mistake of not hiring a personal injury attorney; but since most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, you will have to pay the attorney fee only if you win the case. In this instance, you have nothing to lose. On the contrary, you may win a larger amount than what you may have on your own, just by hiring an attorney. Make sure that you seek professional help whenever you experience a truck accident.