If you have been in a collision involving a tractor trailer or 18-wheeler...
Do Report the accident.
Immediately after an accident involving a tractor trailer, big rig, or other commercial vehicle, call 911 and request assistance.
Many states require reporting, which means you could be charged with a crime if you leave the scene of an accident without calling the police. Also, for an accident involving a major commercial vehicle, you will need a police officer to write a report and direct traffic.
Do Get medical attention.
Whether you get checked out by the medics on the scene or are taken to the hospital, always seek immediate medical attention and always follow up with a visit with your doctor. Even if you do not feel any pain, you may be dazed from the collision or experiencing shock from the trauma, and often, bumps on the head or injuries to soft tissue like nerves and muscles are not immediately noticeable and can take a few days to show up.
Injuries sustained from accidents involving major commercial vehicles are rarely minor. Take care to protect yourself and see a doctor right away and follow up if there are any changes. Your doctor knows what to look for, what questions to ask, and what injuries you are at risk for. And you will need these medical records if you do suffer any injuries from the accident in order to prove your damages, particularly for those that did not show up right away.
Do Contact your insurance company.
It is important to call your insurance agent as soon as possible after any accident. You can be sure that if you don’t, your insurance company will be hearing from the lawyers of the trucking company.
But be careful what you say; even your own insurer will want to keep any costs down and may be looking for a reason not to provide you coverage. Never agree to anything or sign any document without consulting an attorney.
Do Hire a lawyer that knows how to handle trucking collisions.
The full ramifications of an wreck involving a tractor trailer, 18-wheeler, or other commercial vehicle can be complex and long-lasting. You may suffer serious or permanent physical injury, which can impact not just your health, but also your ability to work, your future, and your family’s well-being. You need a skilled attorney who is experienced in navigating the rules and regulations of the commercial vehicle industry and who has the resources to be able to fully investigate the case. And you need someone on your side – you can be sure that trucking company’s insurance investigators and team of lawyers aren’t advocating for your rights.
At NB&W we have over 100 years of combined experience representing victims of trucking accidents and helping them recover compensation for their physical, personal, and financial injuries and damages. We want to make sure our roads are safe from careless truck drivers and greedy trucking companies that put unsafe vehicles on the road.
Contact us today – we are here to listen and answer your questions. There is no charge or obligation. Help us help you; help us protect our community.
Do Not speak carelessly.
Specifically, after an accident, be careful never to admit fault, apologize, offer to pay for anything, or comment on what you saw or did not see or think or feel.
You need to tell the authorities the truth, so when they ask you what happened, give them the facts that you know.
But as we all know, our words can always be twisted, taken out of context, and used against us. And insurance companies and lawyers for the other driver will be waiting for you to say something that sounds like an admission of fault so they can get out of paying you. That means that you could take the blame for an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence.
Do not speak publicly.
Specifically, do not post anything on Facebook or tell your co-workers the details of the accident.
No matter how innocent your status update or how simple your tweet may be, your words can always be used against you and insurance carriers routinely look on people’s social media sites to see if they can find some way to get out of paying you.
Insurance companies have also been known to contact the friends and coworkers of injured victims. Even though your associates may have your best interests in mind, not everyone will know the full extent of your injuries or recovery. An offhand comment that you ‘are doing great’ or ‘seem totally fine’ can be enough for the insurers to deny your claims.
So after any accident involving a tractor trailer, 18-wheeler, or big rig, be careful what you say and to whom and keep your comments to a minimum.
As your lawyer, we can help you protect yourself. Call us today and tell us what happened – we will listen and answer your questions. There is no charge or obligation. Help us help you; help us protect our community.