What to Know Before Filing a Truck Accident Claim
An automobile accident can be a traumatic, even life-threatening, experience. The pain and grief are only compounded when the accident involves your truck, which can remove your means of income if the damage is serious, as often the case in truck accidents. The key to ensuring a smooth process in this trying time is to know what steps to take before an accident ever happens.
Immediately Following the Accident
In the moments immediately following a crash, you will, of course, want to contact the police and take whatever pictures you can, in a safe, unobstructed manner. Ideally the pictures should be taken before the vehicles are moved, but often traffic and terrain conditions can make this impossible.
You should also be sure to request any medical treatment you feel you may need while on the scene, or as soon as reasonably possible. Don’t forget to keep records of these treatments, as those may very well be necessary to ensure their coverage.
Truck Accident Lawyers
In a standard automobile accident, drivers will often let the insurance companies take it from here. However, since truck accidents can be much more severe, and frequently have additional complications as well, it is recommended to get a consultation with a lawyer before you begin talking with any insurance companies (both yours and that of the other parties involved). Any conversations you have with the providers will certainly be recorded, and third-rate companies may try to goat you into a slip of the tongue to relieve them of responsibility.
If you do elect to hire a lawyer, be sure that all communication flows exclusively through them. Their job is to protect you throughout this entire process and going through other channels, even a brief conversation can hinder their ability to do so.
Again, similar to normal car crashes, an investigation into the accident will be conducted. But as previously mentioned, there are many more moving parts when the wreck involves a semi. The trucking companies will certainly be dispatching their own lawyers; all insurance companies involved will have employees investigating the incident, and all of these compounds into an array of parties trying to shift as much blame off themselves as possible.
To help protect yourself, and receive the compensation you rightfully deserve, it is imperative that you gather as much pertinent data as possible. An attorney will, of course, be able to guide you through the specific data you should be looking for, but this will likely involve questions such as: Were the drivers of other vehicles involved licensed? If another semi was involved, was the driver under the legal regulation of driving hours? Was their truck properly maintained and inspected?
Time is of the Essence
The most important thing you can do after a crash is to move as swiftly and efficiently as possible. An attorney can and will help guide you through the muddy waters that a wreck can leave you in, to make this process as pain-free as possible.
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