Truck accidents can be traumatic experiences. Trucks are so heavy that any collision at speed can mean serious injuries and even fatalities. The smaller vehicle and its occupants invariably come off worse.
Truck companies may try and avoid admitting fault and use experienced insurance adjusters to help them do so. It is important that you use a personal injury attorney to act on your behalf in any dealings with an at-fault truck driver, the truck company itself or the company’s insurer.
Tip#1: Attend To Your Injuries or Others First
All thoughts about compensation must be put aside in the immediate aftermath of a serious truck accident. Call 911 if necessary and attend to any injuries, whether they are yours or anyone else’s first. It is important that you are safe before you deal with anything else.
Tip#2: You Will Need a Police Report if Contemplating a Truck Accident Claim
It is unlikely you will succeed in winning any claim against a truck company unless you have sufficient evidence to back up your side of the story. One important component of that evidence is a police report on the incident.
Police may not come to the accident scene unless it is serious and someone has been injured. If this is what has happened, you or someone else must call the police and wait for their arrival.
Tip#3: Photos and Witness Statements Will Help You Deal With the Truck Company’s Insurer Later
If your injuries allow you to do so, take as many photos as you can with whatever you have available of your vehicle and any others involved in the crash. Record witness statements using the voice recorder function on your cell phone.
This will be valuable evidence which you can give to your attorney later when you file a claim against the truck driver or the truck company.
Tip#4: Do Not Communicate Directly With the Truck Company’s Insurance Adjuster
The truck company will have experienced accidents before and will have a sophisticated and experienced team which may try and cover up evidence and attempt to communicate with you directly.
Anything you say inadvertently may be used to discredit you later on if you decide to file a claim against either the driver or the truck company or both. Let your personal injury attorney deal with any communication with the company and their insurance adjuster directly.
Tip#5: Talk To a Personal Injury Attorney As Soon As You Can
The sooner you initiate a claim for compensation the better, although this may have to wait if you have very serious injuries. A personal injury attorney, preferably with truck accident credentials, will be able to assess the circumstances of your accident and give you an opinion on the likelihood of success if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
If the attorney thinks that the chances of success are good, then he or she can negotiate more skillfully than you will ever be able to do all by yourself. In most cases, you will not have to pay upfront legal fees. These are normally deducted from a successful compensation settlement.