The Georgia Department of Transportation estimates that there are nearly 200 truck-related fatalities each year. While commercial freight carriers tend to vary in size and purpose, they all share common features that make them dangerous to anyone sharing the road. For example, the average commercial truck is a massive 80,000 lbs. vehicle with limited stopping power and deadly blind spots. When an accident occurs, the victims trapped in smaller vehicles are likely to sustain life-threatening and even fatal injuries.
Dangerous truck accidents include:
- Jackknife accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Underride accidents
- Tire blowouts
- Head-on collisions
- T-bone accidents
Fortunately, truck accident survivors can pursue damages that cover their medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and more. Depending on the circumstances surrounding a crash, a plaintiff may be able to file a claim against the following parties: the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, the leasing company, and even a repair or maintenance crew.
Of course, personal injury is an incredibly nuanced field of law, and trucking companies have deep pockets and aggressive insurers. Because there are so many variables, and possibly multiple claimants, you best option is to seek legal representation as soon as possible. That said, there are also steps you can take to protect your right to damages.
Follow these 15 steps to protect the validity of your claim after a truck accident:
- Call 911; if you’re too injured, ask a nearby party to call on your behalf.
- Check that all parties – drivers, passengers, pedestrians, etc. – are relatively safe and unharmed.
- Provide assistance to the injured parties while waiting for the first responders to arrive.
- Take pictures of the general accident scene, your injuries, the damaged vehicles, critical insurance information, and any company/contact information posted on the truck.
- Help the first responders complete the accident report.
- Do not leave the accident scene until the first responders give you permission – unless, of course, you are escorted to a hospital via ambulance.
- Write down the names and badge numbers of any officers managing the accident scene.
- Talk to witnesses and write down their names, phone numbers, and statement details.
- Seek immediate medical assistance at a nearby hospital or emergency room.
- Ask for a copy of your updated medical record and make sure it states that your injuries were caused by a negligent trucker.
- Notify your insurance provider about the collision and contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible.
- Do not post about the accident on social media or complain to the company’s corporate accounts.
- Keep an ongoing record of your injury-related expenses, including medical bills, receipts, lost wages, etc.
- Take notes about how your injuries are impacting your social life, daily activities, and job duties.
- Do not give any information about the accident or your injuries to the defendant’s insurance adjuster; instead, give them your lawyer’s contact information and end the call.
Pursue Compensation with Pratt Clay, LLC
Contact the truck accident attorneys at Pratt Clay, LLC if you require legal representation after a collision. Our experienced legal team can investigate your case and negotiate with insurers to ensure you receive the damages your injuries warrant.