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February 27, 2024
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Navigating Semi-Truck Accidents in the US: 7 Essential Tips for Victims

Image commercially licensed from: Unsplash

Semi-truck accidents are among the most devastating and traumatic types of motor vehicle collisions in the US. If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi-truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. 

But, navigating the legal process can be challenging and complex, especially when dealing with insurance companies, trucking companies, and their lawyers. 

That’s why you need to follow these 7 essential tips, such as hiring a Long Beach car accident lawyer or not admitting your fault, for victims of semi-truck accidents in the US. 

7 Critical Steps to Take After a Semi-Truck Accident

If you have been involved in a Long Beach car accident with a semi-truck, you may be wondering what steps you should take to protect your rights and recover compensation for your losses. But don’t worry. Follow these simple steps. 

Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible

The first and most important thing to do after a semi-truck accident is to seek medical attention for yourself and anyone else who may be injured. Semi-truck accidents can cause severe and life-threatening injuries, such as head trauma, spinal cord damage, internal bleeding, organ damage, fractures, burns, and more. 

Even if you feel fine or have only minor injuries, you should still get checked by a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries may not show symptoms right away, but can worsen over time or lead to complications. Getting medical attention can also help document your injuries and link them to the accident, which can be crucial for your claim.

These documents can serve as evidence of your injuries and expenses, and help your lawyer calculate your damages.

Report Accident to Police and Obtain Copy 

The next essential step to take after a semi-truck accident is to report it to the police and obtain a copy of the report. The police report can provide important information about the accident, such as the date, time, location, weather, road conditions, witnesses, parties involved, vehicle damage, injuries, and citations. 

The police report can also indicate who was at fault for the accident, or if there were any contributing factors, such as speeding, alcohol, drugs, fatigue, distraction, or mechanical failure.

To obtain a copy of the report, you can contact the police department that responded to the accident, or visit their website and request it online. You may need to pay a small fee and provide some information, such as the case number, the date of the accident, or the names of the parties involved. You should get a copy of the report as soon as possible, and share it with your lawyer.

Gather Evidence 

One of the best ways to strengthen your semi-truck accident claim is to gather as much evidence and information as possible from the scene of the collision. Evidence and information can help prove the cause and extent of the accident, as well as the liability and damages of the parties involved. Some of the evidence and information you should try to collect are.

  • Photos and videos of the accident scene, the vehicles, the road conditions, the traffic signs, the skid marks, the debris, the injuries, and any other relevant details.
  • Witness statements and contact details of anyone who saw or heard the accident, or who can provide any useful information about the incident.
  • Contact details of the truck driver, the trucking company, the insurance company, and any other parties involved in the accident.
  • The truck driver’s license, registration, insurance, logbook, and any other documents related to the truck and its operation.
  • The truck’s black box, which can record data such as the speed, braking, steering, and acceleration of the truck before and during the accident.

Do Not Admit Fault or Sign Documents Without Consulting a Lawyer

After a semi-truck accident, you may be contacted by the truck driver, the trucking company, or their insurance adjusters. They may try to persuade you to admit fault, accept a lowball offer, or sign a release or a waiver that can limit your rights and options. Do not fall for their tricks or tactics. Do not admit fault or sign any documents without consulting a lawyer first.

Admitting fault or signing documents can have serious consequences for your claim. It can reduce or eliminate your compensation, or prevent you from pursuing further legal action. It can also affect your insurance coverage and rates. Therefore, you should always consult a lawyer before making any statements or decisions that can affect your claim.

A lawyer can advise you on what to say and what not to say, and what to sign and what not to sign. A lawyer can also negotiate with the truck driver, the trucking company, and their insurance adjusters on your behalf, and ensure that you receive the maximum compensation that you deserve.

Hire an Experienced Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer

One of the most crucial tips for victims of semi-truck accidents is to contact a reputable and experienced semi-truck accident lawyer who can protect your rights and interests. You may face many obstacles and difficulties in pursuing your claim, such as.

  • Proving the negligence and liability of the truck driver, the trucking company, or any other responsible parties.
  • Dealing with the truck driver’s and the trucking company’s insurance companies, who may try to deny, delay, or reduce your claim.
  • Calculating and recovering the full and fair compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.
  • Handling the legal paperwork, deadlines, procedures, and court appearances.

A semi-truck accident lawyer can help you overcome these challenges and achieve the best possible outcome for your case. 

But, you should contact a Long Beach auto injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident, as there may be a statute of limitations that limits the time you have to file a lawsuit. You should also avoid talking to the insurance companies or the trucking company without your lawyer present, as they may try to use your statements against you or pressure you to accept a lowball offer. 

Follow Doctor’s Advice and Track Medical Bills, Lost Wages, Expenses

The last tip for victims of semi-truck accidents is to follow your doctor’s advice and keep track of your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Following your doctor’s advice and treatment plan is not only important for your health and recovery, but also for your claim. 

If you fail to follow your doctor’s advice, or if you miss any appointments, tests, medications, or therapies, you may jeopardize your claim. 

Following your doctor’s advice and treatment plan can help you avoid these arguments and show that you are taking your injuries and your claim seriously. It can also help you document your injuries and your progress, and show the impact of the accident on your life and well-being.

Keeping track of your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses is also vital for your claim, as it can help you prove and recover your economic damages. Economic damages are the tangible and quantifiable losses that you incur as a result of the accident, such as;

  • Medical bills, including ambulance fees, hospital bills, doctor visits, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any other medical expenses.
  • Lost wages, including the income that you lost due to your inability to work, or due to your reduced work capacity or hours.
  • Other expenses, such as property damage, transportation costs, home modifications, assistive devices, and any other out-of-pocket costs.

Do Not Communicate Without Your Lawyer

The final tip for victims of semi-truck accidents is to avoid talking to the truck driver, the trucking company, or their insurance adjusters without your lawyer present. They may act friendly and sympathetic and offer you a quick and easy settlement. They may also ask you to give a recorded statement, answer some questions, or sign some documents. Do not be fooled by their tactics. Their main goal is to protect their own interests, not yours. They want to pay you as little as possible, or nothing at all.

Jonathan Rosenfeld, Founder & Attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC says, “A lawyer can act as your spokesperson and advocate, and handle all the communication and negotiation with the truck driver, the trucking company, and their insurance adjusters. A lawyer can also protect your rights and interests, and ensure that you receive the maximum compensation that you deserve.”

Wrap Up

Semi-truck accidents are often devastating and complex. Victims may suffer serious injuries, emotional trauma, and financial losses. 

To protect their rights and interests, they should seek medical attention, report the accident, gather evidence, contact a lawyer, avoid talking to insurance companies, etc. By taking these steps, victims can increase their chances of getting a fair and just settlement for their damages. Plus, Long Beach safety driving tips can help drivers avoid semi-truck accidents and stay safe on the road.

 

Published By: Aize Perez

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