What Should I Do After A Fatal Truck Accident?Last updated on: October 11, 2022
An unloaded semi-truck can weigh anywhere from 10,000 to 35,000 pounds; the average car weighs only about 4,000 pounds. The sheer size of semi-trucks means that accidents involving them can be especially devastating.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863 5312 for your 100 percent free consultation. You will not pay us anything unless we are successful in winning your case.
Steps To Take After A Truck Accident
After an accident with a semi-truck, you may be wondering what to do next. Following these steps can help you recover quicker from the accident as well as identify the people responsible for your injuries and hold them accountable.
Seek Medical Attention
The first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Semi-truck accidents can be especially devastating, causing life-threatening injuries that may take months or even years to heal. Some injuries may not present themselves immediately, and a doctor will be able to determine what treatment you need.
Report The Accident Right Away
As soon as possible, report the accident to the police. The police will come to the scene and examine the circumstances of the accident. They will also collect any insurance information from you and the other drivers involved; any information the police collect will be included in their accident report.
Have Your Vehicle Inspected
Next, you should have your vehicle inspected to determine the extent of the damage, as not all damage will be immediately clear to you. Performing a proper inspection will not only determine what you need fixed but will also allow you to check whether the damage is covered by your insurance company.
Make A List Of Witnesses’ Contact Information
Documenting the accident for your own records can help you build a case against the person responsible for your injuries. You can document the accident by taking photographs at the scene and by writing down information in your cell phone or on paper. You should also be sure to maintain any witnesses’ contact information.
Stay Away From Social Media
There are many reasons to stay away from social media after being involved in a truck accident. For instance, insurance companies may look at your profile to check for evidence of the accident. If the insurance companies find a post where you admit fault, they may deny your coverage. Remember, there is always the possibility that a person or entity will screenshot your posts to use against you later.
Talk To A Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were hit by a truck, a lawyer can help you find those responsible and hold them accountable. Talking with a semi truck lawyer is different from talking with your insurance company; tell your lawyer as many details about the accident as you can remember and provide them with the information you documented.
Contact a lawyer as soon as possible to begin pursuing your personal injury claim. The longer you wait, the more likely your memory about the accident will become fuzzy. Even worse, if you wait too long, you may not be able to pursue a personal injury claim at all.
What Not To Say After A Car Accident?
Following a truck accident, your emotions will likely be running high, and you may say something that could negatively affect your claim. Examples of things NOT to say following a truck accident include:
- “I’m sorry.” Never apologize after an accident, as it may be considered an admission of fault.
- “It was my fault.” Similar to above, never admit that the accident was your fault.
- “Let’s handle this ourselves.” You should always report the accident to law enforcement and your insurance company. Failure to do so may hinder your ability to receive fair compensation.
An experienced attorney at Zinda Law Group can help walk you through what to say, and what not to say, following an accident with an 18-wheeler.
Can I Sue For Being Hit By A Semi Truck?
After a semi-truck accident, you may be able to hold the driver and the company they work for responsible for your damages. An 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer can help you determine what kind of damages you should seek. Then they will help you through the legal process to seek maximum compensation.
One kind of damage a lawyer can help you recover is economic. Economic damages are damages that can be given a monetary value, including medical bills, lost earnings, childcare expenses, ambulance bills, and other calculable losses.
You can also seek non-economic damages. These are monetary amounts that may be awarded to you due to any emotional injuries you suffer from the accident, such as pain and suffering.
Lawsuit For Wrongful Death
A wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to the negligence of another party. Wrongful death claims are brought to pursue compensation for the survivor’s loss. This may include compensation for the decedent’s lost wages, loss of companionship, or funeral expenses. Although each state has different laws, the wrongful death lawsuit can typically be filed by an immediate family member.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident and want to seek compensation, contact Zinda Law Group today.
Plan For Your Claim To Take Time
Patience is key when negotiating with insurance companies following a truck accident, as you will likely need to negotiate multiple times. Insurance companies will not typically offer you a fair settlement right away; instead, you will need to counteroffer for a fair amount. This process can take weeks, months, or even years.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, do not accept the first unfair settlement amount offered by an insurance company. Instead, contact Zinda Law Group, as our knowledgeable attorneys have extensive experience in dealing with insurance companies.
Understand The Full Value Of Your Claim
When communicating with your insurance company, avoid discussing fault. While your insurance company may be on your side, it also has hundreds of claims to pay out. Anything you say can be used against you to minimize your payout.
For this reason, it is important to understand the full value of your claim which will depend on a variety of factors, including the extent of your medical expenses, your lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, property damage, and more.
Hiring an attorney at Zinda Law Group may help to increase your settlement amount, as we can investigate your case, determine the liable parties, and work with insurance companies to reach a fair agreement.
Don’t Accept The Insurance Company’s Initial Settlement Offer Without Consulting An Attorney
Insurance companies make their money by lowballing settlement amounts. In fact, many insurance adjusters will delay or deny claims in hopes that the accident victim will accept the first settlement offer.
Before accepting the insurance company’s first, or second, settlement offer, contact an attorney with experience dealing with adjusters. At Zinda Law Group, our team has ample experience handling insurance companies and can fight on your behalf to get you a fair settlement amount for your injuries and property damage.
Do I Need A Personal Injury Attorney?
Semi-truck accidents are especially dangerous for a few reasons, especially because semi-trucks are significantly heavier and larger than cars and cause greater damage to the vehicles and passengers involved. Semi-truck drivers may also not be following the rules of the road carefully.
Often, 18-wheel truck drivers have strict deadlines for deliveries, pressuring them to speed or drive long distances with little sleep. Distracted driving is as dangerous as drowsy driving, and when your car is hit by a semi-truck driver who is doing either of these things, the damage done to you and your vehicle can be deadly. A lawyer can help you determine what the cause of your semi-truck accident was, and how to best develop your case to seek compensation.
Who Is Liable In A Semi-Truck Accident?
There are many different parties who may be liable for a semi-truck accident. These may include:
If your truck accident was due to road defects, such as inadequate guardrails, cave-ins, or poorly marked intersections, you may be able to hold the government or entity responsible for maintaining the roads liable for your damages.
Hours Of Service
Hours of service refer to the time limit truck drivers are allowed to be on duty. For instance, there is a 30-minute break requirement after 8 hours of cumulative driving time. If the truck driver ignores these laws, he or she may be held liable.
Semi-Trucks Must Stay On The Right Track
Semi-truck drivers are typically required to stay on the right side of the road. If a driver fails to do so, he or she may be held responsible for an accident.
Third-party vehicles may also be held liable for a truck accident. For instance, if another driver’s negligence was the cause of your accident, the third-party driver may be held liable.
If you have been involved in a truck accident and are unsure of who is liable, contact Zinda Law Group today.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 4,998 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2020. In addition, 45,900 large trucks were involved in injury crashes, and 86,618 were involved in towaway crashes in the same year.
These numbers show that truck accidents are not uncommon in the United States. If you have been involved in a large truck accident, contact Zinda Law Group today to discuss your case.
Get Help With Your Truck Accident Claim
If you were in a truck accident and need help with your claim, call Zinda Law Group to speak with one of our experienced semi-truck lawyers. Our lawyers have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Call a Zinda Law Group personal injury attorney today at (800) 863 5312 to set up your free initial consultation. You do not have to worry about paying us anything unless we are able to win you compensation in your case. That is our “No Win, No Fee Guarantee.”
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.