What to Do and Not to Do After a Truck Accident
Most people know what to do if they’re involved in an accident with the driver of another car, even a vehicle as big as a pickup truck or SUV. But commercial truck accidents can be very different. Semis and other heavy trucks are much bigger and bulkier than even the largest SUVs.
In many cases, you’re dealing with commercial trucking companies that have significantly more resources than the average motorist.
So, what do you do if you’re involved in a truck accident? The bottom line is that you should speak to a truck accident lawyer as soon as humanly possible. Doing so will make sure your rights are protected and that any claim you file against the truck driver or their employer has the best chance of success possible.
The law firm of Fleming Law, P.C. is committed to helping truck accident victims recover the compensation they’re owed, and we’re here to fight on your behalf. To get started, call our office at (888) 529-0018 for a free consultation, or visit our contact page.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Truck Accident?
First and foremost, do not leave the scene. Doing so could result in legal penalties or fines. While you shouldn’t leave the scene, you should try to move your vehicle out of the way of other traffic if it is safe to do so.
Make sure any passengers are safe, and if possible, keep them in your vehicle and belted in. You’ll also want to see if you, your passengers, and anyone in the truck has been injured. If someone has been injured, dial 911 immediately to call for emergency medical attention. You’ll also want to alert the local police so they can come to the scene and make a report.
Next, you’ll want to collect as much information about the other driver and their vehicle as you can. Ideally, you’ll want to get the driver’s full name, phone number, physical address and email address; the name of the company they work for and the company’s contact information; the driver’s license number for their truck; and the contact information for the driver’s insurance company. It is also crucial to get insurance information.
After getting the information on the driver and their truck, you’ll want to take as many pictures as you can of the crash scene. Take pictures of your vehicle, the truck, the surrounding area, any obstacles that might have caused the crash, and so on. You’ll also want to take note of the precise location where the crash occurred. If there are any witnesses to the accident, you should try to get their contact information as well.
Avoid making any statements yourself. Be truthful when talking to the police, but be careful not to apologize, or admit any fault in relation to the accident. Answer only what you’re asked and don’t speculate about things you don’t know. The truck driver’s insurance carrier may try to use your own words against you, so do not speak to them until you’ve had a chance to consult with a truck accident attorney. You’ll also want to avoid making any posts on social media about the crash.
Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can handle the legal matters while you focus on recovering.
Should I Talk to the Trucking Company’s Insurance Provider?
You should not speak to the trucking company’s insurance provider until you’ve spoken to an attorney. Making a statement before the full facts of the case have been gathered could put any future claim against the trucking company in jeopardy, as they can use your own statement against you to rebut your claim. You should only speak to the trucking company’s insurer through your attorney, once you’ve hired one.
What Evidence Is Gathered After a Truck Accident?
There are many different types of evidence that can be used in a truck accident claim. Pictures or video from the scene, police reports, medical records, statements from witnesses at the scene, testimony from experts, social media posts, black box data from the truck itself, and other evidence can all be used to support your case.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Truck Accident?
Liability in a truck accident claim can be difficult to parse. It depends on the circumstances of the case and whether the trucker was directly involved in work for their employer at the time of the accident.
If the accident occurred while the driver was on official business for the trucking company, the company may also be held liable for the accident.
Other potentially liable parties include the owner of the cargo, the owner of the truck and trailer, the cargo loading company, the maintenance company, the manufacturer of the truck and trailer, and others.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Truck Accident Case?
Truck accident cases can take quite a while to resolve. It takes time to gather the facts, research the applicable laws and regulations, file the paperwork, and negotiate with the liable parties and their insurance carriers. In the event a case goes to trial, the process may take even longer.
More important than the time it takes to win a case like this, however, is the deadline to file a claim. In Texas, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim, otherwise, the statute of limitations kicks in, and you lose the right to file a claim.
Contact a Skilled Truck Accident Attorney
Have you recently been involved in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault? Call a knowledgeable truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
The truck accident lawyers at Fleming Law, P.C., are here to help you seek full compensation for any injuries and other losses you sustain in an accident. To learn more about how we can help you, call our office today for a free consultation.
Michael P. Fleming is a highly experienced litigator who has argued and won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a Houston resident who was twice elected to serve as the Harris County Attorney. He is also an avid runner who has completed eight marathons, to date, including two in Ireland. Only a small group of Texas lawyers are Board Certified as specialists in both Personal Injury Trial Law and Real Estate Law. Michael is one of them. He also proudly holds his B.A. degree from the University of Saint Thomas and his J.D. degree from the University of Houston College of Law.