What to Do After a Truck Accident (And What Not to Do)
Following a truck accident, there are some important things you must do.
Large commercial trucks cause over 119,000 injury accidents every single year. These crashes are often catastrophic because of the sheer weight and size discrepancy between large commercial big rigs and passenger occupant vehicles. A fully loaded semi-truck weighs up to 80,000 pounds and the average car weighs just 3,000 pounds. As a result, passenger car occupants are more likely to sustain serious and often fatal injuries in a trucking accident.
If you’ve been injured in a Colorado trucking accident, you may have suffered serious and life-threatening injuries. You may be facing long hospitalizations, lengthy rehabilitation and a lifetime of disability. Or, you may be the loved one of someone who was killed in an accident involving a semi-truck in Colorado. When this occurs, you need an experienced and skilled Colorado trucking accident lawyer on your side. From the moment you call us, the attorneys at McDivitt Law Firm will begin building a solid case that is designed to achieve maximum compensation. We know how to negotiate with large trucking companies and their insurance adjusters, and we fight aggressively for injured trucking accident victims every step of the way.
When you’re injured in a trucking accident, the steps you take immediately after the accident can have a significant impact on your ability to file a claim and collect the money you deserve.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a trucking accident – follow these steps closely to avoid making serious and critical mistakes.
Step 1 – Report the Crash
- Immediately following the crash, it is critical that you report the accident to the police. A police report is important in establishing negligence and collecting the compensation you need. If you are badly injured, ask someone to call 911 to alert the police and emergency medical personnel. If you are not badly injured, stay calm and call 911 yourself. Report the accident and then wait for the authorities to arrive. Once the police arrive at the scene of the accident, give your side of the story and be sure to deliver all of the facts of the crash as calmly as you can. However, avoid saying anything that could be used against you in court. Even a simple “I didn’t see him” could be used to show that you admitted fault for the crash.
Step 2 – Document General Info from Accident
- If you are able, it is important to collect general accident information at the scene of the accident. This includes collecting both the truck driver and trucking company’s information. Be sure to get the time and date of the accident, names of all parties involved, trucking company phone numbers and address and trucking company insurance information. Never leave the scene of the accident without gathering the contact information for all parties that are involved or you could find it even more difficult to collect compensation.
Step 3 – Document Accident Scene Details
The details of a trucking accident can be lost quickly, and it can be difficult to remember exactly how it all unfolded. Write down all the crash details as soon as you are able. Try to remember all the little details – even ones that you may not think are important. Take pictures of the accident scene, the intersection, traffic lights, skid marks, and the damage to the vehicles. Take pictures of eyewitnesses and of any other important factors that may have led to your crash. Be sure to snap pictures from various angles and distances to get the clearest image of the entire accident scene. These pictures can provide your attorney with the valuable evidence that is needed to build your case and establish negligence.
Step 4 – Document Injuries and Visit Doctor
- Most trucking accidents result in injury to passenger vehicle occupants. These injuries could be severe and life-threatening, or they could be relatively minor. No matter how minor you believe your injuries are, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Documenting your injuries is a critical component in personal injury cases. Your doctor should document your accident and subsequent injuries in your medical record and to show causation. Without this, insurance companies may try to prove that your injuries were the result of pre-existing conditions and not a result of the trucking crash.
- Some of the most common types of injuries that occur after a trucking accident include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Nightmares or sleep disorders
- Anxiety and mood disorders
Step 5 – Call Your Insurance Company
Even though you might not be the one responsible for the accident, you must still report the accident to your insurance company. Your insurance company is going to want information from you as to how the accident happened and who is to blame. Be honest with the insurance company and relay all the necessary information, including the “at-fault” truck driver’s insurance information. This will help your insurance company when seeking compensation for your injuries and for damages.
Step 6 – Don’t Sign Anything
The trucking company’s insurance company will try to take advantage of you by having you sign documents waiving your rights. In some cases, they may request medical release records or even try to get you to sign a quick and easy settlement. Do not sign anything without first speaking to an experienced and skilled Colorado trucking accident attorney. Your attorney will be able to prevent the insurance company from taking advantage of you during this difficult time.
- For example: Jill suffered a back injury after a serious Denver trucking accident. After four weeks the medical bills began piling up and Jill was still unable to return to work. The trucking company’s insurance company offered her $20,000 to help pay for her bills and expenses. Since Jill needed the money quickly, she eagerly agreed to the settlement offer. Sadly, a year later, her back injury had become chronic and she had undergone multiple back surgeries and treatments in order to recover. She was still unable to return to work full-time and had already spent $45,000 out-of-pocket for her injuries. Because she signed a settlement for $20,000, she was unable to collect further compensation from the at-fault truck driver and trucking company.
Step 7 – Consider Legal Action
One of the most important steps you can take after a trucking accident is to call an experienced and skilled Colorado trucking accident attorney. Your attorney can protect your rights throughout the legal process and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. With an attorney on your side, you’re likely to obtain a significantly higher settlement amount that takes all of your injuries and future expenses into consideration. Without a lawyer on your side, you may be stuck paying a large portion of your medical expenses and lost wages on your own.
Trusted for Over 40 Years
At McDivitt Law Firm, our lawyers have extensive experience representing injured accident victims and their families throughout the Denver metro area, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Aurora. Our lawyers know that injured trucking accident victims rarely recover quickly, and we protect them from unscrupulous insurance adjusters every step of the way. For over 40 years, Colorado trucking accident victims have turned to McDivitt Law Firm for assistance.
Have You Been Injured in a Colorado Truck Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Colorado, or you are speaking on behalf of a loved one who was in an accident with a commercial truck, you need an experienced law firm on your side from the very start. Our attorneys have successfully achieved millions for our clients, including some of the biggest settlements in state history. Trucking accident cases are often complex and without an attorney on your side, you could face a long uphill climb when seeking compensation.
At McDivitt Law Firm, we have offices conveniently located throughout Greater Colorado. With offices in Downtown Colorado Springs, North Colorado Springs, Denver, Aurora, and Pueblo, our attorneys are ready and willing to fight for you and your rights to full and just compensation. Contact the McDivitt Law Firm injury lawyers today at Colorado Springs 719-471-3700, Denver 303-426-4878, or Pueblo 719-542-3700.
We offer free consultations, so you can better understand your rights and options. Call us today!
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