No matter what state you live in, you’re likely to be driving next to a big rig at some point during your day. Big rigs are an important part of the economy and thus difficult to avoid. However, as important as they are, they can also be a dangerous vehicle to be driving around.
Unfortunately, rates of automotive accidents involving a big rig are pretty high throughout the country. Since most big rigs are owned by a company, being involved in an accident with them and filing a lawsuit is a little more different than your standard vehicle accident. Thus the following includes a list of things that will happen after you’ve been involved with a big rig on the road.
Being involved in any type of accident provides drivers with an almost instant shot of adrenaline to their system. Adrenaline can often decrease a person’s pain, and so it is important first to determine if you and the other driver are safe. If anyone is injured, then it is important to contact 911 rather than the police department. In fact, showing empathy for the other driver may increase your chances of having a favorable end-result.
Calling the Police
If everyone involved is safe, you need to call a police officer to help you deal with the situation. In some cases, a big rig driver may attempt to pay you off to avoid getting in trouble with their employer. Never take these deals and always have an officer document everything. The fact is that you never know the underlying issues that may pop up later on.
Liability is a vital component in such cases, meaning that accepting a non-official proposition can highly affect the events that may come up in the close future. A big rig driver can insinuate that fault lays with you, rather than his actions, pushing you into accepting an offer that is nowhere close to reality. When involved in an accident, immediate injuries may not show the underlying effects of the crash. Therefore, by accepting an offer, you risk being surprised with massive medical bills and a recovery period that will not match the payment you have accepted previously.
Proper Documentation of the Scene
While you wait for the police offer to arrive, you may take this time to begin documenting the scene. You can do this by taking pictures of the accident scene. Make sure to take pictures of both vehicles, the street you’re on, the condition of the road, and any cuts or bruises.
Witnesses are a key point towards building a strong case after being involved in a road accident. You may speak to and gather statements from onlookers who may have seen the accident occur. Moreover, it is important to find a way to keep in touch with these people so that you will be able to contact them later if necessary. Exchange contact information and ask whether they would be willing to provide further information in the close future. Your lawyer will highly benefit from being able to contact these witnesses and build a strategy surrounding the external information obtained.
If you need to be taken to the hospital for any type of injury, it is important to obtain as much documentation as possible. This is because the courts will request that you prove your injuries’ seriousness before granting you any type of compensation.
You should keep track of all documents involving the medical implications generated from being involved in a car accident. You can keep a record of doctor’s appointments, medical bills and expenses, or any special medical treatment that was necessary for your recovery.
Choose Your Words Wisely
When asked to give a statement, you should always tell the truth. If you do this, there is really nothing to worry about, especially if the incident was well documented from the beginning. What is actually important to avoid is denying or admitting liability. If you’ve been injured by a big rig but the fault stands in your actions, you should never actually say that in a statement. This is an aspect that should be handled by an attorney, especially because of the high importance of the wording of such statements.
Nevertheless, lying will never be an option. Even if liability is partial, offering a statement shortly after being involved in an accident is never a good idea. By refraining from offering more information than necessary, a specialized lawyer is left with bigger chances of reducing your liability or increase credibility.
Dealing with a Big Rig Company Attorney
Unfortunately, communicating with a big rig company is where most of the mistakes are made. In some cases, the company’s attorney may reach out to you for additional information. The fact is that they are simply looking for statements that may discredit you in court.
It is recommended to never speak with a trucking company’s attorney. Record the conversation and allow your lawyer to speak on your behalf. If you need legal help, you can click here to speak with the truck accident lawyer who represented comedian and actor Tracy Morgan in his truck accident case.
In many cases, drivers will seek to be compensated for their injuries and damages. According to many state laws, the employer is responsible for the actions of an employee. Your attorney may need to prove that the driver was on the job at the time the accident occurred, but this should not be too much of a hurdle. If the incident was documented properly from the very beginning, proving that liability stands with the other driver entirely should not be problematic at all. Nevertheless, the advice is to seek legal help from a specialized attorney, given that big rig accidents will sometimes involve specifics that don’t usually come up in other types of car accidents.
If you’ve been in an accident, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as you can. Doing so may place you in a better position to obtain proper compensation. It will also help you get your case filed before the statute of limitations is up.