After a study, the findings revealed that most people hurt or killed in accidents with commercial trucks were driving passenger vehicles. It’s because passenger trucks are much smaller and weigh much less than commercial trucks.
If you’ve been in an accident with a commercial truck and the truck driver was at fault, you need to understand your legal rights and responsibilities to get the settlement you want, need, and deserve. Commercial trucks aren’t limited to big rig trucks. Anyone driving a larger truck for work and who was on the clock when the accident occurred is also considered a commercial truck driver.
Steps to Take
You’ll learn the steps you need to take to get the biggest settlement possible.
Step 1: See a Doctor Right Away
Getting immediate medical attention will dramatically increase your chances of getting a much higher settlement. You may think you don’t need to see a doctor since your injuries are minor. But remember that minor injuries can get much worse quickly as the months pass.
Step 2: Gather Information
Check that the truck driver is okay while you’re waiting for law enforcement officers and EMTs to arrive. Don’t touch injured people. You can and should get the legal names and contact information of everyone involved, including witnesses and eyewitnesses.
If you’re involved in an accident with a commercial truck, state law requires you to gather the following information:
• The names, contact information, and email addresses of everyone involved in the accident. That includes witnesses and eyewitnesses.
• Information regarding who owns the truck and the company or person the truck driver works for. Note that these may be different.
• The number of the police report or the name and badge of the police officer at the accident scene. You also need to get the police officer’s phone number.
• The serial number from the Department of Transportation (DOT)
• The contact numbers and names of the people who own the truck’s cab and trailer. Note that they may not be owned by the same people.
Take as many pictures of the accident scene as possible. Good things to take pictures of including relevant weather conditions, signs (or the absence of them), items that may make it harder to see other vehicles or the road, your injuries and injuries that other people may have sustained, property damage your car or the truck may have sustained, and other types of property damage, among other things.
Step 3: Hire a Lawyer Before You Talk with Anyone from the Insurance Company
That’s important. You must remember that the insurance adjuster is working for the insurance company, not you. So, he or she is not interested in getting you the money you need.
Protect yourself from that by hiring a good personal injury lawyer in Burlington from the start. That person will do more than represent you either in or out of court. He or she will also guide you regarding the best answers to give the insurance adjuster when talking to him or her. Never lie to police officers, EMTs, or insurance adjusters. Doing so can negatively hurt your case or claim. It can also even, in some circumstances, disqualify it!