Trucks, tractor-trailers, big rigs, commercial trucks, whatever you want to call them, have extremely large blind spots that result in over 400,000 accidents per year. Because of the sheer size and weight of these vehicles, many of these accidents result in serious injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, you need to seek the guidance of a skilled and trusted truck accident injury lawyer. Without the guidance of an attorney who’s been down this road before, you could have to pay out of pocket for medical bills associated with your injury.
Types of Truck Accidents
In 2017, nearly 5000 trucks were involved in fatal accidents across the United States. While truck accidents don’t always result in fatalities, that shows how much physical damage such accidents can cause.
Truck accidents vary just like any other car accident. The most common accidents include:
- Tire blowout
- Blind spots
- Rear end
- Lost load
- Head on
Because of the size of big rigs, their blind spots are larger than most other vehicles. Defensive driving can help you avoid an accident or minimize the impact you and your car take. Make sure you stay out of truck blinds spots by staying well ahead of or behind the truck and never driving right next to it.
But even the most defensive drivers can’t avoid all accidents. If a truck changes lanes and crashes into your vehicle, that’s not your fault and you should not be on the hook to pay for any of the costs associated with your recovery. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer will help give you the best chance of recovering the full value of your claim.
From 2016 to 2017, large truck accidents where injuries occurred increased by five percent. This results from many factors. The most important aspect of any truck accident is your recovery. Common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
Most accidents involving commercial trucks result in severe injuries. The sheer force of the impact with a vehicle that size will surely cause severe injuries. This could mean you spend a good portion of time out of work, maybe even permanently. When this happens, you’re unsure of how you will pay your bills.
When you work with a seasoned truck accident lawyer in New York, you give yourself the best chance of making sure you don’t have to pay your medical bills. If you didn’t cause the accident, you shouldn’t bear any of the responsibility for the costs associated with your recovery.
Steps to Take After Your Accident
The moments immediately following the crash are crucial. Taking these steps will help you and your personal injury lawyer maximize your recovery.
- Call 911. Even if you have minor injuries, which is rare in truck accidents, you want to have a police record of the accident. While the police may not assign fault to the truck driver in their report, they will diagram the scene and provide statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses which will be helpful to your insurance company and your personal injury lawyer in determining fault.
- Get medical attention. Again, seemingly minor injuries can turn severe. Your adrenaline is pumping and you’re probably not feeling all the pain. You could miss symptoms a medical professional won’t miss. You also want documentation of your injuries so you can be certain the truck driver or their insurance company is the one paying the medical bills.
- If you’re able, take pictures. But only if it is safe to do so. You want to get pictures of your car, the truck, the accident scene, and your injuries. Pictures can help us determine the value of your personal injury claim and provide us with images taken moments after you suffered the injuries to show their severity.
- Exchange contact information with other drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Making sure you have this information helps us prepare your personal injury claim. Witnesses don’t always stick around for the police to take their statements. Get their contact information so your truck accident attorney can speak with them later.
- Do not accept blame for the accident. You might think you would never accept blame, especially if it wasn’t your fault. But simply saying that you’re sorry could be interpreted as accepting blame for the accident. Doing this can cause you to be held partially or fully at-fault making you on the hook for some of the damages associated with the accident.
- Call your insurance company but do not give a statement. This is important—you need to alert your insurance company that you were in an accident and that it wasn’t your fault, but do not give them a recorded statement until you consult with a truck accident lawyer. Despite what many people think, your insurance company isn’t always looking out for your best interest—but your lawyer is legally obligated to.
- Keep a personal injury journal. Write in the journal every day starting with the day of your accident. By keeping a journal, you ensure you forget nothing. You want to keep a note of how you’re feeling every day. Keep note of your injuries and if you’re getting better or getting worse. Keeping meticulous notes can help us negotiate with the insurance company to maximize your recovery.
- Call an experienced truck accident attorney. Truck accident lawyers have helped many clients just like you who have found themselves involved in a truck accident where they sustained injuries. If you did not cause the accident, you should not bear any responsibility for the costs to get better.
Damages You Can Get
When you’re injured through no fault of your own, it can be frustrating and worrisome, wondering how your bills will get paid. Working with an aggressive personal injury lawyer gives you the best chance of recovering damages for:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
When you’re injured in a truck accident, you’re likely facing a long recovery because of the severity of your injuries. You may even be out of work. The insurance company representing the owner of the truck or the truck driver may contact you and offer you a settlement.
They know you need quick cash and they will prey on you hoping you’ll take their initial offer. Don’t do it. It’s a low ball offer that likely won’t include any of your future needs.
Medical costs pile up quickly, especially when you face serious injuries. You shouldn’t be on the hook for any of these charges. But if you take the low ball settlement offer from the insurance company, you’ll likely end up paying out of pocket for your future medical bills. Besides that, you’ll also most likely waive any future right to bring a claim against the company for your injuries.
Make sure you don’t end up having to pay out of pocket for your medical expenses. Work with an aggressive and compassionate personal injury lawyer who can help you get the compensation you need to get better. If you have additional questions about a truck accident claim, contact an experienced personal injury who can help you understand your options.