Truck Accidents: Important Details You Should Know
What you probably do not know is that truck drivers are under strict laws and regulations. As a result, in case there is pending litigation, it will be best to have an attorney handle the complicated process. Contrary to what you may believe, car and truck crashes are different. We look at some of the critical details you need to know in case of truck accidents in this guide.
What is the difference between a car crash and a truck accident legally?
There are federal regulations that apply only to professional truck drivers and not the other motorists. In such a case, a truck driver has to be more careful because of the consequences of a truck crash will be more severe as compared to an accident between two cars. Because of such reasons, getting a commercial license for operating a truck is stricter than that for driving a car.
The truck driver is also supposed to only drive for a specific amount of hours. It helps to prevent unnecessary accidents considering that the driver might get tired after driving for long hours. Most companies will have designated stops where their drivers take a break before continuing with their journey.
Ultimately, professional truck drivers have to do a lot more paperwork as compared to two car crashes. The truck drivers in such a scenario have to be more careful so as not to deal with such inconveniences and avoid truck accidents.
Common misconceptions about trucks
At this point, it should be easy to point out that accidents involving trucks always lead to severe injuries. You might be surprised by how people often underestimate the trucks and their ability to make spontaneous maneuvers as compared to cars. The fact is that these trucks weigh a lot, and stopping in case of an emergency is hard. It is the reason you always have to keep a distance from a truck in case it has to make sudden maneuvers.
The same goes for the new or inexperienced truck drivers. They need to take more caution while driving trucks as they do not operate as easy as regular cars. More concentration is always required to drive a truck properly.
Will truck crashes be Challenging to prosecute as compared to car crashes?
Sure. Truck crashes are not easy to handle because of the complicated insurance policies that cover them. The truck might have been leased for a short period by another independent contractor. It means that it might need an additional cover for that period. Attorneys will have to inspect the insurance limits to determine the damages that are covered under such an insurance policy.
What Should You Do in a Truck Accident?
– Report the crash immediately
Whenever you are involved in a truck crash, you are supposed to remain at the accident scene. Whenever possible, make sure that you are safe and then remove the truck or car from the road. Turn on your hazard lights so that the other drivers can see the warning to approach the scene with caution.
In case someone is severely injured from the accident, call 911 for help. Otherwise, you need to call the police to help with clearing the scene and writing a police report. Once the police get to the crash scene and assess the accident, a report is then written. The police will then advise you on the next action you have to take. You have to request for a copy of the incident report, as it will also be required in the court when you file for a claim.
– Seek medical attention
Always seek medical attention if you are involved in an accident. It does not matter whether you have visible injuries or not. Sometimes the adrenaline rush can prevent you from feeling the pain only to realize the injuries later.
If you do not get treatment from the scene, then you should consider visiting a hospital as soon as possible. Once you are satisfied with the treatment and you are okay to leave, ask for a medical report.
A medical report comes in handy in court when you file for damages. The report shines some light on what are the damages you have suffered so that you can be compensated appropriately. It includes injuries that might prevent you from driving a truck in the future, which means loss of income.
– Who are the other parties involved?
When involved in any truck accident, it is vital to get all the information right. This can be the company’s name that the truck belongs to, the details of the driver, and much more. Being aware of the other parties involved in the accident helps with your case once it is presented in court. There are times the truck company might be involved in the liability suit, maybe because of negligence in truck maintenance, among other things.
– Exchange information whenever necessary
Tracking down a driver once he has left the scene can be hard even if you have their truck’s company name. The company is likely to have several drivers operating the trucks they own, so knowing which specific driver is critical when presenting your case.
Some of the things you have to document as part of information exchange include;
- The driver’s address, phone number, name, and email address
- The insurance company of the driver and any other relevant policy information
- The license number of the driver driving the truck at the time
- The contact information for the driver’s employer. There is always a contact number you can call in case a truck driver is involved in an accident.
– Check for witnesses
Witnesses are crucial in any case that might involve a truck crash. Look around the scene to see if there was someone who saw how the accident happened. Take the contact information of the witnesses so that they can be called upon in the event they are required in court for testifying purposes.
Also, read the police report to see if any contact information has been listed in case any witnesses were interviewed.
– Get the accident documented
Having proper documentation of the accident scene can go a long way to determine the results of a trial. Yes, photos documenting a truck crash scene can help prove who was at fault that led to the accident. These pictures can also show the severity of injuries and the amount of damage your car incurred. It should help you end up with the right compensation.
For those who get injured in the accident, it is also wise to take photos of these injuries. Taking photos during your recovery period is still important. Such photos document how severe the injuries were and how much time it might take before you completely recover.
Contact a truck accident personal injury lawyer
If you believe that you are supposed to be compensated after a truck accident, it is best to have a lawyer representing you. A professional personal injury lawyer will assess the documents so that the valid claim can be filed. It will be best to hire a firm with experience in dealing with truck accidents and related cases.