Truck accidents are very dangerous. All accidents involving vehicles are dangerous, but it’s worse when you throw a truck in the mix. Accidents involving large trucks are more likely to result in fatalities. The reason is because a small vehicle is usually at the mercy of a large truck. The truck has size, length and weight on its side. If you’re unfortunate enough to get into one of these accidents, you might need the services of a Sansone, Sumner & Lauber truck accident lawyer. The following are ways to deal with an auto-truck accident.
- Even if it’s a minor accident, contact local police, seek medical attention if needed and document the accident.
Following any truck accident, the victim should contact the nearest police department and immediately seek medical attention for all injuries. Be sure to report and document any minor pain that may seem less important at the time compared to more serious injuries. Significant injuries are often masked early on, making it difficult to link them to the truck accident if they are not documented.
It’s crucial to obtain contact information for any passengers and witnesses involved in the accident. This information will be extremely important if it becomes necessary to hire a lawyer, because all too often, the truck driver who caused the accident will change his story along the way. Furthermore, if witness information is not preserved at the scene, or if it’s missing from the police investigation, it becomes much more difficult for an attorney to prove negligence.
- Notify your auto insurance company immediately.
In some states, there’s a strict, one-year time limit to notify your own insurance company of a truck accident, and to file an application to receive compensation for your medical bills and other benefits.
Filing an application for benefits form with your insurance company is essential for protecting your rights, even if your injuries do not seem severe. The form is required to receive five important benefits: medical expenses related to the auto accident, wage loss for the first three years following the accident, household replacement services (chores/help with children), payment for mileage to and from medical appointments and attendant care (nursing services). Use the form available through your auto insurance company. Please be as accurate and complete as possible, and include all of your injuries and impairments.
If a truck accident victim fails to adhere to this one-year deadline on time, he/she can lose this important coverage. There is also a time limit to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver’s truck insurance company. In addition to the above deadlines, many auto insurance policies pose even more strict notification requirements, such as 30 days’ notice for hit-and-run truck crashes.
- Contact an experienced truck attorney quickly.
Trucking companies are required by federal and state law to keep records of safety inspections and drivers’ hours. Because bad equipment and driver fatigue cause many truck accidents, these records could prove liability against the trucking company. But after a certain period, trucking companies by law can dispose of pre-trip inspection documents and log books. That’s one important way that a truck crash is very different from a car crash. It is imperative that an experienced truck accident lawyer be retained as soon as possible before important records are intentionally (and legally) destroyed.
A truck accident lawyer is what you need to move forward. You can ask friends and family for suggestions. That’s better than picking a random attorney from the phone book. You also should interview any attorney you plan to hire. If the lawyer makes you uncomfortable in any way, move on to your second choice.