In the US, truck accidents occur more frequently than many people realize. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that more than 160,000 truck accidents occur each year.
Truck accidents cause a variety of injuries. Some cause death. So, what exactly should you do once you are involved in a truck accident? How should you go about filing a claim? Read on to learn more.
First, confirm your safety and that of other passengers in your vehicle. If you are involved in a multi-vehicle crash, check to ensure that everyone involved has moved to a safe location. Move all the cars to the side of the road. Refrain from all these if you’re hurt.
Call 911 immediately and provide detailed information about the accident as possible. Identify yourself and your location.
Do not worry so much about your site if you are not able to pinpoint precisely where you are. Many cell phones today have advanced mapping features that can easily indicate where you are if you are involved in an accident on an unfamiliar road.
Be sure to let your dispatcher know if there are additional hazards like leaking fuel, damages trees or poles. By all means, avoid discussing the accident itself.
Instead, inform the dispatcher about your injuries and that of other victims. This action will make it easy for medical professionals to know which rescue equipment they will need.
Talk to Law Enforcement Officers at the Scene
Police officers will have several questions for you once they arrive at the scene. They will proceed to question everyone else involved in the accident. Describe the accident in detail without accepting or assigning blame.
Be extra cautious when describing anyone’s role in the accident. Then make sure you have the contact information of the officer taking the report. Contact details here mean badge number and, if possible, phone number.
Obtain Information at the Scene
Try to obtain information from all the victims involved in the accident. In other words, talk to anyone who witnessed the accident and documenting the scene. Record the license numbers, insurance information, and plate numbers.
Being in a truck accident, you might also want to obtain the driver’s employer details. Take photos to document the scene, the condition of the vehicles involved, the people injured, and any other thing you might consider necessary while filing for a claim. Ask a witness to assist you if you collect information if you are badly hurt or traumatized.
Seek Medical Attention
It is easy to write off some injuries as mild after a truck accident. You could suffer severe injuries without your knowledge, so get examined by a doctor. Inform your doctor about your involvement in an accident.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Be extremely cautious when speaking to an insurance adjuster, especially if you’re in a state like Florida, where no-fault insurance laws apply. To be on the safe side, provide only basic facts about the accident. Such points include the location and time the accident occurred, the number of people involved, the vehicle’s make and model, and the name or names of the drivers involved.
Don’t give an opinion regarding the extent of your injuries of the damage done to your car. Do not offer any opinion regarding how the accident occurred either. Such details will be important later.
Remember, insurance companies often want to settle their matters out of court by offering victims settlements. They will most likely use the information you provide to water down and undermine your claim.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
This should not be a problem because many personal injury attorneys in Florida offer free consultations. Seek their help and get free advice on your rights under Florida. Be sure to go for an experienced attorney. He or she will come in handy should your claim proceed to trial.
Avoid entertaining the idea of filing for a lawsuit or a claim without a lawyer. Yes, you can go all the way on your own. You will be at a disadvantage though from the beginning. Remember that many insurance companies hire adjusters and lawyers to protect their legal and financial interests. Their work is to turn away as many clams as they can. Remember, too, that many of them are experienced in insurance matters. Please give them a run for their time, skills, competence, and knowledge by hiring a truck accident attorney. You can then be sure that they will handle your claim well.
You may be offered an out of court settlement at some point. Your lawyer should be able to go through the offer with you and advise you accordingly. In many cases, the offer hardly ever covers all damages a claimant needs. A good offer, as your lawyer will most likely inform you, should cover for physical injuries as well as pain and suffering.
Don’t forget to involve a competent truck accident attorney when filing a claim. Call Fetterman & Associates, P.A. now, at 561-845-2510 for a free consultation.