Truck drivers should always be prepared for emergency situations like accidents, and more. Acting swiftly can potentially prevent more accidents.
Among other steps to take following a truck crash, make sure to seek legal help. That said, you or your employer should hire an 18 wheeler injury lawyer in Houston for expert legal counsel.
What Steps Should Truckers Take After an Accident?
Accidents are unfortunate events that can happen to anyone, including truckers. When involved in a trucking accident, ensure your safety, protect your interests, and comply with legal requirements.
Here are the steps truckers should take after an accident:
The first and most crucial step is ensuring your safety and the safety of others involved. If possible, move your truck to a safe location, turn on hazard lights, and put out warning triangles to alert other drivers.
Checking for Injuries
Immediately assess yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 for medical assistance. Even if injuries seem minor, it’s advisable to seek medical evaluation.
Contacting Law Enforcement
Report the accident to the police, even if it’s a minor fender-bender. Having an official accident report can be crucial for insurance claims and legal matters.
Exchange contact and insurance details with the other parties involved in the accident. Collect important and relevant details like:
- Phone numbers
- Insurance policy numbers, and
- License plate numbers.
Documenting the Scene
Use your smartphone or a camera to take photos of the accident scene from various angles. Include close-ups of any damage to vehicles, road conditions, traffic signs, and the positions of vehicles involved.
Gathering Witness Statements
If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information and a brief statement about what they saw. Their testimony can be valuable in case of disputes.
Notifying Your Employer
Inform your trucking company about the accident as soon as possible. They may have specific procedures to follow and can provide guidance on what to do next.
Contacting Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company about the accident promptly. Provide them with all the details and photos you’ve collected. Be honest and accurate in your description.
Seeking Legal Advice
If the accident involved injuries, fatalities, or significant property damage, it’s advisable to consult with a lawyer who specializes in trucking accidents. They can help protect your rights and navigate any potential legal issues.
Keep records of all documents related to the accident, including the accident report, medical bills, repair estimates, and communication with insurance companies. This documentation can be crucial for any potential claims or legal proceedings.
Determining Liability in Personal Injury Claims
Determining liability in personal injury law involves a series of crucial steps, each designed to establish who is legally responsible for the injury. Here are the key steps:
The process begins with collecting evidence. This includes photographs, witness statements, police reports, medical records, and any other documentation related to the incident. This evidence helps paint a clear picture of what happened.
Identifying the Duty of Care
To hold someone liable, you must establish that the plaintiff owed a duty of care to the injured party. For example, drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely.
Proving Breach of Duty
You must then demonstrate that the defendant breached this duty. For instance, if a driver was texting while driving, they breached their duty of care.
It’s essential to show a direct link between the breach of duty and the injuries sustained. This means proving that the breach caused the injuries, not just that they occurred at the same time.
Finally, you must prove the extent of the damages suffered by the injured party. This includes medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Some jurisdictions consider the injured party’s contribution to the accident. If applicable, this can affect the amount of compensation awarded.
Negotiation or Litigation
Depending on the strength of the case, negotiations with the opposing party or their insurance company may follow. If an agreement cannot be reached, a lawsuit may be filed.
Why You Should Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer
Hiring a truck accident lawyer offers numerous benefits, including:
Truck accident lawyers understand personal injury law. By hiring these professionals, you increase the chance of receiving a favorable outcome.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims and negotiate for fair compensation.
Peace of Mind
Skilled lawyers provide invaluable peace of mind during a stressful time. Plus, They ensure your rights are protected and justice is served.
Accidents are stressful situations, especially for truckers who often face unique challenges on the road. By implementing these tips, truckers can be well-prepared for emergencies and protect their interests.