After being the victim of an accident, it is hard to know what to do first. The shock and trauma of the impact, in addition to any injuries make it a challenge to remain level-headed. This can be compounded further if you are in an accident involving a semi-truck, or any commercial vehicle.
Truck accidents have the frightening potential to cause much more severe injuries than accidents that involve normal passenger vehicles. The sheer mass of most semi-trucks cause impacts that can compromise even the safest vehicles.
If you or your family is involved in an auto accident caused by a truck, the most important thing is to immediately call emergency services. Even if you initially only feel soreness, it is vital to get checked by medical professionals immediately. Many common symptoms of an accident, like whiplash, often do not have visible symptoms. Additionally, accident related injuries oftentimes develop over time and may not be evident at the scene of the crash. Symptoms can take days to fully manifest and having someone with the proper medical training evaluate you is essential.
As discussed, addressing any potential injuries is the most important first step. If possible, move your vehicle off to the side of the road to avoid any secondary impacts. If your hazard lights are still functioning, activate those as soon as you are able to safely do so.
Once you have called emergency services and moved your vehicle to a safe position, collecting evidence may be important to ensuring a successful claim. As long as you are able to safely do so, you should make contact with the other driver and ascertain their 1) Name 2) Contact info 3) License plate number 4) Insurance carrier information 5) Driver’s license number 6) What company or business they were hauling for. Just as importantly, you should speak with any nearby witnesses to ask them what they saw, and for their contact information. In a case where liability is disputed, and independent witness and their testimony can mean the difference between fair compensation for you and your family, or nothing. When police show up, make sure that the law enforcement officers are aware of, and speak to, the witnesses. Having witness statements in an accident report can clear up any ambiguity and lends additional credibility to your case.
In addition to witness statements, pictures are a more objective way to determine what happened to cause a crash. Whether it’s the scene of the accident, or the damage to all the involved vehicles, pictures can help paint a clear picture and can make a huge difference for your case. Photos of nearby traffic signals, stoplights, stop signs, anything potentially blocking views of drivers, should all be documented. Since nearly everyone has a high-quality camera in their pocket, this should be a top priority after ascertaining the safety of all of the victims in an accident.
Truck accidents can have a variety of causes. Although most truck drivers are some of the most experienced drivers on the road, they are just as prone to make the same mistakes as any other driver. Some causes of truck accidents include, 1) Driving while tired 2) Driving for too many hours in a row 3) Speeding 4) Improper lane changes 5) Failing to properly secure their truck load. Certainly mistakes on the road happen. Fortunately, this is why trucking companies carry insurance. In fact, it is a requirement in Wisconsin to drive with auto insurance. Failure to obtain valid insurance could result in a ticket.
It is likely following a truck accident that an insurance company will reach out to you. This could be either your insurance, or the insurance for the trucking company. It is important to contact a lawyer before they call. Increasingly, insurance companies are attempting to rapidly settle cases for less than they are worth. They are doing so, in part, because they know that when injured victims obtain legal counsel this means higher settlement amounts. If the insurance companies are in the business of minimizing their exposure, and minimizing payments, the Groth Law Firm is in the exact opposite business. We will work hand in hand with you to ensure that we are maximizing your compensation.
If you are the victim of a truck driver’s negligence, you are entitled to various forms of compensation that help you get back on your feet. The Groth Law Firm will work to ensure that you are compensated for 1) Medical Bills 2) Wage Loss 3) Pain and Suffering 4) Property Damage and 5) Costs related to future care you may need for your injuries.
Truck accidents have the unfortunate potential for much more severe injuries. As a result, many injuries victims sustain are permanent in nature. When that is the case, we will work with your doctor and other medical professionals to help ensure that you are not stuck with bills in the future. We will not settle your case until we are certain that we have obtained the maximum available compensation. Some law firms will rush you through the case process to receive payment quickly. The Groth Law Firm will continue to work diligently on your case, up to, and through any potential trial if needed.
Experiencing an accident can be one of the most traumatic events in a person’s life. Whether it is the impact, the pain that comes from injuries, or the uncertainty of whether or not you will be able to pay your medical bills, the entire experience can be overwhelming, and life-altering. This disorientation is normal. At the Groth Law Firm, we believe the only thing you should have to worry about is your recovery. It will be our job to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and to ensure that they do not undervalue your case. We will work with any medical providers, and take care of any paperwork associated with your case. If you, your family, or friends were involved in a truck accident case, please call Groth Law Firm for a free consultation.