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You Just Got Hit By a Big Truck: What Do You Do Next?

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Commercial trucking accidents lead to serious injuries and extensive financial costs. When managing a trucking accident, victims must complete specific steps before starting a legal claim. Each step helps the claimant get closer to getting compensation for their losses. A civil lawsuit gives the victims a legal avenue to attempt to get compensation. By reviewing what to do after a trucking accident, plaintiffs find the first step to recovering financial losses.  

Report the Truck Accident

The trucking accident must be reported to the highway patrol. An auto accident report shows what happened and who is at fault. With a trucking accident, a trucking company or independent owner/operator is involved, and insurance claims can dictate the flow of a legal claim and the viability of a lawsuit. By reporting the accident, there is a record that the accident happened and who was involved. Victims who were hit by a big truck get started on a legal claim by contacting an attorney now. 

Getting Medical Treatment

All victims of a trucking accident should go to the ER to get a medical assessment. Even if the person has simple injuries, the medical records show the exact injuries sustained in the accident, if a legal claim is necessary moving forward.

When getting medical treatment, the victim should never communicate with any representatives for the trucking company. By discussing the injuries or financial losses with the company’s attorney or insurer, the victim could agree to a settlement unknowingly. If any party connected to the trucking company tries to talk to the injured party, the individual can contact an attorney to get legal help.  

The Findings of the Accident Investigation

All trucking accidents require a more extensive investigation than other auto accidents. Commercial drivers are required to follow more laws than non-commercial drivers. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations come into play in these accidents. If the driver didn’t comply with the regulations, the trucking company or truck owner is liable for the accident.  

Was the Commercial Driver Intoxicated?

All commercial drivers are tested for alcohol or controlled substances. If the driver is guilty of a DUI, there is a more profound liability since the driver committed a crime. Even if the civil case is settled out of court, the driver faces a separate criminal case in which the victim could collect compensation through restitution. The outcome of either case will not affect the other.  

Can the Case Settle Out of Court?

With all personal injury cases, there is a possibility that the case could settle out of court. No attorney can guarantee a settlement. However, some cases could be settled instead of going to court. The attorneys can negotiate with the defendant’s legal representative or insurer to arrive at a settlement. If there isn’t a settlement offer that is acceptable, the case will go to court. 

If the case goes to court, there isn’t room for negotiations, and the judge or a jury makes all decisions about the case. The outcome of the case defines if the person receives a monetary award or if the claimant wins the case. Once the case is over, there isn’t a new legal avenue to collect more compensation.  

Trucking accidents can present victims with life-threatening injuries and major financial losses. By reviewing the steps for managing an accident claim, victims of trucking accidents discover what to do next and determine if a personal injury case is possible.  

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