While commercial trucks are a necessary part of transporting freight and keeping commerce moving, they are also a hazard to other drivers on the road. Since semi-trucks are so big and heavy, they have large blind spots and require a longer distance to stop than passenger vehicles do.
If you are ever involved in an accident with a commercial truck, then these tips will help you recover your damages afterward.
Tip: Be Insistent Law Enforcement Shows Up and Writes a Report of the Accident
If you call 911 after your accident and the dispatcher balks at sending out law enforcement, then you should be insistent you want them to come on the scene and write a report. A police report is always more official than something you write and makes settling easier. If they won't come out, then go to their website when you get home and file an electronic report yourself.
Tip: Get Contact Information from Any Witnesses Present
If any witnesses to the accident stopped to make sure everyone is okay, make sure you get their name, address, and contact phone numbers in case your insurance company or lawyer want to speak with them at a future date.
Tip: Get as Much Information from the Truck's Driver as Possible
If you are able to speak with the truck's driver, get as much information from them as possible. Never assume the police report will have all of the information you need.
In addition to getting the driver's name, you should ask for their company's:
- phone number
- insurance carrier
- insurance policy number
You should also take photos of the DOT registration number on the doors of the truck as this will provide your insurance carrier and attorney all of the information they need about the company.
Tip: Contact Your Automobile Insurance Carrier
Once you are safely home from the accident scene or emergency room, then it's time to place a call to your automobile insurance carrier. Let them know you were involved in an accident with a commercial truck and need to start the process of recovering your damages and getting your vehicle fixed.
Tip: Contact a Personal Injury Attorney if Necessary
If your auto insurance carrier drags their feet or offers you a low-ball settlement amount, then it is time to contact a personal injury lawyer. The attorney will fight for your rights, and often a simple letter from them will spur on the insurance company to do what's right and offer you a better settlement. Finally, if they still don't want to cover all of your loss, then your lawyer will file a lawsuit to recover your damages.
For more information, contact a law office like McKone & Unruh.