Your Salisbury Trucking Accident Attorney
What should I do after getting in a truck accident?
Truck accidents are often more devastating than car accidents, as tractor-trailers or semi-trucks have the potential to do far greater damage than a simple car or pick-up truck. For this reason, getting in a truck accident can be truly frightening – for both the person getting hit and for the truck driver. If you get in a truck accident, there are several things you should do before leaving the scene of the crash:
First of all (after getting out of your vehicle and making sure no one is critically injured), call 9-1-1 to report the accident and call the police. When the police arrive, give them a detailed report of what happened, but try not to say anything incriminating. In fact, except when you’re talking to the police, medical providers, or your lawyer, you should avoid giving out details about the accident – especially to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Write down the name and contact information of the reporting officer, as you may need to get in touch with him or her later on.
Obviously, if anyone has been seriously injured, you should also call an ambulance to the scene. Even if you don’t think you have sustained any major injuries, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor or emergency care center as soon as possible after leaving the scene of the accident, since some injuries only manifest later on.
Before you leave the accident scene, though, double check to make sure you’ve written down everyone’s names, contact information, and insurance companies. This includes other drivers involved in the incident as well as any witnesses.
What causes a truck accident?
There are many factors that can contribute to a truck accident. The driver may be sleep-deprived due to insufficient rest, or he or she may have a condition like sleep apnea, in which case driving for long stretches of time is dangerous. Other times, an accident may be due to speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, texting, distraction during phone use or violating the maximum weight restrictions by overloading a truck. If any of these factors contributed to your accident, you should consult a lawyer to find out if you have a case.
Tractor-trailer accidents in Maryland and elsewhere often result in serious injuries. This is primarily because of the large size of a truck as compared to a passenger car. Occupants of cars and smaller trucks, like pickup trucks, are often badly hurt in a truck accident. At Otway Russo, P.C., we represent people injured by trucks as well as injured truck drivers.
Determining the cause of a truck accident can be critical for the sake of an injured person’s claim or lawsuit in pursuit of compensation for injuries. Our lawyers work hard to verify negligence through evaluation of:
- Black boxes that often tell the truth about a truck’s speed and other key factors
- Truck drivers’ logs, which may show that a driver was likely fatigued
- Evidence that a trucker had sleep apnea or a record of chronic fatigue
- Ownership, truck driver hiring and training, and insurance coverage issues
- Eyewitness testimony and police reports
Examples of negligence that we have been able to pinpoint in some truck accident cases have included:
- Evidence of overloading or poor load balancing
- Evidence of mechanical failure that led to a rollover accident
- Evidence that a trucking company negligently hired an inept trucker
In every car accident and truck accident case, we work hard to identify all potentially negligent parties and evaluate the insurance policies of each one. Sorting out insurance complexities is almost always a necessary challenge. Our lawyers’ persistence often pays off in this and other areas of tractor trailer injury cases.
What are common truck accident injuries?
Common truck accident injuries include head trauma, broken bones, neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns and lacerations. In serious cases, these injuries can lead to brain trauma, internal bleeding, paralysis, and wrongful death. Because of their size, trucks are more likely to kill you in an accident than cars are. In some cases, an injury from an accident will heal quickly. In others, it will continue to cause pain and even disability for years to come.
Settling after your truck accident
After an accident, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will try to settle for as little as possible. In deciding the settlement amount, parties involved must consider things like related medical expenses (both past and future), lost wages and earning ability, and the cost of repairs (or replacement) for the damaged vehicle. If you feel that the settlement offered you is insufficient based on the damage resulting from the accident, you should consult a lawyer to find out what to do. Depending on the situation, a lawyer may advise you to file a personal injury claim, or they may simply advise you to negotiate the settlement outside of court. Either way, as someone who understands the details and complexities of the law, an attorney will be able to assess your case and fight for your best interests in the aftermath of your accident. They will also be able to tell you how much your specific case is worth and how much you should settle for.
Do I have a case?
Whether or not you have a case depends on several factors, including the extent of damages, who was at fault, and whether or not a driver was following safety regulations. For example, truck drivers have specific rules for transporting hazardous waste, taking periodic breaks to rest, and hauling a certain amount of weight. If any of these safety regulations were violated, and you were affected, then you probably have a case against the driver and/or trucking company. If you or your loved one was injured in a truck accident, or if you were driving a truck that was involved in an accident, you should contact a lawyer to discuss the next steps.