Are you suffering the consequences of a truck accident that resulted from the negligence of a big rig driver? If you were in a passenger vehicle when the crash happened, you might be fortunate to be alive, and your injuries will likely cause long-term health problems. Semitrailers are massive when compared to sedans, and even the most attentive car drivers can fall victim to distracted or reckless truckers.
Are you one of those people who cannot avoid apologizing, even it was not your fault? In the case of a truck accident, you may want to avoid this natural response as it could count against you at a later stage.
Do you know the steps to take after a truck accident?
There are two things that you can focus on rather than apologizing or admitting fault. You can check on the safety and health of other victims, and you can focus on protecting your legal rights by taking the following steps:
- Call 911 -- Activating emergency services is the first thing to do.
- Move your vehicle -- Clear the way for other traffic by moving your vehicle out of the way, if possible.
- Warn other drivers -- You can place reflective triangles, activate your car's hazard lights or set flares to warn others of the wreck.
- Call law enforcement -- Officers may respond when you alert 911, else, you may call them because incident reports will be necessary if you decide to file a lawsuit later.
- Gather information -- Gather the insurance and contact information of all other drivers as well as witnesses. At the same time, you can record additional details such as the location, time, weather conditions, the damage to the vehicles and anything else that might help for later reference.
Common truck accident injuries
You might not be able to any of the above because of injuries and your immediate transport to the hospital. Truck accident injuries are often severe, even those that manifest later can cause long-term health problems and may be life threatening. The following accidents can prevent you from returning to work, and will likely bring about high medical expenses:
- Internal injuries -- Organ damage may cause internal bleeding that could be fatal if not diagnosed soon after the accident.
- Head trauma -- Injuries to the head can be closed or open wounds. It can cause brain damage, cranial swelling and concussion.
- Spinal cord damage -- Injuries to the spinal column can lead to nerve damage and even paralysis.
- Fractures -- Any number of bone fractures or joint dislocations can follow a truck accident.
- Lacerations -- Cuts, contusions, punctures and abrasions are typical injuries you may suffer on impact in any crash.
Potential negligent claims for a civil lawsuit
If your injuries resulted from a truck driver's negligence, any of the following types of negligence may apply and serve to determine liability if you file a personal injury lawsuit:
- Noncompliance with hours of service-- The truck driver might have exceeded the mandatory limits for continuous driving.
- Negligent vehicle maintenance-- The accident might have resulted from malfunctioning, ill-maintained or defective parts.
- Inexperienced driver -- The trucking company may be accused of hiring inexperienced drivers and failure to provide adequate training.
- Negligent loading-- An unbalanced, unstable or overloaded truck might have been the reason for the truck driver losing control of the vehicle.
Experienced legal counsel can assist with establishing negligence that could also involve impaired driving, speeding or any other moving violations.