18 Wheeler Accidents: What to Do When Your Loved One Is a Victim
18-wheeler accidents are often catastrophic, far more so than other traffic collisions. This is because their size and weight are so much greater than other vehicles. That’s why caution is essential for any commercial truck driver or big rig operator.
Unfortunately, accidents happen even when drivers are careful or have years of experience on the road. All truck drivers want to reach their destinations safely. However, tight deadlines, lack of sleep, and mechanical failure, at times, lead to accidents in transit.
Whenever these accidents happen, the record rolls into the overall number of 18-wheeler accidents that take place over a specific period of time. When news outlets report on these statistics, they often don’t provide further details. For instance, you rarely hear information about how these accidents impact victims and their families.
Following a commercial truck accident, it’s important to remember that you have options as a victim or their loved one. With an experienced Houston truck accident lawyer on your side, you have the potential to recover compensation to cover damages from the accident.
When you want to pursue compensation after an accident, there are specific actions to take. It’s crucial to act as soon as possible, and our team is ready to help. Here are some details on what to do after an 18-wheeler accident.
Step One: Seek Immediate Medical Attention
In any personal injury case, it’s crucial to seek treatment for injuries as soon as possible. This is especially true for 18-wheeler accidents. Oftentimes, these accidents lead to catastrophic, even fatal injuries. If you are at the scene of your loved one’s accident, see whether they have respiratory issues, are unconscious, or are bleeding excessively.
When they do, head towards an emergency room immediately. After a truck accident, delays in receiving medical care have the potential for long-term effects. Even when the injuries do not appear severe, it’s vital that they go to an urgent care center. These centers help with broken bones, soft tissue injuries (whiplash), cuts and abrasions, as well as other issues.
When you seek immediate care following an accident, you avoid health complications down the road. Moreover, medical records and recommended treatment plans following an accident help us link your injuries to the accident.
Insurance companies call treatment into question in an attempt to reduce the payout from your claim. With our personal injury lawyers, you have advocates on your side to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Step Two: Hire a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
While medical attention is your main priority, hiring an attorney with experience in 18-wheeler accidents is also essential for your claim. One of the main benefits of hiring a Houston truck accident lawyer after a collision is that we bear the weight of your case. While you recover, we investigate your claim and gather evidence.
Let us focus on your case so that you have time to focus on your loved one and your family. When you work with our firm, we handle the following tasks, among others.
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Conducting investigations and gathering evidence
- Preparing your claim and any supporting documents
- Collecting and reviewing police reports and medical records.
With a competent personal injury lawyer on your side, you have someone who knows the tricks insurance companies use. Oftentimes, insurers attempt to deny payment or offer the lowest settlement possible. From blaming the collision on your loved one to contesting the severity of their injuries, experienced lawyers know how they try to avoid claims.
Additionally, personal injury lawyers work to pursue the most beneficial outcome for your case. This means striving for all the monetary damages possible in your claim. The law entitles victims to damages, which range across a spectrum.
- Lost wages when injuries cause you to miss work
- Decreased quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Losses you incur as a direct result of your injuries
- Medical expenses
- Scarring and disfigurement
When the insurance companies refuse to offer a reasonable settlement, your attorney also has the option of taking them to court. There, they represent your best interests and fight to gain compensation on your behalf.
Step Three: Getting Contact Information After 18 Wheeler Accidents
An essential aspect of your case is gathering the information of the truck driver. This includes their contact information as well as their insurance details. With this information, your attorney sources information about their employer, their vehicle, their cargo, and their driving record.
This information helps us understand who to hold liable for your loved one’s claim. For instance, some truck drivers are employees of companies while others are independent contractors. Depending on your case, we might file a claim against the trucking company, the driver, or other firms that operate the truck.
Step Four: Gathering Evidence
When you hire a Houston truck accident attorney, they work to gather evidence. However, when possible, it’s helpful to gather evidence at the scene of 18 wheeler accidents. From simple documentation through photos to gathering contact information for witnesses, evidence helps your attorney build your case.
After a commercial truck accident, it’s difficult to claim negligence without clear evidence. When you are at the scene of your loved one’s accident, ensure they receive care and then document the situation.
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident
- Make note of obstacles that block visibility
- Document damage to the vehicles
- Get witness information
After the fact, your lawyer continues to gather information for your case. For example, nearby businesses sometimes have security cameras. When they do, we work with them to gain access to the footage.
Step Five: Avoid Talking to the Driver’s Insurance Company
As we stated earlier, insurance companies strive to pay out as little as possible. When they reach out to you, direct them to your lawyer. If they request a statement from you, simply state the facts of the incident. Be careful not to imply or accept fault.
When you make statements to representatives of insurance companies, they may twist your words to make you seem liable. Simply put, they do not have your best interests at heart. Your best bet is to let your attorney handle communications and negotiations on your behalf.
18 Wheeler Accidents: Our Lawyers Are Here For You and Your Loved One
When you or your loved one is a victim in an 18-wheeler collision, you need representation that allows you to recover. At Universal Law Group, our personal injury lawyers pursue compensation on your behalf as you focus on healing. With skilled, aggressive representation, you have a better chance of holding negligent drivers accountable.
Call our legal team today at 832-767-0339 or contact our team online for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.