Hit By a Box Truck? Here’s What to Do
Have you been hit by a box truck? Commercial vehicle accidents are no laughing matter. If you sustain an injury in an auto accident, it’s essential to work with a Houston truck accident lawyer. To learn more about your legal options, consult a personal injury law firm immediately.
In Houston, we see box trucks throughout the city. Oftentimes, prominent delivery companies use box trucks to deliver packages. These range from the USPS to FedEx or UPS. However, many small businesses utilize these vehicles as well.
From art handling companies to moving companies, these large vehicles dot the streets of Houston. The name derives easily from their distinctive appearance, essentially a box on wheels. Still, driving these trucks is not so easy, especially on the bumpy, tight roads in many parts of the city.
If you are hit by a box truck, follow the steps we lay out in this article. Remember, it’s important to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney as well. When you do so, you take a major step towards maximizing your settlement.
What to Do After You’re Hit By a Box Truck
After any motor vehicle accident, there are a few essential steps to take. Whether you sustain an injury in a car wreck or a truck collision, the process is similar. However, the results have the potential to be very different.
Unfortunately, the size difference between a box truck and the average car puts those in the car at a disadvantage. When a box truck hits a vehicle, all that weight becomes a force to injure people in the car.
Call an Ambulance
When anyone experiences an auto accident, the most important thing to do is ensure their health and safety. There’s nothing more important than the health of everyone involved. If someone sustains an injury, call an ambulance or ask a bystander to call for you.
When you are able to move safely, check on others in your vehicle and evaluate their injuries. If you need immediate medical attention, have someone else take care of the other items on this list.
Call the Police for a Police Report
Typically, if you call an ambulance, the police head to the scene as well. The officer at the scene drafts a police report, also called an accident report. This document contains essential information for your claim.
- Names of everyone involved and contact information
- Location of the collision
- Time and date of the incident
- Details of their investigation
- Names of witnesses
Oftentimes, the police conduct a brief investigation of the scene. This helps them determine preliminary fault. However, this does not confirm fault by any means.
If an officer tries to pin the blame on you after you were hit by a box truck, don’t worry too much. When you work with a personal injury law firm, you have a team to investigate your accident more thoroughly. This team works to uncover the true nature of your claim and determine fault based on the evidence.
Still, it’s important to note that failure to report an accident carries penalties at times. Even when you want to handle the accident between you and the driver, it’s good to have this report. This is true even in minor collisions.
Exchange Information with the Driver
When you are hit by a box truck, it’s important to have the driver’s information. Oftentimes, truck accidents become complex over time. This is due to the fact that you have to deal with a company and their insurance, not necessarily the driver.
Ask the truck driver for the following information.
- License number (driver’s license or commercial license)
- License plate number
- Truck ID number
- Name of their employer
- The company’s insurance details
Additionally, the truck driver needs your information. If your accident involves any other vehicles, gather this information from anyone else involved.
Document the Scene of the Accident
Words alone don’t provide enough information to rebuild the scene of an accident. When you are hit by a box truck, it’s critical to document the scene with photos and videos. This helps your attorneys examine the details of the scene.
Generally, the camera on your phone is fine. Here are some examples of photos to take.
- Move around the vehicles involved in the collision and take pictures. Document the damage on each vehicle from as many angles as possible.
- Take pictures of all the license plates. Often, this is easier to keep track of than writing it down somewhere.
- Try to document everything before anyone moves the vehicles. This helps your attorney see the aftermath of the crash and build backward to reconstruct the accident.
- Document the area around the accident. For instance, if a tree or bush obstructed a traffic sign, that impacts your claim. Additionally, road defects often contribute to commercial truck collisions.
- Look for any buildings that have security cameras. There’s potential for video footage of the accident.
When you don’t have the capacity to document the scene, ask someone else to document it on your behalf. Be sure you have their contact information to gather these photos later.
Talk to Any Witnesses
Photographs help to establish the visuals of the accident moments after the crash. Moreover, they offer a foundation from which to reconstruct the accident. However, witnesses provide critical information about how a collision occurs.
Witnesses describe how an incident unfolds. This helps your personal injury lawyer establish fault when you are hit by a box truck.
Gather the contact information of anyone who saw the accident. This varies by case. Often, it includes people in passing vehicles who stop to help or pedestrians. In some cases, it includes employees of nearby businesses.
You have two options here.
- Ask what the witness saw.
- Have your attorney interview the witness.
Typically, the police report also identifies witnesses. However, some leave before anyone arrives.
Seek Medical Attention
After you gather evidence for your claim, it’s important to seek medical assistance. Whether you go to the hospital or your physician, it’s important to do so soon. Oftentimes, people feel fine following a collision. However, adrenaline tends to mask symptoms.
Moreover, some injuries don’t show immediately. When you visit a doctor, you have a better idea of your state. Additionally, you establish a medical record that connects your injuries to the collision.
Take any tests the doctor orders and follow the treatment plan they provide. Remember that insurance companies aren’t on your side.
Too often, insurance providers try to downplay your medical treatment or injuries. This leaves you to pay your own bills out of pocket when they should pay. If you were hit by a box truck, it’s essential that you establish a connection between your injuries and their negligence.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer After I’m Hit By a Box Truck?
Absolutely, you should hire an attorney after you are hit by a box truck. With a truck accident lawyer on your side, you have a better chance to attain the compensation you deserve. Here’s why.
Collisions with commercial vehicles raise unique legal challenges. In order to navigate these issues, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer. Without representation, people are left to the whims of the insurance companies.
Take control of your future and contact a local personal injury law firm to build your case. Generally, delivery vehicles cause severe injuries. People suffer burns, head injuries, fractures, and more in these accidents. In some cases, the collision leaves people paralyzed.
When you work with an attorney, they help to maximize your truck accident claim. Here are examples of the damages they pursue.
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Wrongful death
Documentation of the accident and your injuries is essential. With an attorney at your side, you have someone to gather documentation. Moreover, you have someone to help you establish an accurate settlement demand.
Without the right experience, people without representation tend to settle for too little. This leaves them with an amount that seems like enough but isn’t. With an attorney, they consider every angle of your claim and seek to maximize your settlement.
Your Attorney Examines Liability
In order to seek compensation, someone must be at fault. Your personal injury lawyer looks at the facts of your claim to determine liability. When you are hit by a box truck, your case potentially involves multiple defendants.
- Driver. If the driver made an error, the fault lies with them. Common examples include speeding, distracted driving, reckless driving, fatigue, and more.
- Company. In some cases, employers are liable automatically after an employee causes an injury. Additionally, the fault lies with the company when they fail to perform background checks or provide proper maintenance.
- Manufacturers. When there’s a defect in design or a component, it has the potential to cause an accident.
- Mechanic. Poor maintenance also has the potential to cause an accident.
Oftentimes, victims hit by a box truck don’t have the experience to follow these lines of liability. As such, it’s essential to work with a seasoned personal injury law firm.
Hit By a Box Truck? Consult an Attorney
When you are hit by a box truck, an attorney helps you understand your legal options. This includes whether you file a personal injury claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
Additionally, it’s essential to avoid delays. In Texas, there’s a statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. This leaves you with a strict deadline to pursue compensation. Schedule a free consultation with an attorney as soon as possible.