Every year, there are around 500,000 accidents that involve trucks. Being hit by another car or a van is bad enough. But, if you are hit by a truck it is even worse. The weight of the vehicle means that they do not have to be going very fast to end up causing serious damage. Or worse, injuring you or your passengers. Sadly, every year, around 5,000 people die of their injuries after being involved in a truck-related accident.
If you need to make a truck accident claim it is important to know what to do, especially immediately afterward. There are some significant differences between how truck-related and personal vehicle accidents are handled. You need to be aware of them and know what actions to take to make sure your claim does not fail.
Always call the police
In most places, if someone is injured or there is a lot of damage, you are required by law to call the police to a scene of an accident. If you are hit by a truck, it is wise to do so even if it is not a legal requirement.
The police are always on the lookout for bad truck drivers or rogue operators. As a result, they will usually attend even when they are not obliged to do so. It provides them with the chance to potentially catch and detain someone who is driving carelessly or in a poorly maintained truck. The police are keen to catch people like that before they badly injure or kill someone.
Should the police refuse to attend the scene, do not worry. The fact that you placed the call will still prove helpful to your case.
Gather strong evidence
Usually, when a truck driver hits you it is their employer you will be suing rather than them. Generally speaking, companies have access to far more resources than a private individual would. As a result, you must be extra vigilant about gathering good evidence. You need to work on the premise that they are highly likely to robustly refute any claim.
Be sure to get the names of any witnesses. Take plenty of photos, including stepping back from the scene and taking some distance shots. This will enable you to demonstrate where each vehicle ended up.
If you have a passenger, maybe ask them to take photos too or ask passersby who have taken photos to send them to you. It is also worth reading this article. It explains how to take good accident scene photos.
Do not speak to the trucking company yourself
In all likelihood, the trucking company’s claims department will call you. Do not say anything to them. Instead, refer them to your lawyer or insurance company. Their primary aim is to limit their liability, so speaking to them is never in your best interests.
Consider employing a lawyer
The fact that you are going to likely be dealing with a large organization with plenty of legal resources means it is usually a good idea to employ a lawyer to assist you with your claim. If you do decide to do this, be sure to hire one that has experience of dealing with trucking companies.
I hope this has helped you in the event you are hit by a truck, it can be a stressful situation so it’s good to be prepared and know in advance how to handle it.