Being involved in an accident with another car is terrible. Being in a collision with an eighteen-wheeler truck is horrific. When a small passenger vehicle like a car collides with a semi-trailer truck or another commercial vehicle, the odds are the passenger in the car will suffer a disproportionate amount of the damage.
If you are injured in a truck accident, you should strongly consider seeking legal advice from a Windsor truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Remember these seven tips to help make sure you sufficiently protect yourself.
1. Call the Authorities Right Away
In the aftermath of a severe collision, you may not be thinking clearly even if you were not seriously injured. Call the police immediately instead of trying to handle the situation yourself. You will need a documented police report at some point, and if you wait, critical evidence and witnesses may disappear.
2. Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
Not all injuries from a collision are evident right away; in fact, you may not begin to experience symptoms for hours or even days. Declining medical treatment at the scene immediately after a crash is never a good choice; it raises red flags with the insurance company, which may use your refusal as a basis to delay or even deny your claim.
3. Identify Everyone and Everything Involved
Trucking companies often use independent contractors as drivers. This arrangement creates different layers of liability, so it is critical for you to get every possible identifying factor of the truck at the scene of the accident. The details may include:
- The name of the company on the side of the truck
- The license plate number
- Any shipment loaded at the time of the accident
- The Safety Fitness Certificate Number issued by the Canadian government
4. Exchange All Relevant Information
You cannot obtain compensation form someone you cannot find, so obtaining the proper information from the drivers of all vehicles involved in the accident is essential. If you have your smartphone, the easiest way to capture the data is to just snap a photo with the camera on your phone. Taking a photo eliminates any possibility of confusion later on, but take a moment to make sure the picture is clear and legible.
5. Talk to Witnesses
A credible witness to a truck accident can make all the difference when the time comes to seek compensation for your damages. Your recollection of the collision will likely be limited and could conflict with the statement of the driver. By comparison, insurance companies and courts usually view a witness as a highly credible source of objective information. Get their contact information and make sure they speak to the police officer writing the accident report.
6. Document the Details of the Accident
Do not rely on a police report as your sole source of information from the accident scene. The details of a police report will likely differ from what you will need for insurance or legal purposes. Make sure you get photos of all the vehicles involved, including any parts or wreckage scattered about the accident scene. Also look for tire marks or other potentially essential details on the road.
7. When Giving a Statement, Speak Very Carefully
Assuming you are medically able, you will be asked to provide a statement to the police officer at the scene of the accident, and at some point, you will also be asked to provide a statement to an insurance adjuster.
Be very cautious about what you say, as any words you say in the heat of the moment could come back to haunt you when seeking compensation for your injuries. If you are not sure about details or cannot recall accurately, do not try to fill in the blanks by guessing.
Remember, you are not required to talk to an insurance adjuster on demand, so do not let anyone pressure you into doing so until you speak with a qualified truck accident lawyer.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Lawyer Now
Any loss you suffer in a truck accident can be significant, but it is important to realize there are many different kinds of injuries victims experience in these situations. Because the law can be tricky and insurance claims adjusters can be even trickier, it makes sense to have a trusted Windsor personal injury lawyer looking out for your interests. Your focus should be on getting well; let your lawyer focus on fairly compensating you for your losses.
Contact our lawyers as soon as possible to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today. Find out what legal options are available for recovering compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering from a truck accident.
We charge no upfront fees and only get paid if we recover compensation in your case. You will get not only the expert legal help you need but also the personal approach and attention you deserve.