A car accident with a semi-truck is different than one between two smaller vehicles, like a car, motorcycle, or standard pickup truck.
In addition, there may be more parties involved since many semi-trucks are owned by companies rather than individuals.
There may be different laws and regulations, and injuries tend to be more severe given the size difference between the vehicles involved.
Steps after a Truck Accident
The number one step, if necessary, is to seek medical treatment immediately for any injuries you may have sustained in the accident. In the event you don’t need emergency medical treatment at the scene, the next step is to collect as much evidence as you can.
Get names, addresses, driver’s license number, insurance information, and commercial company name (if applicable). It’s important to get as much information about the commercial truck company as you can, since you may be up against a large corporation who has tons of resources.
Photos are definitely helpful for an investigator to determine liability and prove what the road conditions were like at the time the accident occurred. Take photos of the damage, skid marks, physical surroundings, and weather can be important if it was raining heavily or snowing at the time.
Be cautious what you say at the scene. Do not admit liability to anyone, including law enforcement, witnesses, family members, etc.
Once you get home, you should contact your insurance company to report the loss. They can ensure the loss is reported with the other driver’s employer and insurance company as well. If the other insurance company contacts you, do not give them a recorded statement, as they may trick you into admitting liability or use other information against you during negotiations.
Retaining a California truck accident attorney is highly recommended since commercial truck accident settlements tend to be more complex. There are multiple parties and companies that may be working on behalf of the driver.
Average Semi-Truck Accident Settlement
If you were hit by a semi-truck, settlement amounts are likely to be higher than if you were struck by a compact vehicle. However, there is no blanket value to name, as a liability, injuries, and damages will vary in each accident, and those are critical factors in determining a settlement amount.
The main components in average semi-truck accident settlements include economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are made up of medical expenses, ambulance fees, future medical treatments, loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, and your vehicle damages.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other damages that are not as easily calculated.
You can help your case by ensuring you seek immediate medical attention, as the longer you wait, the more the other side will argue your injuries were not that serious. Ensure you go to all your scheduled doctor visits and follow their instructions. If you skip a few appointments, the other party will be quick to point this out.
When it comes to your doctor visits, be candid and tell them everything. Even if it seems like a minor complaint, it’s best to have it documented in your medical charts.
Retaining a California Truck Accident Attorney
If you were injured in an accident with a semi-truck, a skilled personal injury attorney who is experienced litigating these types of commercial losses can be an invaluable resource during this difficult time.
You need to concentrate on healing and getting back to work rather than taking on the added stress of dealing with the truck driver’s insurance company and/or attorney.
The Beliz Law Firm can handle your claim and protect your rights so you get the compensation you deserve. Contact our office at 562-452-3772 to schedule a complimentary consultation.