If you were injured in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, you deserve reasonable compensation for your injuries and financial losses. Illinois personal injury attorneys with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates are ready to put their skills and years of experience to work for you.
There’s no risk to you for scheduling a free case review. Call us today at (800) 985-1819 or use our online contact form.
Steps to take after being hurt in a truck crash
Some people describe their mental state post-truck accident as being in a “fog.” They know something bad has happened, but they can’t process the magnitude and they’re not really sure what they need to do next.
As difficult as it may be, it’s very important to keep a clear head. If you can do the following, it’ll preserve your health and it could help your Aurora truck accident attorneys help build the strongest possible case on your behalf.
1. Move to a safer location
Whether you’re on a major highway or a less-traveled road, move your vehicle to the safest place you can find. That could be a nearby parking lot, the shoulder, or wherever you can get out of oncoming traffic. If you can’t move your vehicle but can safely get out of it, move somewhere safe.
2. Check for injuries and call 911
Conduct a quick evaluation of your injuries and any that might be immediately apparent for your passengers or other motorists, then call 911 immediately. Tell the dispatcher where the accident is, how many cars are involved, how many people are involved (if you know), and if anyone is injured.
The dispatcher will send fire, medics, and police. After medical conditions are evaluated and those who need immediate care are transported, police can begin investigating the accident.
3. Tell your side of the story to the responding police officer
The wreck could have occurred so fast that you’re not completely sure what happened, but give the investigating officer your best recollection. You can supplement your statement later if you remember additional details. Don’t admit to any fault because if you do, you could lose the chance of obtaining full and fair compensation. Let the investigation determine who was to blame.
4. Notify your insurance company
You might find it difficult to get money from the at-fault party’s insurance company and they might delay payment, so your insurer might provide some assistance while your case is pending based on your policy’s coverage. Report the accident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible to prevent them from using any kind of delay on your part as a reason to deny your claim.
5. Gather evidence at the scene
If you can safely take photos or videos at the scene, it could be highly beneficial to your case. Don’t try to do this if you’re not physically capable or if the scene isn’t safe or could become unsafe because that would make your injuries much worse. Take pictures of:
- The damaged vehicles
- Marks or evidence on the road (such as skid marks)
- The surrounding area
- Road conditions such as puddles or road hazards
6. Visit a doctor as soon as possible
If the emergency medical personnel who respond to the scene recommend that you be transported to the hospital in the ambulance, follow their recommendation because you won’t really know how seriously you’ve been injured until you go to the doctor. Adrenaline is powerful and can mask the symptoms of many injuries, including serious ones, but when it wears off, you might quickly regret rejecting their recommendation.
If you don’t want to go to the hospital, at least go to your nearest urgent care, clinic, or primary care physician to get checked out.
In addition to discovering the extent of your injuries and what your recovery will entail, delaying medical care could open the door to the at-fault driver’s insurer trying to reduce or deny your claim based on the argument that you aren’t injured as badly as you claim. Prompt medical attention can help preserve your claim for damages.
7. Consult with an Aurora truck accident attorney
Your health is our top priority, so after you’ve received treatment, contact the Aurora truck accident attorneys with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates as soon as possible. We will launch our own investigation into the accident and will gather the facts and evidence necessary to help you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve.
Possible damages you can claim
“Damages” are the economic losses that you experience as a direct result of the incident. Here’s a brief overview of the two most common forms of damages that are awarded in a truck accident case: economic and non-economic damages.
The medical bills keep pouring in, and you’re now losing money because you’ve used all of your sick days and vacation days, and you still can’t work. These are examples of economic damages. Your economic damages will also include future medical care you’ll need and other work benefits and wages that you might lose due to your inability to work.
These are more subjective damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, emotional and mental distress, and others. Not all truck accident attorneys know how to accurately calculate non-economic damages, but the Illinois personal injury attorneys with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates are very experienced and have received several non-economic damage awards for their clients.
Make sure you meet the deadline to file a claim
You have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you wait too long and the statute expires, you won’t have any legal recourse and you’ll be responsible for all of your medical bills and financial losses.
We fight trucking insurance companies to get you maximum compensation
The insurance companies that cover trucking companies are very powerful. Since truck accidents often cause catastrophic injuries, the policies that cover these vehicles are routinely worth $1 million or more. The insurer is going to fight hard to protect that policy, which is why you’re going to need a team of skilled attorneys with the experience to defeat the insurance company and get you the compensation you deserve.
Parties who may be liable for the crash
Truck accidents are very complex cases because not only is there a lot of money at stake, there are sometimes multiple parties who contributed to causing the accident. Some of the more common liable parties include:
- The company that owns the truck
- The truck driver
- The manufacturer of a defective component, such as a tire that exploded or a braking system that failed
- The company that loaded the cargo
How your Aurora truck accident lawyer will prove liability
Your attorney’s investigation will determine which parties you’ll be taking action against. This investigation will not only entail looking at the accident scene but much more, including:
- Footage from any nearby surveillance cameras
- Truck driver log books and phone records
- “Black box” data (more on this later)
- Vehicle maintenance records
- And more
Length of time you can expect your claim to settle
Many factors go into determining how long your case will take, so no reputable attorney will promise that your claim will settle in a certain amount of time or that you’ll get a certain amount of money.
However, the more compelling your evidence, the easier it should be to convince the liable parties to offer you a fair settlement.
Semi-truck “black boxes”: What they are and how they can
be used in your case
The “black box” in a truck is a device that records essential data such as the speed the truck was traveling, whether or not the brakes were applied, and other critical information such as how long the truck has been driving. Your attorney can request that data in an effort to show how the accident occurred and to support your claim for damages.
Common truck accident injuries
Semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Compared to the average passenger vehicle weight of 4,000 pounds, it’s easy to see why semi-truck crashes are so serious. Some of the injuries that often result from collisions with 18-wheelers include:
- Severe neck and back injuries
- Paralysis due to spinal cord damage
- Years of debilitation after a traumatic brain injury
- Shattered bones
- And more
“Dos” and “don’ts” of dealing with insurance after a crash
While you need to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, that’s about the only contact you should have with any insurer.
The at-fault party’s insurance provider will assign an adjuster to your case. Refer all of their questions to your attorney. If you don’t, you could easily be tricked into making a statement that will damage your chances of obtaining compensation.
Cost of hiring a truck accident lawyer
At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, our attorneys are highly experienced, and we fight for every single client with a case built specifically for their unique circumstances—all without you paying any legal fees upfront.
You won’t pay us anything out-of-pocket for your consultation or when you first hire us. You won’t pay unless we win your case, and unlike other attorneys, we don’t charge you interest on any costs that we advance on your behalf. Our payment is a percentage of your settlement or damages award, so you don’t suffer a loss by hiring the best Illinois personal injury attorneys.
Our Aurora truck accident attorneys are here to help
Don’t wait — schedule a free consultation with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates by using our online form or calling (800) 985-1819. Our team of expert attorneys is standing by to help you recover from this ordeal. Call today to move forward.