Steps to Take for a Successful Truck Accident Claim
Accidents involving large commercial trucks are often devastating for victims. These trucks are much larger and weigh much more than traditional passenger vehicles, and it is not uncommon for those involved to sustain catastrophic injuries or death in the event of a negligent truck driver causes a crash.
According to data available from the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were more than 13,000 total crashes involving tractor-trailers during the latest reporting year of data. Out of these incidents, there were 122 fatal crashes and 2,235 injury crashes.
It is crucial that survivors of large truck crashes take various steps to ensure their claim is successful so they can recover the compensation they deserve.
1. Seek medical care immediately
The single most important thing you can do after any vehicle accident, particularly an accident involving a large commercial truck, is to seek medical care. This ensures that you are properly cared for and that any hidden or delayed injuries are taken care of. Additionally, seeking medical care immediately following a crash establishes a strong link between the incident and your injuries, something that will help when it comes to an insurance settlement or presenting the case to a jury.
2. Contact the police
You need to call the police to the scene of the crash so they can conduct a preliminary investigation. A police report will contain crucial information for your insurance claim or a potential personal injury lawsuit.
3. Gather evidence
If it is safe to do so at the scene of the crash, use your phone or another type of camera to take photos and videos of the scene. This includes damages to any vehicles and the truck, road and weather conditions, any injuries, and any other evidence you believe would be helpful in proving the truck driver’s negligence.
4. Get witness information
You need to get the names and contact information of any person who saw what happened. This can include other drivers and passengers or bystanders nearby. Their testimony could prove to be invaluable for insurance purposes or during a personal injury lawsuit.
5. Notify your insurance company
Even if you know that you are not at fault for the incident, you need to notify your insurance carrier as soon as possible. Most insurance carriers require that their policyholders report any crash very soon after the incident occurs. Your insurance carrier will act as one of your advocates when working to file a claim against the insurance carrier of the trucking company.
6. Keep documentation
It is crucial to keep all documentation that shows your expenses following the crash. This includes keeping copies of medical bills, proof of lost wages, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, and more.
7. Continue follow-up medical treatment
You must continue going to all follow-up doctor visits. You must also continue all treatment prescribed by your doctor, including using any necessary medical devices, going to physical therapy and rehabilitation, and taking the necessary steps towards recovery. Discontinuing medical care before the doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement could jeopardize your insurance claim.
8. Speak to an attorney
Claims against trucking companies and truck drivers can become complicated, particularly when going up against insurance carriers or legal teams. It is crucial that you speak to a Chicago truck accident lawyer who has a thorough understanding of these cases and can take on all parties involved.