In 2012, there were 333,000 trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds involved in collisions across the country, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Approximately 104,000 people suffered injuries in these wrecks, and 73 percent of them were riding in a vehicle other than the truck.
Using this data from the NHTSA, we can estimate that about 208 people suffer injuries in a collision with a tractor-trailer or other large truck every single day. These statistics show that your chances of being involved in a truck accident are likely higher than you think. You cannot predict when or where an accident could happen, but you should know what to do after one.
Truck accidents are not your average motor vehicle accident. Major insurance companies provide coverage for truck drivers under very complex commercial policies. These insurers have extensive resources available to them. They will have an investigator or adjuster on the scene immediately, collecting data, talking to witnesses and asking you questions about the crash.
No matter how friendly they seem or what they say, these people are not on your side. They are doing everything possible to build a case against you.
What should you do after an accident to protect your claim for compensation?
- The most important thing to do is seek medical attention. Your health is the highest priority.
- Call an attorney who focuses on truck accidents. You must do this immediately. The bonus is that an attorney can take care of the confusing and frustrating details of the claims process for you, including the next few steps.
- Document the accident when possible. Take pictures and talk to witnesses.
- Do not admit fault. Never make statements explaining what happened, you could be giving the insurance companies information that will help them underpay or deny your claim.
- Keep medical records and other documentation. Make sure you do not throw away any receipts or proof of expense or injury that could help establish a claim. The rule of thumb here is: if you are unsure, keep it.
Truck accidents involve serious injuries with serious implications for your life. Talking to an attorney is about ensuring you have the money you need to recover.