The combined weight, size, and speed of trucks makes accidents involving these vehicles particularly catastrophic. Passenger vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians are simply outmatched in these wrecks and victims can suffer serious and even fatal injuries. Seeking compensation for your injury is a process that requires legal skill and a determination to maximize the amount of available compensation. Turn to Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. for help seeking the justice you deserve.
Here is how the truck accident claim process works:
Step 1: Calling 911 and making a police report
Immediately after a truck accident, call 911. Request medical assistance, even if you think injuries are minor. Also ask the police to come to the scene and make a report about the accident. The police report contains vital information about the wreck that will come in handy later.
Step 2: Assessing – and taking care of – your damages
Truck accident damages may include a variety of losses that the victim has incurred due to negligence on the part of the truck driver, trucking company, or some other liable party (more about this below). Some of the most common damages that victims seek include:
- Medical bills, including for hospitalization, rehabilitation, follow-up treatments, and prescription medications
- Serious injuries like broken bones, internal injuries and severe lacerations
- Lost wages due to time recovering from injuries, going to the doctor, etc.
- Lost earning capacity in the event the victim can no longer work the same job due to his or her injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death, if the victim dies from his or her injuries
An attorney will help assign a dollar value to these and other damages. However, you need to take steps to prevent these problems from getting worse. This applies especially to medical damages. Be sure you see a doctor, follow the doctor’s instructions, and follow up on all medical appointments.
Step 3: Assigning and explaining fault
You will need to determine who is at fault (or who could be at fault) and why. As mentioned above, this may include such varied parties as:
- Truck drivers
- Trucking companies
- Mechanics and repair shops
- Parts suppliers
- Cargo companies and their employees
- Government entities responsible for roads
- Construction crews (e.g. if the accident was caused by construction zone hazards)
More than one party may share blame for the accident, depending on the circumstances. You also have the burden of showing how the accident happened, because it is up to you to establish that the responsible party or parties acted negligently. Some examples of truck accident causes include:
- Overloaded trucks
- Poor maintenance
- Truck defects
- Inexperienced drivers
- Distracted driving
- Speeding and other traffic violations
- Driver fatigue
- Poor road conditions
An attorney can conduct an investigation to complete this step.
Step 4: Hiring legal counsel to negotiate with the insurance company
There’s a good chance the at-fault party’s insurance company will reach out to you and attempt to interview you claiming they want to settle the case. It is strongly recommended that you don’t handle discussions with the insurance company by yourself. Insurers are for-profit businesses, and the less they have to pay on accident claims, the higher their profits. These companies are notorious for using a number of underhanded tactics to trick victims into accepting far less than their accidents are worth, or making no offer at all after obtaining unfavorable information from you.
Our firm is well-versed in these various strategies and we know how to demand a sum of money that fairly compensates our clients. We will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, taking into account both expenses you’ve already incurred and those you will likely incur in the future. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, however, we are prepared to take your case to court.
Give Us A Call to Explore Your Legal Options
Don’t delay taking action on your truck accident claim. If you’ve been injured, give our firm a call to learn more about your legal rights and options. Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. is here to serve you and your family.