Getting in an accident with a commercial truck can be a life-changing experience. Depending on the location of the impact, the size of the vehicle, and the speed in which both parties were traveling, damages can be devastating, if not fatal. To help you navigate life after getting in a serious wreck, consider some of the most commonly asked questions and answers regarding truck accidents.

1. What are some common causes of truck wrecks?

Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include improper maintenance, brake failure, improper loading, travelling too fast for weather conditions, blind spots, driver fatigue, distracted driving, driver inexperience, prescription drug use, illegal maneuvering, highway hypnosis, and reckless driving in general.

2. What should I do immediately after a truck accident?

Trucks can weigh up to 40 tons, which makes collisions dangerous to your physical health. If you’ve been in a collision with a truck, try to remain calm and assess your injuries. Unless the conditions are dangerous, remain in your car, turn on your hazard lights, and call 911. Never admit fault, regardless of the situation that caused the wreck. Any injuries need to be addressed and, even if you think you’re fine, you need to undergo a medical evaluation. If something hurts or feels strained, try not to move to avoid causing further damage. Never leave the scene of an accident without speaking with law enforcement agencies, contacting your insurance, and writing down all of the pertinent information of the other parties involved. Take photographs to support evidential liability down the line.

3. What should I do in the days following a truck accident?

In the days following an accident with a truck, talk with your insurance agency about damages to your person and your vehicle. Never sign anything given to you without first consulting with an attorney. To help you process the claim, get compensation for damage, and protect your rights, work with an experienced personal injury attorney. Big insurance companies will do whatever they can to keep money in their pockets, so don’t fall victim to anyone pretending to represent your interests. You should also see a doctor and receive documentation of any injuries sustained during the accident. This should be a comprehensive log that’s complete with photos, doctor recommendations for treatment, long-term effects of injuries, and ongoing care expenses. Keep a detailed log of anyone you see accompanied by receipts.

It’s also important to obtain a copy of the accident report that was prepared by the police and a property damage valuation from the insurance company. Extensively record all of your expenses and log any missed days of work or income for future records.

4. What should I say if someone calls me before I’ve spoken to a lawyer?

If someone calls you from the trucking company or their insurance agency, deflect them to your attorney. Never make a statement on record to the trucker’s insurance carrier, as doing so can severely diminish your legal rights to adequate compensation. If you receive forms in the mail or via email, forward them to your attorney and never sign anything without legal guidance.

5. Who can be liable in a truck accident?

Unlike a car accident where the liable party is typically the driver of the other vehicle, truck accidents are much more complex. The driver, the company they work for, the truck manufacturer, the maintenance company, the person who trained the driver, a government agency, or even the contractor that caused unsafe road conditions can all be liable in a truck accident. This makes navigating the legal system complex as it requires carefully gathered evidence to prove.

6. Can I sue the trucker or trucking company after an accident?

Due to the complex liabilities in a truck accident, there are several parties that can be sued depending on fault. The truck driver themselves, the trucking company, or the owner of the truck are the most common parties sued for compensation. However, depending on the cause of the accident, anyone listed as liable has the potential to face financial consequences.

7. How much compensation will I receive?

The compensation you’re eligible to receive after a truck accident usually depends on the damage. However, this extends far past the physical damage to your vehicle. You can sue for personal injury, property damage, emotional trauma, and missed income opportunities when truck wrecks eliminate your ability to work. A personal injury attorney will help you maximize your compensation based on your case and the degree of immediate and lasting injury.

8. When should I file a lawsuit after a truck accident?

While it’s always better to file a lawsuit as soon as you have all of the necessary information, the statute of limitations can extend for years depending on which state it occurred in. In Texas, you can file a lawsuit up to two years following a truck accident that resulted in injuries or death. Always check with your attorney to ensure you are within your state-mandated parameters.

9. What should I do if I’ve lost a loved one in a truck accident?

If you lose a loved one in a trucking accident, it’s important to file a wrongful death claim. This allows parents, spouses, and children of the victim to collect damages.

10. Do I need a personal liability attorney?

Truck accidents are complex and while you might think you can handle the legal process on your own, it’s better to have a personal liability attorney by your side. By simply having an attorney present in the courtroom during litigation, you increase the likelihood of receiving the compensation you deserve. You’ll also ensure that your rights are protected, and you aren’t taken advantage of by big corporations with deep pockets.

If you or someone you love was injured in an accident involving a semi-truck or commercial vehicle, contact the personal injury lawyers at Houston M. Smith. Our Terrell, TX attorneys understand the intricacies of truck accidents and will help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us at 945-468-7866 for your free case evaluation today.