Following an accident with another vehicle can be a chaotic time, not to mention very stressful. Being involved in a wreck can affect your life in less than a New York Minute. Consider medical bills, missing work, your damaged automobile – not to mention the injuries you have suffered. The chances of serious injury can increase with the presence of an 18-wheeler truck or big rig. The average car weighs approximately 3,500-4,000 pounds. The average 18-wheeler, on the other hand, weighs 80,000 pounds. In a car vs. 18-wheeler collision, the automobile usually bears the brunt of the impact.
If you have been involved in a car accident with a commercial truck, here are some steps you can take:
Call the Police
You should immediately make a call to the police following an accident involving injury to you as a result of a crash. When you call the police officers should investigate the crash and issue a police report to document important information such as the parties involved, witnesses and any statements they may make, statements made by the persons involved in the wreck, insurance information, property damage, tag numbers, VIN numbers of the vehicles, and more. Even if you only exchanged information with the other driver at the scene, you should consider reporting the accident to the police so that they will issue a police report.
Seek Medical Treatment if You Are Hurting
Injuries in an 18-wheeler crash can range in severity. A best case scenario may involve walking away uninjured, but most of the time that is not the case. You may suffer whiplash or forms of soreness, tightness, or stiffness. Severe crashes can lead to broken bones, injuries requiring surgery, disabling conditions and even death. If you feel pain after a truck accident, you should have a licensed medical professional immediately assess your condition. Seeking prompt treatment can help you recover as quickly as possible. Depending on what the doctor sees, you may need to be referred to a specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor for disc injuries or a neurologist for headaches or head injuries. Without medical records documenting your symptoms and condition, it can become difficult to prove they are causally related to the accident.
Contact an Experienced Trucking Accident Lawyer
Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies are bound by different rules and regulations than ordinary citizens. Commercial carriers and their employees must follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's rules. An experienced NYC truck accident lawyer can take the following steps on your behalf in an effort to protect your legal rights:
- Obtain all police and crash reports
- Identify all insurance policies that can apply to your case
- Consult with expert witnesses
- Retain accident reconstruction experts
- Document the accident scene
- Speak with witnesses
- Preserve relevant forms of evidence, including video footage
- Prevent the destruction of evidence
- Inspect the 18-wheeler and ensure the “black box” data is preserved
- Pursue all damages to which you may be entitled by law, such as medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Big trucking companies have the capability to start investigating a wreck right after it happens. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner we can investigate the crash.
As an NYC personal injury lawyer will tell you, preserving relevant evidence is critical in a case. With the prevalence of smartphones, documenting damages is easier than it used to be. If you notice evidence of physical injuries, such as bruising or scarring, take pictures so your injuries are documented. You can also take photos of the scene and any physical evidence that remains, such as skid marks on the street and tire marks. Pay close attention to cameras, either at traffic lights or nearby businesses. If someone witnessed the accident, get their name and number so that they can be contacted later to provide a statement of what happened. Also, be on the lookout for any company logos on the truck or commercial vehicle, as there could be multiple parties who are responsible for your injuries
We Will Help You
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all that goes into handling a trucking accident case. Every case is different, and to learn more about your rights you should call a dedicated and trusted attorney.
Contact Michael J. Redenburg for a free case evaluation.