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Truck Accidents

Truck Crashes and Wrecks

Truck accidents are less common than car accidents, but when they do occur they are more likely to lead to serious injury or fatalities. Do not assume the laws are exactly the same for truck and car accidents. The laws differ and understanding what to do after a truck accident is critical to ensuring you and your family are protected.

Compensation for truck and bus accidents can usually include compensation for paid medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. State laws vary, but in most states you are able to file a personal injury claim and win benefits if someone else is fully or partially responsible for the accident. In some states however, you may only be able to receive compensation if you are less than 50% responsible for the truck accident.

If you are involved in a bus or truck accident it is important to discuss your accident with a personal injury attorney. Personal injury lawyers can review the state laws with you and make sure you are fully compensated for your truck injuries.

Statute of Limitations for filing a Personal Injury Claim

Statutes of limitations apply for all personal injury claims, even truck and bus accidents. Evidence and documents may be lost or destroyed as soon as the vehicles are transported from the scene of the accident. Some states require claimants to file a personal injury claim within one year, others allow longer. The statute of limitations usually begins counting down at the time the injury occurs, but this can vary based on the type of claim.

Do not wait until the last possible week to contact a personal injury lawyer and expect to have a solid personal injury claim. Contact them immediately after the accident occurs.

How much will it cost to file a personal injury claim?

First, find a personal injury lawyer who specializes in truck injuries. Trucking accidents can be much more involved than a car accident case. The trucking companies not only have their own highly trained team of personal injury lawyers ready to respond to companies who need their help throughout the United States, they also specialize in investigating trucking accidents.

Many trucking companies hire groups such as the Trucking Industry Defense Association to defend their claims. This groups claims to be "committed to reducing the cost of claims and lawsuits against the trucking industry. Members work to develop strategies and share knowledge to defend the trucking industry in personal injury, property damage, worker's compensation claims and cargo claims".

Like many other lawyers, personal injury attorneys generally work on a contingency fee basis and will only be paid if you win your personal injury claim. If you do not get paid, your attorney does not get paid. There is an incentive for the attorney to work hard to maximize your payout. Keep in mind that hiring a personal injury lawyer requires no up-front payments from you.

Steps to take after a Truck Accident

The actions following a truck accident are similar to those following a car accident. The injuries, however, may be much more severe, and it is crucial to get medical help immediately.

  • Check on all passengers and drivers and make sure they are safe. Do not attempt to move any injured person unless they are in imminent danger.
  • Get information from everyone involved in the truck accident including the names, driver's license numbers, vehicle identification numbers, insurance information (including the policy number and the insurance carrier's name) and DOT numbers on the trucks.
  • Collect all witness information including their names and phone numbers.
  • If possible, take photographs of the truck accident scene. This evidence can be crucial if the facts of the truck accident are disputed.
  • Seek medical care immediately following the truck accident. Seek care even if you do not feel like you are injured. Many truck accident injuries may not manifest themselves until days after the wreck.
  • Answer all police questions. You should not admit guilt, but it is important to accurately and honestly answer law enforcement questions.
  • Get a copy of the police report and note any discrepancies.
  • Collect information from the police officer, including their name and their badge number.
  • Contact your insurance company and notify them of the wreck.
  • Do not talk to another insurance company without first contacting your truck accident lawyer. An accident lawyer is trained to answer questions from other insurance companies and is able to protect your rights. Do not accept a settlement offer without first understanding the long-term effects of your truck accident injuries.