A car accident can change your entire life. Depending on the severity of the wreck, you could endure medical treatments, financial strain, and physical therapy for an extended period of time. Some accidents lead to permanent disabilities. When you’re hurt in a truck wreck, these factors are often intensified.
When you get into a collision that involves a large truck, it is important that you document every aspect of the accident so you can receive a fair settlement. Here are some essential tips for truck accident documentation.
Whether you were involved in the truck accident you are documenting or you are a witness, it is always a good idea to make a note of everything that might be helpful in determining fault. Take as many pictures of the scene, starting from the first moments after the accident. The position of the vehicles and the road conditions are only some of the details that will be valuable in determining who or what was responsible for the collision.
Make sure to speak to other witnesses and collect their contact information. They may be asked to give their testimony at some point in the future. If you were involved in the accident, another thing to remember is to also collect a copy of the police report while at the scene.
If the truck accident resulted in serious injuries, it is a good idea to keep any information about medical bills and the treatment you have to undergo for your recovery. Presenting this evidence will help your claim and ensure that you receive fair compensation.
The Black Box
The “black box” system is often used when it comes to a plane crash. However, several big rigs have a black box, too. This box is usually used to track the GPS data connected to the truck and indicates what direction the trucker was driving in and how fast the driver was going. The black box can be analyzed to determine whether the trucker was negligent and if this negligence contributed to the accident.
However, it is important to note that the data contained in the black box is the property of the trucking company. The company will normally hire investigators to review the data right away. You need a lawyer on your side to protect your interests and retrieve the information to help you substantiate your claim.
Giving a Statement
Keep in mind that the main goal of the trucking company is to protect its reputation and bottom line. This means that the trucking company will try to minimize the compensation you receive.
You should avoid speaking directly with the trucking corporation or its insurer. Decline any requests from the defendant to give a written or recorded statement. Refer your questions to your lawyer and allow them to work on your behalf to increase the chances that your settlement amount is fair.
When you’re involved in a truck accident, you’ll have to determine who is at fault. If the trucking company is liable, you may be able to file a lawsuit.
There are two ways that the trucking company could be held responsible for your accident. The first is “respondeat superior” which means “let the master answer.” This principle indicates that the boss is responsible for their workers. So, when a trucker is negligent, the trucking company has to pay for the actions of the trucker. This rule works when the truck driver is the direct employee of the company.
However, many truck drivers are independent contractors and can be personally liable for the accident. The trucker’s actions will be evaluated to see if there is evidence of drowsy driving, speeding, or driving under the influence.
Accepting a Settlement
Once you’ve been in a truck accident, you may be wondering whether you should accept the settlement offered by the trucking company. It is best to consult with your lawyer to ensure that the settlement is acceptable based on the damages you’ve endured. However, in most cases, the settlement the trucking company offers is significantly lower than the amount you may need to repair or replace your vehicle and receive ongoing medical treatment for your injuries. You may also need funds to help you pay bills and take care of other financial obligations while you heal from your injuries. This settlement is often presented as an option at the beginning of your case so you’ll accept the amount before a full accident investigation is conducted.
Once the trucking company knows that you have a lawyer representing you, they are more likely to extend a fair settlement that will help you cover all or most of the costs associated with your accident.
You can get help from a truck accident attorney in Indianapolis, IN if you’ve been directly involved in a truck wreck or you’ve witnessed the incident. It is important that your account of the accident is as detailed as possible so you can build a strong case. Your experienced attorney will thoroughly review your information and contact additional witnesses if necessary to increase the chances that you’ll get the settlement you’re entitled to.