All car and trucking accidents are undeniably stressful, but one of the most stressful types of accidents to be involved in is any accident that involves a company-issued big rig, semi truck, or trailer truck. These truck accidents tend to be devastating, naturally, since large trucks carry so much weight and force behind them. There’s also the fact that most semi trucks are owned by large corporations with powerful legal teams on standby that will fight to save whatever money they can when a company truck is involved in an accident.
What this essentially means for you—the other driver involved in the accident—is that unless you have an experienced trucking accident attorney on your side, it’s highly likely that a trucking company will do whatever it takes to escape any claims to fault that may lie with the truck driver. The company may even file a lawsuit against you in order to make the company look better, potentially placing you and your family in financial jeopardy. Large corporations, unfortunately, sometimes place unguided confidence in the notion that most people don’t know enough about the legal world to protect themselves.
It becomes your responsibility to not be “most people”. If you’re involved in a wreck with a large, corporate-owned truck, you need to do everything you can to protect your rights after a truck accident. Here are some tips:
Don’t Agree to Sign Anything Suspicious
At the scene of the accident, don’t agree to sign anything that isn’t issued by the police department. Trucking corporations will often send out teams of defense attorneys and insurance claim adjusters that will try and get the other driver involved to sign a release form, effectively signing away all legal rights. Don’t sign any forms that look suspicious, and don’t get involved in any negotiations regarding the accident. Anything you say could potentially be held against you in court later on.
Capture Your Own Evidence
Use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene as well as of the truck involved. You can take pictures of the damages incurred to the truck as well as to your vehicle, the driver’s door where the company label is typically placed, the license plate, any skid marks or debris in the road, the front end of the truck for identification purposes, and the conditions of the road at the time of the accident. These photographs can be used as evidence later on if the corporation decides to file a lawsuit or if you hire your own attorney.
Be Careful in the Weeks Following the Accident
Companies will sometimes have a representative from the trucking corporation call the other driver that was involved in the accident a few days after the accident in an attempt to get them to sign a release form. They will sometimes also ask for a recorded statement regarding the accident. If this happens, say no, do not agree to anything, and contact a lawyer immediately.
Protect Your Rights After a Truck Accident
Time is often of the essence when it comes to trucking accident insurance claims and lawsuits due to how quickly trucking companies react. Whether you feel you were at fault for the accident or not, it’s important to contact an attorney as quickly as possible after the accident occurs in order to protect your rights after a truck accident. Hiring an attorney for a truck accident claim is far more vital than for a standard car accident claim, in fact.
Prioritize finding a truck accident attorney who is experienced in trucking accidents specifically. A personal injury attorney like Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices has had years of experience with largescale corporations like trucking companies and is skilled at navigating lawsuits that can and do succeed against these corporations. Don’t place you and your loved ones in financial jeopardy. Give our Louisville office a call today.