Do you drive for a living? There’s always a risk when you are behind the wheel of a truck. Whether you are driving for your job or a victim injured by a truck driver, it’s important to know your rights if a truck accident occurs.
The reality is that any commercial or truck accident is a devastating situation for the driver and anyone else involved. These large vehicles often cause severe damage because of the weight and size of the truck. Whether you are at fault, or you’re injured by another driver, it’s time to call a truck accident attorney for support.
5 Steps to Follow After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident happens, your actions play an important role in the settlement you will receive. Here are a few essential steps to follow to maximize your compensation:
- Call Law Enforcement Immediately: Law enforcement is the first call you need to make after a truck accident. Even if you don’t think that medical services are needed, it’s smart to talk to the authorities about the situation. They will document the accident, gather contact information for everyone involved, and maintain records that you can use in court if necessary.
- Always Seek Medical Attention: Regardless of your pain levels, it’s important to talk to a doctor as soon as possible. Often, the shock and adrenaline after an accident hide the pain. It can take a few days before you start to notice symptoms from whiplash and other injuries. Seeking medical attention creates an official record in case you decide to file a personal injury claim later.
- Document the Scene: If you are able, pull out your cell phone and start taking pictures and videos of the accident scene. This evidence is helpful when building your claim. Be proactive about capturing images from different angles. Document the truck, damages, other vehicles, and injuries. If you are unable to take photos because of your injuries, ask someone else on the scene to document the situation.
- Gather Information from Other People: Personal information is critical when your lawyer is working with insurance companies and building your claim. Collect information from the truck driver, such as their name, address, and other identifying information (such as insurance information, driver’s license number, and vehicle DOT license number). Ask for information from everyone involved, including the truck driver, other drivers, and victims. The easiest solution is to snap photos of these documents.
- Contact the Insurance Company: You’ll need to report the accident to the insurance company. But be careful about what you say. Even if the insurance representative seems friendly, their job is to find evidence that minimizes the amount they need to pay. Remember, you are under no obligation to talk to the insurance provider. The safest solution is to work through your attorney instead of talking to the insurance companies.
Worker’s Compensation for Truck Drivers
If you are behind the wheel of a truck for work, then you might be able to access financial compensation if an accident happens. Worker’s Compensation is available when employees are in a work-related accident. This coverage includes truck accidents, van accidents, and other related injuries.
Since employers are responsible for the safety of their drivers, they could hold liability if something goes wrong on the road. Worker’s Compensation provides medical coverage for work-related accidents. But you must build your claim and show how your injuries resulted from the work activities.
When Worker’s Compensation is involved, make sure to report the accident to your employer immediately. Following the right claim process is essential to avoid losing potential benefits for your medical bills and lost wages.
Are You Eligible for Worker’s Compensation?
Talk to an attorney to determine if you are eligible to receive money through a Worker’s Compensation policy. You need to know your status as a worker. As a general rule of thumb, employees qualify for Worker’s Compensation. But this coverage isn’t available for independent contractors.
You’ll know if you are an employee because of your wages. If you receive a W-2 and a regular paycheck, then it means that you are under the classification as an employee. An attorney can help you determine your employment status if you are unsure.
Worker’s Compensation covers expenses for many types of workers, including:
- Construction workers
- Delivery truck drivers
- Project managers
- Landscaping crews
- Home contractors
- Service providers
- Sales representatives
Any time you are driving a truck for work, potential accidents and injuries could qualify for Worker’s Compensation coverage. Most states require participation in this workplace coverage, but there are a few exceptions. Your attorney will help you identify potential Worker’s Compensation and other types of insurance coverage available for your medical bills.
Personal Injury Damages for Truck Accidents
Even if you are unable to receive monetary compensation through Worker’s Compensation, a personal injury case is another option to consider. When another driver is at fault you can sue for full compensation – covering medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Your attorney will help you build the case, gathering evidence to show how the other driver is at fault. The payout for your personal injury claim depends on the circumstances of the accident, gross negligence of the other driver, and the lifelong consequences of the accident.
Always Hire an Attorney
The most important decision you will make after a truck accident is which attorney you choose to hire. Your legal representative will work to build a solid case, helping you access the monetary compensation you deserve.
Even if you are unsure about the liability of the accident, it’s smart to use the services of a trained truck accident attorney. There are many legal concerns that come into play with these types of accidents. You need the help of an attorney to navigate the claim filing and court proceedings.
Your attorney works as an advocate on your behalf, taking the most important steps to protect your rights through every stage. In addition to managing the paperwork and court systems, a lawyer is also essential for handling communications with others involved in the accident.
For more information about truck accident legal services, contact our pro team at Shamieh Law. We offer personalized support to help you access the compensation you deserve.