An 18-wheeler semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. To put that into perspective, the average car weighs only 5,000 pounds. Due to the relative size and weight of the vehicles involved, truck accidents can cause serious injuries and even fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (“NHTSA”), in 2018, 4951 people died in trucking accidents involving large trucks. Even when there are no fatalities, injuries incurred in truck accidents can be severe and can take accident survivors years to recover from.
Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?
Determining which parties may be liable in truck accidents is a much more complex issue than it would be in a regular car accident. Trucking is a heavily regulated industry on both the state and federal levels. There are regulations that govern virtually all aspects of a truck’s operation and maintenance as well as the truck drivers themselves. The existence of these regulations creates multiple potentially responsible parties including the;
- Truck driver,
- Truck’s owner,
- Manufacturer of the truck,
- Party that loaded up the truck,
- Manufacturer of the truck’s brakes,
- Company that maintained the truck, etc.
Not every personal injury lawyer will have the experience necessary to properly investigate and litigate a truck accident claim. That’s why you should consult the attorneys at the Law Office of Nancy Miller and Mark Miller in the event you or a loved one gets into a truck accident. They have decades of experience helping victims of Southern Maryland truck accidents get the maximum recovery for their injuries, including a $3.9 million settlement for wrongful death in a truck accident.
What to Do After a Truck Accident to Preserve Your Claim
If you get into a truck accident, be sure to do the following things to preserve your claim:
- Report the crash: If you are in the physical condition to do so and don’t require urgent medical care, stay at the scene of the accident and report it.
Get help and an accident report: If you or someone else is injured or if someone dies in the accident, call 911. If not, call the local police department or state highway patrol. Be sure to note which law enforcement agency reports to the scene and request a copy of the police report. You’ll need that for your attorney and the insurance company.
- Get medical treatment: Get checked out by a medical professional as soon as you can after the accident whether you think you were injured or not. You might not immediately notice or feel the pain of an injury right after the accident due to an adrenaline spike. If you’re not treated at the scene or transported to a hospital, see your regular doctor as soon as possible to get checked out and determine whether you need ongoing medical care.
- Take careful notes: Be sure to exchange information with the truck driver and any other party while at the scene of the accident. Get their name, address, telephone number, email address, and license number as well as their insurance company and policy information. Also, get the truck driver’s employer’s name, address, and telephone number.
- Collect witness information: Get the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the accident, if possible. If you don’t get this information while everyone is at the scene, it may be hard to track the parties down later after they’ve gone on their merry way.
- Document the accident: Take lots and lots of pictures with your cell phone or a camera if you have one handy. Take pictures of the positions of and any damage to the vehicles, any skid marks, your injuries, the other drivers, and anything else of interest. These pictures may end up being used as evidence later.
- Be careful with what you say: A law enforcement officer and the EMT’s will probably ask you questions at the scene of the accident. Insurance company representatives will also ask you questions. Be careful what you say because it can be used against you later. Don’t admit guilt.
- Consult an attorney: Contact an attorney with extensive experience handling truck accidents as soon as possible so they can guide you through the process and help you recover what you’re owed.
Victim of a Serious Truck Accident? Let Us Advocate for You
The attorneys at the Law Office of Nancy Miller and Mark Miller have proven track records helping clients who are victims of Southern Maryland truck accidents recover the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been injured in a serious truck accident, let us advocate for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.