03 Jul Big Truck Wrecks
Accidents involving semi tractor trailers and cars cause some of the most severe injuries because of the disparity and weights between cars and trucks. A semi tractor trailer may weigh up to eighty thousand (80,000) pounds while passenger cars typically weigh about four thousand (4,000) pounds. Regardless of who caused the accident, the occupants of the smaller, lighter vehicles almost always sustain the brunt of the impact and the most serious injuries.
Cases involving large commercial trucks and passenger cars are quite different than routine accidents involving two (2) cars. Many accidents that involve large trucks are multi vehicle accidents which can become quite complicated when trying to sort out what happened in the accident.
Since semi tractor trailers have a potential to cause greater damage, trucking companies are required to carry higher amounts of liability coverage. The truck driver, trucking company, the trucking equipment manufacturer and freight shipper may have separate insurance companies with separate lawyers working to protect their interest. You need an aggressive lawyer advocating on your behalf to level the playing field. The attorneys at Millward & Castle, PLLC will work aggressively to protect your interest in the event you are involved in an accident with a semi tractor trailer.
If you are involved in an accident with a semi tractor trailer some important steps for you to take are as follows:
- Medical Evaluation – If you sustain an injury, you should visit a physician and have a complete evaluation, if you did not require emergency care immediately following the accident. In most accidents with semi tractor trailers, victims are usually seriously injured and often require hospitalization and extensive rehabilitation to recover. However, some serious injuries aren’t immediately apparent. This is why you need to see a doctor for a complete evaluation if you feel that you have been injured and did not seek emergency care following the accident.
- Report the Accident – Contact your insurance company and report the accident. Do not make any statements to the insurance company representing the truck driver or the trucking company.
- Don’t Sign Anything – If the truck driver is at fault, an insurance adjuster representing the truck driver or trucking company may contact you seeking a statement, request that you sign a medical authorization form or even make a quick settlement offer. The adjuster may seem friendly and helpful, but quite frankly, they do not have your best interest at heart. They are working to protect the insurance company. Their offers are usually way too low and you should refuse to sign anything presented to you by the insurance company for the truck driver or the trucking company without having a lawyer review it.
- Understand Your Options – It is a good idea to have a personal injury lawyer knowledgeable about tractor trailer accidents to review the specifics of your accident and advise you of your legal options. In some cases, more than one party is at fault. Tractor trailer crashes often require a detailed investigation by an experienced attorney to allow an injured motorist to present a solid claim.
- Hire a Lawyer – Trucking companies are required to keep certain records, such as driver log books and maintenance records, for a certain period of time. These documents can provide good evidence that a truck was not properly maintained or that the driver had been on the road too many hours without a break. This evidence may be lost or destroyed if an accident victim puts off hiring an attorney to investigate the accident.
It is important to consult an attorney that is knowledgeable in handling big truck cases as soon as possible following an accident. Millward & Castle is ready to assist you and your family in the event that you are involved in an automobile accident with a tractor trailer.