While any type of auto accident can have devastating effects for those involved, an 18-wheeler or semi-truck accident increases the chances of a severe injury taking place due to the overall size and weight of these transport vehicles. The drivers and passengers of automobiles involved in these types of accidents are eligible to file personal injury claims against not just the driver determined to be at fault, but in some cases against the trucking company as well, if they are found to be vicariously liable for the overall negligence of a driver that they employee. Additionally, the company could also be found directly liable if they fail to supervise or train a driver, as well as for failing to either hire or retrain a driver who is reckless or has previous strikes against them.
Here are next steps you should take if you are involved in an accident that involves an 18-wheeler or semi-truck.
Keep Track of Documents
The first thing you can do is make sure you keep track of any documents that could pertain to your case. This could include witness statements, records of police involvement, photographs of both the accident scene, the vehicles that were involved in the accident, and any injuries that may have been sustained. You will also want to ensure that you keep other documents like insurance forms, medical bills and towing receipts that could prove beneficial to your case.
At the end of the day, an experienced personal injury lawyer will be the best person to help you win your case and get you the justice you deserve, and having a record of everything that happened will help your lawyer defend you.
Know How Insurance Applies to You
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, trucking companies who operate on an interstate basis are required to obtain liability insurance that covers both property damage and bodily injury. This type of insurance is designed to cover both property owners and other drivers, protecting them from incurring large personal expenses whenever a truck driver is at fault for an accident. Truck drivers are required to have the minimum amount of coverage, but the minimum is typically dependent on the products that they are transporting.
In the event that a trucking company only obtains the minimum limit, a driver who is injured may end up getting capped at that specific policy’s limit. This also applies even if their damages go past that specific amount of money. On the other hand, the injured driver may also be entitled to further compensation if it’s determined that the trucking company possesses assets that may be able to satisfy any judgment.
If you or someone that you know has been involved in an 18-wheeler or semi-truck accident, it’s extremely important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible in order to learn more about your options and what legal action can be taken on your behalf. An attorney who has experience in dealing with these types of accidents will be able to ensure that you receive all compensation you are entitled to as a result of the accident.
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