Navigating the aftermath of a collision with a commercial truck can be an overwhelming process. You may be dealing with your physical recovery, emotional distress, and requests from the trucking company and its insurance company—all at the same time.
Understanding what to do after a crash with a commercial truck and working with a truck accident attorney from Catalano Law can help protect your rights to compensation.
A collision with a commercial truck can be a terrifying experience, and its fallout may leave you feeling overwhelmed. At Catalano Law, we recommend taking the following steps after a big truck crash to ensure appropriate medical care and to protect your interests:
- Ensure Everyone’s Safety and Seek Medical Attention
Make sure everyone involved is safe. If possible, move your vehicle out of traffic. Immediately call 911, regardless of how minor you believe the injuries may be. A medical examination is critical, as some injuries, such as TBIs or internal bleeding, might not be immediately noticeable. This step gets you and other victims the necessary medical care and can provide records of your injuries, connecting them to the crash.
- Report the Incident
In New York State, any crash resulting in damage to a person or property over $1,000 must be reported to the police within ten days. If police are dispatched when you call 911, provide them with details about the incident. This formal police report can be an invaluable piece of evidence when filing your claim and can be obtained from the New York DMV for up to four years post-accident.
- Document the Scene
If you’re physically able, take photos or videos of the scene, capturing details like vehicle damage, road conditions, and visible injuries. For example, take pictures of skid marks, road signs, traffic lights, and debris from the crash. Also, try to jot down the exact location, time, and any other details that may seem relevant.
- Gather Information
Obtain the truck driver’s information, including their name, contact details, insurance details, and driver’s license number. If there are any witnesses, get their contact details and ask if they are willing to provide a statement if your attorney contacts them. Also, write down the truck’s company name so your attorney can file a claim with their insurance.
- Do Not Admit Fault
It’s important not to admit any fault or liability at the scene. Stick to the facts when giving your account of the incident to the police or insurance adjusters. Avoid statements like “I’m sorry” or “I may have been on my phone,” and instead, give truthful, concise answers to police.
- Seek Legal Advice
Before filing a claim, consult a personal injury lawyer from Catalano Law who is skilled in commercial truck collisions. We can help you understand your rights, guide you through the claim process, and advocate for your interests.
When you file a claim with a truck company’s insurer, the insurance company will follow a few basic steps to investigate and settle the case.
Your attorney at Catalano Law will help you through the following stages of the claim process to negotiate on your behalf for a fair settlement:
- Claim submission: Once your attorney has gathered all the necessary information, they will submit your claim to the trucking company’s insurance. This claim outlines the nature of your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and any other losses you have incurred.
- Investigation: After filing your claim, the trucking company’s insurance representative will conduct an investigation. They’ll collect evidence, including the police report and witness statements, and review evidence, such as medical bills or W2s submitted by your attorney, to determine who is at fault for the accident.
- Initial settlement offer: In most cases, the trucking company’s insurance will make an initial settlement offer. This is typically much less than what your claim asks for and will not cover all of your accident-related expenses. They may pressure you into accepting the offer; however, your attorney can reject the offer and negotiate for a fair amount on your behalf.
- Negotiation: Your attorney will communicate with the insurance company and may submit additional evidence to prove the extent of your damages and the truck driver’s or trucking company’s liability. During this process, your lawyer will notify you of any settlement offers, allowing you to accept or deny them.
- Litigation: If negotiations fail, your case may go to court. The litigation process can be lengthy and complex, involving discovery, depositions, and potentially a trial. Thankfully, most cases are resolved long before they make it to trial. Your attorney can help you understand the benefits or risks of filing a lawsuit based on your case’s circumstances.
The legal team at Catalano Law is here to help you navigate the often-confusing legal process after a truck accident. We understand the intricacies of personal injury claims following commercial truck collisions like yours. Our team will handle the legal elements of your case, such as gathering and submitting evidence and negotiating with insurers so you can focus on your recovery.
We’re committed to guiding you every step of the way, from the immediate aftermath of the collision to the final resolution of your claim. If you’ve recently been involved in a crash with a commercial truck, contact Catalano Law today for a free consultation to discuss your claim.