In 2019 alone, over 4,000 big rig accident injury victims suffered from fatal injuries. In the past decade, the number of individuals who have died in large truck collisions has increased by 31%. Despite the frequency of these unfortunate accidents, many individuals do not know what steps to take following such an accident should they become involved in one.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a big rig accident, contact the big rig accident attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters’ by calling us at (800) 529-0804 or contacting us online. We can help you financially recover from your losses related to the accident and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Following a big rig accident, knowing which steps to take is essential, as how you react can either help or hinder your case. Below find the steps you should take following a big rig accident.
1.Move to a Safe Area
If you have been hit by a big rig, the first thing to do is remain calm and breathe. Next, inspect yourself and any passengers for injuries. It is normal to experience confusion and have a rush of adrenaline. Turn on hazard lights, and if safe, move your vehicle away from oncoming traffic, but do not leave the accident scene. Call authorities and request medical assistance if necessary.
2. File a Police Report
After being involved in a crash with a big rig, 9-1-1 must be called right away. North Carolina law requires car accidents to be reported to the police, and the official police report will become a vital component of your personal injury claim. If possible, at the scene of the accident, take down the responding officer’s name and badge number so that you can easily obtain the report.
3. Gather Evidence
After the collision, while waiting for police to arrive, attempt to keep small talk to a minimum, and do not apologize, as some may perceive this as an admission of guilt, and fault cannot be determined without knowing all of the facts surrounding the case, If possible, begin collecting evidence such as:
4. Receive Medical Treatment
It is normal after receiving the adrenaline rush associated with an accident that you do not notice injuries right away. In fact, injuries may take hours or days to appear after an accident. Therefore, it is essential to receive a medical evaluation after an accident, even if you feel ok. Issues such as whiplash, traumatic brain injury, internal bleeding, and other issues may not present with symptoms right away. If someone has sustained severe injuries, call for an ambulance right away. If not, following the accident, visit a doctor. You may later be referred to a specialist. Keep a record of all visits, test results, reports, and medications associated with the accident.
5. Retain a Good Big Rig Accident Attorney
Ensure that you find a big rig accident attorney who serves your local area and who specializes in these often complex types of crashes. The experience and expertise of an attorney familiar with big rig accidents and local laws will strengthen your case. Consider choosing a law firm with years of experience in this specialty.
There are many reasons why you should strongly consider retaining an experienced big rig accident attorney following a semi truck collision. The sooner you obtain representation, the sooner you will be able to ensure that your claim is protected and that your right to just compensation is fought for. Below discover some reasons why it is advisable to retain a big rig accident lawyer.
1. Costly Medical Expenses
Big rig accidents often lead to severe injuries, lost wages, and even permanent disability or death. Insurance companies and/or trucking companies may deny fault or may attempt to offer a settlement figure that will not adequately cover your current and future expected medical expenses. An experienced attorney can help ensure that your damages are adequately compensated, including projected future losses.
2. Determine Liability
Big rig accidents are often complex, as multiple parties may be liable and injuries sustained are often severe. Liability is often unclear or may be otherwise disputed. An experienced attorney can help obtain valuable evidence and testimony to determine liability.
3. Cover Your Losses
Damages from involvement in a big rig trucking accident often far exceed medical expenses and property damage. You or a loved one may have also sustained the following types of damages:
As some of these losses are non-tangible, you will need an experienced big rig accident lawyer to fight aggressively for your right to fair compensation.
4. Handle Insurers
Insurance companies are often for-profit corporations, so it is in their interest to minimize costs paid out in settlements. Therefore, they will attempt to pay you as little as possible following a collision. Insurers may use your own words against you or hire professionals to discredit your claim. Don’t try to negotiate with insurers alone. Call an experienced personal injury attorney who will be able to help manage these negotiations for you and fight for the compensation you deserve.
5. Build Your Case
An experienced big rig accident attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to protect and strengthen your claim. Evidence may include:
6. Get Legal Advice
Big rig accident cases can be confusing and complex. However, you can rely on your big rig accident attorney to put your mind at ease and allow you to focus your attention and energy on recovering. In addition, your attorney will be able to advise you as to the best steps moving forward to obtain the best possible outcome for your claim.
Every attorney at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters, ‘ is dedicated to helping big rig accident victims receive the just compensation they deserve for their injuries and suffering. As your attorneys, we will investigate the accident thoroughly to ensure that all at-fault parties are identified and collect the evidence necessary to demonstrate their negligence. Trucking and insurance companies often have vast resources and legal teams at their disposal. They usually begin investigations to discredit or reduce potential claim compensation immediately. In order to receive the best possible outcome, it is necessary to stay ahead of the opposing party. We will investigate the accident, interview witnesses, examine vehicles and the scene of the accident, analyze accident reports and medical records, consult with experts, and ensure that supporting evidence is kept intact when necessary. We have the required skills to successfully and aggressively negotiate with insurers for a settlement that will compensate you fairly for damages you have suffered.
Call Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters’ today by calling us at (800) 529-0804 or contacting us online to receive your free, no-obligation consultation. All legal services are free until we win your case.