Chicago is known for its busy highways and crowded streets. With so many vehicles on the road, accidents are bound to happen. A collision involving a semi-truck or big rig is one of the most dangerous accidents. These massive vehicles can cause significant damage and injuries. If you’re caught in a collision that involves a semi-truck, you should know what steps to take to protect yourself and your passengers.
In the Aftermath
Assess the Situation
The first thing you need to do after a collision involving a semi is to assess the situation. If you’re injured, seek medical attention right away. If you’re not injured, check on the passengers in your vehicle and the other vehicle involved in the collision. Then, call 911 and report the accident, giving your location and the number of people involved in the crash.
Move to Safety
If your vehicle is drivable and not causing a hazard, move it to the side of the road. If your car is not drivable or causing a hazard, turn on your hazard lights and stay there until help arrives.
Exchange information with the other driver involved in the collision. Get their name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, and insurance information. Take photos of both vehicles and the scene of the accident. This will help you later when you file a claim with your insurance company.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company to report what happened as soon as you can. Give them the information you collected from the other driver and the photos you took at the scene. An assigned adjuster will assess the damage to your vehicle and help you file a claim.
As Time Goes On
Document Your Injuries
Documenting your injuries is crucial if you were hurt in the crash. When journaling your symptoms and how they affect your daily life, take pictures of any apparent wounds. This will support the case your attorney makes for your compensation.
Don’t Admit Fault
Never admit fault after a collision involving a semi-truck— this includes apologizing to anyone involved. Instead, let the police, lawyers, and insurance adjusters determine who is liable based on the evidence at the scene.
Be Careful When Talking to Insurance Adjusters
Be careful when talking to insurance adjusters after a collision involving a semi-truck. Remember that all adjusters work for their companies rather than for you. Part of their job is protecting the insurance company’s bottom line. They may try to get you to say something that could hurt your case later. Stick to the facts and avoid speculation.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
If you were injured in the collision, follow your doctor’s orders. Attend all medical appointments and follow your treatment plan. This will not only help you recover from your injuries but also help your case when you seek compensation.
Why You Should Retain a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a collision with a semi-truck, seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in truck accident cases. Here are a few reasons why this is important:
- Knowledge and experience: Truck accident lawyers deeply understand the laws and regulations governing the trucking industry. They have experience handling cases involving semi-trucks and can easily navigate the complexities of these cases. Chicago lawyers are also intimately familiar with Illinois roadside law.
- Representation: a personal injury lawyer can represent you and advocate for your rights during investigation, negotiation, and, if necessary, in front of a judge and jury. They can collect evidence and present compelling arguments to support your case.
- Sense of Calm: Dealing with the aftermath of a collision involving a semi-truck can be overwhelming and stressful. Knowing that you have a skilled and experienced advocate fighting for your rights and interests can help you retain a sense of calm during the process.
What to Expect During the Claims and Legal Processes
If you’re considering filing a claim or lawsuit after a collision involving a semi-truck, you will want to understand what to expect from the claims and legal process. Here are some general steps you can expect to encounter:
- Investigation: Your lawyer will thoroughly investigate the collision to gather evidence and determine who may be at fault. This can involve collecting witness statements, police reports, and trucking company records.
- Demand letter: Your lawyer will send a demand letter to the trucking company or its insurance carrier outlining your injuries and damages and requesting compensation.
- Negotiation: Your lawyer will negotiate with the trucking company or insurance carrier to try and reach a settlement. This can involve multiple rounds of negotiations and may take several months.
- Lawsuit: If a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer may file a lawsuit on your behalf. This will involve preparing a complaint, serving the defendants, and conducting discovery.
- Trial: If the case goes to trial, each side must present evidence and arguments to a judge and jury, who will determine the case’s outcome.
It’s important to note that the timeline and process can vary depending on the specifics of your case. Your lawyer can provide guidance and support throughout the process and help you understand what to expect at each step.
You could be entitled to compensation for various expenses such as medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by the accident. The compensation you receive will depend on any negotiations or court decisions made based on the specifics of your case. Working with a skilled truck accident lawyer increases your chances of receiving fair and just compensation for your losses.
Overall, the claims and legal process can be complex and time-consuming. Still, with the help of a skilled and experienced truck accident lawyer, you can navigate the process and work towards a fair outcome.
Focus on Your Rights and Recovery
Being involved in a collision with a semi-truck can be a traumatic and life-changing event. The aftermath can be overwhelming, with medical bills, lost wages, and other damages adding up quickly. However, seeking the advice and representation of a truck accident lawyer can help ease the burden and provide peace of mind.
A truck accident lawyer can help investigate the cause of the collision, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights in court. They can also help you understand what to expect from the claims and legal process, which can be complex and time-consuming.
Working with a truck accident lawyer lets you focus on your recovery and leave the legal complexities to the professionals. With their help, you can work towards a fair outcome and receive your deserved compensation. So if you’ve been involved in a collision with a semi-truck, don’t hesitate to contact a truck accident lawyer today.