There are many similarities between dealing with a trucking collision involving injury and dealing with a regular passenger automobile injury collision, but there are some significant differences. Both contain the following:
1) Call 911 and, if possible, have the police arrive at the scene.
2) Obtain the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all witnesses you can locate.
3) Obtain a duplicate of the police report number.
4) Obtain a duplicate of the police report.
5) Place any license plate and DOT number on the vehicle.
6) Obtain any license plate and DOT numbers on any trailers as well (they will be different than rig),
7) Obtain ALL identifying information on the driver of the rig (often, the rig’s owners will claim they sold the rig and have no idea who owns it now, or who is leasing it now – you often have to go back after the driver to get the correct information because they gave the wrong information to the police). You can’t go after the driver unless you have all of their identifying information and know where to find them).
8) Gather all insurance documents and double-check that they correspond to the vehicles and trailers involved, as well as the driver.
9) Photograph the vehicles, the people involved, skid marks, damage, debris, and anything else that may be useful in determining what or how the accident occurred. Obtain identifying information and photograph anyone else who is photographing or filming (often people from the trucking company get there fast and start taking photos of everything – it can be necessary to identify those people at a later date to determine who has these photos if we need to get copies of them),
10) Seek medical attention right away if you are injured.
11) Speak with an attorney about dealing with the trucking company’s insurance company regarding your injury claim. Commercial insurance adjusters are trained to avoid paying claims whenever possible. They will look for anything you say to use as an excuse not to pay you. For decades, insurance defense lawyers have trained them to pattern questions in order to lead you into saying things that they can later twist into language that you may not realize can be used against you later to deny your claim. Don’t rely on a commercial insurance claims adjuster. When you call them, you assume they are there to assist you in paying your bills. That couldn’t be further from the truth. They are trained to avoid paying claims and will do everything in their power to keep you from receiving compensation for your injuries.
If you have been injured by a commercial truck, you should consult with a Dallas truck accident attorney. To speak with our Dallas truck accident lawyer, call the Law Office of Doug Goyen at (972) 599 4100. Call for a no-obligation initial phone consultation.
By Doug Goyen, email@example.com