When you get into a car accident with another vehicle, it can be relatively easy to determine who is at fault, making the personal injury claim process straightforward. However, things can get more complex when you are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle like an 18-wheeler FedEx truck or in a rideshare accident with an Uber driver.
Either way, the aftermath of any car accident can be traumatic. That’s why it is important that you know your rights as well as what steps to take to protect yourself after such unpleasant events.
From seeking medical attention immediately to obtaining commercial auto insurance with the help of a reputable broker to get the compensation you deserve, here is a brief guide on how to handle the repercussions of a commercial vehicle traffic accident.
Assess any injuries
When you get into a car accident, it can be difficult to know how seriously you or anyone around you has been injured. This is because the adrenaline after the crash and the delayed onset of symptoms can easily disguise any potential trauma and physical injuries.
So, it is in your best interest to call for an ambulance immediately after the accident and report any visible and/or palpable injuries to the dispatcher. Paramedics will come as soon as possible to do a quick medical evaluation and recommend that you or other passengers need to be taken to the emergency room for treatment.
Document the accident scene
If you are physically fine, your next step is to document the accident scene while everything is still fresh.
Firstly, take photos of the vehicles involved, including the damage from the crash and any identifying marks such as license plates and logos.
Next, make note of the accident location using the street name, highway mile marker, and nearby landmarks for reference to provide the police.
Then, look for key features surrounding the accident scene such as traffic lights or stop signs and take photos of their position relative to the collision.
Finally, don’t forget to photograph your injuries and the injuries sustained by the other vehicle occupants.
Exchange information with the other driver
Collecting contact information of all parties involved is another important step you need to take after a commercial vehicle accident. This is important because if you don’t exchange information the right way, it will be more difficult to reach everyone who took part in the accident or witnessed it.
Important information you need to take from all parties involved includes:
- Their name, contact, and insurance information;
- Make and model of the other vehicles;
- Name and contact information of all eyewitnesses;
- Name and contact information of the commercial driver’s employer;
- Name, badge number, and phone number of all law enforcement officers who respond to the scene.
Inform your insurance provider
The main purpose of car insurance is to protect you financially if you are involved in an accident. That’s why it is recommended that you call your insurance provider to notify them immediately after the collision. This will help increase your chances of getting adequate compensation to cover your medical expenses and other costs that may come about as a result of the crash.
If you plan to file a claim, there is a certain process you have to follow and a list of information that you need to provide. You may be asked to offer any documentation that you have, including a copy of the police report, photos, and the other driver’s information.
Seek legal advice from a lawyer
Handling the aftermath of a commercial vehicle accident on your own can be a daunting task. Therefore, it is advised that you seek legal advice from a specialized commercial vehicle accident lawyer for assistance with your claim. Not only will an experienced attorney guide you through the process, but they will also help with multiple aspects of your case. These include:
- Investigating the accident and gathering evidence;
- Determining the cause of the accident;
- Identifying all of the parties involved;
- Filing a claim with the insurance company instead of you;
- Negotiating a fair settlement;
- Taking your case to trial if necessary.
Although the repercussions after any car accident can be traumatic, things can be more complex when you get involved in a commercial vehicle traffic crash. Whether you collided with a heavy truck or a smaller commercial vehicle, there are certain steps you need to take to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
Follow the tips from our guide and learn how to handle the aftermath of a commercial vehicle accident.