What Should I Do After an 18-Wheeler Accident?
Lafayette Truck Accident Lawyer Can Explain Options for Compensation
If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident, then it is crucial to take certain steps to improve your chances of recovering fair compensation. In many cases, a successful truck accident claim depends on taking swift action as soon as possible after the crash. Crucial evidence may disappear after a wreck, and the liable trucking company may be uncooperative. However, a skilled truck accident lawyer can take steps to obtain evidence and notify the trucking company of its duty to preserve all relevant documentation. Trucking companies have access to vast financial and legal resources, so being proactive about your legal rights is essential.
Our Lafayette truck accident attorneys have represented victims of big rig accidents in Lafayette and other parts of Louisiana since 1996. This includes Sulphur, Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish. Since commercial drivers follow a complex mix of state and federal laws and regulations, hiring a truck accident lawyer can maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and property damage.
What Can I Do After a Truck Accident?
Seeking medical treatment for yourself and any injured person should always be the first priority after an accident. However, if you are able, other important steps to take after a truck crash include:
- Obtaining the police report. If you are able, then you should get a police accident report at the scene, although it may be impossible for you or a loved one to remain at the scene for medical reasons. Our attorneys can obtain the police report at a later time.
- Taking photos and talking to witnesses. If your health permits, then try to get the names and contact information of witnesses at the scene. Photographs of your injuries and the crash site may also help determine the sequence of events.
- Keeping records. Medical documentation, such as receipts for treatments, prescriptions and doctor’s appointments may help your case. Documentation of injury progression and symptoms of further complications will all also be helpful to your attorney.
- Hiring an attorney. The insurance company working on behalf of the at-fault driver’s employer will likely attempt to contact you after the accident. Instead of handling the adjuster on your own, hire an experienced attorney who can represent your interests.
If your loved one was killed in a truck accident, then an attorney can help you work with the authorities and gather evidence for a wrongful death claim.
Why is It Important to Call an Attorney As Soon As Possible After a Truck Accident?
It may be difficult or impossible for truck accident victims to ask witnesses for information or to speak to the police after an accident. Getting a lawyer involved quickly is the best way to ensure that your claim will be as strong as possible. While you are recovering, a truck accident attorney can:
- Send a duty to preserve letter to the trucking company. After a semi crash, the commercial truck company often has much of the most important evidence in its possession. This includes maintenance records, black box data and driver logbooks. An attorney can send an official notice so that the company must keep this evidence safe, or face legal consequences.
- Gather evidence from the crash site. A lawyer can demand evidence from the trucking company. Additionally, your lawyer can conduct an independent investigation into what happened.
- Coordinate with insurance companies. A lawyer can talk to all relevant insurance companies on your behalf, allowing you to focus on healing.
- Hire accident reconstructionists and other experts. Your attorney can work with reconstructionists and injury experts to prove fault and liability.
Furthermore, hiring an attorney is important because you are likely to face multiple companies with far more legal and financial resources than you possess. It is very likely these companies will do everything they can to deflect blame for the accident. In addition, these companies are backed by insurance providers who want to give you as little as possible. By hiring an experienced attorney backed by a law firm with the necessary resources to pursue your claim, you are putting yourself on equal footing with the corporations working against you.
Injured During an 18-Wheeler Accident? Contact a Lafayette Truck Accident Lawyer
After a truck accident, you deserve compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost potential income, and pain and suffering. Depending on the circumstances, multiple parties may be responsible for your accident. The driver, his or her employer, or truck part manufacturers may be accountable for your injuries or loss. Our lawyers can advise you on important steps to take after a crash and can work to protect your rights while you recover.
Galloway Jefcoat LLP can help you discover legal options for receiving compensation from negligent trucking industry companies. For a free consultation with a Louisiana personal injury attorney, call (337) 984-8020 or fill out our online case review form. We serve injury victims throughout Louisiana, including residents of Lake Charles, Sulphur and Calcasieu Parish.