If a car weighing one-ton is hit by an 10-ton truck, it is very likely that driver and passengers of the car are going to suffer serious personal injuries or even be killed in the truck accident.
A truck accident – whether it is with a tractor-trailer, semi, big rig, van, trash truck, or emergency vehicle – almost always results in huge medical bills, financial hardship, and emotional trauma for those in the car.
- What To Do If You’re Involved in an Accident
- What NOT To Do If You’re Involved in an Accident
- Causes of Truck Accidents
- Who Is Responsible for Compensating You
- Building the Case for Compensation
What To Do If You’re Involved in a Tractor-Trailer, Semi, or Big-Rig Truck Accident
- The most important thing to do is to contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
- Get the license and registration information of any drivers involved in the accident.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses.
- Get the license number of the cab AND the license number of the trailer (they are usually different).
- Get any names or numbers written on the side of the cab AND on the side of the trailer (they can be different).
- Get insurance information from the driver. Again, the cab owner and the trailer owner may be different and may each have their own insurance.
- Write down the condition of the truck’s tires, to the best of your ability.
- Take photographs of the truck, its tires, and the accident, if possible.
- Get a copy of the police report.
- Do not talk to any claims adjustors. Often the trucking company will immediately send an investigator out to the scene. Do not talk to this person.
- Do not admit guilt or make any comments such as, “I was tired.”
- If you make a statement to the police, do not admit guilt. Your statement should be factual.
- Do not sign any papers without talking to a truck accident attorney.
- Truck Driver – there are many possibilities for truck driver negligence, including driver fatigue, using a cell phone, drugs and alcohol, reckless driving, or aggressive driving.
- Truck Owner – it is possible that the entire truck (trailer and cab), are owned by the same person or company. It also is possible that each is owned by a different person or company. The truck owner(s) may be all or partially responsible if, for example, the driver was forced to drive too many hours; the truck was loaded improperly; or the truck was not serviced or inspected adequately.
- Truck Manufacturer – if the truck manufacturer, or the manufacturer of any part of the truck, built the truck with a defective part, the manufacturer may be completely or partially responsible for the truck accident.
- Loading Company – in some instances the truck is loaded by an independent company. If loading was not done properly, the loading company could be partially or totally responsible for the tractor-trailer, semi, or big rig truck accident.
- Government Owned – there are a few ways that your case could involve the federal, state, or local government. In some cases the government may have immunity from being sued. Sometimes it gives up immunity. Other times it has no immunity.
If your truck accident was with an emergency vehicle, like an fire engine, ambulance, or police car, the case involves the government entity that operates the vehicle.
If your truck accident was caused by a defective or unsafe road, the government entity responsible for the maintenance of that road might be negligent.
The fault could be solely one person’s, such as the truck driver. Or the fault might be the owner of the cab. Or, a portion of the fault could be the driver’s and another portion could be the manufacturer’s.
That is why it is so important that you have representation by a successful and experienced truck accident attorney like Bill Newkirk of The Law Offices of William H. Newkirk.
In representing you, Bill Newkirk will review every aspect of your case and handle all dealings with the insurance companies. Working with a professional accident investigator, he will document how the accident happened and the liability of the responsible party or parties.
Bill Newkirk also will work with your doctor or other medical experts to determine the medical treatment and rehabilitation services you will need. Finally, he will calculate your lost earnings and place a value on your pain and suffering for inclusion in your compensation demand.
The Cost of a Truck Accident Attorney
To ensure that everybody has the right to representation, the Law Offices of William H. Newkirk take truck accident cases on a contingency basis. This means you pay nothing until your case has been resolved.
Free Consultation with a Lawyer
For a FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION about your case, contact Bill Newkirk of The Law Offices of William H. Newkirk.
The Law Offices of William H. Newkirk represents people from throughout Southern California who have been seriously injured or killed in a truck accident.