Each year, nearly half a million truck accidents occur in the United States, with about 5,000 of those accidents resulting in a fatality. In fact, about one in eight fatal traffic accidents these days involve a semi truck. Just recently, a fatal trucking accident occurred in Chicago; a 23-year-old woman’s car collided with a truck that was turning left at an intersection. The passenger of the car was pronounced dead at the scene, while report that “the driver of the car is in critical condition at Stroger Hospital.
Sadly, semi truck accidents will likely never cease to be an issue in the United States. However, for those involved in them, it’s extremely important that one knows the proper legal steps to take after the fact; this way, they can have the best chances of being able to recover the full amount they’re entitled to from the insurance companies.
6 Steps to Consider After a Semi-Truck Accident
Finally, one of the most important things you can do following a trucking accident is to find and begin working with an experienced, dedicated lawyer as soon as possible. Specifically, you’ll benefit from working with a lawyer who has handled a number of trucking accident cases in the past with proven success.
After all, there’s a lot involved with filing and going through a trucking accident claim; without the help from a legal professional, you could end up with a settlement offer that’s only a fraction of what you’re truly owed. However, when you have a formidable legal team on your side, you can rest assured that you’ll receive the help you need when it comes to determining what your settlement is worth and working with the insurance companies to ensure that you receive everything you’re entitled to.
No two trucking accident claims have the same circumstances, value, or outcome, so you need to work with a lawyer who will be able to adapt to the specific and unique needs of your case. By doing so, you can save yourself a great deal of stress and hassle throughout the process.
Never Accept Your First Settlement Offer
Finally, understand that the other party’s insurance company may be quick to make you a settlement offer in the days after the accident. More than likely, they’ll make you an offer that’s far less than what you’re legally entitled to. Many insurance companies do this in the hopes that you’ll be so overwhelmed by the accident and everything that happened after it that you’ll simply accept the offer with no questions asked. This is what a lot of people who have been in your situation will do, but it’s the wrong choice.
You should never accept your first settlement offer from the insurance company because you can always get more—and you should. In some cases, you may be able to get as much as three times the amount of your actual medical bills and related insurance expenses (or more). In some cases, it may be less, but the only way you’ll be able to know what you’re entitled to for sure is to work with an experienced lawyer who will be able to analyze the details of your case and tell you.
Being in a situation where you’re involved in a semi-truck accident can be quite overwhelming and traumatic; there’s no denying that fact. However, it’s how you handle the aftermath of a trucking accident that can make all the difference in what will happen next. Specifically, if the accident is found to be the other driver’s fault, then you should be entitled to compensation not only for your medical expenses and property damage, but for a number of other expenses as well, like: