Steps to Take After A Truck Accident
Truck accidents are disorienting, leaving accident victims uncertain of what to do next. While it is typically best to contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible, there are several steps you can take at the scene to protecting your health and your claim to compensation. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you or a loved one is unfortunate enough to be involved in a truck accident.
- Stop and stay at the scene. Never leave the scene of an accident. If you do, you may be accused of being a hit-and-run driver which can carry harsh civil and criminal penalties. If possible, try to remove your vehicle from traffic lanes and find a safe place to wait for responders.
- Check yourself and others for injury. Safety and health are first and foremost following an accident with a large truck. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If safe to do so, check on the occupants of other vehicles involved as well.
- Call the police or 911 if someone is injured. It is always best to contact the police following a truck accident. If the incident is an emergency or if someone was injured, call 911 and request an ambulance.
- Take photos and video of the scene. Try to capture images or videos of the scene from different angles. This will go a long way in demonstrating how your accident occurred. Include vehicles, injuries, debris, and skid marks on the roadway. Also, capture any relevant road signs or conditions.
- Gather names and information of drivers involved. Exchange insurance information and contact information with others involved in the accident. Also, get the contact information for any witnesses at the scene.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you are not aware of any serious injuries, visit an emergency room or doctor as soon as possible. Truck accidents can cause significant damage to soft tissue and muscles, and your injuries may not be immediately evident. Symptoms can appear days, weeks, or months later and worsen over time. A medical professional can identify injuries that may otherwise go unnoticed until it’s too late.
- Avoid social media. Anything you say on social media can be used to diminish your claim. Even if you are giving what you consider to be an accurate account of your accident or injuries, defense teams will try to use your posts to find the smallest of discrepancies between what you commented on social media and what you told police or your insurer.
- Call a lawyer. This is an absolute must in any Texas truck accident. You need to protect your rights and you need to know your legal options. Most personal injury firms will offer a free case consultation with no obligation.
How a Trucking Accident Attorney Can Help Your Claim
1. Allow You to Focus on Your Recovery
The first thing your trucking accident attorney will do for you is to make sure you are getting the medical attention you need. Truck accidents can be especially catastrophic due to the large size of the commercial vehicles involved. It is not uncommon for a trucking accident to resulting in back injuries, brain injuries, paralysis, or even death.
By hiring a trucking accident attorney, you can rest easier knowing that your claim is in capable hands and focus on your getting better. As Mr. Henry has said, “The client’s job is to heal. We will handle the rest.”
2. Provide Access to Advanced Technology
When you are going up against a major trucking company, you need to fight fire with fire. Thomas J. Henry utilizes advanced technology both in and outside the courtroom. Through the utilization of a fleet of jets, satellite technology, and mobile technology, our attorneys can be anywhere within a moment’s notice. We can also provide access to a client’s files and records and stream live video of evidence and depositions to any courtroom in the country – all with the push of a button.
3. Bring in Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses can help gather and assess valuable evidence and can provide compelling testimony demonstrating how the negligence of another directly contributed to your injuries. Thomas J. Henry has spent years building professional relationships with leading industry experts. Among those who can assist you in your trucking accident claims are:
- Accident Investigation Experts
- Hazardous Materials Experts
- FMCSA Compliance Consultants
- Forensic Engineers
- Accident Re-constructionists
- Human Factors Forensic Science Experts (reaction time, fatigue, and distracted driving)
- General Equipment Technical Expert
Injuries You May Suffer in a Truck Accident
Due to their size and the forces associated with accidents involving large trucks, the injuries sustained in a trucking accident tend to be more serious more often than in a regular passenger vehicle collision. Among the most common injuries reported to our firm are:
- Traumatic head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord and back injuries
- Fractures and soft tissue injuries
- Vital organ injuries
Damages Available in a Texas Trucking Accident
Victims injured in truck accidents can collect a variety of different damages depending on the circumstances of their accident and the injuries suffered. Among the most common are:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repair costs
- Future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
Things to Look Out For When Suing a Trucking Company
Generally, a trucking company will attempt to distance themselves from an accident in an attempt to limit their liability, even if this means throwing their own employee under the bus. Trucking companies have teams of investigators and attorneys whose sole purpose is to challenge claims and reduce the amount of money that the trucking company has to payout.
By choosing to work with a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer in Texas, you are taking the first steps towards protecting your rights as an injured person.
Among the tactics often used by trucking companies to chip away at your claim are:
Recorded Statements – The trucking company’s insurer will contact you after the accident requesting a recorded statement. While they claim this is so they can better understand your injuries and streamline the payout process, they are actually trying to get you on record saying something that harms your case. You must speak to an attorney before providing such a statement. Do not be bullied, you have no legal requirement to answer the insurer’s questions without the advice of your attorney.
Low Settlement Offers – The insurance company wants to settle your claim for as little as possible. They know that you are in a state of chaos and confusion and will take advantage of it. While it may be tempting, do not accept the insurer’s offer without consulting with your attorney first.
Destroying Evidence – Oftentimes, a trucking company will attempt to destroy or alter records or evidence after an accident to hide its mistakes. An attorney can file a court-ordered temporary restraining order to preserve any and all evidence in the state that it was in at the time of your accident.
Not Ordering a Drug or Alcohol Test – Some companies will tell drivers involved in an accident not to submit to a drug or alcohol test if they think the driver was impaired when the crash occurred. The driver may feel pressured as being under the influence while behind the wheel can end their career. Federal regulations actually require drivers get tested following a crash. Still, the fine for violating this regulation is much less damaging than the repercussions of a trucker driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Delaying the Claim – May trucking companies will attempt to delay your claim in the hopes that you will lose the will and financial resources to fight. Thomas J. Henry has the money and manpower to see your case through to the end and knows how to drive a case forward.
Texas Truck Accident Attorneys with a Winning History
Thomas J. Henry Law has handled a multitude of truck accidents over the past two decades and continues to handle many of the largest 18-wheeler accident lawsuits in Texas and the United States. Whether the company is small or large, our success is not an accident; it is because we understand how trucking companies operate.
In addition, Thomas J. Henry Law understands how truck drivers are supposed to handle themselves in the operation and use of commercial motor vehicles. We have consistently demonstrated through expansive discovery, depositions, and massive use of experts how trucking companies and drivers have caused not only injuries but deaths that were completely unnecessary. If trucking companies and drivers follow the appropriate safety rules prescribed by federal and state law, many people would still be living a full and prosperous life.
Knowing who and where to sue is critical. The attorneys at Thomas J. Henry Law have the knowledge and expertise to make sure your case is handled correctly. In some cases, you may have grounds to recover actual and punitive damages, which can compensate you for all expenses, past and future, which have occurred since your accident. We make sure all the details of your case have been researched so you receive the compensation you deserve.
A Truck Accident Attorney in Texas Who is Ready to Fight for You
At Thomas J. Henry Law, we understand how difficult it is to work when you have been severely injured by a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle. That is why we can advance your court costs and litigation expenses. We can also advance money for living and medical expenses. You spend nothing and you pay no attorney’s fees unless we win your case. We do this because we have the confidence that comes with experience.
With a team of more than 200 experienced attorneys, you can rest assured that your claim is always being actively pursued. You worry about getting better, let our attorneys and dedicated support staff handled the rest.
Thomas J. Henry Law’s truck accident lawyers serve clients across Texas and nationwide from its offices in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Austin. Each office is fully staffed with the attorneys, staff, and legal resources necessary to ensure your case is handled aggressively and effectively. Should you have any questions about your legal options, call or visit one of our Texas law offices to discuss your claim. We are available 24/7, and initial consultations are always FREE!
Speak to a Truck Accident Lawyer in TX:
- Meet with a San Antonio truck accident lawyer:
- Phone number: 210-941-2191 (attorneys available 24/7 to assist you)
- Address: 5710 W Hausman Rd, Suite 108, San Antonio, TX 78249 (walk-in Monday through Friday)
- Meet with an Austin truck accident lawyer:
- Phone Number: (512) 520-0221 (attorneys available 24/7, nights and weekends)
- Address: 4401 West Gate Blvd Suite 200, Austin, TX 78745 (walk-in Monday through Friday)