Heavy Trucks Involved in Half-Million Accidents
Statistics contribute to this ugly picture. Trucks, including semis, 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers, are involved in a half-million accidents annually in the United States. One percent, or about 5,000, of the accidents involve a fatality; this figure accounts for an eighth of all traffic fatalities. Additionally, the accidents result in almost 200,000 injuries.
In the blink of an eye, you've just become one of those statistics. What do you do?
If your injuries permit it, call for emergency services. Don't rely on passing motorists to do this. Secondly, seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Ambulance crews can do triage at the scene, but that may not be enough. Have emergency medical personnel check you out, even if you think you're not injured or your injuries aren't that serious. You need to have your injuries documented as early as possible.
Again, if your injuries permit it, take photos of the accident scene or ask someone to take them for you. Take photographs of you at the scene as well. If you don't have a digital camera handy, use your cell phone.
Call a Personal Injury Attorney
If the accident wasn't your fault, calling a personal injury attorney should be high on your to-do list following the accident. The trucking company will have a high-powered attorney and insurance company to badger you into settling your claim as soon as possible. You need someone on your side, too, to see that you aren't railroaded into accepting an unreasonable settlement.
Insurance companies have a tendency to browbeat victims into early settlements, frequently before they've finished treating for their injuries. The sooner the insurance company can get you to sign off on a settlement, the cheaper it is for them. Once you've signed off on a settlement, you cannot go back to the insurance company for more money. If you incur medical expenses after settlement, the money to pay them comes out of your pocket.
Settle Your Claim When You're Ready
Your personal injury attorney will settle the claim on your schedule, not the insurance company's. He'll know the best time to settle it, and will work to get you the maximum settlement possible for your losses. He has plenty of incentive to do this. Personal injury attorneys work on contingency, a percentage of the settlement award. This means the more money he wins from the insurance company for you, the higher his pay day will be. The initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose by calling today.