Accidents involving large trucks are inherently terrifying. The impact of so much mass on any object invariably leads to severe injuries, even death. However, by keeping a level head and knowing what to do, you can ensure that you and your family can more quickly recover from the incident, both physically and financially.
The first step after ensuring the health and safety of all involved is to begin to gather information. Get the truck driver’s name, employer, license number and insurance information. Use your phone to take photos of the accident, paying special attention to any damage to your vehicle, your person or other people who may have been hurt. If there are witnesses, try to get their names and phone numbers, as well as anything they have to say about the accident. Make a note of any nearby cameras that might have captured the accident. Do your best to include the road conditions and any intersections if possible. When the police arrive, talk to them and ensure you will receive a copy of the police report. Make certain to cooperate with any requests they have, and that they hear your side of the story. If your car has a dash camera, be certain to retrieve the memory card, or the whole unit if it is removable.
The next step is to contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. Be certain to not only tell them what happened but what evidence you gathered yourself and what evidence was gathered by the police, as well as any relevant information regarding your injuries. The insurance company may ask that you hand over copies of any photos you took or any other documentation you have from the accident. Be certain to keep copies for yourself in case you need them later. It may be necessary for you file a suit later, and so it is important to retain any paperwork you receive from your insurance company. Keep in touch with the insurance company and find out how the case, if any, is proceeding.
If you don’t have insurance or your accident was one that is not covered by insurance (such as a pedestrian strike), it is important to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible. Information can quickly go stale or be lost over time, and it is important to determine right away whether or not you have a viable case. When you go to speak with the lawyer, be certain to bring all of the evidence you have thus gathered. It is important to be candid with your lawyer and tell them everything, as well as show them everything so that they can properly prepare your case without surprises. Be aware of court dates and due dates, and do your best to help your lawyer help you by giving them the information they need when asked. This can include anything from the value of your vehicle to days of work lost due to injury.
Even if you have insurance, it may be necessary to file a case to cover additional expenses, or even to sue the insurance company for failing to provide adequate coverage. In such a case, it’s important to hand over all your insurance contracts, past payments, any bills received, and any payments disbursed by your insurance provider. It’s important too to let the lawyer know about any other expenses related to your accident, such as lost time at work, expenses not covered by the insurance, or simply things you’ve had to buy to get back on your feet. These will help paint a complete picture for the lawyer and the court and enable them to ensure that you will receive the sort of compensation you deserve for your injuries.
The Lamber Goodnow legal team, together with its partner personal injury law firms in Chicago, are experienced in truck accident cases. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers never charge a fee, unless we win your case. Get a risk free consultation today.