18 wheeler car accidents are some of the worst that we see on Washington’s roads. These large vehicles often weigh many times what a smaller, lighter passenger sedan weighs.
Because of their size and weight, 18 wheelers can devastate a vehicle, leading to horrific injuries to the passengers.
If you have been struck, you might feel overwhelmed. It is very easy to become confused about your rights and forget to take proper care of yourself. At Kapuza Lighty, our lawyers have helped many injured motorists sue a truck driver or a trucking company for compensation. To set yourself up for success, remember to follow the steps below.
Call an Ambulance, if Necessary
You or someone else involved in the accident might need immediate medical attention. If so, then contact emergency services, which can send out an ambulance. If you can move around, then ask everyone in your vehicle if they need an ambulance. Also check with passengers of other vehicles involved.
When you are badly hurt, you might need to just lie still and wait for help. That is okay. You must prioritize your health and safety. However, if you are not badly hurt, then you should complete as many of the following steps as possible.
Call the Police
You should have an officer respond to the accident by coming out and writing a police report. This report is helpful when it comes time for making an insurance claim. The officer should identify the time, place, and date of the crash. The officer should also identify all the parties involved.
Don’t be worried if the officer initially blames you for the accident. Chances are, the officer does not have all the facts necessary to decide fault. Fault involving 18 wheeler car accidents is determined why insurance adjusters or a jury, not the police.
Document the Crash
Your attorney will want to recreate what happened, so do the best you can to find helpful evidence. We recommend the following:
- Take pictures of your vehicle and all other vehicles involved in the accident. Of course, you might be too injured to move around, in which case you can ask someone else to
take the pictures for you.
- Get the names and
contact information for all witnesses to the accident.
- Write down your own memories of what happened as soon as possible. What were you doing in the moments leading up to the crash? What did the truck driver say after the collision? How did he or she look? For example, if the driver’s speech was
slurred and his eyes were bloodshot, those are important facts
With his information, an attorney can identify who is to blame for the collision. This person will have to pay compensation to injured victims.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
Your doctor wants you to get better, so you should do everything possible to follow his or her advice. This can be difficult, especially if you need to return to work to make money. However, if your doctor advises bed rest, then it is best to try and follow this advice. Also participate in all rehabilitation, even though it could cost a lot of money.
Refuse to Speak to an Insurance Adjuster or Investigator
Don’t be surprised if an insurance adjuster contacts you soon after the accident asking for a recorded statement. We recommend that you do not speak with the adjuster. For one thing, you are not required to give a recorded statement. For another, some adjusters will use the statement as an opportunity to get you to admit responsibility for the crash.
Some adjusters make statements like, “You weren’t really injured” or “You weren’t paying attention” and hope that you agree because you are not listening closely. You can be sure they want to minimize your damages so that they can pay out as little money as possible on a claim.
The trucking company usually has an investigator who will also collect evidence. You should refuse to speak to this person without having an attorney present.
Hire an Experienced Yakima Truck Accident Attorney
A seasoned truck accident attorney is vital in 18 wheeler car accidents. There is some evidence you will probably be unable to obtain on your own, such as the “black box” data that could show the driver was behind the wheel in violation of federal regulations.
Contact Kapuza Lighty today. Our team can swing into action to obtain the evidence necessary to flesh out your case. We offer a case evaluation, which you can schedule by calling 509-866-4166.