You’re driving down a city street in California, and suddenly, BAM! A delivery truck hits you. It’s a horrible situation, but try not to panic.
There are some important things you need to do immediately afterward, plus some additional things to do in the following days. Miss these steps, and you could regret it later!
First, Make Sure You Cover the Basics
Right after a delivery truck crash, it’s your obligation to contact the authorities if you suspect someone was driving drunk or if anyone is injured. Call 911 to report injuries and follow the instructions of medical and police personnel.
Get the information of the truck driver, including their name, their trucking company employer’s name and phone number, and any insurance info they have on hand. Take a snapshot of their license plate, if you can, plus both vehicles’ body damage. Gather contact information from any witnesses.
If you’re being hauled off by an ambulance, ask a friend to take photos of the scene. Accept medical care even if you don’t feel injured because accident injuries often take time to arise. This is the first step in creating a paper trail regarding your injuries.
Track down the police officer who came to the scene of the accident and request a copy of the police report. But don’t rely on the police report to provide all of the evidence you’ll need. Save all paperwork related to the accident, including your medical records, car repair bills, and all written communications with insurance companies.
How Delivery Truck Accidents are Different
A delivery truck accident is a little different from other accidents. For one thing, truckers are heavily monitored by their employers. Find out if the company requires the driver to have a video camera running on the truck’s exterior, interior, or both. You need that footage right away.
It’s also vital to know exactly which trucking company employs the trucker, plus the name of their trucking insurance company. If you’re struggling to determine this or can’t obtain the video footage you need, these are huge red flags that you need a lawyer right away. Choose one who has experience with delivery truck accidents.
Evidence can quickly be lost or deleted after a truck accident, and unlike the average person, trucking company owners and their insurance reps have lots of experience wriggling out of liability for accident claims. Your lawyer can help you track down who’s responsible and stop the loss of valuable evidence that supports your side.
An Actual Delivery Truck Crash in California
Here at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we had an accident case that involved a delivery truck where our client – the other car’s driver – didn’t actually contact us until months afterward. At that point, it was an uphill battle to determine who owned the delivery truck, who leased it, who hired the employee who was driving it, and so on.
In this situation, there was no police report or accident report of any kind. Despite these challenges, we didn’t give up hope! We’re a team full of experts at finding evidence, even weeks or months after an accident.
We did a lot of digging and turned up evidence that helped strengthen our client’s case and give them a positive outcome. Truck accident cases often involve high-value settlements and judgments for our clients because these accidents are much more severe than the average crash and cause life-changing injuries.
Having a great lawyer makes a huge difference. The quote below is from our client Lyssa G., who isn’t the client described above, but was injured in yet another California truck crash.
“I was stopped on the freeway and rear-ended by a texting man in a big truck (don’t text and drive). Aside from the wonderful and unexpected settlement, the best part was that instead of dealing with the slimy insurance settlement case worker (who wanted to show up at my work to verify my injury), I dealt with Sally and her knowledgeable and kind staff. It gave me peace of mind to be able to deal with someone with so much integrity who had my interests in mind.”
Tips for Truck Accident Victims
Here are a few more things to keep in mind about your delivery truck accident. For one thing, don’t let the trucker, their employer, or their insurance company bully you into thinking the accident was all your fault. No way!
Truck accidents are often caused by brake failures and other mechanical problems that are their responsibility, not yours. Plus, truckers can be bad drivers like anyone else – texting and driving, driving drunk, speeding, and otherwise failing to follow the rules of the road.
Even if the trucking insurance company offers you a fast payout, put on the brakes! Don’t accept an offer too quickly because it’s probably not the high-value offer you deserve. Talk to your lawyer about negotiating a better deal that gives you fair and full compensation for your delivery truck accident.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of personal injury claims, including delivery truck accident claims. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.
So the steps you want to take after an accident with a delivery truck are very similar to those that you want to take after a regular car accident. You obviously want to get the information of the other driver, maybe take a snapshot of their license plate. Any pictures you can take at the scene, if you’re not too injured. If you’re being hauled off by an ambulance, obviously you want someone who has called 911 to get the police on the scene to be doing all that information gathering.But a couple of different things you need to do if you have an accident with a delivery truck, would be to find out if the company requires the driver to have a video camera going either interior or exterior or both, because you want to get that footage right away. And another thing is, you need to identify what company, who’s the employer, who’s the owner of the truck. I mean, these are all things that I would encourage you to find a lawyer who’s had experience with delivery truck accidents right away, sooner than you would in a normal accident case because of the investigation issues, preserving the evidence with the videos and tracking down who owns the truck and who’s responsible.
For example, we had a case with a delivery truck, where our client didn’t contact us till several months after the accident. And it was quite an uphill battle trying to find out who owned the truck, who leased the truck, who hired the employee who was driving the truck and tracking down… There was no police report, no accident report of any kind. So we had a lot of digging to do, a little late in the game. So I would encourage you to contact a delivery truck accident lawyer ASAP.