Did you know semi-trucks are involved in more than 100,000 injury crashes and over 5,000 fatal crashes per year on American roads? If you or your loved one have been the victim of these statistics, you shouldn’t have to be stuck with catastrophic medical bills if the accident wasn’t your fault. For your best chances at compensation, here’s what you need to know about what to do after getting hit by a semi-truck.
If you have questions about your case, schedule a free consultation with Wade & Nysather AZ Accident Attorneys today.
Who’s Liable If a Trucker Hits Me?
If the semi-truck caused the accident, then the trucker must be the one who was liable, right? Not necessarily. Negligence can come from truckers, their employers, or both. In fact, trucking companies have certain obligations, such as:
- Ensuring the fleet of trucks is always roadworthy
- Performing thorough background checks on prospective drivers
- Conducting random alcohol and drug testing on all drivers, a requirement of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- Promptly suspending or firing any driver suspected of violating driver fitness requirements, laws, or FMCSA regulations
Other people or corporations may be at fault, too, such as the manufacturer of the truck or its parts, the shipper, or the cargo loader.
Since semi-truck accident cases may involve more than one responsible party, you need an experienced semi-truck lawyer on your side to help you get all the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
The most common causes of severe or fatal semi-truck accidents include:
- Careless driving
- Failing to yield right of way
- Failure to obey traffic signs or signals
- Distracted driving
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Driving while ill or intoxicated
- Failure to stay in the appropriate lane
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Inadequate training
- Adverse weather conditions
- Poor road conditions
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Equipment or vehicle malfunction
What Are My Legal Options If a Semi-Truck Hit Me?
If you or your loved one were involved in an accident caused by a semi-truck, your legal options will be contingent on the circumstances of the accident. Potential legal options include:
- Settle out of court with the at-fault party’s insurance company
- Sue the negligent party in a lawsuit
- Bring multiple lawsuits if you were injured in an accident that also killed your loved one
A professional Arizona semi-truck accident attorney can help you understand your potential for financial compensation based on the specific details of your case.
What Should I Do If a Semi-Truck Hits Me?
If you’re unlucky enough to be involved in an accident with a semi-truck, it’s crucial for you to follow these steps to have the best chances of recovering maximum compensation.
Even if nobody seems to be injured, call 911 and have the police come to the scene of the accident. The police will take statements from both drivers and any witnesses, gather evidence, and write an accident report. This report will be critical for showing the accident was the trucker’s fault.
Gather Information and Evidence
If your injuries aren’t severe enough to need immediate medical attention, you should take photos and videos of the accident scene and get the truck driver’s name, the trucking company’s DOT number (located on the semi-truck driver’s side door), the truck driver’s insurance information, license plate numbers for every vehicle involved, and contact information for witnesses.
Seek Medical Attention
You and all your passengers need to seek medical attention as soon as you can after getting hit by a semi-truck, even if your injuries seem minor enough to treat at home. Why? In addition to the fact that your injuries could be worse than you expect, you need a paper trail proving you were, indeed, injured in the accident. It’s much harder to get compensation for injuries without proof you sustained them.
Even if the accident was the truck driver’s fault, you need to contact your own insurance company and tell them about the accident. Failing to do so could result in denial of coverage and lost access to benefits that may help cover medical bills and other expenses.
Avoid Talking To the Trucking Company’s Insurer
The trucker’s insurance company is likely to contact you to “make things right,” but you should avoid taking their calls. Think about it: insurance companies make money by paying out the least amount of money possible.
Contact an Experienced Arizona Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
Don’t take on the insurance companies yourself. Enlist the help of a professional semi-truck accident lawyer in Arizona. There’s no risk involved with scheduling a free consultation with one of the accident attorneys at Wade & Nysather to discuss your case.
What Compensation Could I Get From My Semi-Truck Accident?
While each case is different, you may be able to get compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Property damage or destruction
- Lost wages
- Reduced future earning potential
- Mental anguish
- Scarring disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Temporary or permanent disability
An experienced semi accident attorney can help you get the maximum amount of money for your injuries.
Can I Get Compensation If My Loved One Was Killed In a Crash With a Semi-Truck In Arizona?
If your spouse, partner, child, sibling, or another financially dependent person was killed in a crash caused by a semi-truck, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. The 3 categories of damages you may be able to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit are:
- Economic damages cover the costs for medical treatments prior to death, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and financial support, lost medical insurance, or the value of goods and services, such as childcare
- Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of companionship
- Punitive damages are meant as punishment for the defendant and are awarded by the court
Wondering if you have a wrongful death case? Contact Wade & Nysather today.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Professional Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers
Each case is unique, so the only way to get the maximum compensation for your injuries or for the loss of your loved one is to consult with the experts at Wade & Nysather Arizona Accident Attorneys. Schedule a free consultation today. If we take your case, you only pay us if we get you compensation, so there’s no risk in contacting us to discuss your case.