Intersection accident involving a car and a big rig semi truck with tank semi trailer

When sharing the roadways with long-haul truckers and other commercial vehicles, accidents are inevitable. In 2021, Louisiana set a new record for the number of deaths on it’s public highways, averaging three deaths per day. While not all of these accidents involve big rigs, there are still nearly a half a million accidents involving big trucks each year nationwide. In 2020, large trucks and buses were responsible for deaths in just over 2.5% of all accidents involving large trucks and buses. When you examine how many of these accidents involved reportable injuries of any kind, that number skyrockets to 88%!

Today’s trucks are much safer than those previously on the roads, and there are many contributing factors that cause crashes, but it is important to know what to do if you have been involved in a truck accident.

What Should I Do When I’ve Been In An Accident With A Big Rig?

Remain calm. Call 911 and request assistance by the police and an ambulance, if needed. Make sure that you gather the trucking company’s contact information and take plenty of photos of the accident scene and damages. Although the insurance company will conduct their own investigation, it is important to keep your own photographic records, as well as records of any medical care you receive as a result of the accident.

Do I Need A Lawyer For A Truck Accident?

Rather than navigate the aftermath of the accident alone, seek the guidance of a professional. A lawyer will understand the steps necessary after an accident, gathering evidence and investigating the cause of the accident, and protecting you during negotiations and settlements. It is not required to obtain counsel, but an experienced lawyer will advocate on your behalf, working with the insurance company to ensure that any compensation properly values your injuries and is adequate to cover your medical bills and other losses. Even if you don’t seek the assistance of a lawyer immediately, according to the Louisiana statute of limitations, you have one year from the date of the accident to take legal action.

How Much Is My Accident Claim Worth?

It’s hard to determine how much your case will be worth, since the severity and injuries of accidents varies from case to case. When working with an experienced lawyer, we will build your case using evidence to establish that negligence on behalf of the truck driver was the cause of your accident. Tracking your medical expenses as well as lost wages, we work on your behalf to obtain a resolution that offers proper compensation for your expenses as well as your pain and suffering. 

Should I File A Lawsuit Or Take A Settlement Offer?

Following an accident with a big rig, it is important to take a breath before agreeing to anything with the trucking company’s insurance company. Rather, take time to consult an experienced lawyer to fully understand your available options. This also lets the insurance company know that you understand your rights and will not be pressured into a settlement that does not adequately compensate for your injuries and damages. The range of settlement terms can be widely varied, and they can be presented and accepted at any point during the lawsuit. Your lawyer can best advise you on the proper course of action specific to your case.

How Long Will My Accident Settlement Take?

Every accident is different, and resolving each case depends on many factors. Sometimes settlements are reached within a few months, and in some cases, it may be necessary to go to court, which can take longer. 

Working with a lawyer who understands truck accidents and navigating the aftermath can make the process less overwhelming. If you have been involved in a truck accident, contact Mark Artall, APLC for a free consultation.

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