Injuries from commercial vehicle accidents can be devastating. After a truck, bus, or other large vehicle crashes into a smaller passenger car, the occupants of the latter are often injured and their vehicles destroyed.
If you have been involved in one of these types of accidents, it is essential to understand your rights as an accident victim to take action to protect yourself and your family.
How Do You Maximize Your Compensation Claim?
Getting involved in a collision with a commercial vehicle can be extremely frightening and overwhelming. Not only are the injuries often more severe than in a typical car accident, but the truck or bus drivers and their employers may try to dodge responsibility by claiming that you were at fault.
To increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your damages, it is essential to understand how to maximize your claim. First, make sure to report the accident as soon as possible to the police and your insurance company. Be sure to collect evidence at the crash scene, including witness statements, photos of the damage, and medical records.
Most importantly, work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the complex legal process and maximize your compensation claim. For instance, speaking with a well-versed 18 wheeler accident attorney can give you better insight into your rights and protections under the law.
Last but not least, remember that you are entitled to fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages due to missed workdays or time spent at appointments, damage to your vehicle (including rental car expenses), pain and suffering from both physical injuries as well as emotional distress or loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages.
Steps To Win A Car Accident Claim
You should take these steps immediately after the accident to increase your chances of winning or getting a fair settlement in a car accident claim.
- Call Emergency Services If Necessary
You need to call emergency services if anyone was injured in the accident or if there are visible damages to any property besides your vehicle. Even minor damage can become very significant once an insurance company totals it.
- Call the Police
If there are any medical emergencies or injuries in the accident, you need to call 911. However, even if no one is hurt and it does not appear that your vehicle has significant damage at first glance, you should still file a police report. Insurance companies will want proof of an accident, and the police report provides that.
- Record Your Accident Details
You need to keep a record of every detail about your accident so you can provide it during your claim process. If any witnesses saw what happened or have information relevant to your car accident claim, ask for their personal contact information before leaving the scene.
- Take Pictures of the Accident Scene
If you can, take pictures of your car and the other vehicle involved in the accident. If there is significant damage to either vehicle or if debris from the crash has caused a road hazard, photograph that as well. Having evidence can help bolster your claim if there is a dispute about what happened.
- Get the Other Driver’s Information
If you have been in an accident with another vehicle, you need to get their contact information before leaving the crash scene. If possible, ask for proof that they are insured and request their license plate number so you can report the accident to the authorities.
- Negotiate with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
If the other driver were at fault in the accident, their insurance company would be responsible for reimbursing you for your damages. However, they may try to offer you a low settlement amount or deny your claim altogether. Do not accept this without talking to an attorney first.
- Contact an Attorney
If you have been in a car accident, it is always wise to contact an attorney. They can help you negotiate with the insurance company, file a lawsuit if necessary, and represent you in court. Having an experienced legal professional on your side can make all the difference in getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.
How Do Insurance Companies Determine Accident Settlements?
When it comes to car accident settlements, insurance companies have a set of guidelines to determine how much money to offer the victims. Typically, these amounts are based on the severity of the injuries and the damages to both vehicles involved in the crash. However, other factors such as whether or not liability has been established can also play.
How Much Is Your Claim Worth?
You should not accept the first settlement amount that an insurance company offers you for your car accident or other property damage claim. Instead, hiring a legal professional to negotiate with them on your behalf is almost always recommended. They can help you secure much more compensation than if you try to do it alone.
Having a higher chance of winning a commercial vehicle accident claim starts with the know-how and experience. If you have been in a car accident, contact a reputable and well-experienced law firm today for your free consultation and claim evaluation.