The actions you take and the decisions you make after an unexpected experience can have a profound impact on your legal and financial rights. No one anticipates getting into a collision with a commercial truck, but that is the reality for thousands of people across the United States every year.
Some of them will suffer major property damage, some of them will have injuries and some of them will die. Ideally, you would avoid a collision with any vehicle, but especially one much larger than your own like a semi-truck. If you experience one despite your best efforts, following the steps below can help you protect yourself.
Make an official police report
A truck driver, just like any other motorist at fault for a crash, could try to talk their way out of consequences. Commercial drivers risk not just financial responsibility in the form of an insurance claim but also the possibility of losing their source of income.
Regardless of what the truck driver says to you, you need to make an official police report if you hope to claim insurance coverage from the driver or their employer.
Seek medical attention
Unless the crash was so minimal as to only cause cosmetic damage to your vehicle, you are at high risk for serious injuries, such as internal bleeding. You don’t always know right away if you have a brain injury or a similar medical condition caused by the trauma of a car crash.
The best way to protect yourself against the consequences of a delayed diagnosis when you have an invisible injury is to see a doctor after major trauma to determine if you need medical treatment. Seeing a doctor soon after the crash will also make it easier for you to pursue an insurance claim.
Know when it’s time to file a lawsuit
Insurance negotiations can take a long time to complete, especially when there are significant injuries to discuss. There is a one-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims in Tennessee.
You don’t have the leisure of waiting months to resolve an insurance dispute. If you don’t take action in a timely manner after the crash, you may lose your legal right to request compensation from the driver or the company that employed them.
Taking the right steps after a crash with a commercial truck can lead to the best possible outcome in a rather unfortunate situation.