Brian White | June 25, 2021 | Truck Accidents
Texas law requires an immediate report of an accident that involves any of the following:
- The accident resulted in injuries
- A person died as a result of the crash
- Property damage prevents the vehicle from being normally and safely driven
A police officer is under a duty to create a written crash report if there are injuries, a traffic fatality, or if property damage exceeds $1,000.
Even if you are fortunate enough not to be injured in the collision, there is likely enough damage to your vehicle to prevent you from driving it. Therefore, you may need to call 911 to report a truck accident.
If the accident involves a commercial truck, there will likely be catastrophic injuries and significant property damage. There will be no doubt that law enforcement and emergency medical services will be dispatched to the accident scene.
How Do I Know if I Was Injured in a Truck Accident?
The question is whether or not you sustained injuries. You might be able to drive your vehicle, but you could have sustained soft tissue injuries in the crash. The shock of the accident could mask some injury symptoms. It could take you a few hours or days to fully realize the extent of your injuries.
Because you cannot be sure whether you sustained injuries until you see a doctor, reporting a truck accident is generally a good idea. Reporting the truck crash creates an official record.
The police officer files a written report that contains information about the accident, such as:
- Date and time of the crash
- The accident location
- The parties involved in the collision
- Insurance information
- Road and weather conditions
- Whether either driver was cited for traffic violations
- The officer’s conclusions about who contributed to the cause of the crash
The written report may also contain information about eyewitnesses, evidence gathered at the accident scene, and statements made by the drivers. This information could be very useful if you decide to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
The insurance company could accept the police officer’s determination of fault and pay your claim. On the other hand, if the insurance company denies your claim, you may need the information on the accident report to begin building a case against the other driver.
Truck Accidents are Not Typical Traffic Accidents
Accidents involving commercial trucks are not handled in the same way as other car crashes. These massive vehicles can cause devastating injuries that result in permanent impairments and disabilities. The damages caused by a truck accident could total hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.
Therefore, drivers and accident victims should report truck accidents victims will likely require emergency medical care. The vehicles involved will also sustain considerable damage because a 5,000-pound car cannot withstand the impact of an 80,000-pound semi-truck.
Your truck accident lawyer will obtain a copy of the accident report. However, your lawyer also conducts an independent investigation to determine the cause of the crash and identify the liable parties.
A truck accident may involve numerous parties who could be liable for your damages, such as:
- Truck companies
- Shippers and loaders
- Truck drivers
- Parts and truck manufacturers
- Other drivers
- Maintenance and repair facilities
Sorting out who is responsible for the truck accident could take many months. Your attorney may retain industry experts and accident reconstructionists to assist with the investigation. Prompt notification to the trucking company and other parties is required to preserve evidence from the truck’s black box and other systems.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
After you report the truck accident, your focus should be on your recovery and health. Your truck accident lawyer will handle all aspects of your personal injury claim.
You need to follow your doctor’s treatment plan and document your damages. Keep a folder with copies of all documents that pertain to the accident, including receipts, bills, and medical records. Turn those copies over to your truck accident lawyer periodically.
Document your injuries by taking pictures of them as you heal and by keeping a journal. Write down how the injury impacts your daily life, including activities you cannot perform and your pain levels. Keep notes about how your injuries impact your relationship with others and your ability to work or care for yourself.
After you complete your treatment and the attorney completes the truck accident investigation, your lawyer calculates the value of your damages and prepares a settlement demand package for the insurance provider.
It could take several months to hear from the insurance company. In many cases, your attorney and the insurance company negotiate back and forth to reach a fair settlement figure for your case. However, if the insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith, your lawyer may decide to file a lawsuit to protect your right to compensation for damages and injuries caused by a truck accident.