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What To Do After a Truck Accident in Dallas, TX?

In 2021, there were 38,149 traffic accidents involving commercial trucks. Of those, 1,334 led to suspected serious injuries for 1,708 people. There were 630 fatal truck crashes, leading to 705 deaths. In Dallas County alone, there were 4,125 truck accidents, leading to 40 fatalities and 126 suspected serious injuries.

Getting into any traffic accident can be overwhelming, especially on the busy roads and interstates in Dallas County. When a vehicle several times the size of a passenger vehicle is involved, it’s easy to see why many experience trauma and are unsure what to do. However, taking the right steps after a truck accident is critical for recovering the compensation you deserve.

Get To Safety

Your priority after a truck accident is ensuring you are not in further danger. If possible, move your vehicle out of traffic. On interstates and busy city streets, it isn’t uncommon for pileups to happen because other vehicles either don’t see the accident or can’t stop in time. Texas law requires you to move your car if it is operable and you are uninjured.

When you can’t move your car, move yourself if your injuries do not prohibit you from doing so. You may have no choice but to stay put in a serious accident. Moving can sometimes turn a severe injury into a life-threatening one.

If possible, check on others involved in the accident to ensure they are OK. If anyone, including yourself, is hurt, call 911. You must call the police when any of the following is true:

  • The accident results in injuries or fatalities
  • There is more than $1,000 in property damage
  • Any of the vehicles involved is inoperable
  • An uninsured driver is involved
  • One of the drivers is possibly intoxicated or under the influence of drugs

Failure to call the police may result in fines. You may also harm your chances of receiving just compensation.

Do Not Apologize or Admit Fault

Though you might not mean it as an admission of guilt, if you apologize after an accident, the insurance company will use your apology as evidence of fault. It can be tough to refrain, but it is often critical to the outcome of your case. You also do not want to say the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.

Truck accidents are often complicated cases, and though your actions may have contributed to the crash (frequently, insurance companies and courts allocate a percentage of fault to all drivers involved), multiple parties may bear some of the blame. Under federal rules regulating safety in the trucking industry, the following parties could be at least partially responsible:

  • The trucker
  • The owner of the truck
  • The trucking company
  • Shipping companies
  • Freight loaders
  • Manufacturers for the truck or the parts

Admitting fault or apologizing may jeopardize your ability to pursue fair compensation from any party that shares blame for the accident that caused your injuries.

Exchange Information

As with any traffic accident, you must exchange information with the other drivers. When a trucker is involved, make sure you obtain his operator license information, the truck company’s name and the number on the truck and the trailer, along with the driver’s name, contact information and address.

Gather On-Site Evidence

When possible, begin gathering evidence from the crash scene. If you can’t do so, but one of your passengers can, ask them to help. You can take photos and videos of the damage. You should also get images of the entire scene. You may want to jot down anything you recall about the accident immediately or record a voice memo on your phone. You should also collect contact information from witnesses.

Seek Medical Attention

If paramedics are called to the scene, it’s crucial that you do not turn down an evaluation. Even if you think your injuries aren’t severe and that others need the help more than you, you should allow the paramedics to evaluate you. Otherwise, the insurance company can use the fact that you turned down help as evidence that the accident did not cause you harm.

It is also a good idea to make an appointment with your physician for a more thorough evaluation. Though many injuries are apparent immediately following an accident, some serious ones can take days or weeks to show up as symptoms. The doctor knows what to look for and may run tests to determine if you have any internal damage.

Any medical attention you receive provides evidence and documentation of your injuries. You will need this information to file an insurance claim and if you decide to pursue a lawsuit. The more supporting evidence you have, the stronger your case. Even when you submit a claim with the insurance company, the company will look for reasons to deny or reduce your settlement.

Inform Your Insurance Company

You need to let your insurance company know you were in an accident. When you talk to your agent or a company representative, keep it simple and stick to the basic information the company requires. Though Texas is an at-fault car insurance state, your policy may have personal injury protection.

The state requires insurance companies to include PIP coverage by default. If you did not turn down this coverage in writing, it is included on your auto insurance. PIP insurance pays for injuries for you and your passenger, no matter who caused the accident. If you have the coverage, you would be able to file a claim with your provider for your medical expenses.

Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer

Before you file a claim or accept a settlement offer, you may want to contact a truck accident lawyer. Attorneys with experience handling truck accident cases can help you understand your options for recovering damages. They will evaluate the facts to determine who might be liable and offer advice on how to proceed.

If you hire a lawyer, you have a legal professional on your side to walk you through the process. Your personal injury attorney can handle the communications with the insurance companies — or defense attorneys if you file a legal claim — to protect your rights. The lawyer also knows how to discuss your case without inadvertently saying something that the other side can use as evidence against you. A truck accident lawyer will also:

  • Research all avenues to determine what caused the accident
  • Gather evidence to support a solid case and hold all liable parties accountable
  • Consult with relevant professionals about your current and future physical and emotional health issues
  • Obtain police and doctors reports
  • Calculate damages
  • Negotiate with insurance companies and defense attorneys when needed

The lawyer also helps you complete and file all relevant documents. If you wish to pursue a legal claim because the insurance company won’t agree to a fair settlement or you suffered injuries not covered under insurance, your attorney continues to support you through the process.

Get Help From an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer

Fielding Law provides support for truck accident victims throughout the process. Whether you need our assistance in dealing with insurance companies or want to file a legal claim, we’re here for you. You can count on us for personalized, one-on-one attention and access to an experienced attorney. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation. We won’t take any payments until we win your case.