Semi-truck collisions accounted for over 14% of fatal traffic accidents in Kansas in 2021, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A commercial vehicle accident can be devastating, both physically and financially. Additionally, these accidents can be much more complicated than a car accident due to multiple parties involved including the trucking company, their insurance company, and your insurance company. Insurance adjusters know this and will use it to take advantage of you and leave you with a subpar settlement.
If you are involved in a collision with a truck, bus, or other large vehicle, it is important to know what to do to protect yourself and your rights. In this blog, the Kansas injury attorneys at Patterson Legal Group explain the steps you need to take after a commercial vehicle accident and how we can help.
Steps to Take After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
After a commercial vehicle accident, the immediate steps you need to take are mainly the same as those you would take after any other car wreck.
- Check for injuries: the first priority is to make sure that you and your passengers are safe. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately.
- Move to a safe location: if possible, move to a safe location away from other traffic.
- Exchange information with the commercial driver: get the commercial driver’s name, contact information, insurance information, and vehicle information.
- Find out the name of the trucking company: along with exchanging the info mentioned above, make a note of the trucking company. Get the company name, contact information, and insurance information.
- Gather witness info: if there are any witnesses, gather their information as well. They might be called if your personal injury claim goes to trial.
- Take photos and video of the scene: this includes pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the other vehicle, and the surrounding area. You should also take pictures of any skid marks or other evidence that may be relevant to the accident.
- Seek medical attention: even if you don’t think you are injured, it is important to see a doctor after a commercial vehicle accident. Commercial trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, and can cause serious injury. Additionally, injuries like whiplash might not show symptoms until later, so it is important to document your doctor visit before symptoms start.
- Contact a personal injury attorney: the sooner you contact a lawyer, the better–ideally, within 24 hours of the accident. The sooner you reach out, the more accurate evidence we can collect and the better equipped we will be to defend you against tactics used by insurance companies to undervalue or even deny your claim.
What Not to Do After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
Just as there are things you should do after a commercial vehicle accident, there are some things you should not do. While these actions might seem harmless, they can end up causing you to lose your case.
- Do not admit fault: even if you think you caused the accident, it is important to avoid admitting fault to the other driver or to the police. This could make it more difficult to recover compensation for your injuries.
- Do not give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company: insurance adjusters are trained to get you to say things that can be used against you. If you’re not represented by an attorney, it’s best to avoid giving any recorded statements at all.
- Do not lose your records: this includes the police report, medical records, and any other documentation related to the accident. These records will be used as evidence in your personal injury claim.
- Do not post on social media: even unrelated posts of you having fun or performing physical activities can be used to argue that your injuries are not serious. It’s best to avoid posting anything at all while your case is open.
How a Personal Injury Attorney in Kansas Can Help
Our experienced attorneys can help you with every step of the claims process after a commercial vehicle accident, from calculating your damages to negotiating a fair settlement to handling the legalities while you focus on healing. A Kansas personal injury attorney will help you:
- Calculate your damages: your attorney can help determine the full extent of your economic and non-economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
- Establish liability: we can work to prove that the other driver or trucking company was negligent and liable for your injuries.Trucking companies must follow strict regulations. When these companies violate these rules, accidents happen. Our attorneys have the experience and resources to build a strong case against all liable parties and fight for your compensation.
- Connect you with experts: our attorneys can connect you with experts in a variety of fields, such as accident reconstruction, neurology, psychology, and the trucking industry, who can help us build your case.
- Negotiate or litigate a fair settlement: we will negotiate with the insurance company to try to reach a fair settlement. If the insurance company is not willing to settle, we can take your case to court.
Contact Patterson Legal Group Today
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a commercial vehicle accident in Kansas, you deserve compensation and justice for your losses. When you hire an attorney from Patterson Legal Group, you can be sure that we will handle all of the legal paperwork and fight for you so you can focus on your recovery.
Patterson Legal Group has more than 75 years of combined experience successfully representing injury victims in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. We have a track record of winning superior settlements for our clients. Our firm offers free consultations and works on a “no win, no fee” basis, which means that you do not pay a dime unless money has been recovered on your behalf.