San Antonio attorneys explain what to do if you're injured in a truck accident
Dealing with a serious truck accident caused by a commercial truck driver in Texas can be overwhelming. Worst of all, accidents involving tractor-trailers, tanker trucks, and other large commercial vehicles are very common in the Lone Star State.
Texas routinely has more serious or fatal truck accidents than any other state. According to the most recent accident statistics from the National Safety Council, Texas had 652 fatalities caused by commercial truck drivers, the most for any state nationwide in a single year.
Nationwide, commercial truck accidents remain a serious problem as well. More than 4,000 people die each year on average in accidents involving large commercial trucks, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Here's what drivers in San Antonio and throughout Texas need to know.
What to do after a crash with a commercial trucker
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a commercial truck driver in San Antonio or elsewhere in Texas, it’s important that you take certain steps right away. Keep in mind that every accident is different. As a result, you might need to take additional steps as well depending on the circumstances of your crash.
In general, it's recommended that you take the following steps at the scene of your crash:
- Call the police and ask them to respond to your accident right away. Many collisions caused by commercial truck drivers turn out to be very serious and often result in severe injuries. Make sure the police investigate your accident.
- If you or anyone else appears injured, ask the police to send an ambulance. If your injury seems particularly serious, ask to be taken to San Antonio Regional Hospital Emergency Room or the nearest hospital emergency room. Many accident injuries, including internal bleeding and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.
- If it’s safe to do so and you’re healthy enough to do so, take photos of your accident, especially before the vehicles have been moved. Make sure to take pictures of the point of impact, accident debris, nearby traffic signs, and anything else you think could be important to your case.
- If someone saw your truck accident, get the person’s full name and the best phone number to reach them. Statements from eyewitnesses can be powerful pieces of evidence in truck accident claims.
- Get the truck driver’s name, address, driver’s license number, and insurance information. If the driver works for a trucking company, get the trucking company’s name, address, and phone number.
- Feel free to give the truck driver your name, address, driver’s license number, and insurance information. Otherwise, do not discuss your accident with the driver or anyone else at the scene of the crash. Anything you say could possibly be used later as evidence to deny your claim.
A few hours or days after your accident, take the following steps as soon as possible:
- Call a lawyer with experience handling truck accident claims. The sooner you talk to an attorney, the better.
- Save all your receipts, official documents, your official police accident report, and anything else related to your accident. Such information can be valuable evidence when demanding the maximum financial compensation for your accident.
- Call your insurance company and tell them you have been in an accident caused by a commercial truck driver. Keep your comments brief. It’s always best to be cautious when dealing with insurance companies after a crash, including your own.
- Schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor. Many accident injuries take several days to develop, including whiplash, concussions, and other severe head injuries.
- Follow your doctor’s advice. If you fail to do so, your injury claim may be denied since you ignored your doctor’s recommendations.
- If the truck driver’s insurance company contacts you, don’t talk to them. Even if they claim they simply want to ask you a few questions, don’t answer them. Anything you say could be used by them to reduce or even deny your claim. If they insist on talking to you, simply tell them to talk to your lawyer.
- If the truck driver’s insurance company makes a settlement offer, ask them to send their offer in writing. That way, you can review their offer with your attorney. In many cases, initial settlement offers don’t even come close to covering all your accident-related expenses. This is why it’s important to discuss any settlement offers with an experienced attorney who can advise you on what to do, including negotiating a better settlement offer on your behalf.
How can a truck accident attorney help me?
Many commercial truck accident claims add up to a significant amount of money. As a result, the at-fault truck driver’s insurance company and the trucking company the driver works for may prefer to fight your claim rather than pay you the money you rightfully deserve.
Such scare tactics don’t intimidate us. Our experienced attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies, trucking companies, their attorneys, and anyone else who stands in our way as we help you seek justice and fair financial compensation for your damages.
It’s important to act fast after a commercial truck accident. Trucking companies only have to keep certain important information – including Hours of Service (HOS) logs and data from the truck’s black box recorder – for a few months. After that time, they can legally destroy such evidence. Don’t miss out on your opportunity for the money you deserve.
Contact our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation. We’re conveniently located on West Commerce Street in San Antonio and handle accident claims throughout Texas.