What to Do After a Pennsylvania Truck Accident
Know the steps to get the care and compensation that you are entitled to
Pennsylvania roads are experiencing the return of routine work and school commuting schedules. The pandemic has demanded more remote buying, and a need to employ more truck drivers to meet the demand. With this increase in volume, truck accidents have escalated in the past few years. The emotional, physical, and financial traumas that truck accidents and car accidents arouse can seem overwhelming, to say the least. During this trying time, it is hard to know what to do, in what order, and how to create the best outcome.
If you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident in Pennsylvania, Munley Law is your best advocate. With more than 60 years of experience, Munley Law’s nationally recognized truck accident attorneys aggressively pursue the justice and compensation that you and your family deserve.
What Should I Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident?
If you or your family have been hit by a truck, there are some essential steps to take for your personal welfare and to ensure that the integrity and entirety of the circumstances are properly recorded. These details are important for truck accident victims to execute for their own safety and to ultimately disclose details to a truck accident lawyer.
- Remain calm and stay in your vehicle, unless it’s too dangerous to do so. Turn on your hazard lights and call the police, even if your car accident seems minor.
- Seek medical attention for any injured drivers or passengers. If you choose to not go to the hospital from the scene of the accident, make sure to follow up with your primary physician. Injuries, even serious injuries, can be internal and may not be evident until several days after the onset of the truck crash.
- Unless necessary, do not move the vehicles until the police arrive. Never leave the scene of the truck accident. If the collision is severe and unsafe, and if you are able to safely move to a nearby safe location without leaving the scene, do so.
- Write down the names, addresses, and phone numbers of other parties involved, including any witnesses. Make sure you write down the names and badge numbers of any police officers that are investigating the truck crash.
- Photograph the vehicles and any injuries sustained by you or your passengers.
- Do not admit fault at any time.
- Immediately notify your own insurance company of the truck accident.
If you are physically able to do so, these steps will be a good starting point. Trucking accidents are complicated and time is of the essence; the best way to protect yourself is to contact an experienced truck accident attorney with a proven track record in handling big trucking accident cases, who will defend your rights and ensure that you are fairly being compensated.
What Should You Say to the Insurance Company After the Truck Crash?
An important thing to remember is that your rights need to be safeguarded and your insurance company is not on your side. Insurance companies desire a recorded statement so they can use what you said to deny or devalue a potentially high-payout claim. How you navigate and disclose your statement is extremely important and impactful to the potential outcome of your lawsuit — hiring a truck accident attorney who is well-versed in these matters and dealing with insurance companies can mean everything about getting you what you fair compensation.
Before speaking with the truck company’s insurance provider, keep these tips in mind:
- Do not discuss anything about the incident with anyone other than the police or your own insurance provider; you are not obligated to give a statement to anyone else.
- Do not give a recorded statement to the trucking company or to the insurance adjuster without having legal representation of your own.
- Do not sign anything given to you by an insurance company without seeking legal counsel to review it first.
- Never accept a settlement offer from an insurance carrier unless you have consulted with a lawyer.
Insurance adjusters may appear to have your best interest, but be very cautious here, as this is not the case. This is the protocol on their behalf; they often want you to sign off and settle for much less compensation than what you are entitled to. Without your attorney present, and with their negotiating experience, they perceive you as vulnerable and willing to settle for immediate compensation.
Large trucking companies representing a faulty truck driver have their own investigators and attorneys fighting for them, so you need someone on your side. Trucking companies often have an unlimited amount of legal resources assigned to battle any accident lawsuit that arises, and how you choose to manage and respond to the aftermath can significantly impact the compensation that you will ultimately receive from the other driver’s insurance company, your insurance company, or privately.
What Should I Do in the Days After the Truck Accident?
According to recent data from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, approximately 6 percent of the car accidents that happened in the Commonwealth in the past year involved a large truck. Unfortunately, many of these accidents involve serious injuries. Many injury victims are not sure what to do in the days following the truck crash.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Document your injuries as early as you can, and take photos in the hospital and at home.
- Obtain a copy of the accident report prepared by the police as soon as it’s available.
- Get a property damage valuation from your insurance company.
- Keep a detailed, running list of all healthcare providers and facilities that you see to help you deal with your injuries.
- Follow all treatment instructions and keep all scheduled appointments with your doctors and therapists to document your active cooperation with the healing and rehabilitation process.
- Write down all visits with doctors and other healthcare providers and keep a journal of any symptoms or pain you experience. Also, get copies of all test results, medications, treatments, medical bills, and any other relevant medical information and insurance claim information.
- Keep track of all expenses related to your injury, including prescription receipts, medical bills, logged mileage for trips to doctors’ offices or physical therapy appointments, and home care expenses. Record days of missed work (lost wages) or other activities in which you were unable to participate.
If you have been hit by a truck, time is of the essence, and the best way to protect yourself is to contact an experienced truck accident attorney who will defend your rights and ensure that you are fairly compensated.
Why Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
When truck crashes occur, trucking companies involved in the accident typically send representatives to handle everything at the scene of the accident so that they can limit their company’s liability. Many times trucking, hauling, and leasing companies dispute whose insurance will provide the victim with compensation. These companies’ representatives know that the ideal time to confront an accident victim is immediately following the event.
In the aftermath of a truck accident, the traumatized victim will need to make important decisions that will impact their future. Grieving, anxious, and injured people are pressured by trucking and insurance companies’ tactics. By hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your truck accident claim, you will be reassured that your claim will be protected.
Some of the tactics the truck company will do to prevent paying your claim include:
- Crash site investigation: Trucking companies have many resources on standby to go to the scene of the accident and begin clearing away important evidence that could prove liability. A Pennsylvania truck accident attorney from Munley Law will go straight to the scene after you call to make sure the evidence is preserved.
- Paperwork: Truck driver’s employer inspection reports, citations, drivers’ logs, and crash records are just some of the paperwork associated with truck crashes. Trucking companies can attempt to alter or purge incriminating records or claim them as inadmissible after a crash. A truck accident attorney will need to send demand letters right away to prevent the paperwork from being altered.
- Black box records: Just as airplanes have black boxes, so do trucks. Commercial trucks are equipped with electronic recording devices that hold critical data about the moments that trigger a truck collision; these can be altered or deleted before you even leave the hospital. Our truck accident lawyers know how valuable this data can be and will immediately request the black box information.
- Attempts to make you talk: You are not required to talk to anyone other than the police and ultimately your insurance company. This must be stressed. The other driver’s insurance provider may have an agent call with what seems to be short standard questioning. Do not answer as the way they ask you and how you choose to answer can be used as a statement and against you at a later date.
- Insurance companies: You may be contacted early on with a settlement offer. Don’t accept any offer until you speak with an attorney. Usually, the first offer does not include any future costs. This means that any truck accident injuries may need additional treatment, and more may be expected for your payout. Do not agree to anything without first discussing the settlement with a truck accident lawyer.
Too often, truck accident victims and their families struggle through the difficult aftereffects of truck collisions alone. By working with an experienced attorney, victims can have some control and participation in ensuring that their rights and interests are protected. Hiring a truck accident lawyer with a proven successful track record will make you less vulnerable, and will make you well informed and prepared for getting you what you are entitled to.
Why Shouldn’t I Wait to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
When you are involved in an accident with a truck driver, it is in your best interest to make a timely injury claim. Lapses in time are advantageous to trucking companies and insurance carriers, as they afford the opportunity to destroy evidence, or to find legal loopholes. An experienced, qualified truck accident lawyer is familiar with what tactics trucking company representatives may take, what and when you should disclose information (when warranted), and gathering your information efficiently to make your outcome successful.
- Investigation and discovery: Your law firm will hire trained experts to reconstruct the accident to determine how it transpired and who was at fault. This includes examining the vehicle, black box recorded data (which is often erased automatically after driving a fixed number of miles), and collecting evidence that demonstrates negligence. The longer it takes for you to speak with an attorney, the more likely evidence will be tampered with by the trucking company’s representation.
- Collecting credible witnesses: Your designated truck accident lawyer will take witness and other parties’ statements and review police reports. Waiting too long for these statements is a mistake; as time passes, people forget details and will not remember as much.
- Medical treatment verification: Seeking medical treatment after Pennsylvania truck accidents, whether you have a serious injury or whether you display no signs, is timely, and necessary. There are physical, neurological, and psychological assessments to be made. Having these evaluations on record gives your lawyer more to build your case and to demonstrate how your recent accident has impacted your everyday life.
- Trucking company’s records: Your lawyer will examine the trucking company’s employee files, driver logbooks, and records to determine if there were previous histories showing negligence of any sort. If you wait too long, important information and potential evidence could be lost, forgotten, and/or destroyed.
Time is critical during the aftermath of a trucking accident. Your truck accident lawyer can ensure that all of the accident’s details are preserved, identified, recorded, addressed, and presented when called upon. They can put pressure on demanding details closer to the occurrence of the collision. You have experienced trauma and managing the aftermath of a trucking collision is emotional, painful, and overwhelming. Decision-making and critical thinking are strained. Taking swift action to hire an attorney to assist you with the complexities of a trucking collision is critical, and can be a game-changer in the success of your case.
Who Should I Hire to Represent My Pennsylvania Truck Accident Case?
The trucking company will have its own team of investigators and experts on the scene of the crash in order to build its defense. You will need someone on your side to do the same. When you’re looking for an attorney to represent you in your tractor trailer accident case, you want someone who is well-versed in the field and whose track record holds a history of success in these types of accidents.
The truck accident attorneys at Munley Law have consistently been named Best Lawyers in America (via the legal guide Best Lawyers), Pennsylvania Super Lawyers (Pennsylvania Magazine), Best Law Firms (U.S. News and World Report), and are proud members of the Million-Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums. Our truck accident lawyers are regarded as experts in the industry, and we are regularly asked to speak about trucking laws at events all over the country. Marion Munley and Daniel Munley are currently on the Board of Regents for the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys. At Munley Law, we have been battling truck companies for our clients for over 60 years to get them the compensation they deserve. The verdicts and settlements we have received for our clients have reached up to $8 million. The numbers don’t lie — Munley Law is ready to fight for what you deserve in the courtroom.
If you were involved in a truck accident anywhere in Pennsylvania, don’t wait another minute. Contact Munley Law today to schedule a free consultation.
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