While getting rear ended by another vehicle is never a pleasant experience, one might think that it’s a pretty “cut and dry” scenario. After all, if a vehicle rear ends YOU, they are almost always at fault. You simply contact the insurance company and they take care of the rest, right? Not always…
If you are rear-ended by a commercial truck such as an 18-wheeler, there are a lot more issues involved than if it were simply a regular vehicle driven by its owner. This is because commercial trucks can have several companies or “parties” that will be involved in the case. Firstly there is the driver of course, but you may also have to deal with the company the driver works for, and add to that the actual owner of the truck (which may be a different party altogether) and the business that serviced the mechanics of the truck may also come into play. As you can see, getting rear ended by a commercial truck can become a sticky situation very quickly.
Below are some steps you should take if you are rear-ended by a commercial truck to help the situation get resolved as quickly and easily as possible (and hopefully with the most positive outcome for you as well!)
- Take lots of pictures – Documenting the accident scene is vital so whip out your phone and start snapping pics. Take pictures of your vehicle, the truck, and the overall scene of the accident so the insurance company (or whomever else may need to see the pics) has a good understanding of exactly what occurred.
- Procure all necessary information from the driver of the truck – Make sure to get info from the driver including their driver’s license number, their insurance company and policy number, and the name and phone number of the company they work for. (If you are unable or they are uncooperative, a police officer on the scene will likely take a report that you will be able to access if needed.)
- Get information from witnesses – If there are any witnesses on the scene, make sure to get their full names and phone numbers as well.
- Make notes of possible injuries and keep copies of medical bills incurred – If you were injured at all, make sure to make detailed notes describing your pain and the injury in detail. Some injuries do not show up immediately, such as whiplash, but still may have been caused by the accident. Make sure to take note of any pain and discomfort you experience and keep copies of any medical bills you receive as well.
- Secure a qualified legal team – Because an accident with a commercial truck can involve so many players, it is recommended to secure a qualified legal team that has experience in dealing with such cases. The firm can contact the insurance companies and any other parties involved to ensure the best possible outcome for you in the event you are rear ended by a truck.
Obviously, if you are seriously injured then you may not physically be able to do everything suggested on this list, but if that is the case, make sure you or a loved one pays heed to step number 5 as soon as possible so that you can rest assured knowing someone is working on your behalf to help resolve any of the myriad issues that can exist when one is rear ended by a commercial truck.