Several characteristics make an accident with a commercial vehicle more complicated than a personal vehicle.
Commercial vehicles’ sheer size and weight typically significantly damage vehicles and cause passenger injuries. Even if traveling empty, a commercial vehicle may be double or triple in size or weight and, therefore, can cause severe injuries with even minimal impact.
Commercial drivers must adhere to specific laws and regulations when operating a commercial vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforces strict guidelines that drivers must follow to ensure safety. Regulations such as maintenance schedules, service hours, insurance requirements, and regular drug or alcohol screenings are generally included and must be adhered to.
Commercial drivers may have multiple resources to defend them rather than their attorneys. With most commercial drivers, a company that employs them is backing them with a team of legal and financial resources that will have their client’s best interest at heart. This access differs from a personal driver who typically only has access to their own attorney and an insurance company.
What to do Following an Accident with a Commercial Vehicle
Accidents happen every hour of every day. There are a few critical steps that you can take immediately following an accident that can set you up in a better position to pursue damages at a later date should you choose to do so.
First and foremost, seek immediate medical attention if you or a party in your vehicle have been hurt. If it is possible to delegate some of the following items on this list so you can focus on getting medical aid for your injuries, that can significantly benefit you.
Document information regarding all drivers involved in the accident. Generally, commercial vehicles will have company contact information displayed on the cars. This information and the driver’s information are essential.
Report the accident to the appropriate authorities so it can be documented promptly and accurately. Ensure that you are speaking with the police and sharing your recollection of events and that they have your accurate information rather than relying on other parties involved to relay crucial information regarding the accident and what led to it.
Document everything through pictures or videos, and gather witness information. Several factors can aid in the cause of an accident, such as the weather, lighting, roadway conditions, and more. Document this in real-time. Seek witnesses and gather their statements and accurate contact information should you need to reach them later.
What Other Steps Should I Take Shortly After an Accident With a Commercial Vehicle?
Report the accident to your insurance agency. It is important to discuss just the facts and nothing more. This initial conversation should not include assuming responsibility for the accident, explaining what happened, or discussing a settlement. Politely explain that you will get back to them with more information later.
Speak with a trusted and experienced attorney regarding your options. Any accident can be frustrating and confusing, but typically ones in which a commercial vehicle is involved can be even more difficult. Entrusting an experienced professional to guide you through the process can mean the difference in achieving your goal of obtaining deserved compensation and financial strain.
What Challenges Do You Face When Resolving an Accident with a Commercial Driver?
One of the aspects that can make an accident with a commercial driver challenging is how cases are prosecuted. When pursuing compensation, your experienced attorney must go up against a company or team of professionals representing the company the driver works for.
Another item of importance is that typically when a commercial vehicle is involved, due to its size, there are, in most cases, more than two vehicles involved in the accident. The impact may cause a domino effect on several cars, and they may push a vehicle into several other cars due to the weight of the commercial vehicle. Multiple parties involved mean more complicated settlements. Establishing fault can be challenging, as well as pursuing all parties involved in the accident.
What Types of Financial Losses Can Be Recovered?
Some of the more prominent financial losses, such as the costs of medical bills or repairs to your vehicle, may be known after an accident. Some less obvious financial losses include payment for mental pain and suffering such as PTSD or anxiety and depression.
Recovering compensation for loss of enjoyment in previously enjoyed activities such as sporting or family events. Recovering compensation for diminished work capabilities due to injuries can sometimes also be included in seeking damages from other parties.
Why Work with a Personal Injury Law Firm?
Following an accident, you deserve and have a right to an experienced professional representing you. You likely have several options in your area for representation. It is crucial to rely on a dedicated and passionate team with vast knowledge of personal injury cases and how to proceed.
Hand over some of the stress you are carrying by allowing a team of experienced personal injury attorneys to handle communication with your insurance companies and other parties involved, skillfully navigate negotiations, and represent your best interests throughout the process from start to finish.
Remember that the other driver’s insurance companies or yours typically don’t have your best interest at heart. Instead, they have their client’s interests at the forefront of their minds.
Contact us today at (803) 391-3120 to welcome us as your fierce and tireless advocate during the aftermath of an accident. We look forward to serving you.