After a commercial truck accident, there are lots of different things you will need to do. There is one key step to take first and foremost though: contacting a lawyer. A truck accident attorney will guide you through every other step that is necessary following your crash so you can protect your rights and obtain compensation if someone else was to blame.
After a commercial truck accident in Phoenix, you should call the police to report the crash and you should call a lawyer to help you. You will need to report the accident to your own insurance company, but may want to have a lawyer advising you before you provide a lot of information to your insurer since you don't want to do anything to potentially jeopardize your ability to effectively make an insurance claim.
You will need to get medical help and have your injuries documented after a truck accident. Your attorney can advise you on what kinds of details you should make sure are included in your medical records to prove your injuries were caused by the truck accident.
You will also want to obtain evidence that can prove how the truck crash happened, such as the crash report from local police and witness statements from eyewitnesses. Your attorney can interview witnesses on your behalf to find out what they know and, it necessary, to prepare those witnesses to testify in a civil trial for personal injury damages or wrongful death damages. Your attorney can also help to obtain police reports, and to find accident reconstruction experts who can testify about collisions causes if there are questions about who is to blame.
Assessing blame and deciding who to pursue a claim against is also something that you must do after a car accident and that your attorney can assist you in doing. A truck accident lawyer can help you to assess whether you can make a claim against not just the truck driver for negligently causing an accident, but also against the trucking company which employed the driver. Federal regulations require substantial insurance for trucking companies, including $750,000 minimum liability coverage policies for most standard companies and $5 million in liability coverage for trucking companies transporting HAZMAT material. Making a claim against the company can ensure there is substantial money to cover all losses.
You may have to negotiate an appropriate amount of compensation with the trucker's insurer and the trucking company's insurer following a crash. Your attorney can take care of these negotiations on your behalf to try to get you more compensation. If you want your truck accident claim to go to court so a jury assesses damages, your attorney can also do everything from filing court paperwork to making convincing arguments to the jury on your behalf.