Any motor vehicle accident has the potential to cause life-changing damages to those involved, but the risk of catastrophic or fatal injury is greater in truck accidents. Large commercial trucks are easily capable of inflicting massive damage to others, including worse property losses from damage to vehicles and more serious injuries to the drivers and passengers involved in a collision.
If you experience a truck accident, you need experienced legal advice. The first steps you take after the crash can profoundly impact any and all recovery efforts you attempt in the aftermath. Knowing what to do after any motor vehicle accident is important, but all drivers should know the unique concerns that truck accidents can raise for victims and their families.
Important First Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
Your primary concern after any truck accident should be your health and safety. If you are seriously hurt, do not attempt to move and risk making your injuries worse. Instead, wait for first responders to arrive and provide treatment. If you are well enough to do so safely, contact 911 to report the accident and wait for help. If you are able to move around, do so carefully so as not to aggravate any injuries you suffer. Check on your passengers and the occupants of the other vehicles involved in the accident, and make sure someone has called 911 to report it.
Taking Pictures of Accident Scene Very Helpful
If you can do so safely, it’s a good idea to take photos of your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and the surrounding area near the accident scene. These photos could prove very useful in an auto insurance claim and a subsequent personal injury claim. When first responders arrive, they will render medical care to anyone who needs it and transport them to the nearest hospital if necessary. Once you have handled the immediate aftermath of a truck accident, your next priority should be speaking with an experienced truck accident attorney.
A good attorney can help determine the optimal path to recovery from your accident. Arizona enforces a fault rule for car accidents, so whoever caused your accident is liable for your damages. However, truck accidents tend to raise the issue of vicarious liability, meaning one party is liable for another person’s actions, such as a trucking company bearing fault for the actions of their employee. Your attorney can help you sort out the fault for your truck accident and then guide you through the recovery process.
Recovery from your truck accident will likely begin with an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver, followed by a personal injury claim when insurance cannot fully repay your losses. Luis P. Guerra, LLC, has years of experience guiding clients through all types of motor vehicle accident claims, and we can put this experience to work for you in your impending truck accident case.
Q: Do You Have to Call the Police After an Accident?
A: Yes, state law requires drivers to report any accident that results in significant property damage, bodily injury, or death. If there is any room to doubt whether you are legally required to report an accident, it is always wise to err on the side of caution and call 911 to report it. Failure to report an accident as required by state law can qualify as a Class 3 misdemeanor in Arizona.
Q: How Do You Prove Fault for a Truck Accident?
A: Proving liability for your recent accident can involve a variety of evidence, such as physical evidence from the scene of the crash or another driver’s cell phone records. You may also require input from expert witnesses and statements from eyewitnesses who saw the accident firsthand. In addition, if any nearby traffic cameras recorded the accident, the footage your attorney can acquire could be incredibly helpful for proving liability for the incident.
Q: What if I’m Partly at Fault for My Truck Accident?
A: Arizona enforces the pure comparative negligence law. This law comes into play whenever two or more parties share fault for a personal injury, splitting the liability for the incident by percentage based on each liable party’s degree of fault. If a plaintiff is found partially liable for their personal injury, they lose a portion of their award that equals their level of fault for causing the accident. For example, 25% fault in a truck accident case would mean losing 25% of the final case award.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Truck Accident?
A: If you can prove another party is responsible for your recent truck accident, they are liable for any and all damages resulting from the incident. Full recovery from a truck accident is likely to require an auto insurance claim and a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver. Your total compensation can include the cost of all the medical treatment you require, ongoing medical costs, lost income, lost future earning potential, and vehicle repair bills. You can also hold the defendant accountable for your pain and suffering, and the state does not limit non-economic damages in truck accident claims.
Q: Do I Need to Hire an Attorney for a Truck Accident?
A: While there may not be a legal requirement for you to hire representation for a truck accident claim, you have much better chances of succeeding with your recovery efforts with an experienced attorney representing you. This is because your attorney can not only handle the procedural requirements of your case on your behalf, but they can also know how to maximize your total case award.
Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys
Luis P. Guerra, LLC, has helped many past clients recover from truck accidents and can apply our professional experience to your case. Time is an important consideration for any personal injury claim, and our firm can help build your claim and recover compensation as quickly as possible. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about our legal services.