What Do You Do When You Get Hit by an 18-Wheeler?

What to Do If You Are Injured in an 18-Wheeler Accident
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Few accidents are more serious than those involving 18-wheelers. The size and weight of a big rig truck often proves overwhelming for the occupants of passenger vehicles, frequently resulting in severe and even catastrophic injuries.

That is why your first priority after a truck accident is to receive medical care. Once you get the treatment you need, a truck accident attorney can help you with multiple aspects of your legal claim.

The 18-wheeler injury lawyers at Patrick Daniel Law serve clients in Houston, throughout Texas, and nationwide. If you have been injured in a crash with a semi-truck, you should take the following steps:

1. Follow the Doctor’s Orders

From emergency room staff to one or more specialists, you will likely see multiple doctors in the course of your treatment for injuries in an 18-wheeler accident. You will be taking in a lot of information, and it can be overwhelming to keep track of all the instructions and recommendations you receive.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to listen carefully to the advice of your medical team. If your condition makes it difficult to focus or retain information, consider bringing a loved one or trusted friend to your appointments to take notes.

Recovering from serious and catastrophic injuries requires both the training of medical professionals and hard work on the part of the victim. In addition, following your doctors’ orders will limit the insurance company’s ability to argue that you contributed to the seriousness of your own injuries.

2. Document All Medical Expenses

Medical bills will make up a significant portion of your losses after an accident with a semi-truck. To recover the compensation you deserve, you and your lawyer must be able to prove how much your 18-wheeler injuries cost you.

With this in mind, be sure to keep all documents that show the cost of medical care. These may include:

  • Bills from hospitals, doctors’ offices, rehabilitation centers, etc.
  • Explanation of benefits statements showing how much you paid versus how much your health insurance paid (if applicable)
  • Receipts for prescription medications, assistive devices (e.g., canes, walkers, and wheelchairs.), etc.

It is important to keep all of your medical bills organized after the accident. You should bring the documents with you to the initial consultation with the lawyer, and notify your lawyer as new bills, statements, etc. arrive. Your lawyer will use these documents to calculate the damages you have incurred for medical care, while consultation with your medical team and other experts can establish what future and ongoing care may cost you.

3. Document Other Losses

During the course of your recovery, you will likely face additional expenses. One of the most prominent examples is lost wages from being unable to work.

If your 18-wheeler injuries prevent you from working, you deserve to be compensated for the adverse impact on your income. Documenting these damages is typically a matter of showing what you have lost. Your lawyer will review paystubs and tax returns to determine how much you would have earned had you been able to work. Testimony from financial and vocational experts can also help establish the compensation you are due for lost wages in the future (known as loss of earning capacity).

You may also be entitled to compensation for non-economic damages. These losses do not have an exact monetary value, so they are more difficult to calculate.

Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages are assessed by how they affect your day-to-day life. As you recover from your injuries, make note of the following:

  • The frequency and intensity of pain you experience
  • Limitations you face in everyday activities as a result of your injuries
  • Favorite hobbies you are no longer able to enjoy due to the injuries you have sustained
  • Effect on family relationships, including companionship and intimacy with your spouse, parenting your children, etc.
  • Psychological issues tied to the accident, such as anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, flashbacks, etc.

Your lawyer can work with experts to assess the value of these non-economic losses. Through meticulously gathered evidence and expert testimony, your lawyer can pursue a claim for economic and non-economic damages on your behalf.

4. Request a Copy of the Police Report

In Texas, law enforcement must investigate any accident in which someone is injured or killed, or where property damage in excess of $1,000 occurs. Virtually any truck accident will fit these parameters, so it is crucial to call 911 and ask for the police if you are injured by an 18-wheeler.

The police officer will document a variety of factors in preparing the accident report:

  • Where the accident occurred
  • The date and time of the accident
  • The names and information of those involved
  • Names and contact information for witnesses
  • The nature of damage to the vehicles
  • Conditions at the scene, including weather, light, and the state of the road
  • Citations issued or arrests made for traffic violations
  • Your statement, statements from the other party or parties involved, and witness statements

Information in the police report can be a valuable part of building your case. Therefore, you should request a copy of the report from the precinct or department where the officer is stationed.

If you are unsure who made the report or where it might be on file, a lawyer can request a copy on your behalf. An attorney experienced in 18-wheeler crashes and other commercial vehicle accidents can also identify other agencies that may investigate the accident and request additional reports as well.

5. Speak to an Injury Lawyer

As you can see, an experienced attorney can help you with many elements of your case if you have been hit by an 18-wheeler. If you have not yet hired legal representation, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

In addition to building a strong claim on your behalf, your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance companies with the goal of securing a favorable settlement. Should your case proceed to trial, you will need an experienced attorney who is committed to taking the matter all the way to a verdict.

Contact Our 18-Wheeler Injury Lawyers Today

The attorneys at Patrick Daniel Law understand the complexities of truck accident litigation. We also know the impact serious injuries have on our clients and their families. If you have been injured by an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck, you can count on us to gather evidence meticulously, develop an innovative legal strategy, and mercilessly pursue the compensation you deserve.

Please call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 today for a free case review. Our 18-wheeler injury lawyers serve clients in Houston, all of Texas, and throughout the country.

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