What you do after a truck accident depends on the severity of your injuries.
Baton Rouge, LA – Statistics paint a grim reality when it comes to truck accidents in Louisiana. While they are not the most numerous, they are definitely the most deadly. Take, for instance, the numbers for 2019. State authorities recorded a total of 655 fatal crashes, and 103 of those involved a large truck or bus. That means that 16% of all fatalities, although according to national figures truck accidents account for less than 10% of all crashes. The same year, 2,719 people were injured in collisions involving some type of commercial vehicle. Given these high numbers, there’s always the risk that you might be the next victim and you need to know what to do. Truck accidents are more complex than regular fender benders and you might want to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer in Baton Rouge to make sure you get the damages you deserve.
What to do after a truck accident in Baton Rouge?
In a collision involving two passenger cars, any Louisiana resident knows what to do. You get out of the car, examine the damages to your car, exchange insurance information with the other driver and let the insurer sort things out. That works for minor crashes with no serious injuries. Unfortunately, truck accidents tend to cause horrific injuries. It’s inevitable due to the huge disparity between an 80,000 lbs fully loaded 18-wheeler and a 4,000 lbs passenger car.
What you do after a truck accident depends on the severity of your injuries. If you’re able to get out of your car on your own, you should at least try to take photos of the vehicles involved before they are moved to the side of the road. These photos will be very important later on when you talk to a seasoned Louisiana truck accident lawyer as they will want to understand what really happened and the information in the police report might not be enough.
If you have visible injuries, have someone take a photo of you at the scene of the crash.
Be very careful what you say and do not admit to any part of the blame. Louisiana employs a modified comparative fault doctrine. This means that you can still recover damages after an accident even if you were partly to blame. However, if you say something you shouldn’t, a ruthless insurance adjuster might use that to minimize the value of your claim.
Should I settle with the insurance company?
Speaking of insurance adjusters, you should expect a call from the insurer representing the trucking company. Once again, don’t give out any information and don’t accept a quick settlement under any circumstances. Let them know they’ll be hearing from your truck accident lawyer soon, even if you don’t have an attorney at the time. Your next call should be to a trustworthy accident lawyer in Louisiana, if only to understand how much your claim might be worth.
If there are any doubts as to what caused the crash, your attorneys will run their own investigation to see if the trucking company can be held accountable in any way. If driver fatigue played a part in the accident or if the crash was caused by a mechanical failure, you may have a case against the company. Why does that matter? It matters quite a lot since trucking companies operating interstate are required to carry at least $750,000 in insurance liability. If you have sustained serious injuries and are looking at huge medical bills you need all the money you can get.