Collision With a Large Commercial Truck: No Small Matter
Because of the weight and size of commercial trucks as compared to passenger cars, collisions involving the two often result in very serious injuries, particularly for those traveling in smaller vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,964 people killed and 95,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks (gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds) in the U.S. in 2013, and 342,000 large trucks were involved in traffic crashes.
Here are some critical steps a motorist should take if involved in a collision with a commercial truck:
Contact police to document the accident. Obtain contact information for any passengers and witnesses to the accident, as law enforcement personnel will sometimes miss or fail to include an eyewitness on the police report.
Seek medical attention. Be sure to report and document any areas of pain, even if it seems minor at the time. Many serious injuries can take days, weeks, or even months to manifest.
Never leave the accident scene. It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident in North Dakota, and doing so may result in a revocation of driving privileges and a license suspension.
Notify your car insurance company. The State of North Dakota requires the owner of an automobile to carry liability Insurance, uninsured and underinsured Insurance, and no fault insurance coverage.
File a no fault claim. Under the no fault model, an insured’s own insurer will pay the insured’s damages in the event of an accident, regardless of fault. The purpose of the no-fault system is to compensate motor vehicle accident victims adequately, and to simultaneously limit tort recovery and fault-based litigation. In order to seek non-economic damages from another insured individual, above and beyond their own no-fault recovery, an accident victim must demonstrate that he is insured, and that his injury is serious.
Never sign a release or give a statement to an insurance adjuster. Don’t sign anything until you’ve had the document reviewed by an experienced personal injury lawyer with experience in commercial truck accidents. By doing so, you may give up your right to bring a lawsuit against the negligent truck driver and trucking company for accident-related injuries.
If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident with a large commercial truck, contact the skilled personal injury attorneys at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss and schedule your free initial consultation today. We can help.